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The Island
January 28, 2010 2:53 PM   Subscribe

Hugo Chavez owns it. New Jersey controls it. Developers and environmentalists covet it. And one brazen trespasser wants us to pay homage to its forgotten king. Welcome to Petty's Island, a fin-shaped slice of strange, in the middle of the Delaware River.
posted by fixedgear (16 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
Aerial view.
posted by MrMoonPie at 3:07 PM on January 28, 2010


Things I thought I'd never say: Well done Hugo Chavez
posted by IanMorr at 3:12 PM on January 28, 2010


Don't do me like dat.
posted by stenseng at 3:17 PM on January 28, 2010


What, no Google Streetview? Well, I guess Bing Maps bird's eye view will have to do (pan right for winter trees, pan left and up for more spring/summer). See also: Old-timey Terraserver view.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:24 PM on January 28, 2010


"It's supposed to look like one of those commemorative plates for royal families, like for Princess Diana and Prince Charles," Riley explains.

Awesome.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:31 PM on January 28, 2010


Here's a fun slideshow and article about the performance discussed at the opening of the linked article in the FPP, if anyone's interested.
posted by jrb223 at 4:37 PM on January 28, 2010


awesome story.
posted by mwhybark at 4:48 PM on January 28, 2010


Duke Riley's website. Pitifully overwired bit-hipsters will recall his submarine, which the article touches upon.
posted by mwhybark at 4:52 PM on January 28, 2010


I am filled with lustful desire for one of Riley's works on paper, or, I suppose, flesh.
posted by mwhybark at 4:55 PM on January 28, 2010


I am filled with lustful desire for one of Riley's works on paper, or, I suppose, flesh.

I agree mwhybark, when I first came across that Art in America article back in November I cursed every art and performance mailing list I subscribe to for not alerting me to Those About to Die Salute You sooner. Thank god for metafilter, I have a full week now to figure out if I can get to Philadelphia for this opening.
posted by jrb223 at 5:15 PM on January 28, 2010


For anyone interested in exploring the island, keep in mind that you have to drive through Camden, NJ. Camden, in case you didn't know, has the highest crime rate in the country. That's right. Worse than Detroit. Worse than Newark. The school system and police departments were so bad they had to be taken over by the state. Three of its mayors have gone to jail for corruption.

Camden makes the country quakes.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:20 PM on January 28, 2010


"We've been surprised throughout the process," says Lauri Cielo, program director at the Historical Society. "We're prepared to do whatever he wants, but so far he doesn't have anything planned for the evening.

That's quite a lot of leeway to give someone who describes his art as: 'breaking the law'.
posted by el io at 5:22 PM on January 28, 2010


Thank god for metafilter, I have a full week now to figure out if I can get to Philadelphia for this opening.

I could get behind A Very Artistic Meetup for this.
posted by desuetude at 5:50 PM on January 28, 2010


Hairsplitting: It's right on the border, but I'm pretty sure that the bridge that connects NJ to the island is actually in Pennsauken. It's guarded, anyway. Go by boat, or better yet, go by submarine.
posted by fixedgear at 5:56 PM on January 28, 2010


"Now owned by Venezuela's CITGO Petroleum Corp. — which used it as an oil refinery until 2001, and now rents it out to the Trailer Marine Transport Corp."

That explains all the, umm, trailers on the island.

Pitifully overwired bit-hipsters will recall his submarine...

If reading metafilter makes me an overwired bit-hipster, then I, sir, am guilty.

For anyone interested in exploring the island, keep in mind that you have to drive through Camden, NJ.

Travel by sea! On preview, what fixedgear said.
posted by exogenous at 6:07 PM on January 28, 2010


Even in the 1930s, the island had a refinery.

@Civil_Disobedient: The real reason you should discourage people from attempting to visit it is that the bridge is guarded and you need access to cross it. Camden has it's problems, but the downtown is an interesting mix of 80s era failed gentrification and current attempts (that might have stood a better chance if the economy hadn't tanked) at renewal. I've never had a problem in Camden. I've even conducted a Light Rail/Bike tour of the downtown. It's not that bad, just don't hang around after dark.
posted by johnjreiser at 9:44 PM on January 28, 2010


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