A Guide to Dead Horse Bay (Brooklyn, NY) / Guest Post by Meg Wachter
I never intended this little project to be an oft-updated thing, but these crickets have been chirping for much too long! So, I’m cutting the silence with a couple guest posts this week. First up is my Got a Girl Crush Partner in Crime and talented photographer, Meg. I’ve heard so many wonderful things about Dead Horse Bay but still have yet to visit, so her colorful account will have to hold me over for now. Here’s what she has to say:
If you’re caught-up in nostalgic culture (i.e. have Boardwalk Empire and American Pickers queued up constantly on your Tivo) compounded with a penny-wise penchant, then your first gut-reaction at this pickers paradise is, “LOOKIT ALL THIS COOL OLD STUFF I CAN TAKE!!” But then you remember that most “normal” people call this “trash” and it was indeed originally a landfill for turn-of-the-century New York City. Dead Horse Bay’s more lascivious moniker comes from all the glue-rendering plants (ick) that also once littered the bay that is now littered with the past. The hardy bits of refuse that remain include bottles by the ton, shoe leather, car engines, bedsprings, horse bones, parts of guns, and bank safes(!?). Your second, more sane reaction is, “This is why I recycle at home,” because this shit lasts! And this is why you recycle your refuse-cum-treasures into decorations in your home (after thorough soaks in bleach, of course).
It is highly recommended (after visiting 3 or 4 times now) that you bring wellies, rubber gloves, and a bag of some sort (with good handles—those bottles get heavy fast) that you don’t care about mucking up. Pick a nice sunny day and be sure to check the tide tables as low tide is the best time to visit. More beach exposed = more treasures to find! Getting there is easiest by car (Zipcar is always an option for us carless New Yorkers), but I have gotten there by public transportation, too (ask the bus driver to stop before going over the bridge and take the path to the beach opposite Aviation Road)—but don’t forget about lugging those heavy bottles!
My favorite finds are an intact 1920s 7up bottle with a flapper girl painted on the logo, a square-shaped bottle that once held Manischewitz wine, a moose-shaped gravy boat, and other various teeny-tiny bottles that once held perfume or nail polish or other tincatures.
More on Dead Horse Bay: