They can’t promise dolphins, but the North Brooklyn Boat Club is launching into 2013 and urging YOU! “land-lubbers,” to learn what will be happening both, on the water, and ashore, like: open paddles, intensive stroke instruction, safe boating practices, bird watching trips, building oyster and filter feeder habitats, organic gardening, urban camping, boat building and boatyard barbecues!
They had me at birds and barbecues…
Interested? Join NBBC on April 2nd, 8-10pm at Brooklyn Rod & Gun (59 Kent Ave) for a public meeting open to all.
Whether you are a new supporter, or were there at the very beginning, the Newtown Creek Alliance invites you to share this moment to commemorate the great work they have done, and recognize the important work ahead, tomorrow Wednesday November 28, from 7-9pm @ The Warsaw (261 Driggs Ave).
Considering how much funk is in the creek, you know it’s gonna be quite the jam.
*Refreshments will be served, and there will be a cash bar.
A dome of water would travel from Upper New York Bay, through Gowanus Harbor, and into the 1.5-mile-long Gowanus Canal near Smith and 9th Street. Once in the canal, it could stir up a heady mix of pollutants — essentially oil, heavy metals, and human excrement — and distribute it throughout the slowly gentrifying area that sits among some of Brownstone Brooklyn’s priciest neighborhoods.
The creek is overflowing and sewage is being released into the waterway, according to Stephen Levin. How will the toxic nature of the waterway affect local residents? And what is the city doing about it?
In addition to the known water quality issues on the Creek, there are dozens of brownfields, known plumes (Meeker Ave, Greenpoint Oil), State Superfund, Toxic Release Inventory sites, clustered in the flood plain of Newtown Creek. Your concerns are valid. The area lacks public infrastructure such as flood gates, that would help protect against soaking and mobilizing hazardous material – not to mention protect valuable creek front businesses that perform essential city services!
Of course we (not Kate Zidar) only think about these things when a huge storm is bearing down on us, residents are evacuating, and the water levels are surging. But now is a better time than any to raise awareness of these potentially hazardous situations.
In terms of the sewage treatment plant in Greenpoint, what happens when there is too much rain and flooding? It’s called a CSO (Combined Sewage Overflow). Rainwater and sewage, among other things (see below) are released into the local waterways.
That’s pretty disturbing, especially since the river is flooding our streets in Zone A. So all those metals, human waste and disease that may back up into the river, might end up on our sidewalks and in residents’ flooded basements.
CSOs contain raw sewage from homes, businesses and industries, as well as stormwater runoff and all the debris and chemicals that wash off the street or are poured in storm drains. This toxic brew can be unappealing and quite dangerous. CSOs contain untreated human waste, oxygen-demanding substances, ammonia, pesticides (such as malathion sprayed on the city to fight West Nile Virus), nutrients, petroleum products (from sources such as gas stations, auto repair shops, and garages), and other potential toxins and pathogenic microorganisms associated with human disease and fecal pollution…
Toxic metals and other hazardous substances come from industrial effluent, street runoff, and from households that contribute paints, oils, solvents and cleaners down the sink drain or storm drains in the street. Pesticides also wash off lawns and gardens into storm sewers.
Debris that washes off the streets or is flushed down toilets includes syringes, tampon applicators, and other plastic products.
We reached out to Stephen Levin to see what impact this can have on local residents and if there is a plan to safeguard us. His response:
At this point, there’s not a whole lot that can be done to prevent the Newtown Creek from overflowing. I was down there at noon today and the bulkhead at GMDC was already under water, and the water was a couple of feet short of overflowing onto Manhattan Ave. We are expecting a high tide tonight to coincide with the storm surge and that could mean a storm surge of 8-11 feet at Newtown Creek, which would obviously put Manhattan Ave under water.
DEP is already seeing Combined Sewer Overflows throughout the area, so everyone should treat any water overflowing from Newtown Creek as if it is contaminated with raw sewage. That means staying away from it, avoiding contact with your hands, and cleaning anything that comes into contact with it with bleach.
MOST IMPORTANT-if you live in Zone A (between Commercial St and the Creek, west of Manhattan Ave; between Dupont St and the Creek, east of Manhattan Ave) you need to evacuate ASAP. There will almost definitely be flooding from the Creek tonight that may go several blocks inland-DO NOT TAKE ANY CHANCES.
