Phillip Lopate describes the shape of Manhattan Island as‘a luxury liner, permanently docked, going nowhere’. This feeling of being tethered to the land, unable to get to sea, was a feature of New York life for much of the twentieth century. New York was an island without a coast. The West Side piers that once welcomed the Lusitania spent most of the twentieth century crumbling or behind barbed wire, while the East Side’s coves and points were cut off from pedestrians by six lanes of the Robert Moses-designed Franklin Delano Roosevelt Drive. It wasn’t much easier to reach the shores of Brooklyn, Queens or the Bronx, either: with a few exceptions, they were largely reserved for municipal or industrial use, and easiest to see from the Staten Island Ferry (en route to the borough with the most beaches). Now, slowly, the city is reclaiming its shoreline, with some spectacular results.

Dreamland by Lawrence Kim and His Boss

OBJECTDreamland, Bars of Silver

BODY OF WATER: Coney Island, Arthur Kill


Listen to the original song by Lawrence Kim and His Boss: Dreamland. 

You can also watch the live performance of this song at the Underwater New York launch party aboard the Lightship Frying Pan here.

 Lawrence Kim and His Boss are Lawrence Kim and Jen Black.