Obscura Society NY: Dead Horse Bay Excursion - RAIN DATE! - Atlas Obscura

Brooklyn, New York

Obscura Society NY: Dead Horse Bay Excursion - RAIN DATE!

From vintage glass to horse bones, Dead Horse Bay is a treasure trove of wonder.


Dead Horse Bay is named for the bones that still wash up there, remnants from horse rendering plants on what was once Barren Island.

From the 1850s through the 1920s, when horses were the cars clogging the streets of New York, their carcasses were used to manufacture glue and fertilizer and the boiled bones were dumped in the bay. In 1926, the waters surrounding Barren Island were filled in with sand, coal and garbage to make Floyd Bennett Field, and in the 1950s, the cap on a twenty year old garbage dump burst, scattering the sand with eras of waste. Today the beach is littered with toys, vintage bottles, horse bones, and a slew of trash from eras past.

Luckily, we’re into that kind of thing. Join us for an exploration of Dead Horse Bay lead by Underwater New York, a digital journal of stories, art and music inspired by the waterways of New York City and the objects submerged within them. Underwater New York has published a rich collection of poems, stories, songs, photos and artwork drawn from the shores of Dead Horse Bay and other NY waters. The more we learn about lost Barren Island, the deeper we fall in love with this place, littered with history. Come join us to explore its shores! We'll give a historical overview, share some of our favorite headlines from its wacky past, and explore the shore together at low tide.


Tickets: $25
Saturday, August 6th, 4:30 - 6pm * RESCHEDULED for Rain to Sunday, August 7th *
Timeframe includes time for guests to walk around and explore on their own.

The meetup - Please meet at Floyd Bennet Field in the small parking lot near the former Ranger's Station. Just inside the entry to Floyd Bennet Field, it's the first parking lot on the right side after turning onto Aviator Road. May use "50 Aviation Road" for GPS coordinates but be sure to meet in the parking lot and not in any other landmarks.
Restrooms will not be available.
Please be prepared to hike on rough terrain!

MTA Transportation to meet-up spot:

Take the 2 or 5 train to Flatbush / Brooklyn College. You may hear this stop referred to as 'the Junction').

Transfer to the Q35 Bus at Flatbush / Nostrand Ave. You want the bus toward Rockaway Park, Queens.

Bus Schedule: http://www.mta.info/busco/schedules/q035cur.pdf

Traveling south along Flatbush Avenue, you'll pass Kings Plaza (a large shopping center on the left). Shortly after that, Flatbush Ave crosses over the Belt Parkway. Landmarks to look for after crossing the Belt Parkway: The Q35 Bus will pass a sports field and row of large buildings on the left. You’ll pass a golf course and boating marina on the right. After crossing the Belt Pkwy, alert the bus driver that you want to get off at the last traffic light before the bridge toll plaza. (Some drivers know this as the unofficial 'Toll Booth / Flatbush Ave' stop).