Obscura Day 2015: Islands of the Undesirables - Atlas Obscura

Brooklyn, New York

Obscura Day 2015: Islands of the Undesirables

Discover the dark and fascinating history of New York City's penal, quarantine and asylum islands aboard the Water Table on this special Obscura Day cruise

Join us on a historic vessel-turned-New England tavern for an East River cruise and in-depth discussion of confinement and quarantine on New York City's "other" islands.

Manhattan is part of an archipelago of lesser-known islands that exist within the city limits, many of which have been historically utilized for dealing with the undesirable elements of an ever-growing population and limited space. The remains of reformatories, prison camps, psychiatric institutions, sanatoriums, and potter's fields all exist in our waterways, for the most part overlooked, abandoned and all but forgotten. 

Join us this Obscura Day for a very special cruise aboard the acclaimed Water Table for lunch, craft beer and cocktails and a discussion of the past, present and future of New York City's confinement islands. With our hosts Bess Lovejoy, author of Rest in Pieces: The Curious Fates of Famous Corpses and architectural photographer Chris Payne, whose recent book North Brother Island: The Last Unknown Island in New York City documented the ever-changing landscape of an abandoned asylum island reclaimed by nature, we'll be delving into a side of New York City's history that has largely been ignored.

Our four hour cruise will include a gourmet lunch and free craft beer courtesy of Brooklyn Brewery.

Our New England-inspired 2 course menu will consist of either Lobster Mac and Cheese or Kale Caesar Salad (can be prepared vegetarian and gluten free) and Whoopie Pies from One Girl Cookies.

Saturday, May 30; 11am - 3pm
Tickets: $100 - ticket cost includes cruise, lunch, dessert and unlimited beer from Brooklyn Brewery! Cocktails will be available for purchase.
We'll be boarding the Water Table from the India Street Pier in Greenpoint, Brooklyn at 10:45am. Please arrive promptly, we will be departing at 11am sharp.