Dead Horse Beach is littered with glass, trash and bones. Courtesy of Diana Huang.
Despite the scarcity of open space, New York City has its share of famous cemeteries from the historic Woodlawn, Green-Wood and New York Marble Cemeteries to the lesser-known “Potter’s Field” on Hart Island. Beyond human remains, however, the city and surrounding areas are also the final resting places of a number of ill-fated objects and living things. See below for our picks for New York’s most interesting non-human graveyards.
1. Payphone Graveyard under the West Side Highway
With wi-fi access now available at many subway stations, it’s hard to imagine a time before smartphones. But the vestiges of a pre-cell phone era still exist in the hundred discarded payphone booths tucked under the West Side Highway at 135th St. and 12th Ave. New York photographer Dave Bledsoe discovered this eerie scene on a recent walk and immediately captured the phone “graveyard.”
“Seeing these phones piled up like this makes people think of the lost connections and the missing sense of place and permanence they bring,” he told the Atlantic Cities.
But telephone booths, though less necessary now, are far from extinct. The Atlantic Cities reports statistics from NYC’s Department Information Technology & Telecommunications that 10,524 payphones are still active in the city, with 5,429 in Manhattan. But not all pay phones residents welcome pay phones anymore, like Community Board 4 in Hell’s Kitchen, who crowdsourced problematic phonebooths in their neighborhood.