Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Bottle Beach/Barren Island

     This place has been cleaned beyond recognition. The only people that come here are the ocassional fishermen; it is definitely a sight off the beaten path. One warm September day when I checked out a hangar in Floyd Bennett Field, which had the surreal feel of seeming somewhere more isolated such as upstate New York or Long Island, this spot was also an adjacent attraction.
     Let's talk about the names associated with this place. Now, Bottle Beach is the unofficial name of this spot, but it is also known as Barren Island. In 1926, the island was connected to the mainland of Brooklyn. The colloquial moniker, "Bottle Beach" had been adopted because in the 1920s, this plot of land was used as a landfill to store glass. However, as more and more litter accumulated, something had to give, and this landfill burst in the 1950s, and glass bottles still remain littered on the beach to this day. This beach looks over Dead Horse Bay, named so because horse bones, among other bits of debris, were tossed in these waters.
    I went back to this spot fairly recently to see if it was anything like I remembered. It wasn't. Bottle Beach has been cleaned up significantly since I last laid my eyes on it that sunny September. Ambivalent feelings sprout from this discovery...the colorful, old-fashioned glass bottles that gave a home to Coca-Cola and liquor were a thing of beauty, but on the other hand, it is better, environmentally, that the area has been cleaned.
   Here are some links of what Bottle Beach used to look like in the past, and some more information on the location so that you can make the assessment of "Bottle Beach: Beautiful or Trashy?" personally by comparing some older photos of the place to these current ones.
    This place is right by the Marine Parkway Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge, and along with a few bottles that remain, some other interesting features that it includes are a sinking ship and a wonderful view of the Kingsborough Campus and Coney Island Parachute Jump.

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