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Earth . . .  crushed rocky pieces of it . . . and

fire . . . at least its most widespread  fuel  . . .  move through the sixth boro all hours of day and night.  Franklin Reinauer approaches as Evening Mist distances.  Both earth and fire are essential

not only in the hinterland but also

in the metropolis to build and run.  Robert IV pushes the scow above.

How much aggregate comes from upriver, I’m not sure, but I’ve seen rafts of it float down at all hours  of day and night.

Petroleum has been refined in this area since the 1840s along Newtown Creek and since 1875 in Bayonne, then at Prentice Oil.  Ellen S. Bouchard leaves the Buttermilk.

Rock seems to head every which way, here Captain Zeke pushes through the Buttermilk into the East River.

Here Evening Tide spins Barge No. 262 into a berth along the Red Hook waterfront.  Now, identifying those buildings . . . starting from the tall ships at South Street Seaport at lower left:  Verizon Building; Conde Nast (41, with antenna);  Met Life (42)  with Bank of America Tower (4)  right behind it; Empire State building, of course; Met Life Tower (106);  New York Life, with elongated gold pyramid; Con Edison Building.  I’m not sure what the green-pyramid-tipped building behind the Con Ed Building is .  Also, notice schooner Pioneer in the lower right corner of the foto.   The numbers in parentheses denote rank among tallest buildings in the US.

A water train of aggregate pushes past the ventilator for the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel.

Charles D. McAllister assists Evening Tide get the barge into the berth.  In the background are the Manhattan-side Tower of Brooklyn Bridge; Chrysler Building (6); Citigroup Center (22); and (just behind Evening Tide’s upper wheelhouse) Trump World Tower.

Aegean Sea pushes empty rock scows past 1 New York Plaza, Manhattan’s southernmost skyscraper aka gratte-ciel.  The ferry terminals (at water level, left and right) have boats leaving for Staten Island and less frequently for Governors Island.

Patriot Service, port of registry New Orleans, pushes a light barge, most likely toward one of the refineries in the Kills.

Which brings us to the elephant in the elevator, so to speak, the ongoing issuing of liquid mineral in the Gulf of Mexico.  Lincoln Sea, below, is pushing DBL 140, so-named because its capacity is 140,000 barrels. Current estimates of the spill daily flow rate range from 5000 to 70,000 barrels; i.e., one of these barges full every two days for the top end of this range.  It may be hard to judge the dimensions of DBL 140:  504′ loa x 78′ x 37.’

Brooklyn has its own lingering spill under  Newtown Creek:  over 500,000 barrels of petroleum products.  See an article from today’s Times here.

Read Oil-Electric’s post on MV Joe Griffin‘s cargo  here.  Keep in mind that a common feature among all the buildings identified in this post is the inability to open their windows or (easily) do a walk-up.  One implication is that all of them are air-conditioned, i.e., unbearable and practically unscalable without electricity.

Thinking about the spill got me to reread Lisa Margonelli’s Oil on the Brain today: some stats from her book include … about 7000 fuel tanker truck accidents since 2000 leaving 49 people dead and (from the National Academy of Science, 2002) “drivers and (recreational) boaters spill more oil every year than the Exxon Valdez (11 million gallons);  leaking oil from cars and trucks and two-stroke engines adds nearly 19 million gallons to waterways and the sea every year.”  I presume that means in the US.

All fotos taken this week by Will Van Dorp.

Related but belated:  YouTube turns five years old today.  YouTube makes possible footage like this one of the worst ever offshore drilling accident, 1988, Piper Alpha, North Sea.

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May 2010