Go Here: Tugboat Graveyard in Staten Island
I try to avoid Staten Island as much as possible, on account of all of the garbage dumps and mob wives and pebble lawns. There is one place I’ll always go, though: The Tugboat Graveyard.
Artifacts of New York’s shipping era can be found all over the five boroughs, but nowhere is the landscape more dramatic than here. Located in Arthur Kill Waterway — a strip of water between Staten Island and New Jersey — the graveyard once contained the skeletal remains of over 200 boats: retired ferries, rotting tugboats, and all-wood coal barges dating back over 100 years. After decades of salvage pickers and decay, about 25 old ships remain above water.
Some of the boats have made their way onto the shores and exist in various degrees of decay, but most can be found offshore, stuck in thick mud, or floating. The place feels less like a graveyard and more like a hospice: the eerie quiet of the area and it’s mostly non-existant current allow for the peaceful decay of these giant, tired structures.
If you’re an adventurer, bring a kayak so that you can travel to the offshore vessels. Landlubbers need not shy away, there’s plenty to explore from the shore. (Wuss.)
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