“This self-styled ‘record of urban life’ offers delightful profiles of fishermen, tugboat captains, sailmakers, tour guides and other waterfront denizens…”
— Sam Roberts, The New York Times
Though it’s easy to spend a lifetime here and not realize it, New York City is an archipelago, surrounded by an astoundingly complex watery perimeter that twists and turns for 578 miles. Around this perimeter exists an entire culture of men and women for whom New York’s waters are the central aspect of their lives, whether they live on it, make their living from it, or simply play on it. New York Waters is the first book to record the lives of some of these people, in 21 profiles that range from the city’s most famous bodies of water, such as the Hudson and East Rivers, to lesser known ones such as the Erie Basin and Arthur Kill. A remarkable variety of personal perspectives emerges, from Larry Seaman (featured on the cover), the last professional eel fisherman left in the city, to Pamela Hepburn, one of the few women ever to work as a tugboat captain, and who raised her daughter onboard her 1907 tug, Pegasus. With black and white portrait photographs of each subject by Randy Duchaine, New York Waters catches the city and its people as its waterfront undergoes the largest and most historic changes in over a hundred years.