Going Native: My Trip To The Nature Walk

I have a confession to make: I’ve been in the dumps lately. Methinks this is probably due to post-holiday malaise and winter doldrums. The short, cold days and long, even colder nights do not sit well with my outdoorsy constitution. For these reasons I have endeavored get away from the computer, focus more on my own artistic endeavors* and get out when the weather and opportunity presents itself.This post is dedicated to the destination of today’s foray: The Newtown Creek Nature Walk.

While not everyone’s idea of how to beat the wintertime blues, The Newtown Creek Nature Walk has proven (for yours truly, anyway) to be a very effective diversion from whatever is bothering me. Granted, I may not leave any less bothered than when I came in— but my mind will invariably be on something else. This time around was no exception.

This plaque (which can be found at Paidge Avenue and Provost Street) immediately piqued my interest. Of what “plant growth” bearing medicinal qualities do these people speak? I can think of a few species of plant life which would make this park popular beyond its creator’s wildest imagination. Not that the D.E.A. would take a fond view of them, mind you. But I digress.

As I proceeded towards the entrance the reason for the previous caveat become apparent.

A series of plaques have been erected educating the patrons of the Nature Walk as to what tree and/or bush they are looking at and its medicinal and/or culinary uses.

Speaking as someone who has actually met people who crab and fish off of Newtown Creek and the East River— and eat their catch— making these (in all likelihood) same suck f0lk aware that roasted acorns served with syrup are a “delicacy” strikes me as being an excruciatingly bad idea. If the previous folk have little regard for mercury and other heavy metals they cannot see and/or taste, I can assure you this diminutive tree is fair game.

Amusingly (and appropriately) enough, a significant amount of the foliage identified have purgative qualities.

Many of you are familiar with the structure in the background of this photo: they are the digester “eggs” for this waste treatment facility. They are better known to the locals as the “Shit Tits”. But did you know the tree in front of them is an elderberry tree?

Now you do! For the most part I was satisfied with my Nature Walk experience this afternoon. For. The. Most. Part.

The steps leading to Newtown Creek proper were quite frankly— and this is by Greenpoint standards— pretty darned gross.

Bird shit was in abundance.

A mammalian specimen was spied as well.

But what I found especially disturbing were the bones. I found many.

And then of course, there was the blood.

When I see stuff such as the previous it makes me wonder exactly how this park is being utilized. Is the citizenry of Greenpoint getting back in touch with the ‘nabe’s bucolic roots? Are rental properties and health insurance so prohibitively expensive as to make “going native” on the waterfront a viable option?

I’ll leave it up to you, dear readers, to decide.

Miss Heather

*Which I will go into later.


One Comment on Going Native: My Trip To The Nature Walk

    […] artists, New York Shitty, are right on the mark: the free-association of eggs, droppings and Nature Walk of purgative […]

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