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.

NY Pelagic by George Boorujy

OBJECT: Bottles


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About NY Pelagic

 Brooklyn artist George Boorujy is putting original drawings of pelagic (open ocean) birds in bottles, along with a questionnaire, and launching them into New York waterways as an exploration of our connection to and impact on the ocean and its wildlife, as well as an examination of what we value in our culture – plastic, art, the health of the environment, and by extension, our own health. To learn more about the project and to track its progress, visit NY Pelagic. Be on the look-out for an upcoming collaborative event with NY Pelagic and Underwater New York.


George Boorujy was born and raised in New Jersey. Intending to pursue a career as a biologist, he ended up with a BFA from the University of Miami in 1996. This gateway degree predictably led to a MFA from the School of Visual Arts in 2002. He has exhibited widely, was a 2010 NYFA fellow in painting, and was a 2009-10 Smack Mellon resident. He is represented by P.P.O.W. Gallery in New York, and lives and works on the far western tip of Long Island. With all those other artists. Visit his website to see more of his work.