Tuesday, December 18, 2012

NEW YORK's ships by Bill Miller

Along the great piers of New York City, I was always fascinated by the pairings of liners -- which ships were berthed together. It was, in ways, like a great, big game of Checkers. In this view, from 1984, the Royal Viking Star is docked at the same pier as the Galileo.
The Lives of the Liners: Pier 56 at West 14th Street had been built in 1907 & hosted the world's biggest and grandest liners ... the likes of the Mauretania, Aquitania & Majestic. There were midnight sailings, festive bon voyage parties, champagne & dancing, a smartly dressed Rudolph Valentino & Gloria Swanson swathed in furs ... and those tossed streamers & throaty whistles sounding. But time passed and, by the 1960s, Pier 56 was unused, locked-up, left to decay. Only the faint sounds of those Boat Deck orchestras echoed ... and of happy passengers and well-wishers on the pier. 
When I took this photo in March 1977, that decay had deepened --- a great cavity in a mouth of gold fillings that is otherwise gorgeous Manhattan. It was not until 1993 that the 900-ft long shed was finally demolished.
When they were at berth, especially along Luxury Liner Row, Piers 84 thru 97, the liners were, and almost like the Empire State & Chrysler buildings, part of the cityscape. They too in ways were great structures. Here's the mighty France, loading at Pier 88, in a view from 1968.
Texto e imagens /Text and images copyright Bill Miller. Favor não piratear. Respeite o meu trabalho / No piracy, please. For other posts and images, check our archive at the right column of the main page. Click on the photos to see them enlarged. Thanks for your visit and comments. Luís Miguel Correia
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