I know, I know I haven’t written or taken any photos for the entire month of January. This was due partly to a bad cold and sheer winter laziness. My good friend and fellow photographer RC Hall threatened to squeal on me to the photo police so I figured I better get my little heiny in gear and out the door.
Off I went to South Street Sea Port to capture the fading beauty of the old masted seafaring vessels the Peking and her Liverpool cousin the Wavertree who spend their retirement entertaining tourist from far and near with their history of the shipping industry in days gone by.
Saturday was overcast with occasional sun peeks through the clouds adding a dramatic background against the tall masted historic ships. It was my kind of day though not too cold, not too warm, not too windy nor crowded. Since I visited the seaport last a new promenade has been erected on the right side of the ships (facing the water) and is three levels up with fantastic views of the seaport and the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges. The promenade is nice and wide so you don’t feel crowded no matter how many people there are and plenty of little benches and steps to sit on.
I love the old shiver-me-timbers atmosphere that overwhelms me as soon as I step foot on the pier! I was in my element taking shot after shot of the grit and grime that I have come to know and love while photographing the urban landscape. Everywhere I looked was a treasure; salt washed planking on the docks, rusted chains as big as NYC street pretzels coated with barnacles instead of salt, cracked and peeling paint. All sorts of rope coiled, looped and knotted, years of paint caked on port holes and rivets, warped and aged decks of old tug boats, corroded cleats and mangled bits of rotting metal and wood. I sooooooo enjoyed myself.
Did you know that the old red and grey kiosk standing in the middle of the dock as you enter Pier 17 is actually the old pilothouse from the top of the steam tugboat New York Central No. 31, built in 1923 in Brooklyn, NY ? Neither did I but i stumbled upon this information while key-wording my images. The tug was once of a large fleet of such vessels owned and operated by the railroads! I applied an aged photo filter (see images below) to my image of this pilot house in keeping with its aged history.
When I had my fill of photos of the pier and ships I spent a few minutes taking shots of the front window of the little museum shop near the Peking. On display is a wonderful carved wooden bust of an Indian Chief with a feathered bonnet. What intrigued me was the glass window was shattered on the right corner. The resulting cracks spread out from the corner creating a sharp wide burst across the face of the Indian Chief. Terrific effect. I was so busy taking photos I never thought to go into the museum; alas next visit I will make it a point to open the door and walk inside and say hello to my Indian friend.
Yar mateys, tis all I haf ta tell ye of me voyage to the seaport. Enjoy the images below, arrrh.