Tag Archives: Inwood

Inwood Canoe Club’s Sunday Kayaking on the Hudson

Come join us for a paddle on the Hudson!

Every Sunday from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend, the Inwood Canoe Club invites members of the public who can swim to join us for a guided, 20-25 minute kayak tour of the Hudson River just north of the George Washington Bridge. We paddle from 10:00 to 12:00, but guests are asked to arrive between 9:30 and 11:15 to ensure they get a spot. No prior experience is needed, and all equipment is provided.

You absolutely must be able to swim.

Open House is first-come, first-served; we don’t take reservations. No pets, please, at the Open House. We supply boat, paddle, and PFD (life vest). Wear shoes and clothes that can get wet. Don’t bring many valuables; you will need to leave them at the boathouse or supply your own waterproof bag for them or risk their getting wet. People under 18 must bring a parent or guardian. Whether a minor will be allowed to paddle with us depends on conditions that day and on the discretion of the club member running the Open House.

Since Open House began in 2002, the club has offered the only walk-up kayaking program in Northern Manhattan. We generally serve about 500 guests every summer.

Save time! Sign up for your Open House waiver here.

Inwood Community Conversation : Climate Change & Health at Ellen Lurie School

Climate change can have serious impacts on the health of communities of color and low income, such as here in Inwood:

• Climate change is causing more heatwaves, which can lead to dehydration and hospitalizations.
• More intense storms and flooding can cause power outages, increase mold presence, and damage homes.
• Climate change amplifies air pollution, which worsens respiratory illnesses such as asthma.

WE ACT for Environmental Justice and New York State Senator Robert Jackson are co-hosting an Inwood community conversation to share information about how climate change affects health. We will provide a space to listen to people’s concerns, stories, and ideas. And we will invite volunteers to participate in future meetings to create a plan for addressing climate change and health issues. Together, we can compile important information about environmental health to better improve quality of life for Inwood. Lunch & Refreshments, Childcare & Activities, and Spanish-Language Interpretation will be provided. This site is accessible.

Up Theater Company: Detained Q & A with Director Nancy Robillard and Playwright Rosel-Mary Harrington


DETAINED director NANCY ROBILLARD (L) and playwright ROSE-MARY HARRINGTON take a few questions from UP’s artistic director James Bosley about this timely new play.

Rehearsal photos by Jacki Goldhammer

JAMES: Rose-Mary, what drew you to this story?

ROSE-MARY: I was compelled to write Detained in 2008 after I learned of the plight of asylum seeking families who were being incarcerated in a former penitentiary in Texas. Children along with their parents were treated as criminals. The families fled persecution and violence and threats in their home countries seeking refuge in the United States of America. When they were apprehended at the border they were shipped to Hutto, a privately-run family detention center in Texas. In Hutto they were stripped of belongings, men and women were separated, and children over seven years old confined to their own cells. Hutto was run like a prison—with counts, laser trip wires, and meager mental and physical stimulation for the children. Even stuffed toys were banned. As Captain Viv, one of the facilitators laments, “America is better than this.”  I hope this play serves as a voice for those who do not have a voice.  I never imagined how topical immigration would become ten years from the inception of Detained.

Ken Dillon (L.E.) and Laura Fois (Captain Viv)
Ken Dillon (L.E.), Laura Fois (Captain Viv)

JAMES: Nancy, what was your first impression when you initially read the play?

NANCY: When I read the play for the first time, I realized that I had a knot in my chest the entire time I was reading it. That was a good thing—it meant I’d been deeply moved by it. I felt for the characters and the situation they are in—being in detention, their futures uncertain. Some have been there a long time, with no end in sight. I wanted to be part of telling their story.

Director, Nancy Robillard
Director, Nancy Robillard

JAMES: Rose-Mary, we’ve had a lot of back and forth on the script, including a staged reading, since you sent it to us three years ago. Was there a moment during that process that really helped clarify the story for you? Was there a moment that was especially painful?

ROSE-MARY: From the staged reading in 2016 it became apparent that I needed to develop a central character. This became Maria, a teen caught in the crossfire of immigration. She is smart, endearing, and recognizable as any kid struggling with adolescence, and with her relationship with her mother. Maria now gives the play focus and cohesiveness. The moment that was especially painful to write, and now to witness in rehearsal, is at the conclusion of the play. It is heart-breaking to watch a teen so despondent due to the suffocating circumstance she finds herself in this play.

Thomas Vorsteg (James),  Nercido Mota (Paco)
Thomas Vorsteg (James),  Nercido Mota (Paco)

JAMES: What draws you to doing new plays?

NANCY: Working with the playwright is a privilege and a luxury. It is great to be able to ask the writer. “Is this what you meant here?” Rose-Mary lives in South Carolina and flew up here to be with us for the first week of rehearsal. The cast and I spent that week with her sitting around a table, reading and analyzing scenes. She made script changes every day based on what she learned from the rehearsals. As we are staging the play, we continue to discover things about the script—what is working and what is not. Rose-Mary has joined us sometimes by Skype or Face-Time so that she can watch rehearsals and continue to make adjustments in the text. At times a writer is inspired to re-write because of something specific an actor or director has done. Other times it happens simply because we have put the play up on its feet. The writer can see it and say. “Now I know how to fix the ending.” (It is almost always the ending.) So we really learn what is working and what is not. Then we bring in the audience and learn about the play from them. It is thrilling to be part of that process, and I truly appreciate UP Theater for giving us the opportunity. It is no small feat for a theater company to produce new plays, and UP does it beautifully.

Robert S. Gregory (Firouz), Rose-Mary Harrington (playwright), Natalia Plaza (Maria), Beau McGhee (Doug)
Robert S. Gregory (Firouz), Rose-Mary Harrington (playwright), Natalia Plaza (Maria), Beau McGhee (Doug)