SummerStage Returns to East River Park Tonight


Poet Mykki Blanco will perform August 7 at 7 p.m.

Poet Mykki Blanco will perform at the East River Park Amphitheater on August 7 at 7 p.m.

In the final days of summer, City Parks’ SummerStage is at last returning to the East River Park with a series of (free!) live performances and events beginning this evening.  The shows, which run the gamut from live music by the likes of Mykki Blanco, Instant Funk and Carol Williams, along with theater from the New York Neofuturists and an anniversary celebration for the Nuyorican Poets Cafe(we’ll be there!).

One interactive evening to watch for is Spectrum Dance Theater, which will perform at 8:00 p.m. on August 8th. The performance follows a master class, open to all levels, taught by award-winning dancer, Germaul Barnes. Barnes is currently the artistic director and founder of Viewsic Expressions Dance, a New York based dance organization that presents multimedia dance performances and educational residencies around the globe.  In addition to having lots of teaching experience in New York City, he also received the 2003 New York Dance and Performance Award.

If reading any of this makes you want to dance (or swing by for a few shows), here’s more info on Friday’s dance events, along with the complete East River Park SummerStage schedule. The series runs through August 17th and take place at the East River Park Amphitheater.

Photos: Trees Chopped Down at East River Park

East River Park. Photos by Chris Castillo & Barbara Michelini.

East River Park. Photos by Chris Castillo & Barbara Michelini.

Here’s the scene at East River Park this afternoon.

This Week at the East River Park Bandshell: A Hip Hop Version of King Kong

Beginning this evening,  King Kong comes to Summerstage at the East River Park bandshell.   A few days ago, we spoke with the creators of this irreverent version of the classic story.

Spider-Man Filming at East River Park, Most Likely

East River Park. Photo by David Flaherty.

East River Park. Photo by David Flaherty.

A graduation ceremony at east River Park!?  Well, maybe a fictitious one.  The banner above the bandshell reads, “Midtown Science,” a pretty good clue that Spider-Man is filming today on the East River.


Photo: East River Park Bandshell Improvements

East River Park bandshell. Photo by David Flaherty.

East River Park bandshell. Photo by David Flaherty.

From frequent East River Park visitor David Flaherty:  Signs of improvement at the bandshell.  He also reports work has begun to repair the dog run at Corlears Hook Park, which was damaged during Hurricane Sandy.


SummerStage at East River Park; 2013 Schedule

UCB at SummerStage. Photo by The Lo-Down.

SummerStage 2012 at East River Park.

The City Parks Foundation is out today with its full lineup for SummerStage, including around a dozen late-season performances in the East River Park bandshell.

August 20-22, Randy Weiner, co-owner of “The Box” night club and director Alfred Preisser are coming together for a new version of “King Kong,” a music, dance, comedy spectacle set in the Bronx in the late 1970’s. According to a press materials, the production “celebrates the nascent forms of Hip-Hop music and graffiti art that grew out of the economically stressed South Bronx and went on to become one of the defining, most powerful and profitable artistic movements in the world.”

Sketch Released of Suspect in East River Park Attack


Police have released a sketch of the suspect they’re looking for in Thursday’s midday assault of a woman in East River Park.  The man came up behind he 42-year old jogger, pushed her to the ground and tried to rip off her clothes. The woman fought back, screamed and the suspect ran away. She was taken to the hospital but was not seriously injured.

Police think the suspect is a light skinned Latino or black man between the ages of 18 and 25.  At the time of the attack, he was wearing a grey hoodie and green sweatpants. The incident happened at around noon near East Houston Street.

If you can help find this man call Crimestoppers at (800) 577-TIPS.

Woman Attacked in East River Park; Police Search For Suspect

Police are searching for a man who attacked a woman in East River Park this morning.  It happened on the running path at East 6th Street around 11:45 a.m.

The victim was jogging when the suspect came up from behind and threw her to the ground. He tried to pull off her clothes but she fought back and screamed, at which point the man fled.  The woman. 41, had some minor cuts and bruises. She was taken to Beth Israel.

When cops arrived at the scene the victim had made it to FDR Drive and Delancey. They are now looking for a teenager who was wearing a gray sweatshirt and green pants.  He has a stocky build and facial hair. The 9th Precinct is taking the lead in the investigation, with assistance from the 7th Precinct.

Weekend Events: Have Fun, Support Sandy Recovery

In addition to dining out at local eateries this weekend, there are plenty of other easy, fun things to do (art exhibits, movies, shopping, gardening) while also boosting a variety of Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. We’ve listed a few here; write us at or Tweet us @lodownny if you know of others we should add.

Checking in on the East River Park Tennis Courts

East River Park. Photos by Sarah Sluis.

