Newtown Creek

Oil, Philanthropy, The Astral and Art: The Mixed Local Legacy of Charles Pratt

Pratt Institute

Perhaps there is no person in the long history of Greenpoint who had a bigger effect on our area than Charles Pratt. Pratt’s legacy, though is a mixed one: a philanthropist, Pratt felt a duty to use his wealth to give back to the community, but he is also heavily responsible for the massive local pollution that is a result of his business in oil refining. One thing though is sure, more than a hundred and twenty years after his death; Pratt’s long shadow still hangs over Greenpoint. Continue reading

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Call For Entries: Greenpoint Film Festival

Greenpoint Film Festival
image via Greenpoint Film Festival

Submissions for the Greenpoint Film Festival are currently being accepted. The extended deadline is March 15th, 2018. Many of last year’s films had a local environmental slant, featuring our favorite highly polluted waterway Newtown Creek. Here’s what the fest has to say, and how to enter: Continue reading

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Newtown Creek Flows all the way to Utah — The Hook-up (2/8)

Newtown Creek: The Art of Toxic Tides via Slug Magazine

The mighty waters of Newtown Creek will be in fine form this weekend, as lovebirds and sewage nerds turn out for Saturday’s tours of The Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, but this week, they’ve taken the spotlight as far away as Utah.

While Utah might have the Great Salt Lake, but artist Kelly Larsen found his muse in Greenpoint, affixing a 9-foot canvas to the wall of the creek to record the ebb and flow of toxic tides.  Continue reading

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Valentine’s Day Newtown Creek Digester Egg Tour

Digester Eggs via NYC DEP
Fall in love… but don’t fall in!

Nothing says I love you quite like sewage. This valentines day, you could go the traditional route, candy, flowers, etc… Or, you do something truly special: A tour of the Newtown Creek Digester Eggs!

The Digester Eggs are an elegant marriage of form and function. While they are part of the largest wastewater treatment plant in New York City, they are also award-winning landmarks of industrial design. The complex’s dramatic lighting scheme sets the eggs shimmering against the surrounding city, and highlights both functional and pedestrian areas within the plant.

According to the NYC Department of Environmental Protection, the hour and a half tour “starts with an overview of the wastewater treatment process—an essential part of protecting public health and NYC’s waterways. After, we treat guests to unobstructed views of the Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens skylines from the observation deck, a glass-enclosed walkway built atop our state-of-the art digester eggs.”  Continue reading

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North Brooklyn Culture + History Roundup

Hey, Greenpoint! I know you’re always looking for that history fix, and North Brooklyn has you covered. There are several wonderful history events coming up this weekend and in the next few weeks! But, at any time, our lovely little ‘nabe is jam-packed with fabulous institutions where you can dive into an exploration of what has shaped our city, from sugar, to garbage, to oysters! The array is so gloriously wide, it helps remind us that everything is history, and there’s a history of everything!

City Reliquary

Perhaps the best place to learn about “the history of everything” in New York City, is our very own City Reliquary (370 Metropolitan Avenue). The museum’s collection of artifacts and ephemera includes everything from vintage seltzer bottles to Dodgers fan merchandise and memorabilia from the 1939 World’s Fair. The museum also features community collections and rotating exhibits. The current exhibit, NYC Trash!: Past, Present and Future, is on view until April 29, 2018. The Reliquary will host a screening of the film Canners THIS SATURDAY 1/27 @ 7pm.

The Williamsburg Art and Historical Center

The next day, head over to The Williamsburg Art and Historical Center (135 Broadway). The museum is housed in the landmarked Kings County Savings Bank Building, and has been supporting arts and culture in Williamsburg since 1996. The 19th Annual Salon Show is on view until February 18, 2018. THIS SUNDAY 1/29 @ 2pm Salon Members will hold special travel presentations.  Continue reading

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Brooklyn and A Queen — The Hook-up 1/26

Rev Yolanda Rocks the Pulpit at the Park Church Co-op
Rev Yolanda Rocks the Pulpit at the Park Church Co-op. Via Brooklyn Paper

This week, New Yorkers have been making their voices heard underground, underwater and in church.

