While most New Yorkers are familiar with the Gowanus Canal – the pollution, and the ongoing discussions concerning its cleanup efforts – less are aware of the equally (if not more) polluted Newtown Creek. Located in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, this three-and-a-half-mile-long estuary used to be one of the most heavily used waterways in the country, making it one of the most polluted as well. In fact, the creek is the site of one of the largest oil spills in U.S history – the culmination of decades of oil leakage. The creek is currently undergoing cleanup efforts after it received a Superfund from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2010. As the clean up efforts continue, EPA contractors are sure to dig up some interesting, and potentially disturbing, facts from the creek’s past.
In the meantime, here’s our own list of secrets about Newtown Creek:
The Gowanus Canal is one of the most polluted waterways in the United States. The predominantly derelict waterway, now used for the transportation of certain goods (notably fuel oil and scrap metal), used to be a thriving urban/industrial waterway for Brooklyn’s maritime activity. It served as a commercial epicenter for thousands of people who worked on the canal and for the families who lived in the neighborhood. Today, however, most discussions pertaining to the waterway are focused around pollution and plans for its clean-up.
This part of the canal’s history is brought to life by Gowanus Underworld, a multimedia project created by artist Christina Kelly and author Amy Sohn, as part of a Gowanus-themed group show called Falling In, at Trestle Projects. On display from October 1st to October 22nd (and extended until October 28th by appointment), the exhibition consists of a series of objects found on the banks of the Gowanus, coupled with audio monologues that bring to life the dramas of everyday life on the canal from the minds of those who experienced them.
Fall is officially in full swing. As we start to embrace its chilly breeze and indulge in treats, such as cider and everything Pumpkin related, there’s another aspect of the season that’s worth visiting – the striking, bedazzling colors of fall foliage.
While the beautiful array of colors may not be as noticeable in New York City, there are still plenty of places both in and nearby the City where New Yorkers can enjoy the splendors of autumn.
In the midst of a medley of stores, bodegas, and warehouses in Bushwick lies a little patch of farmland. Surrounded by a liquor store and a smoke shop, Oko Farm has an entrance as nondescript as you can get. The fence does little to justify the haven that lies behind the shack that spans the length of the lot. But look carefully and you may notice the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation sign and a tattered laminated diagram —the only indicator of the aquaponics farm within.
Image via Sands Point Preserve Conservancy
Sumptuous mansions, extravagant parties, lavish outfits and exotic cars – these are some of the scenes portrayed by F. Scott Fitzgerald in his book, The Great Gatsby, about the Gold Coast of Long Island during the Roaring ’20s. Inspired by visits to Long Island, Fitzgerald’s book takes place in an era when wealthy New Yorkers, seeking a more bucolic retreat from their urban lives, built opulent estates on the north shore of Long Island.
Of the grand mansions of that era that remain today, many have been demolished but many others have been re-purposed and renovated, functioning as venues for special events and weddings. Others have been converted into educational centers and museums.
Here are ten of these grand mansions from Long Island’s Gold Coast Era:
Image via Wikimedia Commons
New York City has a plethora of prominent locations, landmarks and buildings that are widely known by people around the world through film and television – even more so after the ramping up of the Made in NY program that offered incentives to encourage production right in the city.
While we often focus on locating more of the obscure film locations in current television and movies, we’re going back in time today to showcase some of the most iconic New York City spots that have appeared on the big screen: