Monday, November 7, 2011


As a life long beachcomber, I have wandered on more than a few, but I have never experienced anything comparable to New York's own, Dead Horse Bay, and the beach area known locally as "Bottle Beach". Yesterday was a gorgeous early Fall day with a low tide around noon and the flotsam trail beckoned...

A brief history:  It was once a small island (Barren Island) near Brooklyn's south coast bordering Dead Horse Bay, whose name came from the large number of rendering facilities located nearby during the 1800's and into the early 1900's.  As automobiles became the primary mode of transportation, the island became a landfill for NYC trash until the 1950's when it was capped and transformed into what is now part of the Gateway National Recreation Area. The top-ography has changed and as parts of the beach succumbed to the shifting tides, parts of the underlying (non organic) trash have been exposed, leaving a vast array of artifacts and oddities from earlier generations. As an amateur archeologist, this is what is most fascinating and though I admit, my treasures have been few (ceramic shards and photographs), I have met folks there who mentioned finding objects as disparate as a carved ivory elephant with jade inlays, vintage toys, a pocket watch, and of course, a wide range of bottles.

                                  all photos ©Ken Brown

No comments:

Post a Comment