The New York Grimpendium: Arthur Kill Ship Graveyard

My new book, The New York Grimpendium, comes out October 1 [UPDATE: Available now]. Like its predecessor The New England Grimpendium, it covers my experiences traveling to hundreds of death-related locations and artifacts in the region. Below is one of a series of photo essays from sites in the book that I’ll be posting over the next few weeks. If you live in or like New York, the book is for you. If you’re a bit morbid, the book is also for you, even if you’ve never been to the Empire State. After all, death is a punch line we all get.

September 12, 2012 — So when I tell you that, to see dead ships you have to go through dead people, I’m not lying just so that I can make a statement like that…although if I had to I would. I want it to become a proverb. As it is, right now it's just directions to the Arthur Kill Ship Graveyard, where scores of old, derelict boats show us that you don't have to ever have been living in order to be dead.

It's located in the shallow waters off the private property of a Staten Island marine salvage yard. The only way to see this amazing sight without trespassing is to kayak down the Arthur Kill (also known as the Staten Island Sound) or go down Arthur Kill Road a bit from the salvage yard and slip through a tiny, 260-year-old abandoned graveyard hidden off the side of the road. And you should, because anything other than (and probably including) trespassing is worth it to see just a few of the rusting hulks of these decades-old ships sinking slowly into the mire, staring at you with blind portholes and creaking terrifying moans into the wind.

Read all about my visit to the Arthur Kill Ship Graveyard in The New York Grimpendium, which is on sale now: