Last Gasp: Greenpoint Goes Green On Sunday!

April 17, 2009 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic, Newtown Creek, Williamsburg 

go-green…sort of. Some of you might remember the debacle at last year’s Earth Day celebration. For those of you who are not in the know fliers were posted advertising this event all over 11211 and 11222. None of them mentioned Exxon Mobil was a sponsor. But they were. A sponsor. When the word got out hilarity ensued.

This year Exxon and their funky bunch will sport a table instead. Per a tipster:

Thank you (excised) for giving me a heads up that Exxon Mobil, WILL have a table at the Go Green Event. I will not be attending the event after all. Even though I appreciate Town Sq(uare’s) efforts, I would feel personally responsible for misleading people, if I didn’t let this group know.

Furthermore, I personally feel that Exxon Mobil has contributed greatly to this community’s environmental problems and I will continue to not attend events that allow the corporation to present themselves as an entity interested in this community’s GREEN well being. Their time is better spent on actions that will get the Creek cleaned up & the affected community greened up.

Those of you who find Exxon’s intransigence and shameless (and regrettably, very effective) attempts to buy off this community by throwing around chump change and purchasing positive PR offensive— or are simply disgusted by the useful idiots who facilitate their green washing— mark your calendars:

GO GREEN! GREENPOINT!
April 19, 2009 starting at 11:00 a.m.
Nassau Avenue at North 15 Street
Brooklyn, New York 11222

Miss Heather

Great Minds Think Alike: Forgotten NY Does Greenpoint…

March 10, 2009 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic, Newtown Creek, Queens, Sunnyside 

shittitsthumbnailAVENUE, that is. Shortly after I took a jaunt down Greenpoint Avenue here in the Garden Spot my buddy Kevin over at Forgotten NY decided to write a “Street Scenes” feature about the wonderful things to be found on this thoroughfare both in its namesake ‘nabe and beyond! I was particularly moved by his coverage of what we Greenpointers fondly call the “Shit Tits” (as seen at left):

Anaerobic Digestion Boobs

Well, we’ve seen the udders … here are the boobs …These somewhat disturbing objects at North Henry Street are called digester eggs. Through a process called anaerobic digestion they reduce the volume of sludge (what’s left of sewage after debris and liquid are removed) by nearly half. The egg shape is a space-efficient and minimal maintenance European design. The green thing in between the eggs is an elevator, in case you want to see what’s going on up there.

I never, EVER thought I would see the day Kevin Walsh would use the word boobs on Forgotten NY. I suppose I am rubbing off on him. This may or may not be a good thing but I can state with 100% certainty that this post is well worth reading. Check it out!

Miss Heather

P.S.: For more information/infotainment about the Newtown Waste Treatment Facility check out my piece over at the Poop Report.

Introducing Mr. Floatie

March 9, 2009 ·
Filed under: Area 51, Greenpoint Magic, Newtown Creek 


On The Waterfront With Mr. Floatie from Heal The Harbor on Vimeo.

Methinks Greenpoint needs to have its very own spokesturd. Given that Newtown Creek contains both oil and “floaties” I would like to propose that his name be “Slick Willie”. Thoughts, anyone?

Miss Heather

P.S.: Special thanks go out to Laura Hofmann for bringing this gem to my attention.

Greenpoint Photos Du Jour: Where The Buffalo Roam

March 4, 2009 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic, Newtown Creek 

roses

gptscrapmetal

cowpoke3a

oneway

cowpokewshittits

newtowncreek

naturewalk

From Greenpoint Avenue.

Miss Heather

Greenpoint Photo Du Jour: No Wading, Please

February 19, 2009 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic, Newtown Creek 

noswimming

This public service announcement comes from the Newtown Creek Nature Walk. You can more snaps from my recent trip to Greenpoint’s most (in)famous park by clicking here.

Miss Heather

Citypoint Photos Du Jour: From Newtown Creek With Love

February 7, 2009 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic, Long Island City, Newtown Creek 

redpoint2nys1

redpointnys1

From north Brooklyn’s (or southwestern Queens’s) Seine.

When I look westward to Manhattan I do not see a pretty skyline. Rather, I envision an infinite number of bowel movements, vomit and detritus that will soon find their way two blocks from my home.

Stand up and be counted, Greenpoint, for the shit you are about to receive!

Nobel prize winners, diplomats— PRESIDENTS— and Joey Arak* have graced my neighborhood with the by-products of their respective genius. Maybe I’ll pick up a fraction of their gifts via schnozmosis? I can only hope so. It’s been especially stanktastic of late.

The bigger the stench = the bigger the brain?

