Urban Walks: Gowanus, Brooklyn

May 17, 2010 · 0 comments

My best friend, Boo, and I took a long Sunday afternoon walk around the Gowanus Canal area of Brooklyn today.  If I were a millionaire, this is where I would invest in property in Brooklyn.  It may currently be an industrial waste landscape, but it won’t be forever…

Easily accessible by subway and other public transportation, Gowanus is a stinking canal (at least, in the height of summer) that runs between some of Brooklyn’s wealthiest neighbourhoods.

Here are some of the photos we took:

I stitched four or five photos together to get this panorama. Then I had to shrink it so it would fit this blog ;)

A beautiful sky; the light was incredible!

I’m allergic to tomatoes, but I love pizza.  I never knew how delicious white (cheese only) pizza could be until I sank my teeth into one from Tomato and Basil.  Happy day! 

White pizza at Tomato & Basil pizzeria

Root Hill Cafe, where I enjoyed a perfect iced coffee that hadn’t been sitting on the burner for hours, and shared a fab chocolate chip + almond + cherry cookie with Boo.
A political mural outside Root Hill Café

Six months ago I posted a photo of this scene from the Carroll Street Bridge, back when Mayor Bloomberg was opposed to spending millions of dollars in cleaning up the canal.  Since then the E.P.A. (Environmental Protection Agency) has stepped in, declaring Gowanus to be a “Superfund site”, and I guess the clean up has begun.  The Huffington Post published a brief history of  the pollution of Gowanus Canal in March 2010.
Gowanus is getting cleaned up!

In juxtaposition to the scrap heaps and stinking piles by the canal is an abundance of flora.  Didn’t see much fauna though… maybe I just don’t know where to look!
Gowanus Peony

Shepard Fairey, the artist behind the iconic Obama/ Hope poster, installed this piece of stencilled artwork near the south-west corner of the Union Street Bridge. It’s actually layers of paper that have been torn to reveal other stencils; sort of like old street posters. Apparently Fairey does all of his stencilling by hand!

To the left is Burmese human rights activist Aung San Suu Kyi – you can just about make out the words ‘Democracy in Burma’ to the right of her dove necklace; meanwhile,  Fairey’s 1989 stencil André the Giant Has a Posse makes an appearance too.

Shepard Fairey Was Here




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