• Ted x Gowanus!

    Hang onto your nerd hats Gowanus peeps, it’s about to go all Ted Talks in Brooklyn’s Superfunest area!

    Ted, the global spreader of ideas via epic presentations, is coming to Gowanus January 26th, 2014 at The Green Building and 501 Union.

    According to the website the theme seems to be “Inspiring Community”, which is clearly Gowanus! (Suck it everywhere else!)

    TEDxGowanus is an event featuring TED-style talks inspired by the unique ideas, stories and arts that have incubated in or are related to the Gowanus area.  This event will involve a cross section of attendees and speakers, from original Gowanus residents and business owners to recent entrepreneurs, developers, and thinkers. The TEDxGowanus agenda will include a full spectrum of topics: from performances and presentations by local artists to stories and ideas that explore the neighborhood’s history, industry, ecology, and evolution.  During breaks, attendees will have the opportunity to interact with an exhibit area featuring displays and booths by local businesses, speakers’ projects, and artists of Gowanus.

    So, it’s like an epic nerd lecture Gowanustastic mix!


    Speakers so far include:

    Ate Atema – (who did this great talk already about bitches street creeks, which we assume he will talk more about at this event). He is the Managing Principal of Atema Architecture, ‘an award-winning New York-based architectural practice, and Flow Collaborative, an international team he formed to work on large-scale projects integrating architecture, ecology and infrastructure.’

    Eymund Diegel – (aka Professor Gowanus) ‘is the chair of Public Laboratory, a fun citizen science group partnered with the Gowanus Canal Conservancy’s Grassroots Aerial Photography program, where local citizen’s Eymund Diegel is the chair of Public Laboratory, a fun citizen science group partnered with the Gowanus Canal Conservancy’s Grassroots Aerial Photography program, where local citizen’s insights help improve Google Earth and City mapping of our neighborhood. As a Gowanus resident, he also helps out at the Hall of the Gowanus, a community historic research resource. ‘

    Andrew Gustafson - a geographer, historical researcher, and New York City tour guide. He develops and leads tours for the Brooklyn-based company Turnstile Tours, and his projects have included the research and development of tours at the Brooklyn Navy Yard and the Brooklyn Army Terminal, as well as about Brooklyn’s rich baseball history.

    Hans Hesselein – (aka the Green Planter) Hans joined the Gowanus Canal Conservancy as the Director of Special Projects in December, 2010 and was asked to serve as Executive Director in 2013. Throughout his time at the Conservancy, Hans has been responsible for developing and managing green infrastructure projects, watershed planning initiatives and volunteer stewardship programs. Hans comes to the Conservancy with a strong background in horticulture, construction technology, community engagement and landscape architecture.

    Plus a whole lot more see here!

    *code names from GYFO; speaker details from TedxGowanus website

    Grab your tickets early for $25 bucks today here

    Shout out to both the Team over at TedxGowanus for setting this bad boy up. Special big luv to Sean Gannet who’s organizing stuff and Joseph Alexiou (Gowanus history buff) who’s co-curating.

  • EPA Finalizes Cleanup Plan for Gowanus Canal

    The EPA has finally gotten to the end of a very very very long road. They have dotted the T’s and crossed the i’s… wait the other way around… the plan that is meant to clean up the stinky bog of eternal stench, better known as the Gowanus Canal.


    -the middle and upper part of the Gowanus Canal will be dredged…”approximately 307,000 cubic yards of highly contaminated sediment” and will be given some new ‘clean’ sand

    -the mouth / lower part of the Canal will be dredged… “approximately 280,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment and capping of the area with active, isolation and armor layers and a layer of sand to help restore habitat”

    -the EPA will ask the City to kindly not dump solids into the Canal… “plan requires controls to significantly reduce the flow of contaminated sewage solids from combined sewer overflows into the upper canal”… currently not in any work or plan from the City of New York. (Wonder why its just reducing of solid sewage and an all out ban on dumping raw sewage into the Canal)

    -polluted site along the Canal are being “ddressed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, in coordination with the EPA”. (Wonder what “addressed” means?)

    Check out the full details here.

  • A Garden Grows on the Corner of Carroll and Bond Streets

    Reporting and Photography: Emily Mitchell-Marell

    Since mid-Spring a neighborhood woman has been spotted in the Gowanus area taking what was once just an overgrown, unused corner of Brooklyn — an empty, grassy lot connected to the Mary Star of the Sea apartments — and has turned it into a full vegetable-producing garden. Living right nearby, we watched as she tilled the dirt, carefully planted the seeds and eventually staked the tomatoes. Now her garden is as fertile, lush and green as any suburban or even semi-rural resident could hope for.

