You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Newtown Creek’ tag.

With Valentine’s Day only a dozen days away, how about a honey boat for your honey . . . and you?


Click on the image below to find details.  Newtown Creek, the GUP carrier, really can be yours for a mere $235,000, unless someone takes the bid higher.  Click here and here for some of my previously posted photos of NYC GUP carriers.  And for the record, they do NOT take the honey out of the harbor to dump out at sea . . . not since 1991 at least.  The photo of Newtown Creek above I took in October 2011.


Seriously, although you’d have considerable work and expense transforming the above skiff into a vehicle for romance, you would be starting from a vessel with exquisitely sweet lines. This smaller skiff or many of them then could serve as tenders.

. . . my latest coined term . . . for which the acronym GUP lends itself is  . . . gross universal product, i.e. what’s transported in vessels like these.  And it really is “universal,” as evidenced by a Hong Kong vessel like this.   That it is gross . . . let me say that it goes without saying.


Newtown Creek and Red Hook belong to two generations of NYCDEP vessels traveling along the East River . . . past places like this in these photos from 2012.  Red Hook came to transport GUP in 2009, the latest sludge carrier until


this one —Hunts Point–came along this February . . . in a photo compliments of bowsprite


Newtown Creek was launched in 1968 . . . and still carries a lot of GUP.


North River . . . 1974. Imagine your garbage being picked up by a 1974 Oshkosh!


Owls Head, the previous class and shown here in 2009 mothballed, launched in 1952!  And I had to find some 1952 waste picker uppers.


In case you’re wondering what prompts this post and what is new in this post, given previous ones like this and this  . . .  well here it is, something I hunted for a long time and finally found yesterday when the air-conditioned New York Public Library felt fantastic!   Mayor La Guardia spent a grand total of $1,497,000–much of it WPA money–for three sludge carriers launched in January, February, and March 1938, Wards Island, Tallman Island, and Coney Island, resp.  Wards Island and Tallman Island became barges Susan Frank and Rebecca K and Coney Island was reefed in 1987, although I can’t find where.


Below are the specs.  Note that “sludge” is NOT raw GUP.  I’d love to hear stories bout and see pics of these Island class DEP boats.  How large were the crews and what was the work schedule?


Click on the photo below for info on what was at least part of waste disposal–built in Elizabethport 1897— prior to La Guardia’s sludge tankers.


Here from the NYC Municipal Archives is a dumping boat said to be hauled out at “East River Dry docks,”  which I’m not sure the location of.


Unrelated, here’s another vessel–Pvt. Joseph F. Merrell-– built at the same location along the KVK in early 1951 and disposed of not far away after transitioning from Staten Island Merrell-class ferry to NYC prison space.  Does anyone know the disposition of Don Sutherland’s photos of Merrell/Wildstein?

All these photos come from bowsprite, who is known to scale the cliffs and trees of lower Manhattan to photograph and sketch the ships go by.  From auspicious time to time, she shares her photos with me, as she did recently.

Northbound . . . Stad Amsterdam in formation with a sludge tanker.


This past Sunday she caught Topaz.  Some years back, I caught Skat, a yacht built by the same yard.


Here and here were photos of Stad Amsterdam I’ve taken in recent years.


The Intermarine vessel (Industrial Echo taken on April 6) is evidence of expansion of wind power generation upriver.  Thanks to David Silver for identifying the ship.


In the foreground Gateway tug Bridgeport (Thanks for the help!)  and in the distance the all-knowing, never shrinking from difficult work Michele Jeanne.


As we move through these photos, bowsprite must have descended the trees or cliffs, because here she’s incorporated early spring arboreal detail into her compositions . . . Gran Couva (with “lower” Jersey City) and


Afrodite and Stad Amsterdam and


Voge Freeway.


For the current tip of bowsprite’s opus, click here.  For the most recent tugster post showing her work, click here.  Her photos clearly show the variety of large vessel traffic northbound between Manhattan and Jersey City/Hoboken.

I am grateful to bowsprite for her permission to use these photos.  To see and buy her work online, click 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.

What if engineers could isolate the light gaseous by-products of digestion so that passenger

craft like this one that circled the harbor last weekend could be exotic-fuel powered?

More digesters in evolution?

And this bit of blue jetsam along the KVK . . . might it expand to digester size . .  and if so . .  what might hatch from this?

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.

Bernie sent me this foto about two years ago.  I loved it.  I’d asked permission to use different of his fotos before–and he always said yes.   For this foto, I never asked.   I just looked at it regularly, admiring it.  I’m sure he wouldn’t mind my using his foto today in his memory.  May he live on in his work.

Bernie lived near and advocated for a rebirth of Newtown Creek;  some friends went there yesterday to … remember him and to carry on.  Here some white flowers float on the Creek as if they were on fine black marble.

Bernie was an inspiration

to me and

other folks.  Enjoy these google images of Newtown Creek.

Each of the following tugster posts have at least one foto contributed by Bernie:  December 12, 2009; September 9, 2009; September 21, 2008;  August 15, 2008;

Bernie . . . we carry on.

Monday of this week I saw Kenny G for only the second time.  Scroll through here for a foto from my first sighting.

Kenny G was docked halfway up Newtown Creek with a deck barge on the nose.

No summertime blues here.

Please go back to yesterday’s post and suggest a caption there so that a few more options can be added to the contest poll.

All Kenny G fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Anyone have more info on the sweet summertime lapis blue tug raising spirits in one of the most contaminated waterways in the US?

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