Thursday, November 29, 2007

New York City's Island of the Dead

It’s one of the quirks of topography that all the islands in Long Island Sound – and there are a lot of them, six or seven dozen, I think I read once – are off the north shore, that is, the Bronx, Westchester or Connecticut. None are off Long Island (Plum and Great Gull and Little Gull are essentially extensions of the moraine that formed the north shore of Long Island).

One of the more curious of these many islands is Hart Island. You can get to it only by taking a tiny ferry from City Island and, because Hart Island is New York City’s potters field, generally the only reason you go there is that you’re dead. One of the Times blogs has an interesting account of a filmmaker who has been studying Hart Island for years and has finally succeeded in persuading the city government to make a list of people buried there public. Here is more.



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