Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Beachcombing at Dead Horse Bay

Back to Dead Horse Bay at Barren Island for a little virtual beachcombing tonight. If you watched the short documentary about this area I shared a few posts back, you know how all of this stuff got here - Barren Island had long been a place where the city sent its leavings for processing, and then when Robert Moses condemned neighborhood after neighborhood to make room for his highways and the residents couldn't afford to take all of their belongings, the things they left behind were brought here.

The bones of the dead horses that were brought here to be rendered are still here. Usually you just find little rings of sawed-up leg bones but my friend Shari found this large end of a femur. Her description was both science and a poem and made me think of the living horse in a way that seeing the bones never had before:

"The first thing I saw was part of a femur. The honeycomb of the inside of the bone, where the horse made lifeblood."

Then we wandered on, looking at the remnants of all those early 50's homes -

click on any photo for a better view 
A record

A child's toy car. I had to play with it. Vroom vroom vroom!

(thank you Frank for the photo!)

A million zillion bottles -- some people call this Bottle Beach.
Bricks, and bits of floors,
A cup with an art noveau pattern still showing through years of weathering. I don't bring a lot of stuff home from here, I have found a lot of bottles that I liked but the windowsill where I keep those is full up now, but this was interesting enough that I kept it. When I shared this photo on Facebook, friends who are Jewish told me that it might be a kiddush cup

Clubmate Ellie was finding doll parts - an arm and part of a scalp - and also half of a heart-shaped waffle iron similar to ones you can still buy today!  "Brunch is at my place!", she announced.

We couldn't figure out what these layered sheets were - possibly roof insulation.

Machinery, old lamps (oh heck, I didn't think to check for a genie) -- 

a toilet or two - 

And strangest of all - a car, a real one this time!

Or at least a fair percentage of a car. Just stuck there as though somebody had crashed it into the landfill back then.

The Andromeda is of a much more recent vintage. Anybody looking for a fixer-upper? Don't worry, person who signed the rudder, your secret is safe with me, I won't tell a soul, I promise. 

And that's just the tiniest sampling. Such a fascinating place, I'm glad we took the time that morning to visit.


songbird's crazy world said...

Ah, Robert Moses. I praise him every time I go to Jones Beach, and curse him every time I get on a parkway to go there ...

Your friend is probably right, that does look like a kiddish cup.

bonnie said...

I was just thinking as I was writing this last night how interesting a comment on the man that we did this hike (the destruction that he wrought) and an Orchard Beach (one of the adored summer playgrounds he left) hike within the same month.

I've been meaning to read The Power Broker for ages now. These two hikes may make it happen