Seaport Report, Week of May 7, 215

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Photo courtesy of Save Our Seaport Participants aboard the South Street Seaport Museum’s Ambrose during “Jane’s Walk,” an event honoring Jane Jacobs.

BY JANEL BLADOW   |  Yay! It’s May! After this winter, I didn’t think it would ever come. But our great neighborhood is shaking off the doldrums and blooming again. All the pots, beds and gardens from Dover to Wall, East River to Nassau are planted, flowering and colorful. Worth the walk around the hood.

A Grand Opening…. South Street Seaport Museum kicked off its 2015 season in style with politicos, pundits and even a new president! Captain Jonathan Boulware, who has been at the helm of this rocky ship since 2013 as interim president (hey guys, update the website to acknowledge his new title,) was officially named executive director. And he looked as happy as a clam at his first official event on April 25 as he launched the gangplanks to open the historic ships on Pier 16. We’ll catch up with him in the next month to recount a fish tale or two.

On the move… Over the weekend Save Our Seaport (S.O.S.) and the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance (M.W.A.) joined forces with the Municipal Art Society (MAS) – phew! I have acronymitis! – to celebrate the legacy of urban activist Jane Jacobs with a walking tour through the Seaport.

Nearly 100 history buffs and Seaport fans joined leaders Margaret Flanagan and Roland Lewis on several free treks, titled “Towering Masts to Towers: A Conversation about the Past, Present and Future of the Seaport.”

The talk touched on hot topics, from the first Dutch settlers through current, controversial development plans. A little political activism and history lesson along with a pep step or two made for an enlightening time outdoors enjoying our community.

“To me, the [event] showcased the motivation behind Jane’s Walk – getting people out walking in, looking at and talking about neighborhoods,” said historian Susan De Vries. “Save Our Seaport members …stressed that the Seaport is also OUR neighborhood as New Yorkers. Walks like this, especially when held on a beautiful night in an atmospheric neighborhood, inspire conversation and, hopefully, participation in the life and future of our city.”

Flanagan, also maritime operations manager of the Waterfront Alliance commented to Seaport Report about the adventure: “Jane’s Walkers in the Seaport compared our local plans to create a successful community-driven waterfront, highlighting maritime heritage and markets, to cities like Vancouver and Seattle. We dug deeper into the goals behind the establishment of the Seaport historic district, and into the factors behind its current re-development.”

Check them out for upcoming free tours, mas.org/janeswalk/walks/

Broadway and ballet… Why travel Uptown? Catch two superstars of Broadway and a ballet diva’s troupe in your own backyard. A Broadway legend in her own time Patti LuPone, two-time Tony Award Winner for Evita and Gypsy, performs on Saturday evening, May 5, in the Schimmel Center at Pace University, 3 Spruce St. In “Far Away Places,” she “shares her penchant for wanderlust” by taking the audience on “a musical journey.”

The songbird is joined by a five-piece band to belt out the best by Sondheim, Porter, Piaf, Willie Nelson and the Bee Gees. Also coming this month…the Gelsey Kirkland Ballet performs Don Quixote four times the following week. The series winds up the month with another Broadway biggie, Ben Vereen, who offers a festival of song and dance from his Broadway shows (Pippin, Wicked and more) with a three-piece band. Info: schimmel.pace.edu/events or call the box office 212 346-1715.

Meeting postponed… No annual meeting of Southbridge Towers this Saturday. The co-op’s board of directors have moved it to June 29. An election for a new board of directors will take place the day before. All residents who hit the road for summer, take note.

Pump it up… Join in or get out and support the annual American Heart Association Walk/Run on Thursday, May 28. The 3-mile course starts at 6:45 p.m., rain or shine, begins in Tribeca and winds up Pearl St., then down Water St. Finish line is over at Brookfield Place with a festival of fun. Registration closes midnight Wednesday, May 13. More than $1.6-million is already pledged toward the $2,750,000 goal.

And lastly… Don’t forget your mom! Sunday is Mom’s Day so take her out to one of our local, lovely restaurants, buy her some flowers, give her a peck on the cheek or at the very least, please pick up the phone!

Over at Da Claudio, 21 Ann St., 20 percent of all lunch and dinner receipts will go to the charity Every Mother Counts. Enjoy a full menu, including springtime specials, and a surprise cocktail blended with mom in mind.

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