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And I thought I was a solitary tourist wanting to see the sights here?  I always do bring outatowners here to my “offices” for the scenery.


And to think that he too thought a maritime center devoted to contemporary shipping is sorely needed along the busy channels of the sixth boro.


First, Noble Maritime IS open this Saturday and Sunday, Labor Day.  More than half the fotos in this post are from the well-worth-seeing display called “Tides of 100 Years.”    Snug Harbor also caught some attention in the New Yorker  this week.

The KVK always intrigues and amuses.  Like, this tanker . . . made me think Torm is mini?    No way . . . it’s heavily-laden,  it’s rusty,


it’s orange (or would you call that cantaloupe?).



Over beyond it at Bayonne’s dry dock, USNS Dahl is getting a make-over.



Farther west, Maersk Phoenix is transferring a petroleum product and soon to head into the Mediterranean.


John Noble is the godfather of this blog.  And this exhibit helps you form a fuller idea of the artist.





And lest you think, it’s only his fabulous artwork, it’s more . . . like this manual below.  John Noble had a Jeepster, one of my all-time to-be-coveted vehicles!  See the flickr image to the left margin of this blog.   Anyone remember his topless Jeepster around Staten Island?


And here’s a taste of his workshop . . ..


If you have a chance this weekend or soon, come to see this exhibit.  Spend some time in the museum, and then find a place across the road to sit and watch his inspiration.

Tangentially related:  My Jeepster story does NOT involve John Noble or even NY.  I was born in coastal North Carolina, a marshy farming area where deep ditches tend to outline roads.  My slightly older relatives–who will stay unnamed–used to waterski behind the Jeepster.  Run the tow line from the car to the ditch, where the skiier crouches at the ready hoping to begin the ride before a snapping turtle, alligator, or water moccasin happens along.  Once the tow gets going, keep your skis cranked forward in the ditch, not toward the car.  Can be done. Has been.  Wish I had fotos!

If anyone has Noble Jeepster stories, please leave a comment.

What is this tow . . .  eastbound on the East River?  Clues:  The year is 1948 and that’s Brooklyn Bridge, South Street Seaport, and lower Manhattan in the background.  Also, the Staten Island ferry has operated a +1100-passenger vessel since 1986 named in honor of the builder of this tow, former resident of Opossum Acres, and built of this tow out of available flotsam and jetsam.


Answer:  It’s John A. Noble’s houseboat, featured in a tugster post here a year ago.    And there’s a party/fundraiser at Sailors Snug Harbor in his honor . . . details below.  Click on the foto/poster below for more info on Sailors Snug Harbor.


What follows is the press release.  Consider participating in some way.  

On Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 8 PM, the museum will host a birthday party and premiere the new documentary, Tides of 100 Year: Remembering John A. Noble, by filmmaker Michael McWeeney.

On Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 2 PM, the museum will host a free public reception that will include two showings of the new film and refreshments.

The Saturday evening celebration will also mark the opening of a biographical exhibition, with family memorabilia, photographs, and art that describe Noble’s career.  Rare pieces, including plein air drawings he did from his rowboat while studying New York Harbor, as well are formal drawings, photographs, and paintings, will highlight it.

Eccentric features of his former home at 270 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island, will shed light on Noble’s personality and many talents.  His basement workshop and the interior of his home, with maritime artifacts and tools he collected and lamps and furniture he made, have been recreated. 

Noble and his wife Susan Ames Noble decided to “burn their bridges,” and devote their lives to his artistic career, and the exhibition focuses on their single-minded devotion to it.  “No teaching. No retreat,” was their philosophy.  Susan was Noble’s advisor, agent, secretary, and companion on his explorations.  “It took Sue and me about 10 years to know New York,” Noble said. “We rowed, we walked, we bicycled—about ten years.  Then we had a little fundamental idea of the vast thing.”

The birthday party, which will take place on the eve of Noble’s St. Patrick’s Day birth in Paris, France, in 1913, will feature cocktails and hors d’oeuvres and dancing to the music of Queen Tipsy and her band.  Tickets are $100 per person, $90 for museum members and seniors.

The Sunday afternoon reception will include two showings, at 2 PM and 3 PM, of Tides of 100 Years: Remembering John A. Noble, by Michael McWeeney.

Funding for the exhibition was provided, in part, by the Trustees and members of the Noble Maritime Collection, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council. Michael McWeeney is the recipient of a DCA Premier Grant from the Council on the Arts & Humanities for Staten Island (COAHSI), with public funding from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

The Tides of 100 Years exhibition will remain on view through 2013.  The Noble Maritime Collection is located at Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden and is open to the public Thursdays through Sundays from 1 until 5 PM.  Tours of the museum and school programs are welcome weekdays as well.

For information, call the Noble Maritime Collection at (718) 447-6490 or visit

Click here for a sampling of Noble’s work.  Click here for info on a profusely-illustrated biography.  Click here for info on a Snug Harbor project to transform Robbins Reef Light.

Unrelated but similar to the top foto, click here for a tugster post from almost three years ago.   


If you read Latin, you get it, this statement of Snug Harbor’s motto.  Otherwise, I’ll translate a bit farther down.  If you’ve never been, it’s worth a visit.

Here’s what KVK traffic looks like from the Minard Lafever-designed buildings of Snug Harbor, and

here’s what the waterside entrance to Snug Harbor looks like from the KVK . . . just between IMTT Bayonne and the “salt pile.”

The current feature exhibit is called “Treasures of Sailors’ Snug Harbor.”   The bust here is Robert Richard Randall, the sea captain whose charity established what became a home for thousands of aging seafarers.

The will establishing the institution was drawn up by Alexander Hamilton.

The Latin in this John LaFarge stained glass window translates as “We who are exhausted seek a harbor.”

If you’ve never been to SSH, you’ll enjoy three floors of exhibits, which include ship models like Massapequa and

Benjamin Brewster and

and Japan Ambrose.    And of course much much more,  such as

the entire John Noble collection, which I just scratched the surface on earlier this year here.  There’s even a Herman Melville connection here.

For directions to SSH, click here.

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