At nearly 10 acres, Coney Island Creek is a sizable park-like area, especially for New York City. Occupying two sea inlets in Brooklyn, the Creek, once minimally navigable is now ... still minimally navigable. There were once plans to widen the creek, straighten it and deepen it, but those plans were never carried out. Instead, the Coney Island Creek was filled in a bit, making Coney Island a peninsula instead of, well, an island.
The sole remaining creek in the area, the Coney Island Creek is a popular tourist destination because of the abandoned ships and ship parts that litter the waterway. Several years ago, the New York Times ran a lengthy story about the mysterious Yellow Submarine, an abandoned landmark that has jutted from the creek for as long as anyone can remember. "'That submarine is a landmark,' one fishermen, Gregory Whitaker, 52, said on a recent afternoon," the Times reported. "'Everybody knows it in this neighborhood.'"
The Times reporter did a bit of digging and found that the submarine was started more than forty years ago by a local shipyard worker. Jerry Bianco wanted to build a submarine of his own, and built this vessel using salvaged metal. With it Bianco hoped to raise the Andrea Doria, an ocean liner that went down in the Atlantic way back in 1956 after colliding with another ship. The wreck is said to hold valuable artifacts and the bounty would belong, according to maritime law, to anybody who could seize them.
While Bianco wasn't able to finish his project and eventually abandoned it in the Coney Island Creek, the submarine has found a second home as a perch and residence for birds and crabs in the region - just like other wrecks in the area - the ghosts of the Coney Island Creek. The others, though, were not all built by starry-eyed shipbuilders. Thanks to a canal that was dug to extend the creek and facilitate sea travel - the Gravesend Ship Canal - many ships motored through the area. Some, though, weren't able to make it back out.