Ship to Shore - Design Bureau

All images of The Yankee by Navid Baraty

Ship to Shore

Monday, January 30th, 2012

When you picture Ellis Island, you often see the seafaring vessels that brought millions to America. But what about the work-a-day ferries that shuttled the new arrivals to Manhattan? As it turns out, there were lots of these boats, and one, The Yankee, still floats on the Hudson River. Here, photographer Navid Baraty talks to us about his work documenting The Yankee's rebirth as a houseboat and its special place in history.

Now that it's a houseboat, The Yankee's interior is so fun and whimsical.  What surprised you when you first stepped aboard?

That’s exactly what surprised me the most- just how interesting, colorful and quirky the interior is! The ship's exterior looks the way you’d imagine an over 100-year-old historic, wooden ship would look. But the interior is a whole other story!

You've photographed the historic ferry twice.  Have you covered all its spaces?

During my first shoot, I only shot a few rooms on the ship and the main, accessible areas. For the second shoot, I got to photograph all of the living quarters (5 total) and pretty much every thing from the chicken coop to the engine room.

What was the coolest part about photographing The Yankee?

The coolest part for me was just being able to sort of lose yourself in the ship. I found myself often imagining that I was somewhere far out at sea. That’s actually pretty easy to do until you catch a glimpse of the Manhattan skyline out of one of the portholes.