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Thread: Newtown Creek

  1. #91
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Charming .


    Greenlit Boathouse for Greenpoint's "Fetid" Newton Creek



    Let the record show that the state of New York is fully willing to let Greenpointers kayak in polluted waters. Reversing an earlier decision kowtowing to the Bloomberg administration's fears that a public boathouse at the end of Manhattan Avenue would endanger residents, the state has approved the $3 million Newtown Creek building. The boathouse, which will house storage for 40 kayaks and a "nautical education center," will now come with a safety manual "that reminds kayakers to avoid swimming in the fetid creek, eating fish and crabs in from the creek, or boating within three hours of a rainfall, when sewage spills into the canal."

    State approves Greenpoint boathouse [Brooklyn Paper]

    http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2011/1...eader_comments

  2. #92
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    Ewwwww......


    They need to correct the problems BEFORE making it a real estate "treasure".

  3. #93
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    Yes, correct = backfilling the whole thing with 30 feet of cement

  4. #94

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    NO.....this area has great potential. You only need to 'see it' to 'believe it'. I am extending on open invitation to any WNY member to take a kayak tour of Newtown Creek: just send me a PM and we will start putting the trip plans together. The group will be limited to 3, so I can not accommodate all requests for the tour. PM me any time. Cheers

  5. #95
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    How the Newtown Creek Area is Faring After the Storm



    [Despite severe flooding during Hurricane Sandy, the city has plans to create two massive residential developments at the mouth of the highly polluted Newtown Creek. All photos by Nathan Kensinger.]

    "The storm was a good thing," said Mitch Waxman, looking down into the murky waters of the Newtown Creek, "in that it raised people's awareness. It's kind of the wake up call to this archipelago city of ours." As the author of The Newtown Pentacle, Waxman spends most of his free time exploring the side streets of the Newtown Creek, a Superfund site between Brooklyn and Queens that is one of the most polluted bodies of water in the United States. During Hurricane Sandy, the creek surged past its banks, inflicting enormous flood damage along its entire 3.5 mile length, leading to evacuations, illness, and millions of dollars in repairs. And yet at the mouth of this polluted industrial waterway, where the surge flooded entire neighborhoods with millions of gallons of water, the city plans to build a pair of massive new developments—Greenpoint Landing and Hunter's Point South—which will bring tens of thousands of new residents to this flood zone.

    "Do you really want to have residential so close to the water?" asked Willis Elkins of the North Brooklyn Boat Club, who watched from a bridge as the storm flooded from the Newtown Creek into Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Elkins has canoed every inch of the Newtown Creek, observing firsthand the slow return of nature to a blighted waterway. "I would like to see some of the areas converted back to salt marshes and wetlands that would act as a sponge for storm surges," said Elkins. "I'd love to see oyster reefs around the harbor." The city, however, is insistent on plans to increase population density throughout New York's flood zones. In his recent State of the City address, Mayor Bloomberg announced that Greenpoint Landing would bring 5,000 units of Zone A housing to the Newtown Creek's mouth. "Our administration has fundamentally changed the way we conduct waterfront development," said Bloomberg. "But Sandy raised the bar—and now we must rise to the occasion." What will this mean for the Newtown Creek?



    "Its pretty easy to see how it happened," said Mitch Waxman, standing on a bridge above the Dutch Kills, an offshoot of the Newtown Creek where millions of gallons of water flooded ashore into Queens, submerging Hunter's Point and Long Island City. "Basically a bubble of water came up the Newtown Creek."



    "This was a raging torrent," said Waxman, looking down Borden Avenue, where the storm surge from the Dutch Kills rushed past industrial businesses and into the Queens Midtown Tunnel, filling it with 30 million gallons of polluted water. "In Dutch Kills, they've got typhus, gonorrhea, and cholera."



    "I'm 50 yards away from Borden," said Long Island City resident Nicholas Knight, whose ground level apartment is across the street from the Queens Midtown Tunnel entrance. "If that stuff hadn't gone into the tunnel, I think it would have come here." His home in evacuation Zone B was miraculously not submerged, but was surrounded by water. "We really were a little peninsula."



    At the Murano building, around the corner from Knight's apartment, residents were evacuated after the storm surge cut power to the building and "backed-up sewage pipes spewed six feet of feces into the basement," according to the Queens Chronicle. The building, named after an island in Italy, is located at the edge of Zone A, as are many of the new luxury residential towers that have sprung up in the area.



    In Long Island City, "you are surrounded by water, more then you realize," said Willis Elkins. The neighborhood was flooded from three directions, with water from the East River, the Newtown Creek, and the Dutch Kills. The city, though, is moving forward with its plans for Hunter's Point South, a mega-project which will put 5,000 new units of housing into the flood zone at the mouth of the Newtown Creek.



