Ridgewood Reservoir is one of those places that defies the common imagination of New York City. A lake sits surrounded by reeds and two massive basins, each with its own habitat. Dirt paths lined with iron gates from previous centuries surround the basins, but this all hides within a chain-link fence that cuts off access. The fence is a patchwork in constant development, telling the story of repeated entries with wire cutters. A few people might circle the outer fence’s road on foot or bicycle, but for the most part the site is empty. (more…)
Posts Tagged ‘Queens’
North Brother Island lies in the East River, between The Bronx and Queens, just west of Rikers Island and directly under the flight path of departing jets from LaGuardia. It was once the site of Riverside Hospital, a tuberculosis facility later converted to GI housing after WWII. Previously, it was home to the infamous “Typhoid” Mary Mallon during her years of quarantine. Throughout the 1950s, the city operated a drug rehab center for adolescents there, but the hospital closed in 1963, and North Brother was abandoned. Nature slowly reclaimed the island. (more…)
You might catch a glimpse of Newtown Creek by traveling over one of its many bridges. But that glimpse doesn’t give you the scope of the creek’s importance to New York City’s development, or exactly why it has become a zone of contention in the NYC landscape.
The creek runs a full 3.5 miles, bisecting Brooklyn and Queens. Most people barely know it exists. So what happens there, how did it become so overlooked, and was it always this way?
What we found was both beautiful and grotesque, heartening and depressing. (more…)
Newtown Creek, the 3.5 mile-long waterway that separates Brooklyn and Queens, is one of the most polluted industrial sites in America. The creek water contains hundreds of years of discarded toxins, an estimated 30 million gallons of spilled oil, and raw sewage from New York City’s antiquated sewer system. To make matters worse, there is no current in the creek, and over the years the sludge has congealed into a 15-foot thick layer of “black mayonnaise” on the creekbed.
Creek advocates like the Newtown Creek Alliance and Riverkeeper argue the creek could be a wonderful recreational waterway for New York City. They imagine a marina and access to the creek’s banks. But before that can happen, the creek needs to be cleaned up. So what effort has been made to restore Newtown Creek? Here are brief descriptions of the most significant remediation plans to date. (more…)