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Hawsepiper Paul is writing about this subject all along, as you might expect since he lives most of his days on a bunker barge.
Indulge me a bit as I elaborate on these adventures, as captured in photos by Tony A, starting with this one. When does a New York port of registry seem out of place?
I’d say when it’s painted onto a vessel never or rarely seen in New York, and of course I know that with flags of convenience . . . anything is possible with arcane finagling.
To appear to digress a little bit more, Marcus G Langseth is to 2014 as Robert G Conrad was to –say– 1980. Conrad is a photo I copied from Seth Tane‘s archives a little over a year ago when I did the “fifth dimension” series on the sixth boro.
Anyhow, about two weeks ago Tony A and Patrick Sky got to deliver fuel to this international wanderer.
A little over an hour later, Patrick Sky, feeling much lighter, pulls away from this dock underneath Throgs Neck (which autocorrect insists should be spelled “throb’s neck,” but that would take us into adventures in spell auto correcting, which I’d much rather avoid.
Here was 16, and I’m asking again my questions about the last foto in that post . . . .
So here is this installment’s odds and ends. First . . . in the second minute of Woody Allen’s 1979 movie Manhattan . . . there’s this clip. Can anyone identify?
And . . . a foto taken not quite a thousand nautical miles from the sixth boro quite a while ago by a jaunty mariner who can’t be too careful . . . it’s LT-805 General Winfield Scott towing the IX-514 that later turned up in the sixth boro. I’ve no idea if the HLT towed here remains local as of this writing.
And finally . . . another set from Seth Tane taken in New York harbor in the late 1970s/early 80s . . . it’s Harwich-built 1890s Thames sailing barge Ethel, 84′ loa. According to former owner Capt. Neal E. Parker, the vessel, built originally as a linseed carrier and brought across the Atlantic for the 1967 World’s Fair in Montreal, was haunted. “She was fighting to die,” he said, and after an unsuccessful attempt as a charter vessel in downeast Maine, she returned to New London, where around 1992, she sank at the dock and waited happily to be dismembered and removed by a clamshell crane.
I’d love to hear more about Ethel from anyone who saw her back 30 years ago.
Thanks to Seth and the jaunty mariner for use of their fotos.
I’d love to find more fotos like this, illustrating a line I’ve heard repeatedly, as variation on . . . “NYC used to have huge pier fires.” The smoke here might be wafting over from a NJ pier fires. I’d also like to hear more about the general perception of piers at that time.
My take is that emphasis in fighting the fires was on containing them, ensuring that they didn’t spread inland. Piers, aka covered short term warehouses, were transitioning into oblivion or another life as containerization began to supplant break bulk cargo and moved out of these areas of the sixth boro and airplanes supplanted ocean liners. Pier maintenance slipped and fires of a range of causes broke out.
I’ve heard people say . . . fires burned for weeks.
(I’ve used this foto before.) In some cases . . . in NYC and elsewhere . . . retail areas were built.
The rest of these fotos are from September 2013. Retail buildings, parks and residences, businesses sprang up and continue to. And one of those places, Pier 17 on the East River side of Manhattan is transitioning again. Bravo to the Demanes for holding out, as Howard Hughes promises to “re-energize” the area.
Pier 57 on the Hudson River side is the venue for a similar makeover. What was just a plan a few months back is happening now.
Here’s the interior of Pier 57 a few days ago.
You might recall the Nomadic Museum not far from here . . . nine years ago already.
OK, this is a wandering post. Partly, I wanted to tell a story I heard last week from someone who fought these pier fires thirty years ago. He related that one aspect of fighting these fires was removing “fuel.” In some cases what would burn in these long-smoldering blazes was cargo, which would be pushed into the river. His example was clothing, mens’ dress shirts. Into the river whole skids of them would go. And then, as soon as was possible, many would be fished out . . . because to let them sink would just add to the pollution in the harbor and be wasteful. I don’t know how common this would be, and I know nothing of the attitude of the merchandise owners or insurers . . . The piers were then a very different world.
Thanks to Seth for sharing these fotos. My apologies if I’ve rendered any story inaccurately. I’d love to see more of this type of foto and hear more stories.
This NYPD officer of the peace got tugged right into a recent parade. When that happens, you know all things could get downright disorderly.