Miss Heather

*This is not necessarily sarcasm.

The Waterpod Cometh

January 30, 2009 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic, Newtown Creek, Queens 

waterpodThis item comes courtesy of Laura Hofmann of GWAPP. What is the Waterpod, you ask? Here’s a description from its brand-spanking new web site:

Waterpodâ„¢ is a floating sculptural living structure designed as a new habitat for the global warming epoch. It is currently scheduled to launch in New York in May, 2009, from the Newtown Creek between Brooklyn and Queens, navigate down the East River, explore the waters of New York Harbor, and stopping at each of the five boroughs it will dock at several Manhattan piers on the Hudson River, then beyond.

As a sustainable, navigable living space, Waterpodâ„¢ showcases the critical importance of the environment and serves as a model for new living technologies. It illustrates positive interactions between communities: private and corporate; artistic and social; aquatic and terrestrial. Built from recycled and found materials, Waterpodâ„¢ is structured as a triple-domed island for: (i) community and artistic activity; (ii) eco-initiatives including food grown with purified water from the Hudson River; and (iii) living space…

You can read the rest by clicking here. Those of you who have ever wanted to live on Newtown Creek* (and you know who you are) this might be your golden opportunity!

Miss Heather

*albeit briefly

Image Credit: thewaterpod.org

Furman Island Isn’t What It Used To Be

August 19, 2008 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic, Newtown Creek, Queens 

One thing a lot of people do not seem to know is Newtown Creek once had a number of islands. What you are seeing in the above photograph is the vestige of one of them: Furman Island. It is now a part of Queens, but if one looks through the online archives of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle (as I have) one will quickly discern it was a vibrant part of this largely industrial (and very aromatic) waterway.

Did you know that Furman Island even helped to prevent a malaria outbreak?!? I didn’t until I read an article from the August 2, 1894 edition of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle entitled Calls It Cologne Gulch: Vivid Portrayal Of The Evils Along Newtown Creek. In this piece an intrepid reporter from none other than Harper’s Weekly goes to Newtown Creek to get the scoop on the poop from a local. Here is an excerpt:

Those of you who have the time really should read this lengthy (4000+ words) article in its entirety. My favorite part is about the “egg factory”. What was the egg factory, you ask? Click here and read for yourself! Be advised you may not want to do so over lunch…

Love Is In The Air!

December 17, 2007 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic, Newtown Creek 

Many who are reading this are probably aware of the Newtown Creek Monitoring Committee. They are a community group charged with overseeing the upgrade of Greenpoint’s favorite sewage treatment plant. Each month they meet with the Department of Environmental Protection and talk sewage shop. While this may sound like watching paint dry to some, it has come to my attention that a subject has arisen at the last two meetings which is anything but boring.

Nature Walk, facing north

Per Emily Lloyd, the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection, “unsavory acts” are transpiring at the nature walk. Per my source (the ever-cool Matt Wolfe of The Greenpoint Courier) she did not give any details as to the nature of these acts, but I suspect they are of a carnal persuasion. I want you to think about this for a moment, dear readers: there are people who (purportedly) see fit to fornicate in the shadow of New York Shitty’s largest sewage treatment plant.

Sewage Treatment Plant

This is like something straight out of a John Waters movie— which of course bears testament to its probable verity: Greenpoint is a John Waters kind of place. I wonder if a shag rug and a bottle of cold duck were used as inducements for these “unsavory acts”? Both of the previous facilitated my entrance into this world. I know this because my mother has told me so.

On a number of occasions.

But I digress. I have created a very special Greenpoint postcard to commemorate the (un?)natural acts which have taken place at the Nature Walk of late. Here it is for your delectation.

Love is in the air!

These can be purchased via my online store at Cafepress. Why not reach out and touch that special someone with a gift only Greenpoint can give? The Shit Tits!

Miss Heather

P.S.: Those of you who are interested in learning more about the Newtown Creek Monitoring Committee can contact them at:

Newtown Creek Monitoring Committee
329 Greenpoint Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11222

(718) 349-0150

Night Smelling Committee

Dept. of Heath(er)?

A weekly feature I have inaugurated of late (albeit irregularly to date) is featuring an odd, provocative and/or strangely relevant chunk ‘o’ Greenpoint history for all to savor.

To steal a phrase from my buddy Judy McGuire, Man, oh Manishevitz do I have a fun tale of “Oy vey” before the l’oi ill’splay to share today. Oil spill or otherwise, Newtown Creek stinks… even back in 1892, when the Mayor of Brooklyn came down to inspect the stench personally. The following article is from the August 27th, 1892 edition of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. I have taken the liberty of condensing this VERY VERBOSE article and bold-facing my favorite passages. Enjoy!

