You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘New York City’ category.

Postcards is the 9/11 memorial I visit most.  I was there just a week ago;  this is looking mostly north from Staten Island. 

From the water at night for a short period of time, a Tribute in Light can also be seen.  This is looking SW from the East River.

RIP.

Many thanks to Tony A for sending the night photo along.

September 11, 2001 was one of those days that changed you. Without a doubt, no matter where you were or what you were doing, you remember that day. We are still in its aftermath.

It recast me too.  That morning I was at work in a Brooklyn three-floor building five miles from the Towers, across the East River. A friend called before 0900 to tell me to look out a west-facing window.  I watched for some seconds, black smoke pouring from near the top of one of the towers. Concluding it must have been an accident, maybe a small plane or a helicopter, I got back to work. Shortly after 0900, the friend called again, frantic, and told of reports that two hijacked planes had crashed into the towers; more hijacked planes were in the air, she said. I returned to the window, and now much more smoke, yellowish gray, blanketed both Towers. For me, the rest of the day was a blur, inconceivable sights in the distance across the river, swirling rumors of horrors.

We all have our take on that morning, even hundreds and thousands of miles from lower Manhattan. Mostly I don’t talk about 9/11 much, and I’ve not yet gone to the museum located there now, likely I’ll never go. I’ve mostly avoided reading about that day although I have read widely about the wars it spawned.

I made an exception when I was asked to review Jessica Dulong’s Saved at the Seawall, a re-issued version, paperback. In a preface added to this version, DuLong writes that “only after years of avoiding conversation about my time at Ground Zero did I finally make my peace with the human need for September 11 stories. Chronicling catastrophe necessarily creates a distance, a remove.”

She interviewed at least 75 people who were involved in the immediate aftermath, some on the island but many more at the seawall and farther out in the harbor, the sixth boro, on boats.  A list names all the boats that evacuated hundreds of thousands of people from lower Manhattan, but her book chronicles what occurred from the perspective of rescuer and rescued alike.

Flipping through pages as I write this review, I notice that 150 pages into the book, she’s recounting events not even two full hours after the first plane hit. The details are palpable, and told with skill.

In the epilogue, DuLong states that reflecting on rescuers that day has “reconstructed my faith in the human soul.” Their acts “struck me less about heroism and more about pragmatism, resourcefulness, and simple human decency. If you have the wherewithal, you step up.”  I’d see it as a variation on the international code, written and unwritten, that mariners have a duty to rescue those in distress at sea;  in this case, when the USCG issued a call to “all available boats,” mariners in the harbor responded and rescued people in distress on an island in distress.

I’m grateful Jessica DuLong interviewed the folks in this book, recorded their experience before memory could distort it, and then meticulously reconstructed that morning from dozens of perspectives. I was especially surprised to see a half dozen people I know interviewed in the book, people whom I’ve never heard talk about that day.

I highly recommend reading this book.  You can order it from the publisher here.

Previous book reviews can be seen here.

If you want the International Red Cross view on this, click here.

 

I caught up with this . .  the other day,

Switching lanes . . . I noticed something I’ve seen before

like here from a decade ago, and in many other posts like here. Of course, others become art objects for a while, maybe until they rust back into the earth.

 

Cars arrive from the factory on trucks, they depart from road use on trucks.   I’m glad there was a traffic jam on the main avenue so that I could get the photos after parking along the access road.

There may be some crushed trucks on that trailer . . . not just cars.

All photos, WVD, who always keeps the camera on the passenger seat.

 

I can’t leave you on the Gowanus Canal as I did a week ago, so let’s head back.  Here’s a look back; small tug Jimmy moves into our location with a mini mud scow.  Btw, if you’re unfamiliar with Brooklyn’s Gowanus Canal, here‘s a bit of history.

From the inland side of the Ninth Avenue Bridge, we move through, looking toward the Hamilton Street Bridge and the BQE.  NYC DOT oversees 24 moveable bridges;  you’re looking at two of them right here. 

You’ve seen signs of “entering” and “leaving” on terrestrial thoroughfares.  This one on the Hamilton Street bridge is unusual.

We move our load of pilings, old but preserved in whatever you’d call Gowanus water.  Note the curve in the Canal just beyond the bridge.

Every day, hundreds of thousands of people travel atop this Gowanus Expressway/BQE bridge.  Maybe dozens see its underside. 

The Hamilton Avenue Marine Transfer Station has been open for just over three years.  For a look inside, click here.

In a previous post on “trashed universal product,” you can see the outbound transfer stations.  More on the whole process here.

Much more unexpected along the south bank of the Canal Bay are these “sea float” Siemens 76-MW aeroderivative gas turbines.

As much as I can tell, these units have been here for just over a year. 

