Wednesday, March 03, 2010

The Real Gowanus Canal

As mentioned at the end of yesterday's post, yesterday's picture turns out NOT to be one of the Gowanus Canal. "My bad", as the kids say.

For a view of the REAL Gowanus Canal (warts, oil slicks, dead things and all), check out this very nice slide show at the New York Times website.

Thanks again, Tugster, for both the heads-up on my error & the link!

And speaking of the oil slicks - a few years ago, there was a threat of a transit strike. Yes, there was a real transit strike too, this was a few years before that one, and in the summertime. I was living in Windsor Terrace & working in the World Trade Center at the time & I had sort of been toying with the slightly goofy idea of finding someplace on the Gowanus to stash one of my kayaks & using that to get to work. I wasn't really serious about it - crossing the harbor from Brooklyn to NY at rush hour would be less-than-fun endeavor what with all the fast ferries screaming around - but the idea got killed stone dead the day the transit workers staged a morning rush-hour slowdown. I ended up getting stranded at Smith Street with about a zillion other people & as is my wont when faced with really serious rush hour weirdness, I decided to just get off the train, call the office to let them know I was stuck, go have breakfast somewhere & then come back & give it another shot. The Smith Street station is on the section of the F line that's elevated to cross the canal & you come out of the station very close to it. I crossed back over the canal at street level, got a good close look at the oily sheen on the water & instantly dropped the whole kayak-commuting concept.

As I mentioned yesterday, I'd like to paddle there sometime - but all the Ajax in the world wouldn't get me to put one of my own boats in that muck!

6 comments:

clairesgarden said...

hmmmm....borrow a boat and get it all yucky.....
I used to have to clean 'slicks' off the side of my boat paddling in the Clyde sometimes.

pia said...

OK sometimes I don't miss NY that much )
I wouldn't miss it at all if the weather would warm up

moonstruck said...

A note on Newtown Creek

Newtown Creek EPA Report released September 12, 2007


The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is overseeing cleanup and remediation of the Newtown Creek/Greenpoint oil spill in Brooklyn, N.Y. EPA conducted, at the request of Congress, a study of the public health and safety issues related to the oil spill. Government officials detected the Newtown Creek/Greenpoint oil spill in 1978 and estimated that the some 17 million gallons of petroleum covered more than 50 acres of underground area. Free product exists in large amounts on the water table between Monitor Street and Kingsland Avenue, and extends southeast near the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. Residual petroleum contamination exists in local groundwater, native soil and fill materials. About half of the spilled oil has been recovered by several oil companies.

Newtown Creek Oil Spill: A review of Remedial Progress (1979 - 20007) - September

17 million gallons is like a super tanker???

Dennis G

Carol Anne said...

A couple of years ago, it was discovered that an aviation fuel pipeline under Kirtland Air Force Base had been leaking for an unknown (but long) duration, leaving a bubble of hundreds of thousands of gallons of fuel on top of the water in the aquifer. Air Force engineers came up with what, to them, was a clever solution: pump the fuel out of the ground using pumps that would burn said fuel.

Ohhhh-kay ...

amovablebridge said...

The first picture in the Times slide show is of a canoe, not a kayak as they mention in the caption. You'd think the NY Times would know the difference.

-Brian

Don said...

(from the Times link) "But in a conference call with reporters, Judith A. Enck, the E.P.A. administrator for the region, "

A double-take when I see someone I know in the Times. Didn't know she'd moved to EPA.

Anyhow.. maybe you just need a designated Gowanus boat that will never sully your rackspace at Sebago.