A Mason & Hamlin grand piano appeared last week in New York City’s East River, but how it got there remains a mystery. “I’ve seen some strange things along the East River before. I’ve never seen a piano, just extraordinary to see that,” one man told WNYW Fox 5. He continued, theorizing, “My thought is just someone was at a boat and just tossed it into the water.”
The non-functioning piano sits upright, perfectly placed on the Manhattan side under the Brooklyn Bridge, leading some to doubt it was a happy accident. “I’m thinking either somebody put it here, because in the water, there’s no way, you know it couldn’t just float right here,” said an onlooker.
WNYW emailed the New York Police Department, who referred them to the Department of Sanitation, who then sent them to the Department of Environmental Protection, who then pointed to the Parks Department, where a spokesman said it wasn't their issue. The station even asked the piano makers, Mason & Hamlin, but came up with nothing.
One piano visitor commented, “Whoever did it, kudos to them. It makes a great shot.” Many agree and the East River piano has become a social media sensation and inspired locals and tourists to post photos with the waterlogged ivories.
Back in January 2011, another grand piano showed up on a sandbar in Florida’s Biscayne Bay. Eventually 16-year-old Nicholas Harrington came forward and explained that he, with help from his brother and neighbors, was responsible for placing the piano out there. It was an effort he was hoping would get him into a prestigious art school.
The mystery of the East River piano remains unsolved, but many agree with one delighted observer who said, “It’s too magical to be an accident.”