Volume 18, Number 2 | JUNE 3 - 9, 2005

The South Street Seaport Museum is offering free sails on the Pioneer Saturday June 4.

Free sails at the Seaport

The South Street Seaport Museum will host several events this weekend to commemorate some of the historic and cultural artifacts in the city.

The museum will celebrate the 120th birthday of its schooner, the Pioneer, on June 4 with free public sails all day long. The hour long “Birthday Sails” are free of charge and tickets will be distributed on a first come, first serve basis. Tickets can be picked up at the Pioneer gangway at Pier 16 starting at 7 a.m. The first sail will depart at 8 a.m. and the last sail will leave at 9:30 p.m. The Pioneer will sail rain or shine, so be sure to dress for the weather.

The historic ship was built in 1885 in Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania. She spent most of her life as a schooner, carrying various cargoes such as lumber, stone and brick between coastal communities in the Northeast and is the only iron-hulled American merchant sailing vessel still around today.

The Pioneer was donated to the South Street Seaport Museum in 1970 after being resorted in 1966 with a new hull and schooner rig. The ship now sails daily, manned by a crew of professionals and volunteers. Pioneer is also available for private and corporate charters.

On Sunday, June 5, New York University professor Karen Karbiener will lead a poetry reading of selections taken from Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself.” The marathon poetry reading will take place at the Peking on Pier 16, from 5-8 p.m. Karbiener is a professor at NYU’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies and is the editor of “Leaves of Grass: First” and “Death Bed.” The reading is a part of the South Street Seaport Museum’s four-month long celebration of the 150th anniversary of the printing of Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. Admission is $6 and $3 for members.

Other events are scheduled for the beginning of July to coincide with the opening of the museum’s Whitman exhibition. The exhibit, “Whitman and the Promise of America, 1855-2005,” will open July 2 and will include artifacts and documents from Whitman’s time and a copy of the first edition of “Leaves of Grass.”

— Lauren Dzura

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