Skip

All the spoils of wasted lives
May 12, 2009 9:25 PM   Subscribe

"What lies beneath the surface of New York Harbor? For starters, a 350-foot steamship, 1,600 bars of silver, a freight train, and four-foot-long cement-eating worms. "
posted by cashman (48 comments total) 42 users marked this as a favorite

 
It be the worms what keep me from going after the silver bars, me swabbies; it be the worms, all right.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:28 PM on May 12, 2009 [19 favorites]


“In the East River, at about 16th Street, there’s one of those old dining-room tables, the kind with a Formica top and the grooved metal bands around the edge,” says [commercial diver Lenny] Speregen. “It’s standing upright, totally free and clear. It makes me want to go down there with teacups and set it up.”

Ah, tea with Hoffa.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:36 PM on May 12, 2009 [11 favorites]


Isn't it the Gribbles that eat the cement, not the shipworms (Tamilok - A Palawan Delicacy)?
posted by tellurian at 9:50 PM on May 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


"In 1969, in order to build a new artificial reef, the Department of Environmental Conservation dumped a bargeload of scrapped Good Humor trucks off Atlantic Beach, where they were eventually joined by (according to the DEC) “30,000 tires in three-tire units; 404 auto bodies; nine barges; the tug Fran S; a steel lifeboat; steel crane and boom; surplus armored vehicles; concrete slabs, pipes, culvert, decking and rubble; 530,000 cubic yards of rock from a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers excavation project.”



"Rebecca, goddamnit, since the beginning of time, every corporation that has ever thrown any of its shit into the ocean has claimed that it was going to become a habitat for marine life. It’s the goddamn ocean, Rebecca. That's where all the marine life is. Of course it's going to become a habitat for marine life."

-Neal Stephenson, Zodiac
posted by Nomiconic at 9:54 PM on May 12, 2009 [26 favorites]


I sort of hate New York magazine, but they do come up with some good ideas for articles.
posted by mert at 10:08 PM on May 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


Isn't it the Gribbles that eat the cement, not the shipworms

I think you're confusing a Star Trek original series episode with a Deep Space 9 episode.
posted by dersins at 10:12 PM on May 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


wait, wait... zombie fire ants followed by 4 foot long cement eating worms?!

clearly this was not the best night to attempt to read myself to sleep on MeFi.

Metafilter: promoting quality insomnia since 1999.

crap
posted by lonefrontranger at 10:15 PM on May 12, 2009 [3 favorites]


I ♥ New York!
posted by The Light Fantastic at 10:25 PM on May 12, 2009


Useless without photos!

I bet they'd be stunning.
posted by Malice at 10:32 PM on May 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Good thing that detective has an m-16 to fend off the giant octopii featured in the post that immediately followed this one. and the giant shark. although I must admit puzzlement as to the underwater utility of the pictured firearm. and also, come to think of it, the overall utility of military arms in a police context.
posted by mwhybark at 10:43 PM on May 12, 2009 [4 favorites]


Isn't it the Gribbles that eat the cement, not the shipworms

No, Gribble is the guy you call when you want the worms exterminated.
posted by hifiparasol at 10:44 PM on May 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


wait, wait... zombie fire ants followed by 4 foot long cement eating worms?!

clearly this was not the best night to attempt to read myself to sleep on MeFi.


Followed by Megashark and Giant Octopus!

Sweet dreams, lfr.
posted by dersins at 10:48 PM on May 12, 2009


Isn't it the Gribbles that eat the cement, not the shipworms

I thought it was the Fraggles.
posted by fshgrl at 11:02 PM on May 12, 2009


Isn't it the Gribbles that eat the cement, not the shipworms
I hate detail fail too.
posted by fleacircus at 11:10 PM on May 12, 2009


My favourite on the list is "A Piano and a Dead Giraffe." Mostly because I can't quite understand why they put those two things together. But someone (maybe Tom Waits?) should write a song about it.
posted by troubles at 11:27 PM on May 12, 2009 [8 favorites]


Arr can't wait to plunder me booty of... wait.. wtf... is this tons of Paris Hilton's refuse? Damn ye, scurvy capitalist whores, arrrgghh!
posted by hypersloth at 11:36 PM on May 12, 2009


Down Leigh St and Gibson, in the smoke-choked corners
of alleys where Malley lays his three coin steal
there's a harem of hookers who'll stare you down and stand you up
'cause you're nothin' to them, nothin' but an unwanted Christmas goose.

And the red brick walls climb their drunken ladder to the skies,
and the tv aerials make their lattice to the moon,
and the gutter makes its way for the night shift boozers' floozies,
and I'm sittin' here with nothin' but a piano and a dead giraffe.
posted by twirlypen at 11:42 PM on May 12, 2009 [14 favorites]


Flow on, river! flow with the flood-tide, and ebb with the ebb-tide!
Frolic on, crested and scallop-edg’d waves!
Gorgeous clouds of the sun-set! drench with your splendor me, or the men and women generations after me;
Cross from shore to shore, countless crowds of passengers!
Stand up, tall masts of Mannahatta!—stand up, beautiful hills of Brooklyn!
Throb, baffled and curious brain! throw out questions and answers!
Suspend here and everywhere, eternal float of solution!

posted by From Bklyn at 12:30 AM on May 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


“The skin was peeling back.” He scuttles his fingers up his arm. “The critters were eating it.”

