Monday, May 16, 2011

Dead Horse Bay Scavenging Expedition

This Summer I will be going on weekly adventures to interesting abandoned sites in the NYC area to seek out new reference material for paintings.  Dead horse Bay in South Brooklyn is the first of these outings.
From the New York Times: "Dead Horse Bay sits at the western edge of a marshland once dotted by more than two dozen horse-rendering plants, fish oil factories and garbage incinerators. From the 1850's until the 1930's, the carcasses of dead horses and other animals from New York City streets were used to manufacture glue, fertilizer and other products at the site. The chopped-up, boiled bones were later dumped into the water. The squalid bay, then accessible only by boat, was reviled for the putrid fumes that hung overhead."
By the end of the 19th century the site became a landfill that was filled by 1930, capped, and then blew open in the 1950's and has been spewing its antique garbage into the bay since. 
Thousands of bottles can be found on the shore as well as tires, leather shoe soles, and other rusty metal artifacts. 
My favorite find of the day, a rusty child's roller skate.
More random artifacts (from left to right): roller skate, porcelain lady legs, glass light bulb base,  baby doll, metal crank thing, porcelain boy, car door mirror, and baby doll arm.
Bottles for everything.  From what I can tell, the ones I found were mostly used for perfume, booze, and pharmaceuticals. 

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