Here‘s more on Vard Marine’s involvement with Siemens SeaFloat.  These must have been towed in,  Did anyone catch this?

As the spray denotes, we’ve now out of the Gowanus Canal, which may or may not be named for a Lenape chief,  and headed over to a disposal site, but that’ll be another post.  Lots more facts about the canal in the link in the previous sentence. 

Many thanks to James for the trip. All photos, interpretation, WVD.

Here are earlier installments of this.  And if you’re not familiar the the location of Gowanus or its history, check the links embedded.  If you live in the NYC area and drive or take Brooklyn subways, you have no doubt gone over it.  If you’ve wondered where the name comes from, check this alphabetical listing with great old photos.

Last week I had the opportunity to travel up the waterway, thanks to James Stasinos.  Gowanus Bay is marked by the grain elevators, (built in 1922!!), and the storage ship Loujaine.  For a full history of the cement carrier originally called Bahma, click here.

The tug was headed up the canal, as it does several times daily, is the cleanup, which has recently begun in earnest.

A bit farther in, Diane B turns John Blanche before heading across the Upper Bay. 

As we head in, we first head through the Hamilton Avenue  bridge and under the Gowanus Expressway flyover. The passage is narrow and located on a turn.

Here’s the view to port.

Once through there, we weave between a scrap yard and Lowe’s parking lot.

Above and below, that’s the Ninth Avenue bridge.  Like the Hamilton Avenue bridge, passing involves a conversation with the bridge tender.

Here we look over the bridge  and beyond while waiting for the bridge to open.

This is the view to starboard as we wait.

Once through, we arrive at the pickup site.  Note the excavator that could tell stories

 

of sifting through and removing the “black mayonnaise.”  Nuggets of historical interest are being collected for future display.   It’ll be years before this project is complete.

 

Many thanks to James for the trip.  All photos, interpretation, WVD.

Once I rowed to the head of the Canal here.  And in November 2013, I traveled up the waterway, and photos of the cargo are scattered throughout posts from late November that year. 

With the end of the year coming, it’s strangely difficult to put these posts together.  I’ve chased down several ideas the past few days, and abandoned them.   All these photos were taken in recent days, except one about a month ago.  They strike me as showing the different skies and waters of the unacknowledged boro. 

So, photos . . . like this of Christine M. McAllister, 125.5′ x 38′ and 6000 hp.  She’s returning to town after a rough encounter on Christmas day . . . .  Maybe someone else can tell the story of SS Denebola (T-AKR 289) first hand.  It’s been a while that Christine M. has appeared on this blog.

Soon to be ex-Eastern Dawn, 52′ x 22 and 1200 hp,  crosses the Upper Bay looking all resplendent in the new paint job.

Two Bouchard tugs are stacked up on the far side of Cape Henry, 109′ x 36′ and 5000 hp,  and her DBL 103, 102,000 barrel capacity barge. 

Dylan Cooper, 112′ x 35′ and 4720 hp, waits in the anchorage with RTC 108, around 108,000 barrels.

Genesis Vigilant, 98.5 x 34 and 3000 hp, also at anchor with GM 6508,  80,000 barrels capacity.

And finally . . .  misclassified on purpose, notice several things this windy morning  on the starboard side of OceanXplorer:  a tender, a helicopter, and areas marked ROV and CTD.  ROV I knew, but CTD I had to look up.  Check out this blog post by New York Media Boat.

All photos and any errors of fact or interpretation, WVD, who wishes you all a happy new year, or as my parents would say . . . gelukkig nieuwjaar.

Arthur Tickle Engineering Works (ATEW) is now gone, but other marine service businesses (MSBs) remain.  I’ve long thought to do a series of posts about the MSBs like Caddells, GMD, Bayonne Drydock, Hughes Marine . . . and many others. 

A while back, Steve Munoz sent these along, and it’s taken me a bit to figure out how to place these photos, but that’s it . . . MSBs, a series I’d love to do, and I can start it here.  Steve’s father worked at ATEW for many years and until it closed in 1987. 

I’ll use Steve’s captions with my annotations in [  ].  Below   … “is a picture of the ATEW, established in 1904. Photo shows the delivery wagon and probably Arthur Tickle himself at the front door.  He died in 1945.”  [I wonder what the letters on the side of the horse wagon says, some precursor to FedEx?]

“This is the ATEW building housing the machine shop probably in the 1920s.”  [Is that a Ford?]

“Ship’s rudder being repaired in one of the shops.”

