Friday, December 23, 2016
The Irregular Guide to New York City Entry #4: The Tugboat Graveyard
(Above: The dearly departed.)
Many New York visitors who want a cheap, scenic boat ride will hop on the Staten Island Ferry at the tip of Manhattan, take a round trip, and return to Manhattan without setting foot on Staten Island. They have no idea how much they’re missing.
(Above: The tugboat graveyard. Photo by Will Mitchell)
If you head to Rossville on the southwestern coast of Staten Island (take the X19 bus to Arthur Kill Road), you’ll find an extraordinary graveyard. For over one hundred years, the Witte Marine Equipment Company has been hard at work dismantling old boats and ships that once sailed through New York Harbor. It’s a slow process, however, and dozens of boats (mostly tugboats) have been waiting in the shallow waters for decades. Today, many are little more than ghosts of their former selves, which makes the site incredibly eerie. It’s as if the boats were lured to the shore by some malevolent force, then damaged and left for dead. If you’re really adventurous, you might consider renting a kayak and touring the site from the water. But be sure to take your camera along. Once you leave, you may find it hard to believe what you’ve seen.
More information (and pictures!) here.