Wednesday, January 11, 2012

From the archives: What lurks beneath

New York Harbor holds some deep dark secrets. New York mag dug a bit deeper into them this week with an online feature detailing the bizarre, valuable, scary and ugly.

Check out the whole article here, and some highlights below...

3. A 10,500-Mile Gas Main
That groove on the riverbed is a pair of 24-inch gas mains, laid down in the fifties, that—believe it or not—constitute the business end of a network of pipes that runs all the way from the Gulf of Mexico. (Gas takes roughly a week to make the trip.) This pipeline and another at 134th Street supplied 367 billion cubic feet of gas last year—about half of what we used. Since 9/11, the points where it comes ashore have been patrolled daily.

14. A Piano and a Dead Giraffe
The Army Corps of Engineers, charged with the task of scooping up floating debris, once fished out a grand piano. Another time, they found the corpse of a giraffe that had fled a circus.

23. 1,600 Bars of Silver, Weighing 100 Pounds Apiece
In 1903, a barge in the Arthur Kill—the oily, mucky arm of the harbor between Staten Island and New Jersey—capsized, spilling its cargo of silver ingots. It carried 7,678 bars; about 6,000 were recovered soon after. The rest are still down there. At today’s prices, they’re worth about $26 million. Every now and then, someone tries to find them. So far, no luck.

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