Nautical past, present and future drop anchor at Atlantic Salt Maritime Festival

August 28, 2009 at 4:13 pm Leave a comment

A fantastical barge whose resident artists grown their own food and produce their own power represents the maritime future.

The Half Moon, a replica of the tall ship Henry Hudson sailed when he discovered the harbor in 1609, makes landfall to symbolize the past.

And speaking for the waterfront of today is Atlantic Salt Inc., the firm sponsoring this weekend’s Atlantic Salt Maritime Festival.

The action washes up 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 29 at Atlantic Salt’s Richmond Terrace dock, with support from the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce and the Noble Maritime Collection. The family fare — all of it free — includes tours of both vessels, food, beverages 17th-century games, and kiddie rides, music, dance performances, sprinklers.

“Atlantic Salt gets an enormous amount out of Staten Island, being part of this community,” says Daniel Adams, an urban designer with the company. “Essentially, we’re throwing a big party for the community as a thanks for being here.”

In New Brighton since 1977, Atlantic Salt distributes salt to municipalities for improving roadway safety during winters. The company’s parent operation, Eastern Salt in Lowell, Mass., has been hosting an event similar to the S.I. fest in Boston for eight years.

The Atlantic Salt festival closes at 3 p.m. with a parade of tugs presented by area towing companies.

The attraction Stella Rosensweig already finds most intriguing is the 30-by-100-foot Waterpod. The 77-year-old explored the fantastical barge the other day. Its resident artists — sculptors, photographers, performance artists — grow potatoes, corn, strawberries, raspberries and beans among other vegetables. They eat eggs delivered by chickens living in an onboard coop.

The artists’ waste water goes through a rigorous plant filtration sequence before being repurposed. Solar panels power their big electronics. And the visionaries peddle a stationary bike to charge small appliances like iPods.

“I think the Waterpod should go to every place with a waterfront so people can see how to live with less,” says Rosensweig, a retired teacher from St. George. “It shows you don’t need a lot of fancy things to enjoy life

Atlantic Salt Maritime Festival
A family-friendly festival with kiddie rides, food, games, face-painting, dance, and tours of the Half Moon, a replica of the ship Henry Hudson sailed when he discovered New York Harbor in 1609, plus tours of the Waterpod, an eco-friendly, self-sustaining, futuristic barge.
When: Aug. 29, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Where: Atlantic Salt Inc.’s dock, 561 Richmond Terr., New Brighton.
How much: Free.
Plus: The Waterpod is also open to the public Aug. 27-28, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Aug. 30, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
by Jodi Lee Reifer
Staten Island Advance

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Entry filed under: Get Wet, Maritime, Staten Island, Working Waterfront. Tags: , , , , , .

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