This last June post is a melange of Pegasus and Lehigh Valley 79 in a setting rays irritating my camera,
Patuxent in the Philly dawn,
Sea Hawk approaching the St. John’s Bridge,
Natoma docked in the Columbia,
Caspian Sea in the Delaware,
Surrie Moran in the same waters,
Aries in Portland,
more Black Hawk,
and finally Lewiston.
Rounding things out, it’s Siberian Sea in palm trees country aka the sixth boro, taken about a year ago. I will resume the blog as soon as I can in a land with more palm trees
Thanks for reading the blog and sending comments either here or via email. Sorry if I haven’t acknowledged everyone who’s sent along a tidbit or nice word.
If you’ve never taken a Working Harbor tour in NYC’s sixth boro, here’s info. If you know the sixth boro pretty well–especially the contemporary commercial aspects of it, you might even propose to them to narrate a tour. That’s just me suggesting that, but there are folks who want to better understand the role of shipping and its interaction between the sixth boro and the five terrestrial ones.
Thanks to Seth Tane for the fotos of Aries, Black Hawk, Lewiston, Nahoma, and Sea Hawk. All others by Will Van Dorp who hopes to next post from the obscure January River.
Guess this tug? This and alternate fotos here are taken by Seth Tane. Answer follows.
Joan Turecamo (1980 and one of the last tugs built at Matton in Cohoes)in the foreground. Guess the one in the distance?
Natoma . . 1976.
Vessel in the distance earlier was Susan Miller, 1981. I’m guessing the barge is loaded with riprap for shoreline protection somewhere in Raritan Bay. I wonder about the origin of those rockaceous chunks.
Peering over crane barge Delaware Bay, it’s Caitlin Ann, 1961.
And finally . . a tug with a tent passing a clock with no hands, it’s Miriam Moran (1979).
Top foto is Amnav’s Revolution at the Rainier Foss shipyard in 2006.
Foto #1. Seth Tane took this from the WTC in the early 1980s. From L to R, that’s the Statue, Ellis Island, and Communipaw Terminal of CRRNJ . . . with a lot of vacant space behind. NOT shown but just to the right would be the Morris Canal and the Colgate Clock.
Foto #2. I took this grainy foto from the WTC in late December 2000. NOT shown but just to the left is the CRRNJ terminal. Notice the Morris Canal and the first set of high rise condos of Jersey City. Anyone know the name? Also notice that Goldman Sachs is not there yet.
Foto #3. Beyond QE2 leaving the sixth boro for the last time in October 2007, you see the CRRNJ terminal, Morris Canal, Colgate clock, and the Goldman Sachs with additional buildings to the right. Foto taken by amica.
Foto #4. I took this foto in September 2009 from North Cove.
Fotos #5 and 6. Amica took these in 2010 and 2011.
Foto #7. I took tis one last week from just north of North Cove, 18 floors up.
Click here for lots more . . . dating way back.
To reiterate what I said in part 9 of this series, the margins of the sixth boro have experienced a sea change from 30 years ago to now. And stormy Sandy of seven months ago intimates that all this relatively rapid building on reclaimed land at sea level will again change. But the difference is that since humans have walked and waded and floated here, we’ve never had construction of this scale.
Foto #8. Shifting focus a bit, Seth took this shot of–I believe–South or North Cove from the same vantage at the same time as foto #1.
Click here for images of the same, but from the mid 70s. And still more here looking across what was then the plains of Battery Park City. And the last one for now crediting Nelson Rockefeller for the concept.
As I did before, I’m inviting a sharing of more fotos showing the tremendous changes on the edge of the sixth boro.
Afterthought . . . if you want to witness further changes to the sixth boro margins, be in a viewing location that’ll show this building between 0700 and 0800 tomorrow morning. The structure below might just implode . . .
Let’s look at the boundaries of the sixth boro, using as reference two of the Holland Tunnel vent structures; as you see in that link, we’ll call New Jersey “land ventilation station” (to the left) and “river ventilation station” to the right. I took this foto yesterday from the 18th floor of a building in Battery Park City. I will re-take this when I find a higher platform.
Here’s Seth’s foto from about 30 years ago, slightly higher and to the north. Note the pier building then between the two ventilation stations. Also notice the two angled piers and all the vacant land between there and the rail lines in Hoboken to the north. I’m not sure of the name of the inlet between the “vacant” land and the railyards near the top of the foto.