It's nice that they supplied this image, because when I read about skin peeling back and critters eating human flesh I sometimes have a little difficulty imagining the details.
posted by twoleftfeet at 12:43 AM on May 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Useless without photos!

I bet they'd be stunning.


I bet they're brown.
posted by Darned account name at 1:11 AM on May 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


Wait until the new currents formed by the filling in of Battery Park cause the dirt and mud to be removed from the top of the tunnels (Holland and Lincoln).
posted by JohnnyGunn at 3:58 AM on May 13, 2009


Mark Nerys wants us to know that each and every illustration on that page was done by Mark Nerys. I repeat, "Illustration by Mark Nerys."
posted by punkfloyd at 4:59 AM on May 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


The U.S. Coast Guard operates anti-swimmer sonar systems, which are moved around as they’re needed in the harbor. The gear pings signals out, and displays hits—indicating unidentified people or boats—on a video screen.

Whoah. Escape from New York wasn't too far off, was it?

And I'd so love to see those last vestiges of Dreamland.
posted by Spatch at 5:35 AM on May 13, 2009


They don't mention it, but the ring from my first marriage is there, too. Threw it off the Staten Island Ferry.

Please leave it there. Thanks.
posted by papercake at 6:22 AM on May 13, 2009 [8 favorites]


The Last Remnants of Dreamland


I want to take this title and make it my own. Do you think they'd let me have it?
posted by The Whelk at 7:09 AM on May 13, 2009


I looked at the map, saw the numbers, and looked at what I thought was a key to the right. And I thought, wait, that's not right. Rihanna can't be making a comeback in the East River.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 7:17 AM on May 13, 2009


"...he thought: what an amusing world it still is, where things and people can be found in places where they do not belong. For example, out there on the river now with a thousand liters of wine are a man in love with Venus, and a sea captain, and his fat son. And back in the Uffizi ... before Botticelli's Birth of Venus, still blooming purple and gay, there is a hollow Judas tree." --Pynchon, V.
posted by rusty at 7:20 AM on May 13, 2009


Useless without photos!

In the immortal works of Lunchlady Doris, "Okey Dokey!:

Teredo Worms:
Shipworms are parasitic mollusks that thrive in and upon submerged wooden structures, including pilings, bulkheads and hulls of ocean vessels. The shipworm is in fact no worm at all, but a greatly elongated clam.

Aargh, a greatly enlogated clam! Run away! Better pics of the clam here.

Using geocities while I still can. Keep the faith!

Gribbles:
A gribble is any of about 56 species of marine isopod from the family Limnoriidae. They are mostly pale white and small (1-4 mm long) crustaceans, although Limnoria stephenseni from subantarctic waters can reach 10 mm. The term gribble was originally assigned to the wood-boring species, especially the first species described from Norway by Rathke in 1799, Limnoria lignorum. The Limnoriidae are now known to include seaweed and seagrass borers, as well as wood borers

Pics: Cute little gribbles only want your love.

Giraffe:
Giraffes are the tallest animals of all. They have long legs and long necks. There are 7 bones in their necks, the same as in ours. Males can grow to nearly five and a half metres tall, and females to nearly five metres tall.

Pics: I'm alive, you bastards, wanna make something of it?

Formica Dinette:A: Let’s start with “formica”:...Formica is a brand of composite materials manufactured by the Formica Corporation based in Cincinnati, Ohio, United States. In common use, the term refers to the company's classic product, a heat-resistant, wipe-clean, plastic laminate of paper or fabric with melamine resin...Definitions of dinette ...Small-scaled dining furniture with a table and four to six chairs. Originally designed for kitchen use, but also used in small dining areas.

Bonus fact! A laminate and chrome dinette table and chairs cost four times that of a solid wood set. Its wipe-clean face and cheerful colors made it the most desirable material of the decade.