    City Harvest, a business which provides food for the homeless from its headquarters at the mouth of the creek, lost its entire fleet of trucks during the storm. "There was no distinguishing between river, lot and land," said Mitch Waxman. When Hunter's Point South is complete, City Harvest will be replaced by two residential towers rising up to 400 feet.



    Greenpoint Landing will be built across the creek from Hunter's Point South, also in Zone A. It will replace land used for truck parking, playgrounds, and movie shoots, on the same street where several buildings suffered severe flood damage during the Hurricane Sandy.



    "The impacts were wildly different from property to property," said Kate Zidar, the executive director of the Newtown Creek Alliance. At the Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center (GMDC), water flooded the basement electrical system, according to Zidar, while next door at 99 Commercial Street, "a labyrinth of artist spaces and galleries were flooded."



    "It was more of a state of emergency then people realize," said Kristana Textor, a Greenpoint resident who lives in Zone A. "The police had a van going by with an announcement saying mandatory evacuation," said Textor. "We had food, we had water, we had a go bag packed...we decided not to evacuate."



    During the storm surge, the Newtown Creek "came up through the sewers," said Textor, flooding Greenpoint from beneath the streets. Water emerged from sewer grates along McGuinness Avenue, flooding past the Box House Hotel. "The water that was lapping at our front door was brown sea water," said Textor. "I can only conclude it was water and sewage."



    At the end of Textor's block is the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, the largest sewage treatment plant in New York City. During the storm, "Newtown Creek Plant itself never stopped operating," said Kate Zidar, but was surrounded on all sides by floodwaters. "It was a moat."



    Alongside the millions of gallons of raw sewage being processed at the plant's digester eggs, "they have huge amounts of toxic chemicals," said Kate Zidar, which are used to treat the sewage. "That would be really disgusting and a problem if the sewage treatment plant flooded," said Kristana Textor.



    Down at the creek's edge, the North Brooklyn Boat Club's headquarters were "totally flooded," according to Willis Elkins. "We figured it might it might flood but we didn't think it would be four feet." Since the storm, Elkins has taken several canoe trips out onto the creek. "It was really nasty—the oil slicks on the creek stayed for a week or so."



    "It's almost like the storm surges are just one more thing to worry about," said Elkins. The boat club didn't suffer severe damage, but their neighbors across the creek at the Hunter's Point Sailboat Sanctuary lost at least one boat during the storm. "I thought they were done for."



    "These storms are going to become larger and more frequent," said Kate Zidar, who worked with Riverkeeper and GMDC to create the Newtown Creek BOA, a comprehensive, award-winning plan for the area. "If we have a larger flood on the Newtown Creek, we are going to see the impact on the residential zone in a much more dramatic way."

    —Nathan Kensinger

    Official site: Nathan Kensinger [kensinger.blogspot.com]

    http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2013/0..._the_storm.php

  6. #96
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    The cat looks more than a little worse for wear, not to mention this whole sorry area.


    Photos: Explore The "Poison Cauldron" Of Newtown Creek

    by Lauren Evans

    (photos by Tod Seelie / Gothamist)







    Newtown Creek Alliance Historian Mitch Waxman points out the
    arbitrary line demarcating what the city deems "safe" for habitation.

    Newtown Creek, one of the outer boroughs' finest channels of radioactive fecal matter, has captured the imagination of urban explorers and amateur historians around the city—understand the history of Newtown Creek, and you're on your way to knowing a hell of a lot about New York's industrial past.

    You'd be hard-pressed to find an explorer more enthusiastic about the creek's past and present than Mitch Waxman. Known as the official historian of the Newtown Creek Alliance, his interest in Ole' Black Mayonnaise was born a few years back when his doctor told him he had to start running, for the health of his heart. But "having grown up in Brooklyn, the only thing that’s gonna make me run is if something’s chasing me," he said. He took up walking as a compromise, bringing a camera along with him to document anything interesting. Turns out he found plenty to photograph.

    "You have this urban nightmare in the middle of the city—I call it the currently undefended border of Brooklyn and Queens," he told us during an interview last week. "It’s an absolute wonderland. If you’re into infrastructure, if you’re into tug boats, any of the big industry stuff— phew, you just found heaven."

    Waxman offers regular tours of what he refers to as the "Poison Cauldron," a three mile expanse of Greenpoint that covers the site of the disastrous Greenpoint Oil Spill and the damned Kosciuszko Bridge. "Everybody knows the oil story over at Greenpoint, but that’s just a part of the oil story of Newtown Creek," he said. "If you were to drop back a hundred years in time to the first World War, there was more traffic movement along the Newtown Creek than the entire Mississippi River."

    The first part of the tour leads participants past sites of various quondam refineries, the most important of which was Standard Oil, eventually to become Exxon Mobil. Waxman said the company still has a visible presence along the water, apparent to anyone who knows where to look: "They have a whole series of wells which are slurping up the Greenpoint oil spill. They do it very quietly, but they have several hundred recovery wells operating all over the area."

