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I know of three places in New York state that use this name. Technically, “Hidden Harbor” is a toponym–try that word on for size!–an example of a ubiquitous Americana names like Joe’s Place and Dew Drop Inn. But here it is, just east of the boroughs, Hidden Harbor aka Popeye Village, as dubbed by a former resident there from Trinidad. This is the south side. I sometimes called it “cannery row.” It lacked the cannery but had one commercial fisherman.



As a community, there has never been a home of mine where that word was more real. I miss that about living there, as I do the close contact with natural rhythms of light, waterlife, and migratory birds. I miss the sense of possibilities: check these high-end Dutch floating homes. I do not miss the unreliable electricity and phone lines, the constant perfume of diesel/mustiness on my clothes, which I smelled only if I went away overnight onto land.


Above is the north side of the harbor. I’ve seen a harbor seal feast in here.



Alhough most vessels here are house barges like the one below, I had a project boat, but I gave it up sooner than the owner of this beautiful old wooden yacht.



Know any ports named Hidden Harbor in your part of the sixth borough, the watery part of two-thirds the planet? Any other most common toponyms?

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

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March 2007