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I have many more Gmelin photos, but as an indication that I still inhabit the present-day sixth boro, I’ll show some sign of life for a few days.
For outatowners, Gowanus Creek (now Canal) is one of the most polluted waterways in the US, which is no secret to locals. By the way, Gowanus rhymes with “you want us” with a silent “t.”
I took this photo this week just upstream of the 9th Street Bridge. In fact, when a man swam down the Canal last year, he wore some serious hazmat protection, as the Media Boat shows here.
What I was not aware of is how much effort is going into addressing the accumulated pollution of more than a century.
This barge holds several excavators at work in the Fourth Street Turning Basin, one of the dead ends in the Canal.
As needed, the barge is moved by this small tug/pushboat that might be called 1337E.
Besides black goop that I might photograph next time, wood and other detritus is being plucked from the bottom.
Gowanus, there’s hope. I’ll be back.
Near the upper left corner is JFK airport and the barrier beach along the bottom is the city of Long Beach, NY. The map makes clear how much of the debris swept off the barrier beach called Long Beach went into low lying marshes waiting to float off again at any higher tide and clutter the waterways through the green areas, the marshes of southwestern Long Island . . . not far from sixth boro waters.
Here’s where the landing craft from yesterday’s post plays a role. The vessel is now called Spartina, ex-Beach Comber, Eleanor S, and 56CM 751x, one of 15 identical landing craft built in Marinette in 1977.
The beauty of a landing craft is its shallow draft . . . .
Note the debris piled near the waterway . . . by the marsh ‘uns. When the landing cart arrives for removal, it does need some water, but not that much and not a dock.
If you have waders or are willing to get your feet wet,
or if you pick the right spot in the waterway at the right tide . . .
you can haul away what you would not want floating in the channel.
Other workboats in the delta include survey boats looking for sunken boats and cars, and
various and sundy other equipment moved by the tiniest of tugs.
Can anyone identify this vessel CW 12? I haven’t been able to yet.
Here are some other Sandy Aftermath posts.
A friend took these from her apartment on the dates specified. This one was October 27, looking across Shorefront Parkway in Queens . . . yes this is NYC. Notice the edge of an adjacent building along the left side of the foto, the walls of the handball courts “behind” the boardwalk, the “western” tip of Long Beach on the leftside horizon, and the street lights.
Dusk October 29.
Same location, midday October 30. Since that time, heavy machinery has moved in to break up and cart away the sections of boardwalk. I hope to followup with fotos. And a discussion has begun about what to do with the hardwoods of the boardwalk: Angelique, teak, pine, ipe, Cumaru, greenheart . . . Click here and here for typical articles. And as for sewage systems, the news is not good either.
Here’s a foto Elizabeth took today as I drove along Belt Parkway . . . yacht still along the park.
Thanks to Barbara and Elizabeth for these fotos. FWIW, Barbara . . . who went to work every day after November 5, managed to do so without heat, electricity, or running water.
Sandy? Of course, if you live inland from a beach, you may be scoured by the stuff.
These signs appeared along the NJ Turnpike today.
I had to return to the sixth boro from a little time spent in Philly. I saw Lois Ann L. Moran (2009, Washburn & Doughty) pass quite close to Penn’s Landing, but she was way up by Fishtown by the time I could grab my camera.
High Roller (1969, Jakobson) passed also, but the light hardly allowed Roller‘s brilliance to show. Scroll through for a foto of High Roller and her siblings with unique names in a post I did here over two years ago. The dome is the Camden aquarium, where some float-through-and-over-anything hippos live.
Two weeks ago, these small craft bobbed resplendent in summery sunny, but now a storm that should be called stormy or squally or even super-tempestuous dulls their colors.
For now, get to high ground; otherwise, batten ’em down. Dog’em. Double’em up.
All fotos today by Will Van Dorp.
Here’s some sixth boro area tempests of past years. As I post this (1700 hrs), Queen Mary 2, Maersk Kentucky, and Yasa Golden Dardanel are among the last large vessels leaving boro6 for the safety of sea.
gCaptain comments on vessel heading counter-to-trend with paramount urgency . . . here.