In addition to this, Kate Zidar said, “Advice to Greenpointers: Do not assume that standing water is clean. Do not play in it. Wear outside boots and leave those boots at the door.”
Kate added that in the long term, “the city needs to provide support for areas such as ours, in terms of investment in drainage and shoreline infrastructure, and area wide emergency planning that addresses the specific needs of industrial areas, and how this relates to adjacent residential areas.”
The 2nd Annual Greenpoint Film Festival begins this Thursday September 20, 2012 (186 Huron St) with a 6pm Opening Reception, a 7pm screening of Judy Lieff’s Deaf Jam, a look into the world of American Sign Language (ASL) Slam Poetry, followed by a Q&A with the director and an after party.
Screening continues Friday through Sunday at two locations: 186 Huron St & 329 Greenpoint Ave.
Aside from a full program, there is a Community Program on Saturday at 12pm that features The Domino Effect, a politically charged investigative documentary about the controversial plan to transform the Domino Sugar factory that includes conversations with longtime residents to reveal the impact gentrification has had on the community of North Brooklyn.
More screenings that hit home during the Environmental Program on Saturday at 2pm (329 Greenpoint Ave) include Leitner’sNewtown Creek Digester Eggs: The Art of Human Waste, followed by Newtown, in which director Choi exposes the history and realities behind the Greenpoint Oil Spill.
Which screenings will you be attending during the Greenpoint Film Festival?
We’ve received feedback from users subscribed to the RSS feed. They are sad because the feed emails posts the following day, so when they receive “What’s Happening?” on Thursdays they’ve missed the awesomeness from the previous night. Now “What’s Happening?” will list Wed- Wed happenings. Hope it helps!
There is so much art happening in Greenpoint - it’s insane!
WEDNESDAY 9/5 ♦ Flora e Fauna: Exhibition of Botanical Drawings by KT Smail @ Nights & Weekends (1 Bedford Ave) 6-9pm ♦ James Bellizia Opening Reception @ Dandelion Wine (153 Franklin St) 7-9pm ♦ Do It Awake @ The Heliopolis Project (154 Huron St.) 7-10pm, More info • Gabrielle Bell and Julia Wertz, in conversation with Jami Attenberg @ Word (126 Franklin St) 7pm, Comics artist and Greenpoint local Gabrielle Bell will launch her new graphic novel The Voyeurs with artist Julia Wertz followed by a conversation with novelist Jami Attenberg.
THURSDAY 9/6 • Fashion Night Out Greenpoint ♦ Red Left Blue Right @ Picture Farm (338 Wythe Ave) 6-9pm, Double Triple is presenting a show of art and design for red/blue 3-D glasses, cocktails, snacks, music, 3-D photo booth, More info ♫ Bust Magazine Issue Release Party @ Matchless (557 Manhattan Ave) 8pm, Free music from Mannequin Pussy, Leda & DJ set from Permanent Wave ♫ Dinowalrus / Xray Eyeballs / Life Size Maps / Grand Resort / Psychobuildings @ 285 Kent, 8pm, $4
FRIDAY 9/7 ♦ This Is How My Brain Works @ Radiator Gallery (10-61 Jackson Ave, LIC) 6-8pm, 16 artists who practice collage ranging from works on paper to video, sculpture, books, photography ♦ 744 Hr Photo & Tanning @ Rawson Projects (223 Franklin St) 6-8pm, Choit will continue her practice of utilizing a modified UV-light-emitting tanning bed as a photographic tool, further exploring her interest in the effect of photochemical processes on found objects. ♦ Odd Job @ Fowler Arts (67 West St, #216) 7-10pm, An exhibition of new work by artists Ted Carey, Jacob Goudreault, and Simon Slater. Painting in the 21st century is an odd job. With no rules or boundaries, how does one beat a path to new possibilities? ♦ Malado Baldwin Opening Reception @ The One Well (165 Greenpoint Ave) 7-10pm, a retrospective ♫ Ava Luna / Ed Schrader’s Music Beat / Lost Boy? / Indian Rebound @ Living Bread Deli (2 Knickerbocker Ave) 8pm, $10
SATURDAY 9/8 ♦ Newtown Creek Armada Opening Ceremony @ Newtown Creek Nature Walk (50 Paidge Ave at Provist St) 1-4pm, Visitors to The Armada will pilot a fleet of artist-made, miniature, remote-controlled boats along the surface of the Newtown Creek while documenting the hidden world of its waters using waterproof cameras and microphones, More info • Samantha Pleet X Wolverine Pop Up Shop @ In God We Trust (70 Greenpoint Ave) 6-10pm, Special SP x Wolverine shoe pre-order, Bonny boots on sale, goodie bags, Brooklyn Gin, Brooklyn Brewery brews, and Samantha’s Pie Faces. ♫ Noon / Foster Care / Pink Reason @ Lulu’s (113 Franklin St) 4-8pm, Free ♫ Octant / Backwords / Starlight Girls / Zula / Ping Pong @ Party XPO (929 Broadway, Bed-Stuy) 9pm, $6
