From The New York Shitty Photo Pool: The Nature Walk

Should Have Checked Yelp

Taken by MarcusOfBrooklyn.

From The New York Shitty Inbox: Gone To The Dogs?

May 5, 2013 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 


A person we’ll “H” writes:

Over the past 6 months or so it has come to my attention that people have been using the public space as an off-leash dog park.  While in the past people have occasionally left their dogs off leash there it has been respectful and generally confined to the back gated portion (where you would see the dogs from afar and avoid them or the owner would have time to leash the dog)… I have had two interactions here with a man who has two dogs that he refuses to leash.  On both occasions the dogs charged my dog and it took some time for him to be able to restrain them.  People don’t seem to understand that when a dog like mine has fear based aggression towards other dogs it can result in a dog that is normally sociable reacting in defense in an aggressive manner.  In this case the other dogs were not even well socialized either which is tenuous.  Today another person had two dogs off leash which I fortunately saw from afar and retreated away from the park.  When I saw them leaving I asked them to please leash their dogs or use the back enclosed portion of the park so I could also be there to which I was told it’s my problem if my dog is not friendly.  On all three occasions the people have had their dogs off leash just at the bottom of the long walkway to the park, on another occasion the dogs were walking freely down the long alley alone unleashed.  Not only is one dog off leash difficult for me to maneuver but now different individuals both with two dogs seem to have made this their dog park.  I have told both that the dogs should be leashed and if not then they should use the back gated area so that other people like myself can enjoy the park without needing to interact with their dogs.  After the second incident I was scared to go back there.  Now that the flowers are in bloom I don’t want to cower away from the park that I have loved over many years because of others lack of respect… If you or anyone has any advice about this situation please let me know.

Before I proceed I would like to take a moment to make a few things abundantly clear:

  1. I am a cat person.
  2. As such I am not terribly keen on anyone/anything— four-legged or otherwise— running amok. Anywhere. However, I am fully aware this is my “quirk” and as such avoid situations/places where such activity is likely. “Live and let live”, I say. Do not bother me, and I will not bother you!
  3. I am probably about as neutral a party as can be hoped for regarding this matter.
  4. This is why I harbor a certain level of disgust with the “battle” over park space between families and dog owners (E.g.: Transmitter Park).  I am certain the problem does exist, but not to the extent the “media” has presented it. What seems to be missed is the fact that this “problem” would not exist had certain entities/municipal authorities actually planned for the consequences of an increased population (as a result of higher density housing). With more people— especially those in their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s— come more parks/open space use. Whether or not the “kids” in question are of the furry or non-furry variety is irrelevant. Issues will arise and in the case of north Brooklyn these issues could have, should have been anticipated and to some extent could have been prevented. (READ: building a dog run in north ‘Point).

Now that this has been established, here’s the deal:


The Newtown Creek Nature Walk is NOT a New York City Park per se. It has its own rules and regulations and these  state pretty clearly that with limited exceptions no dogs are allowed. Clearly this is not being followed. Personally, I do not mind folks taking their dogs to the Nature Walk provided they are on leash and considerate  The latter entails cleaning up after their pets and making them refrain from “watering” the plant life there. This was once known as “common courtesy”. But, I’m not the one making the rules and I digress.

What I do find troubling is the other item I have highlighted above: the prohibition of citizens eating the critters that can be caught in these “waters”. Yesterday when I swung by (so as to take photos for this post) I struck up a conversation with a Time Warner employee eating his lunch. He told me he has seen and admonished fellows who were patronizing this facility to catch the evening’s supper. Is this terrifying? Yes, yes it is.

So now we have established rules are in place and they are not being followed/enforced. This segues quite nicely to what a member of the Newtown Creek Monitoring Committee (and lifelong Greenpoint resident and overall environmental badass), Laura Hofmann, had to say about “H’s” inquiry:

What’s really problematic is that there’s no security. We’ve been working toward that. Christine (Holowacz — Ed. Note) has been developing a “Friends of the Nature Walk” group so that fund raising can happen to pay for maintenance, security, and so on. There’s a gardener doing maintenance. He’s there during the week. I’ll let him know too. Aside from the dangers, we can’t afford the NW being damaged by dogs. Not often, but once in a while I’ll encounter a dog owner there with the dog unleashed. I always talk to them. And as you can imagine, I let them know who I am, and am adamant about the dog being leashed. But not everyone will do that.

