Ahoy there, me hearties!
Exciting news: our marine mortgage application has been approved, and we have a (tentative) date to go to Holland: 27th Feb. Are you excited? I’m excited…
In the meantime and to celebrate, I thought I’d share The Most Amazing Boat In The World. With pictures. I had the best dream about this a few nights ago, it was completely nuts, surreal and amazing (and more than slightly enhanced by our just having seen the incomparable Cirque du Soleil at the Royal Albert Hall that evening – I was flying). It all began years ago on Savage Thunder when my best girl Ruth sent me a magazine from New York featuring a couple of artist designers who’d bought the last remaining Ellis Island ferry and converted it into their home. It had chickens. it was a FERRY. It blew my tiny mind. And then I lost the magazine.
Fast forward ten+ years, and what should I stumble across in my ever increasing appetite for boat porn but a feature on the Yankee Ferry. So with copious adoration and gratitude to http://inhabitat.com for reuniting me with my long lost love and no further ado, here we go…
A mighty big place to call home. I wonder where their nearest neighbours are… Is that a yacht mast at the end?
This is a bit Damien Hirst/ self conscious, life-as-art for me; I wouldn’t want to have to go that far for a tomato. But I guess the challenge here is about filling space, and at that it’s quite clever. it goes with the rest of their thing. And oh look, there are the neighbours in their teeny weeny boats…
Front door. Incongruous! It’s nice that its not SO finished and scrubbed up… Ish… Is that a fridge?! And what is League Island?
I tell you what. If you were going to be a domestic chicken egg-layer, this would be a good coop to live in. Although I wonder how free-range they can be without grass to run about and scratch up grubs in? This is a somewhat moot point as we’re not thinking of getting chickens just now, although I’d like the idea of a turf roof, so they’d be ok if we did.
(Except for the small issue of the cat.)
The wheelhouse is a study… Can’t quite see how this works – why is the table on planks? So they can work from the chair? Why have they blocked the view and the wheel with speakers& gubbins? – I do yearn for a basket chair…
The dining room. This is my favourite. Imagine how many hopes and dreams have been hoped and dreamed by old world immigrants coming to start their lives in New York, peering eagerly out of these windows and sitting impatiently on these seats. Imagine living with all that history around you…
I also LOVE the suspended table. It looks like leather. Just beautiful.
And I love that I nearly didn’t see the GRAND PIANO at the end of the room because its so damn far away!
A corridor. Cosy!
The living room? Love the warmth and textures, and all the tiny details. Look at how they’ve painted the beams! It’s almost too much, I’ve got to admit, even for me. That chair on the right does not look comfortable. but i love the sofa, ceiling, soft hessian flooring, coffee table on wheels… This is the room I recognised ten years on. I’d been thinking about the stripey pole…!
Their design studio space. Saved from feeling like a dingy windowless engine storeroom by a bright lacquered canary yellow work top. Bold. Hai-YAH!
A guest bedroom. With all the original gubbins from when it accommodated who – crew? Immigrants? Crazy to imagine.
I like the blanket.
Ok so this is one of those fascinating/exasperating pieces of mysterious boat kit, the purpose and function of which baffles the uninitiated. It looks like a compass, but WHY does it have a bit of glass sticking out of it? This would stress me out. Answers on a postcard please.
And now the background from inhabitat:
“The home of Victoria and Richard MacKenzie-Childs is no ordinary houseboat. Registered as an historical vessel with the National Register of Historical Places, this floating oasis is in fact the last surviving Ellis Island Ferry, and a pretty swanky pad. Recently photographed by Navid Baraty, this incredible home is a studio and showroom for Victoria and Richard’s designs including furniture, jewelry, hand thrown terra cotta pots, lighting, and rugs.
Before nestling in the New York harbour as a cozy residence, the Yankee Ferry had a very exciting career spanning over 100 years. Built in 1907, the Yankee was first designed to carry passengers between Portland, Maine and the Calendar Islands in Casco Bay. Then after a brief career in Boston, she was enlisted in World War I, armed with two one-pounder guns and used to transport men and supplies along the East Coast.
After the war, the Yankee moved to New York where she was used to ferry immigrants from their incoming ships to Ellis Island. As many passengers traveled below deck, their first sights of the new world were very likely from the deck of the Yankee.
After extensive restorations, Victoria and Richard purchased the boat and settled into their New York time capsule of a home. In keeping with the spirit of recycling and preservation, the couple have integrated the ship’s most characteristic features into their everyday lives. The passenger deck serves as a beautiful dining room and the helm makes a cozy office space, whilst their expansive design studio is housed below deck.
Victoria has also built a “Polka Dot Garden,” of various vegetables growing out of 104 old truck tires on the adjacent dock. The garden includes a complete irrigation system running along the pavement, and Victoria reported corn growing over 9 feet tall last year. The couple also raise their own chicken aboard the ferry.
The historic boat could not be a more suitable gallery and home for the decorative artist duo, and though still operational, it remains docked in the New York City Harbor.”
Copy and images: inhabitat.com; Navid Baraty