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Everyone knows Bartholdi and the gift of the Union Franco-Americiane to the people of the United States in 1876. Even Eiffel was involved. It resulted in a change of name for Bedloe’s Island, and Our Lady of the harbor became one of the first New York memories for millions of immigrants who arrived here in the years prior to air travel. My parents speak of seeing her as they passed, watching from the deck of Nieuw Amsterdam as it steamed up toward the Holland America docks then in Hoboken.

But Zurab Tsereteli? And what is this statue below?

I missed this story completely, a September 11 memorial from the people of Russia. After some wrangling about location, Tsereteli’s statue was erected on the northeastern corner of what used to be called the Military Ocean Terminal in Bayonne.
Another waterfront not-yet icon is the Merchant Mariners Memorial on the east end of the Battery just south of Pier A. Marisol Escobar designed it to make dramatic use of the tides.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

Who is the sailor standing watch (or taking a break) on the bow as Harrier slips eastward on Kill van Kull and heads outbound? Nationality? Age? History? He’s barely visible way up there, one foot on the rail? Almost a figurehead.
Harrier lists Majuro as port of registry. Quiz your friends about its location after you see the picture and find the answer below.

Majuro, it’s the metropolis of the Marshall Islands. Actually a place I would like to visit some day, population much smaller than that of Staten Island. Not too far from Rarotonga. Think it’s one of the few ships from there? Majuro also appears on the stern of this “panamax” you’ve seen in an earlier post.

How about Limassol?


Jag Prachi actually lists all of India as its port. I know there are reasons for flags of convenience, but it does make things confusing. Some say there are security risks involved also.

Two years ago I saw a container ship loading in Red Hook. It was a day I had left my camera home. I was very excited to see a vessel loading there called Umiavut. What was exciting was what was below the lettering in English. See it here. I recognized the script from lettering I was then doing on a kayak I had just built. It’s the script for Inuktitut, language of Nunavut. In Brooklyn! Flag of convenience? Would you believe the Netherlands. Go figure.

And that sailor on the bow of Harrier, what do you suppose he’s doing on Christmas Day if December 25 means anything to him? Here’s a thought.

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Documentary "Graves of Arthur Kill" is AVAILABLE again here.Click here to buy now!

Seth Tane American Painting

Read my Iraq Hostage memoir online.

My Babylonian Captivity

Reflections of an American hostage in Iraq, 20 years later.


December 2006