Bowsprite made my jolly Easter even jollier with her post here, rendering the silvery ovoids of Newtown Creek aubergine. These digester eggs are an essential part of keeping the harbor clean. See this DEP link as a starter. Boston has similar structures on Deer Island, which are part of the same process.
Here’s another shot of Newtown Creek’s facility, as viewed from Peter Cooper Village across the East River.
And yet another view . . . as seen from a boat on the Creek, the loins of 19th century industrial New York. Yes, that’s the now-scrapped Kristin Poling back in 2010.
As bowsprite points out in her post . . . yes, there is a proverbial “recreation area intertwined with a waste disposal equipment” around these eggs . . . a boat launch, a minipark with historical info on local names like this.
This DEP vessel Red Hook is the newest addition to the NYC DEP fleet, which I wrote about quite some time ago here. If you’ve ever seen a vessel of these colors in the sixth boro, you’ve witnessed NYC fertilizer production at work.
Enough seriousness . . . . this post has to be leading into a gassy direction. Imagine this as a multi-hued digester filled with so much lighter-than-air vapor that it came loose from its Newtown Creek moorings.
OK . . . back to my serious world. All silliness aside, New York City school kids DO come down to the park around the eggs to see and learn . . . using this “scavenger hunt guide.”
All fotos by Will Van Dorp.
(Doubleclick enlarges most fotos.) When I visited Village Community Boathouse (VCB) late last winter, we discussed a “photographic rowfari” to the Gowanus, come spring. Spring has arrived, and so . .. yesterday, John Magnus and JML
making a stop to greet the folks at Red Hook Boaters near Valentino Pier before
past the experiment vessel Jerko
huge bubbles? Reverse maelstrom? Vortex reversus? Belch of sludge lusus naturae? Maybe it’s just evidence that the flushing canal actually functions in spite of its sisyphean task of cleaning what has been rendered most foul?
In spite of Gowanus‘ uberpolluted condition, an ecosystem exists, with feral cats,
an intrepid canoe club,
Is the intention of this sign (above a novel use of tires) to invite us back? See the VCB version of events here.
Questions I have are . . . how soon might the Canal’s Superfund status show results?
Related and very important . . . if you’re in a human-powered and relatively small vessel, be aware that you are difficult to spot for huge cargo vessels of all kinds that travel fast and have limited maneuverability. Read Towmasters post here
Fred Trooster sent me these fotos a few weeks back from the province of Holland, in the land of windmills. Not to push the “maricentric” idea too selectively, but this is truly a unique celebration of green on blue, produce on a canal system, small scale short sea shipping . . . if you will. These fotos are from the “varend corso westland,” where varend . . . is related to the English word faring as in seafaring. Enjoy.
I’d love to see some of these parades.
Happy Earth Day. By the way, what % of the total US energy diet comes from solar and wind at this moment? Answer below.
Unrelated: mini-offering vessels float on Ganges-in-Queens.
Answer: a miniscule 1.7%. Read the story here.
Related: 37 “ridiculous” types of things removed from NJ beaches . . . .
If the repurposed green-painted police launch in the sixth boro can be called Big G, I guess this is gargantuan G, although judging by the weldprints in the portside bow, it has a history; for two decades it was an icebreaker/sealer named Polarbjorn (153′ x 38′ x 17′) launched in Norway in 1975. Then, 15 years ago, it was chartered by
Greenpeace. I wish I could be around when the history of the 21st century gets written because I’d love to know who the winners will be and (among countless other groups) how Greenpeace will then be viewed. Even “losers” who fight good fights would be interesting to see through “future history’s long lens.” They do know they have enemies . . . many of them, but sometimes I’m proud of who considers me to be an enemy. Compare the bow in the foto below with what you see in this video at 1:30. The comments in these two videos bespeak the controversies.
Arctic Sunrise has been docked at Chelsea Piers for the past few days, at the same location where Steve Irwin docked almost a year ago.
I didn’t get a tour, but I wondered about the sign “pigmy deck,” one I’ve never seen before.
All fotos by Will Van Dorp.
I have deliberately declined ads on this blog, as you know. Occasionally, I’m told, the blogging hosts runs them around the margin. If you see one of those, I have the same policy as bowsprite . . . posted upper right here: “mention
bowsprite tugster for 15% off your next cutter suction head purchase.” I understand there’s the 45th iteration of an obscure sports event on TV Sunday (Feb 6) that features ads in order to draw in viewers. Here are some of their ad examples.