“This poster was published in the Maritime Activity Reports on November 15, 1945 showing the number and types of ships converted, repaired and altered, including some specific names, during the war. All of these repairs were completed along the Brooklyn waterfront. One of the conversions was the former MV Carnarvon Castle, a Union-Castle Line ocean liner before the war, requisitioned by the Royal Navy for conversion to an armed merchant cruiser and then converted to a troopship by ATEW in 1944.” 

[I looked up USAHS Aleda E. Lutz, USS Pontiac, USAT Colombie, USAT Kota Inten, USAT Cape Canso, MV Marechal Joffre, USADS Blemheim, and USADS Lock Knot. Some of those links have photos.]

“The steel yawl named Steel Sylph was built by the various shops at ATEW for Arthur Tickle, Jr. in the 1940-50s. I assume that it was launched in Brooklyn as the bow of a ship can be seen in the picture at the launching, but does not appear to be at Pier 4 as the BQE is not seen in the background.”  [Steel Sylph is listed as placing in the Newport to Annapolis race in 1947.]

[This is a very formal looking photo of an unidentified gent.  That would be a fun one to colorize.]

Steel Sylph was designed by Philip Rhodes.

“During WWII, ATEW leased a number of piers from the New York Dock (NYD) Company in Brooklyn south of the Brooklyn Bridge to repair military and commercial ships supporting the war. After the war, the ship repair business slowed down, but ATEW continued to repair ships into the 1960s at pier 4 such as the SS Comet Victory seen in this photo. Pier 4 was demolished sometime after the year 2000.”  [I presume this photo was taken from the promenade.  It might be fun to go there today and reframe/redo the shot of the skyline from 120 Wall to just south of the Staten Island ferry terminal.  Can anyone identify the tall rectangular building directly behind 120 Wall and obscuring most of 70 Pine?  In the foreground, that space is now Brooklyn Bridge Park, as seen from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade.]

“A bronze propeller was cleaned and repaired in the foundry shop and

returned to the SS American Aquarius, probably as a spare.”  [On the frame of the flatbed I read W. J. Casey, a trucking firm that still exists, although they’ve moved from Brooklyn Bergen Street to New Jersey.  Here‘s their site, which has some antique trucks from their past fleet. ]

“The SS Cape Catoche in the Hudson River on a hawser behind the tug Dalzelloch and the tug Fred B Dalzell alongside. The ship was going to/from the Jones Point reserve fleet in the 1950s. In the 1960s many ships were taken from the reserve fleet to Brooklyn where ATEW had the contract to prepare the ships for the Vietnam sealift. For one ship the capstans and winches were opened in the machine shop for USCG inspection and because the components were in such bad shape the whole ship failed inspection and was subsequently sold for scrap. This occurred with a number of the ships. ”  [Looking at the dates here, there may have been more than one SS Cape Catouche, although I’m not certain.  Clearly, this move was made in winter.]

“ATEW repaired the ship’s turbine and reinstalled it in the engine room on the SS Pomona Victory. My guess is that the ship was docked at Pier 4 Brooklyn as ATEW leased this pier for years from the NYDock Company. Note at least one Liberty ship docked in Manhattan across the East River having gun tubs and the ship having the turbine installed had a gun tub and life rafts indicating that this picture was taken during WW II or very shortly after since I do not see any guns.”  [This view of the Manhattan side south of the Brooklyn Bridge shows a very different place than is located there today.  Someone more familiar with that stretch of riverfront might enjoy identifying which buildings are still there;  I recognize the Woolworth Building directly below the suspended turbine, and 120 Wall and 70 Pine buildings to the left.  That opposite shore would be the area of South Street Seaport today;  I’d love to find a photo of that same area from the Manhattan side, maybe looking down Fulton Street.]

Many thanks to Steve Munoz for his comments and use of his photos. 

You can refresh–a choice word here– your memory as to the meaning of GUP, or just trust me that it’s my euphemism for Scheiße….  In the spirit of creating a parallel term to GUP, I offer “trashed [or discarded] universal product,” or TUP and DUP.  I prefer DUP, as it sounds like a term in a doo-wop song.  Seen from the water, here’s an important node in the DUP flow.  The E91st Street Marine Transfer Station (MTS) is one of a number around the city.   NY’s strongest* trucks enter from the landside and dump their DUP to be containerized by either Waste Management or Covanta.  When the containers are loaded and securely lidded, they’re transfered onto barges and moved to the railheads . . .

*NY’s strongest is the nickname for DSNY’s workers.  You’ve possibly heard of NYPD as the finest, FDNY as bravest, Corrections as boldest, public school teachers as brightest . . . But is there a term for the crews now moving DUP around the waterways that make up the sixth boro?  I think we need such a term . .  NY’s saltiest, maybe?

The railhead is near the Goethals Bridge, one on the Howland Hook side, and another

on the Elizabethport side. Black, I’m told is Covanta, and green is Waste Management.  Norfolk Tugs has the contract to move both sets.  

