The sea is ever-present in New York City. Endlessly churning between the boroughs, green, blue, soothing, comforting, and dark. Powerful, it can drown out the noise and clamor of the city while washing the shores with seaweed, algae, debris, and glass. Crashing waves in the dark on Coney Island, flying fish hurtling themselves out of the water in Jamaica Bay—there exists a delicate balance between the edges and boundaries of land and sea.
It’s the morning of July 15 and Captain Mike’s fishing boat is full to capacity and buzzing with the 5th annual Suzanne Baldwin’s memorial fishing trip. Suzanne passed away much too young and every summer her daughters, mother, sisters, and friends celebrate her life by fishing and spending time together in Jamaica Bay. Like Suzanne, it is a raucous, spirited party and her friends speak directly. “Death is all around us,” one of the women tells me, “but that’s what makes life precious. See those little sparkles of light on the water? That’s heaven, heaven on earth.”
Maureen Drennan (@maureenrdrennan) is a photographer born and based in New York City. Her work has been included in exhibitions at the National Portrait Gallery, Washington DC, the Tacoma Art Museum Seattle, Washington, the Rhode Island School of Design Museum, Aperture, Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, Colorado Photographic Arts Center, and the Newspace Center for Photography, amongst others.
Her images have been featured in The New Yorker, The New York Times, California Sunday Magazine, Huffington Post, Photograph Magazine, Photo District News, American Photo, UK Telegraph, Refinery 29, and the Economic Hardship Reporting Project.
She currently teaches at LaGuardia Community College and the International Center for Photography in New York City.