But this post spotlights an ad poster (below) I noticed on the Staten Island ferry. When I saw the ad, I suddenly understood a spate of news articles of the past months, mentioning an increase in the numbers of large marine mammals congregating around the Narrows. Bowsprite, in fact, scooped this story nearly two years ago, with a foto from… of course … a working mariner. Here’s a Cornell U article, and only recently have mainstream media caught on here and here. Eureka! I get it. I know why they’re here.
Whales have been attracted in by lucrative contracts in the advertising sector. I can see the future, and it involves a lot of breaching, large cetaceans . . . in exchange amounts of krill and sardines . . . leaping and playing in the bay to show off the text on their sandwich boards or painted or –ouch!! . . . tattooed into their flanks. If whales can manage flight, we may soon see a Fuji whale or a Goodyear one. Advertising is vibrant . . . unarrestible! ever dynamic!
If you’re wondering which obscure team I back for this event tomorrow, my answer is “neither.” I’m wearing some red underwear and off to drive away the sea beast (or mountain beast) called Nian. Why wear red? See below the foto. Why this foto? Answer comes next week. A clue though . . . this foto was taken mere hundreds of feet from where mermaids waddle ashore each summer solstice.
From wikipedia: “Hongjun Laozu was the monk who is told about in the myth of Chinese New Year. He was the person who captured Nian, the great beast that terrorised the people of China every Chinese New Year.
Every Chinese New Year was a time of suffering and fear for the people of China because of Nian, the great beast. One Chinese New Year’s Eve, a monk named HongJun LaoZu came to a village in China. He saw how everyone looked sad and frightened, so he went to a young man and said “Why are you so sad? It is Chinese New Year, a time for celebration.” The man replied “Do you not know? Have you not heard about Nian? He comes every New Year and terrorises us, even eats us.” The monk said “I will go and reason with Nian.” So off he went, to find Nian.
When HongJun LaoZu came to Nian, he said “Nian, I have come to reason with you. Stop eating and terrorising the people of China.” But Nian Said “HoHo. You have delivered yourself to me old man, now I will eat you.” “Oh, but what will that prove? Eating me isn’t great! Would you dare to eat the poisonous snakes on the mountains?” “Bah! What’s so difficult about that?” So Nian went to the poisonous snakes and ate them up. “How is this? Am I not great?” “At the back of the mountain there are many great beasts. Can you subdue them?” So Nian went and scared all of the dangerous beasts out of the back of the mountain.
“Old man, now its time for me to eat you!” “OK just wait while I take my clothes off, I will taste much better then”. So the old man took his clothes off to reveal his undergarments, which were red. “OK you can eat me now.” But Nian said “Ah! a red undergarment! I dearly hate red, get out of my sight quickly.” “HaHa! I knew you were afraid of red!” so the old man went into the town on top of Nian and said “Dear villagers, do not be afraid. Nian is most terrified of red. From now on each house must paste red on each of their doors to prevent Nian creating havoc.”
After that, the people started to paste red paper on their front doors before New Year’s Day.
The foto above here by Faith. Two top fotos by Will Van Dorp.
Unrelated: Congratulations to Aleksander Doba, a 64-year-old who paddled across the Atlantic!
… er …short sea shipping (Shortsie Shipping) should save significant stress and other things. Read my two previous posts here. Shortsie is long-sighted: imagine the foto below as about 100 trucks you don’t have to follow on the roads this morning. And one tug–Catherine Turecamo–puts much less stuff into the air than 100 trucks.
The two engines here–Catherine Turecamo and Little Bear–move the goods of 100s of trucks, and fire red Little Bear is way cuter than any single truck. More Little Bear soon.
this one moved by Thomas D. Witte, dozens fewer trucks in your traffic lanes. Thanks, Shortsie. Anyone know of good websites on sixth boro and Hudson River efforts to promote Shortsie? Bowsprite has been exerting many tons of bollard pull there herself: check it out.
Notice the Empire State Building blimp mooring in the background?
All fotos today by Will Van Dorp.