Red Hook WaterStories Team

Peter Rothenberg leads the Red Hook WaterStories team. He is a history curator and native of Park Slope, Brooklyn. He was the curator of the Museum of Early Trades & Crafts in Madison, NJ and prior to that of the New York Fire Museum. He is co-author the book: FDNY: An Illustrated History of the Fire Department of the City of New York. Peter holds a Bachelors of Arts in Anthropology and a Master's Degree in American History and Museum Studies.

Melinda Boros holds a BA in Sociology and is licensed in Mechanical Engineering Design. She has worked as a freelance graphic designer and photographer and was the exhibition designer for the Marton Aron Museum. She is a native of Transylvania, Romania and moved to NYC in 1998 and found Red Hook soon after she arrived. Thanks to photographing urban landscapes along NYC’s waterways, she became interested in how places are layered with memories and histories. Her project Red Hook Memories combined photographs of the area with recollections of Red Hookers from the lively longshoreman era of the 1940s' and 50’s. Her fondness of Red Hook brought her to PortSide NewYork, and she's truly happy to be back to her 'origins' in this city and contribute to Red Hook WaterStories.

Jenny Kane is recording and editing oral histories.  Jenny Kane received a BA in history Harvard and an MA in Media Studies from the New School. She completed an Oral History Summer Intensive workshop in Hudson, NY.  She works as a union electrician in the film industry. She is PortSide NewYork’s longest running volunteer, beginning with first public tour of the MARY A. WHALEN for OHNY in October 2006. She loves hearing people’s stories and looks forward to collecting more for Red Hook WaterStories.

David Levine has joined PortSide to work on direct the Red Hook WaterStories content management, provide technical guidance, feed Chiclet and move docklines. He has now lived more years in Brooklyn than anywhere else. A traveler, sailor, cyclist, pianist, boulevardier, David had a twenty-five year career in programming, software architecture, Information architecture, content modelling and content management. 

Carolina Salguero is the Founder & President of PortSide NewYork. In her prior career, she was an award-winning photojournalist. Her extensive reporting on New York waterfront since 1998 gives her a database of maritime contacts and Red Hook old-timers who provide perspectives on the past and present harbor. She provides the framework for Red Hook WaterStories and participates in many interviews.  She has written some of the Essays and provided many photographs. 

Barbara Wye graduated Cum Laude studying Anthropology and Digital Media Design at Lake Forest College. She has worked in Jamaica, Tanzania, Italy and Spain on archeology, historic preservation, community organizing on behalf of preservation, and teaching English.  She grew up around boats on the Rhode Island waterfront and has a passion for maritime history. Currently, she is working on Red Hook WaterStories graphic design. 

Other PortSide staff get involved as appropriate:  

Dan Goncharoff does deep research on select topics, James Stranahan being one of his favorites.  

John Weaver, whose father-in-law was a Captain of the MARY A. WHALEN for twenty years, has donated many artifacts and provided many memories. His experience producing TV and advertising has him shooting video interviews for RHWS. 


Red Hook WaterStories Contributors

For this Red Hook WaterStories 1.0, PortSide NewYork has commissioned essays from noted experts in their field:

Norman Brouwer is a world-renowned authority on historic ships. He is a maritime historian, lecturer, author of The International Register of Historic Ships, and the former librarian, archivist and curator of ships at South Street Seaport Museum. He serves as a board member of several non-for-profit ship preservation projects, and his meticulous research and distinguished writing have earned listings on the National Register of Historic Places for several ships. We have commissioned an essay from him which will be uploaded soon.

