City Lore is proud to induct six new honorees to the People’s Hall of Fame for their contributions as Waterfront Heroes
They say that not all heroes wear capes. Sometimes they wear waders, wool caps, and rubber raincoats; boat shoes, sunglasses, or life jackets. This exhibit pays homage to the unsung champions of New York harbor, the women and men who help to sustain our working waterfronts, restore historic vessels and other objects destined for the junkyard, and carry on the occupational culture of our waterways so that future generations can learn of New York’s crucial maritime heritage.
The People’s Hall of Fame is an awards celebration honoring grassroots contributions to New York’s cultural life. Taking as its symbol a historic New York subway token, we present “tokens of our esteem” to a cohort of individuals who are contributing creatively to the folk culture of New York City. This year’s awardees protect our shoreline communities and nautical traditions, and preserve New York’s legacy as America’s greatest port. Their work deeply impacts our environment, our economy, and the development of our region.
“Most people don’t see or have contact with the working waterfront. It’s hard to meet a tugboat captain. It’s difficult to get on board a pilot ship, or a visiting tall ship. It’s important that we continue to advocate for New York’s maritime past to serve as a working part of its present.” ~ David Sharps, Waterfront Museum
This year, we are proud to present awards to:
Naima Rauam for painting the poetry of the Fulton Fish Market
Ray Keenan and other members of the Sandy Hook Pilots Association for shepherding ships to shore in New York waters
David Sharps, founder of the Waterfront Museum on a barge he personally dredged from the Hudson
Conrad Milster, a steam whistle collector from Brooklyn who started a 50-year New Year’s Eve steam whistle blowing tradition in Brooklyn
Adam Green, founder of Rocking the Boat, which works with underserved youth to build boats in the Bronx
Seetha Wickramasuriya, a Staten Island nurse from Tangol, Sri Lanka, honored for her bravery saving a bedridden patient during Superstorm Sandy, and for the traditional kavi songs and poems she wrote about the hurricane
Samir Faraq, founder of Staten Island’s Museum of Maritime Navigation & Communication and collector of forgotten maritime paraphernalia
Carolina Salguero, founder and director of PortSide NewYork, for creating a living lab for better urban waterways
Dennis Heaphy, tinsmith at the Statue of Liberty, for preserving a living cultural landmark