    Most, he said, are camouflaged by other businesses or hidden behind fences. But why? "If you heard that there was free petroleum flowing out of the ground, you’d be over there with a bucket in ten minutes," he said. It's happened before: "About 15 years ago, there was some guy in Greenpoint who decided to set up a drill in his backyard. He was actually trying to harvest oil from the Greenpoint spill to heat his house." But once the drill punched through the limestone crust that sits beneath Greenpoint, the entire neighborhood began to reek of oil. "Apparently DEC had to drive around with specialized equipment to track down where this was, and at this guy’s house, they find a derrick in his backyard," he said.

    Tourgoers then move along to the Meeker Avenue plumes, a concentration of "hazardous vapors" composed of chemicals that continue to hover over the ground—the noxious specter of dry cleaners past. It then ambles past the former Penny Bridge, which was replaced by the Kosciuszko Bridge in 1939.

    Waxman cheekily refers to the area below the bridge as DUKBO—(Down Under the Kosciuszko Bridge Overpass)—"simply because I think we should get ahead of the real estate guys on this stuff." Unlike its Manhattan Bridge counterpart, DUKBO is populated not by wealthy loft owners and a well-manicured park, but a concentration of waste transfer stations, which together process around 40 percent of the 12 million tons of trash New York generates on a given day.

    Waxman says his Poison Cauldron tour gives inquisitive New Yorkers a rare chance to pull aside the filth-streaked curtain and take a look at the inner-workings of their city. "Ninety-nine percent of New Yorkers don’t know Newtown Creek is there. They don’t know what happens to their garbage after it gets picked up, they don’t know where the gasoline in their car comes from, and they really have no clue about what these communities look like," he said. "I operate under the concept of 'it’s not good, it’s not bad, it just is.' Mainly I'm trying to build some awareness so people can make their own decisions."

    By offering people a glimpse of the past, Waxman says he also hopes to inspire thoughts about the future. "The community really needs to start thinking about what they want the Newtown Creek of 2100 to look like. Do we want to think about it as an industrial base that even today supplies 18,000 blue collar jobs? Do we want to start thinking of converting it over to some sort of public space, or green space?"

    "I just want people to start becoming familiar with the area, and understanding the consequences of the lifestyle we all lead."

    Several more pics at Gothamist

  7. #97
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    Greenpointers Officially Approve Newtown Barge Park

    February 15, 2015, by Rowley Amato



    Despite some recent hiccups, Brooklyn Community Board 1 has officially given the go-ahead to the Newtown Barge Park plan in Greenpoint, Bedford+Bowery reports. On Tuesday, the board's Parks and Waterfront Committee unanimously approved the project, with a few recommendations attached to their endorsement.

    According to chairman Phillip Caponegro, CB1 has suggested that Newtown Barge Park's proposed esplanade ought to be "less linear in design whenever possible." They also suggested additional green elements along the water and an ongoing public arts program in the park. In the proposed Box Street Park (which will neighbor Newtown Barge), the board also hoped to secure promises of a basketball court, a handball court, and a dog run, with that last one seeming to be a big sticking point in January's meeting.



    The board's support is also contingent on the Parks Department bringing forward its plans for Box Street Park at an earlier date than the Newtown plans, so that the committee and local residents might have more time to comment on the designs.

    Construction on the $7 million project is expected to begin in early 2016.

    Newtown Barge Park Wins CB 1′s Support, But Greenpointers Still Want a Dog Run [B+B]

    http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2015/0...barge_park.php

  8. #98
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    Imagine a Newtown Creek Lined with Glassy Towers

    March 19, 2015, by Jeremiah Budin



    As with the equally polluted (give or take) Gowanus Canal, it seems like only a matter of time before the banks of Newtown Creek give way to large-scale residential development, and to get things started architectural firms Avoid Obvious Architects and Studio C Architects have designed just such a development for a currently industrial East Williamsburg site, on spec. One of the architects told NY YIMBY, "we hope to find the right investors in China." The plan consists of three glassy towers connected by planted walkways. One of the towers would be condos (naturally), one would be a hotel, and the third would be "dedicated as artist's studio." (The entire thing? Apparently.) The renderings do raise some questions, though, such as: at what point did the barren industrial wasteland of East Williamsburg turn into a lush forest? Also: why is there an approximately 20-foot statue of two horses fighting in the lobby of (what has to be the art studio) building? Presumably, these questions will be answered in time.






    East Williamsburg [Avoid Obvious]
    Vision: East Williamsburg Waterfront Redevelopment [NY YIMBY]

    http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2015/0...ssy_towers.php

  9. #99
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    Maybe if you give it 100 years

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