The America’s Cup Series comes to New York City this weekend, treating the people of the Big Apple to the thrills of boats worth millions of dollars racing one another right on the Hudson River.
While the boats are sure to be gleaming and sleek, the site of the races, which are part of the run up to next year’s America’s Cup, has a somewhat less pristine reputation.
As any one who has watched Law & Order or any of its spinoffs knows, the estuary is often used as a dumping ground for some unsavory things. Extra Mustard has decided to put together a list cataloging a few things spectators might spot alongside those speeding yachts.
Corpses. So Many Corpses.
Bodies floating in the Hudson river have become a cliché, but unfortunately it is a cliché based very much in reality. With the race taking place in May, boating fans may have picked a particularly morbid time to stare at the river. In 2011, the Wall Street Journal reported that as the temperature warms, bodies begin to bloat and rise to the surface of the river. Happy yachting, rich people!
Fish Not Fit for Human Consumption
The New York State Department of Health does not recommend that anyone under the age of 15 or women over the age of 50 eat anything caught in the lower portion of the river, where the races will be taking place. There are some species which those who fall outside those categories can eat sparingly, if they take extra precautions specified in this pamphlet, but that doesn't really seem worth the work, does it?
The Hudson has been a pretty busy waterway for a few hundred years now and sometimes boats stop floating, which means there is a pretty sizable number of sunken ships, from barges to schooners, at the bottom of the estuary. While the competition committee has moved away from the $8 million boats raced during the last Cup cycle, teams are surely hoping to keep their sleek AC45’s above water.
No, not that kind of alligator. A New York Magazine feature on the marine treasures of New York City explained that a "Hudson River alligator" is what the Coast Guard calls it when one of the wooden planks left from since demolished piers comes loose in a storm and floats through the river. Commercial diver Lenny Speregen told the magazine that one of the gators, which reach 20 feet in size, is bound to cause trouble someday.
“You’ve seen a SeaStreak, those fast commuter ferries that serve Wall Street?” says Speregen. “One’s gonna get impaled one of these days.”
While these mythical New Yorkers are not technically in the river, they are right next to it, if they still exist that is. Freedom Tunnel is a three mile underground stretch built in the 1930’s that runs parallel to the river near Harlem. While most of the infamous mole people are believed to have evacuated when the tunnel was brought back into use in the early 90’s, there are rumors that some people are still living off the grid there still, according to the New York Post