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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.

Sacrificial Objects by Sleepy Peopl

Sleepy Peopl created this artwork for an event in collaboration with Marie Lorenz's Flow Pool at Recess. See pictures and read more about it here.

OBJECT: Sacrificial Objects

BODY OF WATER: Bronx River

Photographs by Nate Dorr and Dan Selzer


Sleepy Peopl are Maya Edelman and Nate Dorr. While their daytime callings are "animator" and "photographer" respectively, by night they like to break out of the minutia of applied arts and roam the beaches of New York City in search of sacred objects. The proves difficult as the sacrificial animals and offerings of fruit and flowers are made of paper and disintegrate on contact with water. They have managed to rescue a few rare specimens--they don't know their application or meaning, and are forced to seek guidance from botanica proprietors and old New York City newspaper headlines.