Photo by myself, in Red Hook, Brooklyn.
An odd combination of nature and machinery exists in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Large construction equipment sits on a dock on weekends.
In the distance is one of many loading cranes that move containers onto barges.
Not too far from the area above lies the Gowanus Canal, which was recently awarded Superfund status by the US government. The pollution there is so terrible, accumulated over years of neglect, that the Environmental Protection Agency has slated $300-500 million dollars to its clean-up.
The narrow strip of wetland is contaminated with heavy metals and other pollutants. Sometimes Mark and I drive over the canal, which is a scary greenish-brown color. Piles of trash lie on the banks.
Friends of ours live in a big building nearby, and though the label of 'Superfund site' is not a good one, they are happy. It means their neighborhood will stay small, the view from their windows won't change, and someone is finally taking responsibility for the mess.
It's strange to think of New York, and specifically, Brooklyn, as an industrial area. Right now it's most known for gentrification and rising real estate prices.
Click here for an article about the Gownanus Canal in the Times.
Related posts: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, The Gowanus and Something Old, Something New.