Pics:Sit and stay you big ole hunk of drowned mob victim, you! (Previously on AskMefi)
posted by Jilder at 7:26 AM on May 13, 2009 [5 favorites]


They don't mention it, but the ring from my first marriage is there, too. Threw it off the Staten Island Ferry.
posted by papercake


The king of the Teredos wears it as a crown.
posted by orme at 7:26 AM on May 13, 2009 [8 favorites]


There are four-foot-long stingrays down by the Rockaways and off Coney Island, and they’re hard to see when they’re flat against the bottom. A diver will be going about his business when he encounters a section of mud the size of a coffee table that suddenly—zooomp!—up and swims away.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:29 AM on May 13, 2009


They don't mention it, but the ring from my first marriage is there, too. Threw it off the Staten Island Ferry.
posted by papercake

The king of the Teredos wears it as a crown.
posted by orme


I hope it brings him better luck than it brought me.
posted by papercake at 9:06 AM on May 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


People would be surprised what's beneath the surface of a lot of bodies of water near them. Some large reservoirs actually have the remnants of entire small towns beneath the surface, left there when the local river/creek was dammed-up to create the reservoir.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:31 AM on May 13, 2009


If the tubes ever became exposed, they would be at risk for shifting, cracking, and terrorist threats.

those last three words feel like the vestigial tail of NYC journalism. Seven years ago they were the headline of every story; in a few years writers won't feel obligated to tack them on at all.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 9:36 AM on May 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


People would be surprised what's beneath the surface of a lot of bodies of water near them.

I just always assume there is a race of gill breathing hominids living in any body of water near humans and/or Lovecraftian monsters.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:36 AM on May 13, 2009


This is actually the perfect companion piece to Mark Kurlansky's The Big Oyster, which I'm currently about halfway through.

Some quotes about/from the first Europeans to visit the lower Hudson system in the 1600s:
"The Dutch described the fine, tall-grassed meadows, the woodlands, fields of wildflowers, the streams, the variety of the cooing and clattering birds, the deliciousness of the native nuts, wild cherries, currants, gooseberries, hazelnuts, apples, pears, and especially strawberries....

The rivers and streams had so many fish -- striped bass, sturgeon, shad, drum fish, carp, perch, pike, and trout -- that they could be yanked out of the water by hand.... The harbor was crowded with bass, cod, weakfish, herring, mackerel, blackfish, as well as frolicking, diving mammals -- whales, porpoises, and seals. Bears, wolves, beavers, foxes, raccoons, otters, elk, deer, and even a few 'lion,' which may have been panthers or mountain lions, lived in the area....

Jasper Danckaerts, a Dutchman who traveled the New ork City area from 1679 to 1680, wrote, 'It is not possible to describe how this bay swarms with fish, both large and small, whales, tunnies, and porpoises, whole schools of innumerable other fish, which the eagles and other birds of prey swiftly seize in their talons when the fish comes to the surface.'"
And then there were the millions of oysters, some of them 12 inches long, which are detailed elsewhere in the book.

I haven't gotten to the point in the book yet where it all goes to hell. Now there's no suspense. This NY Mag piece should have had a big ol' SPOILER ALERT. Thanks a lot!
posted by mudpuppie at 9:43 AM on May 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


Very interesting to see the secrets of the deep.
posted by JohnnyL at 10:01 AM on May 13, 2009


The Last Remnants of Dreamland

I want to take this title and make it my own. Do you think they'd let me have it?

Funny, I was just listening to this album this morning.
posted by otolith at 10:20 AM on May 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


mudpuppie, may I suggest Rats next.
posted by mwhybark at 10:29 AM on May 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


mudpuppie, may I suggest Rats next.

Yes. Yes you may.
posted by mudpuppie at 10:44 AM on May 13, 2009


Toilet Paper, and All That Goes With It

As an occasional scuba diver I really have to shriek inside at the thought of diving in those conditions. Imagine if you coughed or something and had to clear the ... water ... out of your regulator. Ugh ugh ugh!

Incidentally, artificial reefs are not a bad idea in principle so far as we know, except for the tires, which are a bad plan. Then again, it's not as though the Hudson isn't a complete environmental mess anyway.
posted by bettafish at 11:16 AM on May 13, 2009


Holy shit Beat Circus. This is now the best thread ever forever.
posted by The Whelk at 12:22 PM on May 13, 2009


The photo of the four divers in full regalia is very nice in the print edition. It's too bad they cut it down to two for the online.
posted by smackfu at 1:21 PM on May 13, 2009


The giant four-foot long worm-clam is going to be joining the screeching eels from The Princess Bride in my nightmares.

I can only hope they bring the giraffe and the piano to lighten the mood.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 4:20 PM on May 13, 2009


The worms are freakin' fluffy pink rainbow-belching teddy bears compared to that video cashman posted.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:25 PM on May 13, 2009


Y'know, for ONCE in my life, I'm just not going to look at the video.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 4:27 PM on May 13, 2009


Are you sure? It's pretty neat. In a trago-comedy sort of way.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:40 PM on May 13, 2009


They don't mention it, but the ring from my first marriage is there, too. Threw it off the Staten Island Ferry.

Trust you took it off her finger first...
posted by five fresh fish at 5:13 PM on May 13, 2009


Useless without photos!

I bet they'd be stunning.

I bet they're brown.
posted by Darned account name at 1:11 AM on May 13


Brown murky photos then with 3D imagery and outlines.

These Japanese-how-to looking illustrations aren't cutting it.
posted by Malice at 10:27 PM on May 13, 2009


« Older Zombie Fire Ants   |   Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post