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How Cruise Ships Bring 1,200 Tons of Toxic Fumes to Brooklyn a Year

How Cruise Ships Bring 1,200 Tons of Toxic Fumes to Brooklyn a Year
Dec. 26, 2019

Many ports — all along the coast of California, in parts of Europe, even in China — have found a solution to idling luxury liners. In New York, they’re still a problem.

On a chilly fall morning in Red Hook, Brooklyn, the Queen Mary 2, the luxury liner known for its opulent black-tie dinners and ballroom dances, docked under blue skies while a fleet of 50 or so taxis jostled for position on the wharf.

Thousands of passengers disembarked. Looking dazed, they leaned on luggage in the hectic loading zone. It was a brusque re-entry after seven days of living a dream. Onboard, there had been a live orchestra for afternoon tea, a planetarium and a Canyon Ranch spa.

Between stops around the world, the ocean liner always returns to Brooklyn, its home port. It docks for about 11 hours, unloading and restocking on the edge of New York Harbor amid an endless procession of commuter ferries, like the one that motored by that day with Adam Armstrong on board.

As the ferry passed the Queen Mary’s mountainous hull, Mr. Armstrong steadied his footing. He focused his camera, yet again, on the object of his obsession.

“You have about six seconds to see it,” Mr. Armstrong said, pointing toward the industrial clutter on the pier that would soon block the view.