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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Floating library coming to NYC

Devoted to the history of steamboats in New York, the Lilac museum steamship is usually heaven for maritime buffs.

But for a little while the octogenarian lighthouse tender that once carried supplies to lighthouses and maintained buoys for the U.S. Lighthouse Service and the U.S. Coast Guard will be a pop-up library.

Conceived by artist Beatrice Glow, the Floating Library will offer a reading deck with fantastic views of the city as well as a steady schedule of special programming, roundtable talks, performances and workshops.

Under Glow’s vision, the historic boat will get a new life as a unique public space for New Yorkers to enjoy. The vessel will be stocked with reading materials donated from over 70 individuals, and after the library is disbanded, the books will be donated to local high school students. The main deck will become an outdoor reading lounge complete with chairs and beautiful Hudson River views. Ongoing art installations will also set the stage for learning, with a Listening Room featuring new work from six sound artists, as well as pieces by Amanda Thackray and Katarina Jerinic.

Visitors should note that the Lilac is a steamship undergoing restoration, so comfy shoes should be worn – and expect to climb ladders from one part of the ship to another. Also, the Floating Library is a place of dialogue and relaxation, so leave your mobile devices in your bag.

The reading vessel will be docked in Lower Manhattan at Pier 25, just West of North Moore Street. Visitors will be able to enjoy the Lilac free-of-charge on a first- come, first-served basis.

Reading vessel?  I love it!  A terrific idea altogether.

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