I have ‘digested’ this movie, by which I mean you can watch it in sections, and embed/re-post only the relevant parts elsewhere, if you so desire. Each part is around 4 or 5 minutes, and is named after the individual(s) who generously donated their time and expertise to talking with me.
Alternately, you can watch the movie in its entirety here:
Part I: Ward
A brief introduction to the area of Greenpoint, Brooklyn, at the strange confluence of historically massive industrial pollution and new, huge, expensive residential high-rises.
Part II: Ann
An exploration of the history of New York City’s approach to manipulating the waterfront to meet the needs of an ever-expanding population.
Part III: George
A group of local historians hope to open a museum on the Bushwick Inlet honoring the construction of the USS Monitor, the first ironclad. Like everything involving Brooklyn’s waterfront, things don’t proceed as expected.
Part IV: Pollution
First the Bushwick Creek was ‘shortened’ to be the Bushwick Inlet. Now its calm waters are being re-purposed not for shipbuilding or industry, but as a public park. I talk with a representative from the Parks Department about what to expect, and pollution experts on the difficulties of converting industrial land to public use.
Part V: Remediation
How do you turn a former industrial hub into parkland safe enough for children? And to what extent are the residents in Brooklyn even aware of the legacy contamination they live and work on top of every day? (Hint: not very aware.)