We definitely need a dog run in N. Greenpoint. I emailed Doggone a long time ago. I never received a reply. Are they still active?

Precluding an emergency (in which case 911 should be called) any/all who have concerns, want to report a problem at the Nature Walk; or join the “Friends Of” group should contact Ms. Holowacz via email at: (at) verizon (dot) net. Otherwise and in closing: please, please keep an eye (and/or a leash) on your young ‘uns when enjoying this facility folks. I mean, do you really wanting them getting their hands/jaws on this?


I didn’t think so…

Reader Contributions du Jour: Garden Spot Rainbows

April 5, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic, Newtown Creek 

Taken by Todd.

Taken by Christo.

Tonight’s Town Hall meeting was contentious to say the very least.* So much so yours truly saw fit to make a stop on the way home for some medicinal spirits. Needless to say I was delighted to find these nice, soothing images in my inbox when I arrived home. Great job, guys!

Miss Heather

*Naturally I shot footage and will be sharing this Greenpoint goodness— so check back!

New York Shitty Day Ender: The DEP Nature Walk

April 4, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic, Newtown Creek 

The Shit Tits

Yesterday yours truly had a rock star moment. Well, not exactly— the other party involved, a very polite French couple, did not know who they were talking to: none other than the cheerleader of/unofficial spokeswoman for our beloved Shit Tits! Our conversation kicked as follows:

Excuse me, do you live around here?

The woman asked.

I answered to the affirmative.

Do you know of a futuristic park around here?

She asked. I gave the matter some thought and asked:

In Greenpoint, yes?

She answered to the affirmative.

Oh, you mean the DEP Newtown Creek Nature Walk as seen in Time Out New York and lauded by the Village Voice!

I replied.

Oh yes, yes!

She replied. I then proceeded to enthusiastically give her and hers directions to this Greenpoint landmark. They didn’t seem to comprehend what I was telling them and headed in the opposite direction— but that’s not really the point here. Rather, I Greenpointer, relished the opportunity to be (once again) an ambassador for our locality’s best known, um, assets. More importantly it served as a reminder that I have not visited “the gals” in a while. This morning I did. Follows are a few highlights. Enjoy!

You know spring has arrived in the Garden Spot when the Coney Island whitefish have come to spawn! Ah, nature…

Miss Heather

P.S.: On a related note I received a wonderful missive this afternoon from a fellow Greenpoint, Jan, who happens to be vacationing in Hamburg, Germany. He was pleased to report he has spied some bona fide European Shit Tits!

Ovoid - Digestion tank

Best of 2010: You Go, Girls!

October 21, 2010 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

That’s right folks, our very own Nature Walk and digester eggs Shit Tits got some more recognition via the Village Voice’s 2010 “Best Of” issue! Don’t believe me? See this much-overdue accolade for yourself by clicking here.

Miss Heather

P.S.: Special thanks go out to my buddy Kevin Walsh of Forgotten New York for bringing this item to my attention!

New York Shitty Mini Slide Show Du Jour: The Sights & Sounds Of The Garden Spot

October 3, 2010 ·
Filed under: 11222, Crazy Cat Lady, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

It is on days such as this that I am reminded— once again— that I live in a very special place. God bless you, Greenpoint!

Miss Heather

P.S.: As always, you can view this slide show in larger format by clicking here.

Greenpoint Photos Du Jour: Flight

From The Newtown Creek Nature Walk.

Miss Heather

New York Shitty Day Starter: From The Newtown Creek Nature Walk

This footage comes courtesy of Laura Hofmann and was shot March 7, 2010.

Miss Heather

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.

New York Shitty Day Starter: Coming At You From Greenpoint

My buddy Larry da Junkman has been involved in a number of very interesting projects lately. Follows is a snippet of one of them. It is part of an ongoing collaboration with the Vole Show and is entitled Think Tanking: Journey To The Newtown Creek Nature Walk Part 2. Larry’s daughter (clad in fairy wings and a tiara no less) steals the show. Enjoy!

I can hardly wait to see what these madmen come up with next.

Miss Heather

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