Hipster Lake and the flooding of ex-marshland

When you make a movie like this, it’s nearly impossible to cover every aspect of the topic and still have the flick be entertaining – that is, you have to pick your battles. One area that ended up on the cutting room floor for me was present-day McCarren Park, and how its conditions largely reflect its past as marshland. Luckily, a local reporter noticed the rampant flooding in the park and put together this interesting, well-researched article on it:

Check it out! Also feel free to go support the Soft Spot Yetis, as I moved to North Carolina and can no longer claim to be “#1 Fan.”


Great article in the NY Times on the conflict of old industry and new development – again, I wonder if the Bushwick Creek got off easy when it was just filled in, rather than kept on life support for decades, only to be Superfunded.  It’s always been amazing to me that the Gowanus Canal was man-made – and it still became the most famous example of large-scale industrial water pollution in New York.

“As the population continues to grow, in New York City and elsewhere, there will be increasing pressure to develop environmentally problematic sites, which tend to be close to the heart of the city and to offer the kind of large tracts coveted by developers.”


Clean water in NYC’s waterways these days? Sure! Except for the sewage.

It’s totally amazing to me that New York City still dumps an average of 270 million gallons of raw sewage into the Newtown Creek each year (as a result of runoff during large storms).  Call me naive, but it seems directly out of line with the fact that the Creek is now a Federal Superfund site.

Anyways, the sudden shutdown of a sewage treatment plant in the Bronx has highlighted the issue of how sewage in our waterways can be dangerous:


I understand that sewage is dumped into waterways all over the country – in LA, it’s deposited out of pipes right on the beach in some cases – I;m just amazed that we continue to let it happen.


The movie is finally finished!

Well, it took 9 months longer than I thought (!), but I’ve just finished and uploaded the 5th and final installment of the documentary.  Click on ‘Watch the Movie’ in the navigation above to check it out.


NYC Releases its Comprehensive Water Plan

Yesterday, the Mayor released Vision 2020, a comprehensive plan for New York’s waterfront. They also released a ‘Waterfront Action Agenda,’basically outlining their plans for the next three years.  This includes the intent to:

Continue the phased acquisition, remediation, and development of the new Bushwick Inlet Park.

More interestingly, the Greenpoint Monitor Museum seems to factor into their longer-term plans:

Explore opportunities for inclusion of a museum commemorating the USS Monitor.

(Page 144, Vision 202 Plan)

I wonder if any headway has been made between the Monitor People and the City – last I heard, they were still at odds regarding an appropriate commemoration of the Monitor’s history.

The entire comprehensive waterfront plan can be downloaded from the Department of City Planning’s Website.