Volume 23, Number 9 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | July 9 - 15, 2010
Indie rock band Yeasayer performed live at Pier 54 during last summer’s “River Rocks” concert series as part of the Hudson River Park Trust’s annual summer “Take Me To The River” festivities.
Music, movies and more on the Hudson
BY Michael Mandelkern
Summer in New York City offers a plethora of free outdoor concerts and events, none more enticing than those that occur on the banks of the Hudson.
The Hudson River Park Trust kicked off its annual summer outdoor “River Rocks” and “RiverFlicks” series this week with an indie-country-rock band and a Golden Globe Best Comedy award winner.
The two events are part of “Take Me To The River,” a summer-long assortment of free events. Phosphorescent and Dawes headlined a free concert[on July 8th] [at Pier 54]. The Antlers will hit the stage two weeks later and Deerhunter will deliver the final rock performance on August 12th.
“They’re popular and they’re up-and-coming [Phosphorescent and Dawes]. They fit in with what we’ve done in the past,” said David Katz, V.P. of marketing and events of the H.R.P.T., a city-state organization that designs and constructs space along the five mile stretch that makes up Hudson River Park.
“River Rocks” has hosted up-and-comers turned big names; the Grammy award-winning White Stripes performed seven years ago. Bands have been attracting crowds to the Hudson River since 1998 with, according to Katz, an average turnout of roughly 4,000 concertgoers.
“These are big events,” he said.
“RiverFlicks,” a 15-year tradition of outdoor movies and free popcorn, will show its first film, “The Hangover,” on July 7th at Pier 54. The H.R.P.T. features movies geared towards young adults and up on Wednesdays and more family-oriented flicks, such as the “The Wizard of Oz,” on Fridays.
Unlike “River Rocks,” which attracts an audience well beyond Downtown residents, “RiverFlicks” typically draws “more of a local crowd,” said Katz. According to him, roughly 2,500 people usually watch Wednesday night movies with a more modest 1,000 on Friday nights.
“Take Me To The River,” in its 19th year, began in early June this year. From then until the end of August, piers across Hudson River Park will feature a wide range of events, including jazz and classical music concerts, sunset gatherings and dance lessons.
While the events are free but concessions sold by the H.R.P.T. are not. “Take Me To The River” has maintained a sound budget to provide free programming for the community since it first began in 1992.
On August 5th the Church Street Boxing Gym will co-host “Rumble on the River,” an amateur boxing match, at Pier 84. Sanctioned by U.S.A. Boxing and the New York State Athletic Commission, the pre-arranged square-offs will feature trained men and women, not anyone interested from the audience.
“I consider this event to be peaceful,” said Katz, adding that all safety precautions will be taken during the clash.
On August 22nd the H.R.P.T. will host its 11th annual Blues BBQ, an all-day event full of food from BBQ restaurants across the city and live Blues music.
Many of these events have been summer staples for over 10 years. The H.R.P.T. has made little change to the yearly series, sticking to what’s been successful.
“The framework is the same but content is different every year,” said Katz in reference to keeping RiverFlicks but changing the movie showings. “Unless something was a failure we don’t pull anything out.”