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Some of you asked what became of the faux sidewheeler that had been beside Binghamton.  Here’s a foto I took in June.  In July it was still this way.

Behold the hideousness of its facade.

And the dirty secret that it had not only a faux but also a single sidewheel.    Well, call this . . . going, going . . .

Gone.  The “deckhouse” of Neo-Binghamton is no more, as evident from this foto taken on October 4.  It was removed some time since early August.

Note the row of clerestory windows above the coverings on the top deck of the real Binghamton.  They serve to backlight

the beautiful yellow-red stained glass on both sides of the saloon.

My prediction is that with this Newport News vessel . . . there will come no miracle nor will nature nibble away at her for years.

A large mechanical monster will devour her, leaving only memories and

the above ovoid on some old google maps and lots of shoreside constructs with (to newcomers) an implusible Binghamton in the name:  Binghamton Raquetball, Binghaton Deli, Binghamton Plaza, Binghamton Estates . . . .

Fotos by Will Van Dorp, and satellite images from googlemaps.

No phantasmagoria today, just the cold hard facts, or in this case . . . the wet, crumbling ones:  exploring Binghamton felt like visiting a hospice.   Hopes to see what remained in the engine room were dashed halfway down the companionway below the main deck.  Nasty cafe au lait post-Irene river water, at least five feet of it at this point, barred the way.  It didn’t seem a heathy or productive place to snorkel.

The southernmost wheelhouse–here with a view of a southbound Vane unit in front of Manhattan–is stripped and relegated to attic status.

In this section of the menu, I love the last sentence of the fifth paragraph:  “She took the population of the eastern United States eight times around the world,” and she did so without leaving that section of the river between Barclay Street pier (now no more) and Hoboken.  Fotos of Binghamton at work can be found in Railroad Ferries of the Hudson: and stories of a deckhand by Baxter and Adams, which I highly recommend.

The craziness of the internet where nothing dies is illustrated by this restaurant review of Binghamton.  Wonder what would happen if you called that number to make a reservation.

I tried to take this foto so as to give the illusion of being on a vessel about to depart for Manhattan.

The wheelhouse at the north end is equally stripped although

the joinery–alluding to wooden wheel spoke days– dazzles.  Imagine looking up at this in your workspace, sans paint chips of course.  Let your fancy add braided cords leading to steam whistles.

Atop the wheelhouses are these lanterns, and

a running light system.

From the wheelhouses, here is the view of passenger and vehicle ingress and egress.  I love the folding gates, and although I know they have a technical

name I’ve heard, I can’t recall it.  (Note:  thanks to Les, pantograph gates, they are.)

Shoreside south end of the the ferry shows greatest recent damage to the deck;  in fact, as tide flooded, the river poured in here.

Like all crumblings and ruins, here is a depressing metaphor of mortality and transience.  Oh to have a jolly drink here, a meal with trimmings and revelry, a time spent

in good company, a celebration that takes you to the heights.

On the floor of the main deck . . . lay this 3′ x 4′ foto of an unidentified happy couple from maybe not even that long ago who chose this vehicle to take them to “that other side . . ,”   a foto soon to be obliterated by . . . the river and time.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp, who needs to get to work now to hold back melancholy.

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My job . . . Summer 2014

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Click to order your copy of Graves of Arthur Kill, by Gary Kane and Will Van Dorp. 3Fish Productions.

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