Here’s another shot I took yesterday showing the area between the river ventilation station and the building with the greenish roof, now called the Hoboken Yard and Terminal for New Jersey Transit.
Here’s Seth’s foto from 30 years ago taken from near the land ventilator station looking north toward the Hoboken Yard and Terminal.
If the changes in the sixth boro boundaries interest you, then the book to get is Thomas R. Flagg’s vol. 2 of New York Harbor Railroads in Color is the book to get. Tom–a friend–took this foto in 1975 from the air. In the lower left, notice the base of the river ventilation station. Using that as reference and moving to the right (northward), you have a sense of what that space looked like before the building boom.
From page 98 of Tom’s book, here’s the space in Jersey City south of the river ventilation station looking over to Manhattan. The large pier to the left of the New York river ventilation station is Pier 40.
And finally, from page 99 of Tom’s book, taken from Manhattan in September 1967 by Allan Roberts, . . . possibly the World Trade Center, looking NW toward NJ, locate the two ventilation stations. And . .. yes . . . that’s the SS United States.
The waterfront . . .it has experienced a sea change from 30 years ago to now. And stormy Sandy of seven months ago intimates that all this relatively rapid building on reclaimed land at sea level in the next 30 years could again experience a sea change.
Many thanks to Seth Tane and Thomas R. Flagg for use of their fotos.
Check out these additional fotos. Orient yourself with the ventilation stations here.
I hope you’re enjoying this time warp as much as I am.
Foto #1. Princess Bay northbound through the Old Bay Draw.
Fotos #3 and 4. Reliable II northbound and . . .
showing the sculptural beauty of her house.
Foto #7. Another shot of Tabeling, here exiting the east end of the KVK. Foto is taken looking toward Richmond Terrace, current location of the salt pile.
All fotos taken by Seth Tane around 30 years ago.
Here are some more fotos by Seth Tane in the late 1970s /early 1980s.
Foto#1. Princess Bay just south of the Old Bay Draw, placing her about a mile of her place of construction. Anyone know what happened to her, last known as Mabel L? She was launched from Elizabethport the same year as Coral Queen.
Foto #2. Jet Trader heads for the Arthur Kill. Today Jet Trader has a new life as . . .
reef, among sunken NYC subway cars and army tanks off Atlantic City. Here’s a foto of her last voyage on the hip of Taurus. Click here to see fotos of motor tankers, subway cars, and army tanks being reefed. Have you or someone you know had the experience of diving on these reefs and care to share the experience?
Fotos 3 and 4. Mystic Sun waited in the Morris Canal for its last voyage to the scrappers in Kearney. Click here for fotos of some of the Sun fleet including Mystic Sun in better days. Can anyone identify the tugboats here?
Here’s the bow of Mystic Sun. Here’s a detailed history of Sunmarine. Mystic Sun started life in 1944, launched from East Coast Shipyards in Bayonne as AOG 38 and was scrapped in 1981, dating this foto. Here are other AOGs in dazzle paint.
Last foto, #5. Mary Gellatly, the tanker incarnation. Click here and scroll for a recent foto of the current Mary Gellatly in the sixth boro. Who was the long-revered namesake? And anyone know the details of the launch and demise of this tanker?
Many thanks to Seth Tane for these fabulous fotos of sixth boro history.
I’m enjoying this time travel back to the late 70s–early to mid 80s, and I hope you are too.
Foto #1: Between Yonkers and Hastings, lightship is No. 84, Camden-built 1907, the one that later did bottom duty in Erie Basin, until the Ikea development made it disappear. Can anyone identify the white vessel north of the lightship?
Foto #2. Today Mathilda rests on the north bank of the Rondout in Kingston, as I photographed her almost exactly five years ago. I never knew she also crawled out awhile on Pier 94.
Foto #4. James Turecamo looked like this when she carried Turecamo colors.
Foto #6. Listing perhaps? On a sandbank near LaGuardia perhaps? Frances Turecamo holds station to staboard. I can’t identify the tug to port.
Foto #7. Anyone know anything about a sunken lounge/restaurant once known as Drifters I?
All fotos taken by Seth Tane about 30 years ago and used with his permission.