On Sunday, Rev. Yolanda, a Drag Queen who leads an inter-faith congregation in Bay Ridge, brought Drag Queen Story Hour to the Park Church Co-op (129 Russell Street) to help children master the art of kindness and encourage them to embrace diversity.   Continue reading

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Discuss Newtown Creek’s Sordid Past and Improving Future at This Talk on Jan 31

Superfund Series

Via Newtown Creek Alliance:
Join your fellow neighbors in a series of informal gatherings to learn about and discuss the latest happenings on our local superfund waterway; Newtown Creek. While this 4 mile waterway still faces significant environmental issues, there has been great progress in recent years to revitalize this largely neglected border of the boroughs. In an effort to better engage the “head of Creek” communities of Bushwick, Ridgewood and Maspeth, the Newtown Creek Alliance (NCA) is hosting a winter series of socially-focussed meetings. These events will include a brief presentation reviewing the current state of the Creek including larger clean-up efforts and grassroots projects; we’ll have lots of materials and background info on hand.

When: Wednesday January 31st, 6–8pm
Where: Kings County Brewers Collective | 381 Troutman Street

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Pinball Wizards and Streetcar Woes — The Hook-up (1/19)

The Pinball Wizards of Williamsburg
The Pinball Wizards of Williamsburg. Via Brooklyn Daily

In the contentious world of elite New York pinball, there can be only one champion. This year, it was a North Brooklyn contest: Greenpoint’s Paragons of Pinball duked it out in the final round against Williamsburg’s Terrorwrists at Sunshine Laundromat (860 Manhattan Avenue). The Terrorwrists took the title.

Pinball is a fast-paced, high stakes enterprise. New York’s urban planning and infrastructural changes are much slower beasts. And so: the Brooklyn-Queens Connector (BQX), also known as the gentrification express. This is The Streetcar Not Everyone Desires. With more and more funding necessary, but less and less actual money secured for the project, the BQX is stalled behind schedule, and seems, for now, to be more of a pipe-dream than a real possibility.

Speaking of transportation going off the rails, an unoccupied car was found partially submerged in Newtown Creek this morning. As of yet, there is no information on the condition, whereabouts or identity of the driver.

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Art, Urban Equity and Brooklyn in Albany — The Hook-up 12/15

#BroCleanBKLYN via Instagram
#BroCleanBKLYN via Instagram

Last week, I had the privilege to see a remastered print of Ken Burns’ 1981 film, Brooklyn Bridge, at the Brooklyn Museum. The documentary had me feeling all the feelings for the Bridge and the borough. But it’s not just the Great Bridge that’s been inspiring Brooklyn this week. In fact, our very own Newtown Creek has been inspiring equitable urban greening and environmental activism here in the neighborhood, and around the country. For example, the Newtown Creek Nature Walk was cited as a project for the neighborhood that avoids environmental gentrification.

Further, brothers Gary and Sam Bencheghib took to the mighty waters of Newtown Creek in their series  #BroCleanBKLN. On December 2nd, the pair paddled both the Creek and Gowanus Canal to highlight pollution in Brooklyn, and advocate for cleaner waterways.  Continue reading

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Stopping Java Jerks and Making Transit Work — The Hook-up (12/1)

Newtown Creek Prints
Newtown Creek Prints! Via Huffington Post

Happy December, Everybody! Despite the glorious lights on Manhattan Avenue, it seems not everybody  is in the holiday spirit. In fact, there has been some gross nonsense going on around here: on November 21st, a man began masturbating outside The Lot Radio coffee shop (17 Nassau Avenue) while staring at a 20-year-old female employee. Then, he entered the shop and attempted to raid the cash register. This whole episode went down before noon, proving that it’s never to early to be a creep.

Unfortunately, the crime wave continued this week. On Tuesday, a Greenpoint woman was the victim of a violent robbery. The 63-year-old woman was punched in the face in the lobby her building; the assailant made off with her purse and cellphone. The NYPD asks the public’s help in identifying the perpetrators in both these crimes. If you have information about either case, call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS or for Spanish 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or texting their tips to 274637(CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

If the news seems a bit bleak right now, here’s something brightening: Greenpoint Artist Sto Len makes beautiful prints out of the polluted waters of Newtown Creek.   Continue reading

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