SMELLS FOR THE MAYOR

Two Newton Creek Samples Were Quite Enough
His Honor’s Brief Trip Upon the
Slimy Stream With the Health Commissioner, the Corporation Counsel, Alderman Fitzgibbon and a Committee of Citizens— Relief Promised.

Mayor Boody had cold and rainy weather for his visit of inspection yesterday to the much complained of factories on the shores of Newton Creek. The citizens from the Fifteenth and Seventeenth Wards who accompanied him would have been much better pleased over a heavy and sultry day. The smells would then have been at their worst, so far as the daytime is concerned, for after all it is at night that the vileness of Newton Creek odors is most apparent and oppressive. As it was Mayor Boody in a very few minutes yesterday got quite enough of creek smells and was more than satisfied long before the committee of citizens was.

The mayor, accompanied by Health Commissioner Griffin and Corporation Counsel Jenks, was driven in a carriage to Chapman’s docks at the head of Grand Street. He was met there by the committees of eastern district citizens. The only other representative of the city govenment was Alderman Fitzgibbon, who accompanied the Seventeenth Ward delegation and whose home is within the district invaded by the noxious smells…

Alderman Fitzgibbon and other members of the party welcomed the mayor, health commissioner and the corporation counsel and escorted them to the steam propeller Mascot. It was raining smartly then and a stiff breeze was blowing, but the heavy, sickening odor from the neighboring fertilizing factories and from the filthy creek itself saluted Mayor Boody’s nostrils even before he left his carriage. Health Commissioner Griffin bore the smell like a veteran, but Corporation Counsel Jenkins looked unfeignedly sick from the start. The smell seemed a little worse than he had prepared himself to meet.

Through the slimy waters the boat coursed, while members of the committee sitting in the wheelhouse with the mayor told him they were sorry the tide was not low, for then the smell would be many times worse. Mayor Boody, intimated, with a laugh, that the situation as it was seemed sufficiently atrocious. A stop was made at Cord Meyer’s bone boiling establishment on Furman’s Island, only a hasty and superficial examination was made, but the smell was such that Mr. Jenks turned away in disgust and gasped for fresh air. The mayor tried hard to conscientiously sniff all the odors that were to be caught, but began toshow signs of not relishing the task. When the party re-embarked the boat steamed to Andrew Wissel & Co’s place, also on Furman’s Island. Wissel has the contract to remove offal from King’s County, and out of his unsavory stock he manufactures fertilizing preparations. Wissel’s son in law, a young man of pleasing manners and speech, tried hard to convince Mayor Boody that the atmosphere was not polluted, but the mayor’s nostrils were as wide open as his ears, and with a significant sniff and a still more more significant look he started off towards the boat.

A whole creek full of stench producing establishments remained, but Mayor Boody asked to be taken back to the Grand Street dock, where his carriage awaited him, “I have had enough of this,” he said. “I realize that you have a grievance and I want to live to help you.” “It is a crying shame.” said Corporation Counsel Jenks. The he stopped suddenly and listened without comment to members of the committee who explained that the odors which had sickened him were nightly pervading miles of Brooklyn thoroughfares and ruining the comfort and the health of thousands of people. The health commissioner had little to say, but both the mayor and corporation counsel freely promised to do what they could to abate the nuisance. “We will use all the power possible,” the mayor said in substance, “but it is your duty also to exert yourselves. A nuisance exists here and it is for you to prove it a nuisance. Everybody who suffers from this nuisance should be prepared to come downtown and testify against it. The trouble has been that when two or three citizens came down to testify that these smells were a nuisance the other side invariably presented a greater number of witnesses who were willing to swear that no nuisance existed.”

The mayor and his party were cheered by the delegations as they re-entered their carriage. Afterward some of the delegated sailed the length of Newton Creek and paid a brief visit to Rosenberg’s fat rendering and bone boiling establishment near Calvary Cemetary Bridge. At no time during the afternoon, however, was anything like a thorough examination of the alleged nuisances on the creek shore made.

In the evening an executive meeting Seventeenth Ward citizens was held at 101 Monitor Street. Henry T. Steinhaner presented a report of the mayor’s visit to the creek and also reported, with much detail, the result of several night trips which have recently been made by Seventeenth Ward citizens to Newton Creek factories. This report is not to be made public… the intention being to use it in the courts as evidence. Members of the night smelling committee say, however, that their experiences have been quite stirring at times, and that some day they will make interesting reading.

And they have! It is interesting (and a little depressing) to learn that even in 2007 nothing has really changed. Same shit, different century.

Miss Heather

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