Thanks to NY Media Boat, I recently had the opportunity to see the transfer of green containers taking place.

These gantry cranes are a smaller version of the those that transfer containers in container ports, working on ULCVs and the smaller forebears.

Standing by here is Captain D, one of the vessels operated by NY’s saltiest.  Other tugs moving these DUP barges are Pathfinder, Paula Atwell, Robert Burton, and more.

All photos and acronym creation, WVD.

For more on NYC’s outsourced DUP, click here.

For some of these cranes arrival five and three and a half years ago, click here and here.

For floating these containers around the boro, click here.

As to calendars, thanks for your orders.  Over half of the 25 are already spoken for.  I may have to do a second run, but in that case, I can’t guarantee the same print costs/price.

 

Hell Gate has to be one of the most storied waterways in the sixth boro.  How could I have mostly ignored it so long?!!

The other day I caught Vinik No. 6 and Liz Vinik westbound  through that section of the East River.   In the background, that’s the Bronx.

An indicator of current is the fact that NYPD boat here is barely making headway.  Current in a tidal strait like the so-called East River is constantly and dramatically changing.  That’s Manhattan in the background.

Nicholas Vinik also passed through the other day, returning from a job.  That NYC DEP GUP headquarters in the background.  The Hell Gate RR Bridge seems in need of some paint.  Referencing this part of Hell Gate, captbbrucato describes it from a captain’s perspective here.

A recent development is the transit of NYC Ferry service through the Gate to the Bronx on the Soundview run.

Wye River heads eastbound to retrieve a barge, meeting

Cape Canaveral and DBL 101 on the way.

Along the shoreline here, that’s Astoria Queens to the left, and Manhattan along the entire distant background.  Most iconic is the spire of the Empire State Building.

State Trooper . . .  I’m assuming that’s a government boat.

That’s it for now.  I hope to return to Hell Gate soon.  All photos, WVD. 

Essential workers spend the holidays at the job site.  They always have.

 

Here‘s a list of types of essential workers, note that this crewman needs to catch up on sleep.

I’ll let you read the faces and body language, but I’d say they’re catching up on news since they have a signal on their devices.

 

Seafarers might be thrilled to see non-crew when they come into a port.

See the workers on the bunker barge?

Well, they saw me and then wanted their photo taken.  I suspect they may be Fugro Explorer crew.

These are local workers high over the East River.  Their platform or their task?

They appear to be at the level of Civic Fame, the lady inspired by Audrey Munson atop the NYC Municipal Building.  NYC artists made Audrey Munson famous, but her life did not end well.

 

All photos and sentiments, WVD, who thanks you for reading this, especially today, the 14th anniversary of this blog, which began here over 4700 posts ago.  Since then, you all have made over 13, 400 comments.  Comments are always welcome.  Thank you.

And since it is Thanksgiving, here’s a Thanksgiving story from Thanksgiving Day 1952 and a photo with at least three people on the boro from 21 years later of the boat that almost burned, Dalzellera

“During 1952 and 1953, the Dalzell Towing Co. was completing the diesel conversion of their “new” Dalzellera, which was formerly the Central RR of NJ (CRRNJ) tug Bethlehem, a steam tug built around 1915. It was Thanksgiving Day, November 27, 1952, and there weren’t many people at the Dalzell yard just west of the Bayonne Bridge on the Kills as my uncle, Bob Munoz, pulled into the yard on a tug, possibly the Dalzellaird. He pulled alongside the Dalzellera and tied up the boat. As he crossed over to the Dalzellera to go ashore he noticed that there appeared to be extreme heat coming from the galley at the after end of the house. The boat was all locked up for the long holiday weekend, but with some help Bob found some tools and broke the padlock off the hatch door. Upon entering the extremely hot galley, he realized that the galley stove was inadvertently left on and set for maximum heat. He immediately shut it down and ventilated the galley. It appeared that the stove was being used to keep the workers warm that were finishing up the tug and preparing her for service, but forgot to turn off the stove before leaving for the long holiday weekend.
However, when the yard staff returned back to work on Monday morning, he caught hell for breaking the lock on the hatch; that is until he told his story about preventing their “new” boat from catching fire before she even docked her first ship.
Shortly after this incident, Bob worked on this boat as mate and captain for about 12 years.

Photo by Steve Munoz, who sent along the story.

 

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,490 other followers

If looking for specific "word" in archives, search here.
Questions, comments, photos? Email Tugster

Graves of Arthur Kill

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

Seth Tane American Painting

Read my Iraq Hostage memoir online.

My Babylonian Captivity

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

Archives

October 2021
M T W T F S S
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031