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#119: Dead Horse Bay

February 22, 2010

Yesterday was a happy reminder that one needn’t travel far from home for a beautiful beach getaway.  Beauty, they say, is in the eye of the beholder.

It took us 30 minutes to drive from Greenpoint, Brooklyn to Dead Horse Bay.  The shore of the Bay is littered with countless bottles, some broken and some in tact, many over 100 years old and the likes of which often carry an impressive price tag at antique shops.  A treasure hunter’s paradise.

From The New York Times: “Dead Horse Bay sits at the western edge of a marshland once dotted by more than two dozen horse-rendering plants, fish oil factories and garbage incinerators. From the 1850’s until the 1930’s, the carcasses of dead horses and other animals from New York City streets were used to manufacture glue, fertilizer and other products at the site. The chopped-up, boiled bones were later dumped into the water. The squalid bay, then accessible only by boat, was reviled for the putrid fumes that hung overhead.”

Around 1900 the marsh of Dead Horse Bay began to be used as a landfill, too.  Its capacity was capped by the 1930’s, and when the cap burst in the 50’s the garbage spewed onto the beach. Since then its garbage has been leaking continually onto the beach and into the ocean.

My friend Shawn found a beautiful bottle that you can see in his hand, to the right.

It may not be the eastern tip of Montauk, but on a spring-like February day, it sure is something.  The keepsakes you’ll come away with will always serve to remind you that you’re never far away from escape.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 7, 2010 11:19 am

    That’s incredible! Usually I hate seeing garbage on the beach, but this is like a time capsule.

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