David Berson has made his living on the water. As the captain of the Glory, a solar-powered educational tour boat based in Greenport, he spends a lot of his days around the village’s docks.
So on the first day of the 2015 Greenport Tall Ships Challenge, when Mr. Berson — the master of ceremonies of the festival’s opening ceremony — reflected on what the village and its maritime history mean to him, his statements came from the heart.
“It’s a very special place, the way it is, because of that connection to the sea,” he said of the village. “Greenport is in a constant state of flux, trying to hold on to its maritime history, while at the same time morphing into what is necessary in order to survive in the 21st century. I side on not necessarily tradition, but on the acknowledgement of where we come from, lest we forget and just become another place.”
This past weekend, when tens of thousands of visitors came from across Long Island and beyond to experience the six ships docked in its harbor, Greenport was far from “just another place.” It was a place to celebrate the village’s connection to the sea with the flair of a 21st-century festival replete with food and drinks in the streets and — as has been the custom for several years by the water — dancing in the park.
The event was viewed as a showcase for Greenport businesses, but the village itself was the biggest star of all. (more…)