Monday, September 21, 2015

PortSide NewYork Presents Norwegian Red Hook WaterStories, A Night Of Bluegrass Music - And History

first Norwegian Seaman’s Church on Pioneer Street in Red Hook
Alf Dryland, deceased Captain of PortSide NewYork’s flagship, the Mary A. Whalen
 Paradise Mountain Boys, a bluegrass band from Norway

PortSide New York, a "living lab for a better urban waterway" located in Red Hook, Brooklyn,  will be hosting a great evening of music and history this Thursday evening.  The event will focus on the contribution made by Norwegian immigrants to our neighborhood.
The festivities are part of PortSide New York's Red Hook WaterStories project, which highlights the importance of Red Hook as a place of international shipping from the mid-1800’s until the mid 1900’s.

As part of Thursday's event, PortSide will be collecting oral history on site and/or taking names from people who have a Red Hook WaterStories to contribute.

Here are all the details:

Norwegian Red Hook WaterStories, a night of bluegrass music - and history
Thursday, September 24, 2015 from 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM

At Atelier Roquette, 63 Commerce Street, Red Hook, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Tickets $15 on sale at Eventbrite here.

Love bluegrass? History buff? Interested in New York City’s waterfront? PortSide NewYork has combined it all in one special night for you! Nestle in a sofa or dance into the night at the NYC premiere of the great bluegrass band Paradise Mountain Boys from Norway - and get yourself a NY WaterStory! Produced by PortSide NewYork as part of our ongoing Red Hook WaterStories.

You will be surrounded by projections of vintage film and photos on the brick walls as you soak up the maritime history of Norwegians in Red Hook and New York harbor. Norwegians were one of the major immigrant groups in Brooklyn from the late 19th to early 20th century. They were a major presence on NYC's working waterfront and on our historic ship, the tanker MARY A. WHALEN. They were first concentrated in Red Hook, Brooklyn. At their peak, there were almost as many Norwegians in Red Hook as there are residents in Red Hook today.

Hear about the first people to row across the Atlantic, Norwegians in 1896! And how Norwegian seaman stranded in here toughed it out in a Red Hook shanty town until Robert Moses cleared it out. and how Norwegians were a major presence on our historic ship the Mary A. Whalen .

About Band Paradise Mountain Boys

This is the NYC premier of the Paradise Mountain Boys! The band plays bluegrass the traditional way with all the band members around one microphone. Their six-piece acoustic outfit of mandolin, dobro, banjo, guitar and upright bass has its roots firmly planted in down-home acoustic music found in the Appalachian mountains. Traditional bluegrass and bluegrass gospel, with beautiful harmony singing is their thing.

Event Schedule

The evening kicks off with speakers covering various aspects of the Norwegian New Yorker experience, then the NYC premier of the Paradise Mountain Boys, a bluegrass band from Norway! Contribute your own WaterStory at our StoryStation. Read paper and digital Norwegian New Yorker history at our ReadingTable.

7:00-7:45pm Three short history talks with slides. Speakers Lars Nilsen of the Norwegian Immigrant Association, Victor Samuelsen of the Norwegian Seaman’s Church, John Weaver of PortSide NewYork.

8:00-9:45pm bluegrass music by Paradise Mountain Boys from Norway

9:45-10:30pm time to talk to the historians and band, read history at our ReadingTable, get interviewed at our WaterStories StoryStation, sign up to be interviewed in the future.

History program

Historical overview by Lars Nilsen, Co-Chair of the Norwegian Immigrant Association

Victor Samuelsen will talk about the first people to row across the Atlantic, two Norwegians George Harbo and Frank Samuelsen who did that in an open boat - in 1896!

PortSide NewYork board member John Weaver will talk about his father in law Alf Dyrland who left Norway as a cabin boy at age 13 and was captain of our ship MARY A. WHALEN from 1958 to 1978, one of many Norwegians to work on the MARY and for the two companies for which the MARY worked most of her years, Ira S. Bushey & Sons in Red Hook and Ekloff in Staten Island.

The 1931 silent film “Glimpses of Old New York” playing on the walls is by Engineer Michael Leirvik, shot to show Norwegians how their emigrants brethren lived in NYC and especially Brooklyn, courtesy of Norsk Film Institut, Oslo, with the permission of the Leirvik Family.

About the venue

Atelier Roquette was generously donated by the dynamic duo Monica Byrne and Leisah Swenson, the force behind three businesses, Atelier Roquette, home/made and Roquette Catering whose flair has converted a former forge, ice cream warehouse and espresso machine repair shop into Atelier Roquette, a cozy, airy nest for brunch, weddings and community events. The esthetic here is an exquisite balancing of flowers and rust, linen and stainless with notes of rustic wood with an eclectic mix of chairs, tables and lounge spaces. Check out the interior courtyard with blooming oranges and roses!

Proceeds and donations from the evening support future Red Hook WaterStories programs.

I suggest you get your tickets as soon as possible. I just did.



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