SUNDAY 9/9 Taste Williamsburg Greenpoint @ CitiStorage (5 N 11th St @ Kent Ave) 1-5pm, an outdoor celebration of North Brooklyn’s local flavor to benefit the building of the Northside Town Hall, featuring sample tastes from over 50 of the neighborhood’s best restaurants, bars, breweries, and wineries, along with live music and more, Buy Tix • Some like It Cold – Soup Competition @ Huckleberry Bar (588 Grand St) 5-8pm, It’s free to compete! It’s $10 to judge and eat! Mezcal Cocktails, more info ♫ The Shivers @ Manhattan Inn (632 Manhattan Ave) 10pm, Free
WEDNESDAY 9/12 • Nora Ephron’s Heartburn – BK Kitchen Book Club @ The Brooklyn Kitchen (100 Frost St) $10, discuss Nora Ephron’s novel HEARTBURN and enjoy a no-pressure potluck inspired by the book (drinks provided), More info
* Greenpointers’ Pick
♥ Pheremones Likely
♦ Art Event
“The Newtown Creek Armada is an art installation that invites the public to explore the past, present and future of a contaminated New York City waterway. The Newtown Creek, a Superfund site bordering Brooklyn and Queens, is one of the most polluted bodies of water in the United States. Visitors to The Armada will pilot a fleet of artist-made, miniature, remote-controlled boats along the surface of the Newtown Creek while documenting the hidden world of its waters using waterproof cameras and microphones.”
Learn more tonight 8/30 at a Fundraising Happy Hour at The Diamond (43 Franklin St) from 7-8pm. The Opening Ceremony is Saturday, 9/8 at 1pm
at the Newtown Creek Nature Walk in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
Last Saturday was a day on which my body cried out for the waterfront. The weather turned the simplest tasks into moist ordeals, so after my second mechanical failure of the day – the right pedal of my bike followed my sunglasses in simply falling to pieces during normal use – I was more than ready to view Brooklyn from afar for a couple hours. I headed up to the North Brooklyn Boat Club‘s space up on Ash street, where I met up with the group heading out for what was the club’s very first public paddle. Continue reading →
Do you find it ironic that Greenpoint features the environmentally friendly Rooftop Farms, the new McGolrick Park Farmers Market, a Clean Green Dry Cleaners on Nassau Ave, among many other “green” initiatives? Are you confused that the Earth Day Celebration in McCarren Park is sponsored by Exxon Mobil?
It seems contradictory to be living in a very toxic place and at the same time celebrate so many eco-friendly things. It’s like eating organic kale in one hand and smoking a cigarette in the other hand.
So what is the point?
The point is, we live here and we love it! And we can’t just give up on Greenpoint. Generations ahead of us will call this place home and it’s important we make sure it is cleaner and healthier for them and safe for us in the meantime.
Instead of being cynical about all of these exciting “green” developments in the community, embrace them and look at them as steps towards cleaning up Greenpoint.
A very important panel discussion called Is Greenpoint Safe? was held at Anella recently. Organizers created this important document to help you become more informed and understand how you can get involved, get educated and get Greenpoint on the right track.
A few important things to note: The Newtown Creek is a Superfund Site, if you live above or near the Meeker Ave plumes it’s important to get your home tested right away for harmful fumes, oil spills and bad odors are cause for action, houseplants can help improve air quality in your home, eating food from your garden may be contaminated with lead or other toxic chemical so test the soil, and composting, limiting the use of harmful cleaners in your home and adopting a tree are all ways you can directly act towards making Greenpoint a cleaner and healthier place.
Please discuss and share this information with friends and neighbors.