Tucked next to the Williamsburg Bridge, the East River Park tennis courts attract quite a few local players throughout the April-November tennis season. During the U.S. Open (ending Sunday), more people catch the tennis bug and head out to the courts. If you plan on playing this week, be prepared to wait alongside other would-be Serena Williams and Andy Roddick-types.

There’s no one better to monitor the ebb and flow of the courts than Heriberto Torres, who has been working for the NYC Parks Department for twenty-one years, sixteen of them at the East River courts. He’s a familiar sight at the check-in table, known for his strict timekeeping and good sense of humor. The hours are marked with whistles, and if you’re playing at the end of the day, Torres herds out the players so he can lock up at 8pm sharp.

Family Day at East River Park: Happening Now!

The cast of “Bessie’s Big Shot,” part of East River Park Family Day, pull some strings. Photo credit: City Parks Foundation Facebook page.

Admittedly, this post is a bit last minute, but it’s never too late to decide to spend some quality time with the family. If your evening isn’t planned already, head with the kids to Family Day at East River Park, which includes three separate events running from 2-10 pm. Kicking off the entertainment at 2, the City Parks Foundation Puppetmobile presents “Bessie’s Big Shot,” the tale of a cow with dreams to dazzle in a circus. This puppet show is happening at Corlears Hook Park, and will be followed by a chalk drawing workshop led by artist Diana Carulli in the Dance Oval at 4. (Carulli has a history in East River Park; she worked on the blue painted labyrinth it that it currently features.) The night concludes at the park’s Bandshell at 8, with a raucous production of “Jason and the Argonauts,” a spin on ancient greek drama “The Argonautica” that follows its titular character’s quest for the golden fleece of lore. Apparently, the reinterpretation by NYC company Faux-Real Theater features rock music, sumptuous costumes and platform shoes. Even more good news: the weather should hold up.

Dance and Comedy at SummerStage in East River Park This Weekend

The Niles Ford Urban Dance Collective is one of four dance companies performing this weekend in the East River Park Bandshell.

As we noted Monday, the massive free arts festival SummerStage is moving into the neighborhood, bringing a truly eclectic mix of performers to the East River Park Bandshell over the next two weeks. As part of the new, annual SummerStage Downtown series, the Bandshell will host acts as distant in genre as hip-hop producer-savant ARAABMUZIK and salsa crooner Jose Alberto (nick-name: “El Canario”) on consecutive evenings.

Tomorrow is opening night, dance is the focus, and the spirit is inclusive.

The Fireboat House in East River Park Goes Green

The new green roof at the Fireboat House in East River Park, home to the Lower East Side Ecology Center

As the extremely extended makeover of East River Park finally seems to be nearing completion, the park now includes far more plant life than it has recent years. But green space is always at a premium in NYC, as the Lower East Side Ecology Center knows well. Last month, the not-for-profit, which provides community based compost and recycling programs and encourages stewardship of green spaces throughout the city, installed a “green roof” on the Fireboat House, its newly renovated facility in East River Park. The green roof is a bed of plant life located directly on top of the building, which served as a base for firefighters patrolling the river in the 1930s. It will help keep the building cool in warm months, and should grow more full and vibrant with time.

Police Search For Serial Mugger on the Lower East Side

NYPD photo/subway surveillance camera.

The NYPD has released a photo, recorded by an MTA surveillance camera, showing a man suspected in 16 robberies on the Lower East Side and Gramercy in the past couple of months.  Police say the man often threatens victims with a knife or gun before stealing personal items, such as cell phones, iPods and wallets.

About half of the late night incidents have happened near East River Park. The first mugging happened May 5 at 205 Avenue C.  The suspect swiped a necklace from a 59-year old woman.  The robber has also targeted people on FDR Drive, Grand Street, East Houston Street, Montgomery Street, East 10th Street, East 13th Street and 23rd Street. Most recently (July 27), the suspect cornered two teens at 801 East 14th Street.  An iPod and iPhone were stolen from the victims.

The suspect is described as a black male in his 30s; he has a thin mustache and thin beard and was last seen wearing a gray hoody, gray pants and black sneakers.

If you have information about these crimes, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).


New Section of East River Waterfront Opens, Sort Of

East River Park; June 13, 2012.

If you’ve been down to East River Park in the past several days you may have noticed that the final stretch of the promenade has finally opened.  A chain link fence is still blocking the path on the north side, over by the Fire Boat House, and there’s a similar fence partially blocking the path on the south side, near Montgomery Street. But it’s possible to access the newly refurbished promenade from behind the amphitheater.

The $80 million project has encountered countless delays during the past decade since the city was forced to close the waterfront for structural repairs.  The focus is now shifting to Pier 42 (just south of the promenade), which is destined to become a recreational space. Sometime in the next few months, the Parks Department and Community Board 3 will begin discussing plans to dismantle an old shed on the pier.

Recently the New York Junior League helped refurbish sections of the promenade, painting play equipment and planting flowers.Click through to see more photos.