Join the Crew of NYC's Best-Kept Nautical Secret, Yankee Ferry - Atlas Obscura
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Join the Crew of NYC’s Best-Kept Nautical Secret, Yankee Ferry

article-imageYankee Ferry at South Red Hook, Brooklyn, in sunset (photograph by Michelle Enemark)

For over a century, Yankee Ferry served the East Coast seas, and now stationed in Brooklyn this majestic ship is sailing into its next life as an incubator for creativity. To get the word out about one of New York City’s most incredible spaces, Yankee is having an open call for the very first Yankee Ferry Media Crew.

“This is our first strong effort to get Yankee out in the digital world,” Josh Rasp, Chief Mate of Yankee, told Atlas Obscura. “We figured the best way to do that is to open this opportunity to creative and eager people, where this will be their sole responsibility to document and shout it from the searchlight.”

Currently the light of Yankee is shining in South Red Hook, nestled alongside the industrial coast. The Atlas Obscura team was invited to tour the vessel with the Yankee crew, and we were incredibly impressed with the beauty of Yankee and its mission. When we heard about their interest in offering a Media Crew residency, we thought it would be an ideal position for someone from the Atlas Obscura audience! If you are in New York (or willing to travel here) and interested in engaging with the unexpected, overlooked spaces of the world, especially when they are preserved by people so dedicated to making these places into creative resources for the public, this may just be the perfect position. It’s a pretty amazing thing to do with the next three months of your life.

article-imageYankee’s Salon (courtesy Yankee Ferry)

article-imageBenches on the promenade (courtesy Yankee Ferry)

South Red Hook is just one of many ports Yankee has called home, from its construction in 1907 as a passenger ferry in Maine’s Calendar Islands, to serving in World War I and World War II, to cruising the New York Harbor as a ferry for newly arriving immigrants to Ellis Island, and later for some of the first visitors to the Statue of Liberty.

The ship was purchased by Victoria and Richard MacKenzie-Childs in 2003, and totally transformed into a labyrinth of charmingly decorated living and working quarters where cats, dogs, and chickens live alongside the human crew. Everything is vibrantly hued and mixes form, function, and the history of Yankee — now on the National Register of Historic Places — from the preservation of the original wooden benches to the old wheelhouse converted into a sleeping quarters.

The task of the three members of the Media Crew, who will be on board from July 21 to October 21, will be to capture the spirit of the ship and convey it to a global audience. For this mission, Yankee is seeking people with experience in filmmaking, social media, web design, and writing.

“It’s a lot of work, but there’s something thrilling about it and being a part of something that inspires and nourishes people’s spirit,” Rasp said. “It’s an example of what we as a collective can accomplish.”

After surviving a harrowing ride through Hurricane Sandy in 2012, Yankee left New Jersey where it had offered a stunning bed and breakfast on the Hudson. Now it’s seeking a new homeport and funding to get it back on track so it can again open to the public. In this regard, getting a higher profile is key, and in exchange for room on Yankee, the Media Crew will rally an online presence for the ship, capturing its daily life, extraordinary events on the decks, and the stories of the people onboard. 

“I know from my own personal experience that it’s bound to be one of the most special experiences of someone’s life and they’ll never forget it,” Rasp said. 

Below is a video on the Media Crew Call, as well as more photographs from Yankee. Click here to apply, the deadline is July 10.

 

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The original ferry benches (photograph by Michelle Enemark)

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Yankee passenger gallery (photograph by Michelle Enemark)

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Yankee passenger gallery (photograph by Michelle Enemark)

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View to the water from the galley (photograph by Michelle Enemark)

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Chickens on Yankee (photograph by Michelle Enemark)

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Ship curios & tools (photograph by Michelle Enemark)

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Yankee’s bow (courtesy Yankee Ferry)

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Yankee’s engine room (courtesy Yankee Ferry)

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Interior passageway (courtesy Yankee Ferry)

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Updated crew quarters (courtesy Yankee Ferry)

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1910 photograph of Yankee (courtesy Yankee Ferry)

Click here to apply for a place in the Yankee Ferry Media Crew! Deadline is July 10.