Elizabeth Hamby is an artist and an educator, who works between the studio, the classroom, and the city. She holds degrees from Parsons, the New School for Design and Eugene Lang, the New School for Liberal Arts. As a founding member of Meta Local Collaborative, she has developed bike rides, exhibitions, publications, and public programs highlighting the Bronx and exploring issues around public space throughout New York City. She lives and works in the Bronx.
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.