Charles Foy is a Professor at Eastern Illinois University. His scholarship and teaching activities focus on the eighteenth century Black Atlantic. As a social historian, he is especially interested in how individuals accommodate themselves to larger societal forces and how identities are transformed. He has been characterized as an Early Americanist, an Atlantic historian, a historian of race and a maritime historian. His articles on black seamen have appeared in Early American Studies, Common-place, Slavery and Abolition, Journal for Maritime Research, the Proceedings of the 2007 Naval History Symposium, Seaport, and Gender, Race, Ethnicity and Power in Maritime America. In addition to his book project, “Liberty’s Labyrinth: Freedom in the 18th Century Black Atlantic,” he continues continue to work on the development of a Black Mariner Database that as of 2014 contains records on more than 25,000 black mariners and black maritime fugitives. His essay "Sewing a Safety Net: Scarborough's Maritime Community, 1747-1765" in the June 2012 issue of the International Maritime History Journal analyzes how the maritime community of Scarborough, England employed both the governmentally mandated Seamen's Sixpence program and local kinship networks to form a social safety net protecting the port's maritime dependents. He also blogs on black maritime culture at

Jane Ziegelman is the author of 97 Orchard: An Edible History of Five Immigrant Families In One New York Tenement and of A Square Meal: A Culinary History of the Great Depression which she wrote with her husband, Andrew Coe. She lives in Brooklyn.

Red Hook WaterStories Advisors

Norman Brouwer See his bio above. 

Eymund Diegel has worked on a wide range of urban planning and environmental projects. His extensive watershed planning experience includes working on NYC’s stormwater management bluebelt plan. He has developing city wide models and maps of historical wetlands, streams, and landscape changes and. is an expert on reducing urban stormwater runoff. Eymund’s work on researching buried NYC waterways has been extensively covered in the media. He is also a specialist in GIS computer programs and has collected, created and analyzed planning data for regional, urban and rural studies. Historic map georeferencing or “rubber stretching” of old maps to match current conditions is another of his specialities. Eymund has worked on archeological surveys and polluted site clean ups, using LIDAR digital elevation models to track landscape changes. Trained as an architect, he has built interactive 3d digital models for zoning bulk and shadow studies.

Brian McCormick is known as co-founder of Brooklyn Greenway. He is also a passionate amateur historian who has amassed a collection of historical papers that fills 30 banker boxes and a library of all the period histories of Brooklyn. He has read the histories and conducted archeological research in the area. He is deeply knowledgeable about the evolution of Red Hook in particular.

Marilyn Oliva is an advisor to Red Hook WaterStories. She a long-time resident of Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, has a PhD in Medieval History from Fordham University where she taught for 23 years. After leaving Fordham, she received an MLS in Library Science and Information Technology with a Certificate in Archives Management from PRATT. As an historian and archivist she has processed the private papers of Roy Cohn and designed and produced an oral history project for Physicians for Human Rights. She is active in her community. She served on the board of Community Board Six for 6 years and as a member of several of its committees including Waterfront Development and Parks. She chaired the Parks committee for 4 years. She is a consultant to Red Hook WaterStories advising on historical research and archives management.

Johnathan Thayer is an advisor to Red Hook WaterStories. He is the Coordinator of the Archives and Preservation of Cultural Materials Certificate program at the Graduate School of Library and Information Studies, Queens College, CUNY. He is also the Senior Archivist at the Seamen’s Church Institute of NY & NJ. His doctoral research in History at the CUNY Graduate Center focuses on the history of merchant seamen in the Port of New York.


Red Hook WaterStories Interns,  2016

A large part of the work that created Red Hook WaterStories 1.0 was done Spring 2016. 

Regina Carra is a graduate student at CUNY Queens College studying Library Science and History. In the future, she hopes to be an archivist at a cultural heritage institution or university. Originally from Binghamton, NY, her studies, as well as her archives work and internship experiences in have taken her all over New York State, and even to Everglades National Park in Florida. In 2015 she completed her undergraduate education at SUNY Geneseo. She holds a BA in History with double minors in American Studies and Music. 

Ivy Ann Rosado is a senior at Hunter College with double major in Urban Studies & Psychology. Her interests include learning about how people live in cities and how cities handle issues of housing, poverty, and sustainability. Her parents are Domincan and she speaks Spanish and French. Ivy has done outreach for the non-profit organization L.O.V.E. Mentoring and marketing for the Garden School Writing Project. She plans to receive her Masters of Social Work in Community Planning and Organizing. She is working on research and community outreach for Red Hook WaterStories.