Dead Horse Bay

Dead Horse Bay

Sometimes I actively worry that I will or already have run out of things to see in New York. This is ridiculous for many reasons, and just as often I'm reminded that this city is infinite in its possibilities. Even if I did somehow run out of things to see, one of my greatest joys is revisiting places I've been—in different seasons, times of day or just to observe how time has passed. Recently we biked to one of my very favorite spots, Dead Horse Bay, which is located in Brooklyn near Floyd Bennett Field and Fort Tilden.

This was my third time at Dead Horse Bay and you can see photos from my first two visits here, here, here and here. I hadn't been since April of 2015, but I bet you could go back every day and find completely different things. Dead Horse Bay is basically a beach full of 19th-century trash and horse bones, formed when a cap on a landfill burst in the 50s. The name and the bones are from the horse-rendering plants that once lined the shore. 

The hardest part about each visit to Dead Horse Bay is not taking home every cool thing I find. This time we forgot to bring plastic bags with us, which I was initially upset about but we just had to be more thoughtful about our souvenirs. It's especially hard for me not to take all of the horse bones I find, but I already have two large jars full of bones in my curiosity cabinet, so I only took a few that were interesting shapes and in good condition. 

The biggest thing to remember when visiting Dead Horse Bay is to check the tide times—we didn't this time, but got lucky and arrived at low(ish) tide. We spent hours combing through everything and much of the stuff was submerged by the time we left.

I'm slightly concerned that Dead Horse Bay may becoming popular—not that I discovered it by any means—mostly because there was an art exhibit in Brooklyn recently featuring pieces made with DHB finds. This is probably a silly thought considering how much stuff is still left, but the seclusion and post-apocalyptic feel of the beach is what makes it such a fascinating place to visit. I've seen other people gathering treasures each time I've been there, but this time there was a film shoot happening. I understand that Dead Horse Bay is a great setting, but there are so many people in this city and sometimes I just want to feel like I have something special, and to myself—if even just for a moment.

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