    Read more ›

  • Councilman Brad Lander Proposes Plastic Bag Legislation in New Bill

    Council Member Brad Lander of Brooklyn (39th District, including Gowanus!) is co-authoring a bill that would dramatically cut the number of bags used and wasted in New York City. Margaret Chin of Manhattan (1st District) is a co-author as well.

    Read more ›

  • Sign at Whole Foods site says “CONTAMINATION SITE”

    Over the past few months the site for Whole Foods new store in Gowanus, Brooklyn, at 3rd Avenue and 3rd Street, has been a buzz with activity. Various construction vehicles have been zipping along next to the Canal; workers has been digging and laying concrete. The footprint for the store is well on its way to being complete. And up until November some residents nearby and in surrounding neighborhoods have been rejoicing with the idea that the Texas born chain is finally building its controversial store on the banks of the Gowanus, Canal.

    But, then Hurricane Sandy happened and the Whole Foods site, like much of the land along the Gowanus Canal, flooded. Flooded badly! Every inch of Whole Foods property in Brooklyn was submerged by Hurricanes Sandy’s surge. That gave Whole Foods advocates pause. But, then rumors started that the water was just ‘sea water’ and, as one smiling local residents stated after the storm, “there’s nothing wrong with a little salt water!” This rumor was validated for Whole Foods advocates by the EPA who tested a whopping four samples in two buildings (that’s only two!), near the Gowanus Canal right after the storm. The EPA found that bacteria was high, most likely from the massive amount of untreated sewage that is frequently dumped in the Canal, but that the toxic chemicals like metals and petroleum were very low. So, for advocates, ‘no harm, no foul.’ But the water that flooded the Whole Foods site may not have been sea water, since the water in the Gowanus Canal, which is 20 feet away, is a Superfunded site; And yesterday, twitter user @MartinBisi posted an image of a sign at the Whole Food sign, which read: “WARNING NO TRESPASSING ACTIVE CONTAMINATION SITE”…

    Um… say what now? You mean the location for a place that is going to sell food to the masses has a sign that reads ”WARNING NO TRESPASSING ACTIVE CONTAMINATION SITE”???!!!

    The sign appears to be next to a newly placed drain or vent that could possibly lead to the Gowanus Canal. Although why bother putting a drain or vent at all that leads to the Canal, since the waterway is just right there. Plus, if you look carefully at the image there appears to be several other signs with the same message all along the orange netting that separates the Whole Foods site from the Canal.

    Why are these signs even here? Why are there not signs like these all over the Gowanus near the Canal? The Canal’s a ‘contaminated site’, isn’t it? Why are these signs just at the Whole Foods site? Only time will tell.

    Time may even reveal that these signs are somehow a fake, misplaced, or even related to some construction contaminated. But simple logic will tell you that a plot of marshland next to a Superfunded contaminated Canal (set to take 25 years to clean), which has been flooded by that Canal’s very ‘toxic’ water, is most likely ‘contaminated’ and thus dangerous.

  • Scrap Metal Recyclers Busted For Canal Dumping

    While the feds have been trying to sort out a way to clean the superfunded Gowanus Canal, Benson Metal Corp. and Simsmetal East have been dropping pieces of metal scraps into the legendary toxic waterway. According to the Daily News, Benson Metal Corp. were documented at least 100 times dropping metal into the Canal. Benson Metal Corp. has been fined and indicated they will clean up their act. Simsmetal East who provides Benson Metal Corp. barges has also indicated that they will be cleaning up their act.

    Polluting makes Captain Planet sad…

    See the Daily News for more details here: Two scrap metal recyclers busted for dumping waste into Gowanus Canal; one slapped with $85K fine

  • Forget Black Friday… Go Green This Friday

    If you aren’t already standing in a line waiting for some big box store sale that they could easily afford to do all the time, than there is still hope for you. Just forget about going to the megastores and fighting your way to those worthless deals. Give up the ridiculous tradition of Black Friday and Go Green with Build It Green, Film Biz Recycling, and the Lower East Side Ecology Center’s E-Waste Warehouse here in the greatest neighborhood in the world, Gowanus, Brooklyn!

    All three of these Green places are having a mega holiday sales with 50% off selected items this Friday November 23rd from 10am – 5pm!

    AND! they are all having a having a craft workshop to help you make the perfect gift from 3 – 5pm.

    Go Green! Think Unique, Eco-friendly, DIY, and Inspiring creativity with ReUse.

    Green is so an X-mas color anyways!


  • Destruction of Gowanus

    it got bad… real bad…

    Starting Monday morning hurricane Sandy began pushing the polluted waters of the superfunded Gowanus Canal higher and higher. The Canal frist breached its banks near the Carroll Street Bridge during the morning high tide. The Canal’s water crept up into the area known as Gowanus Grove where Gowanus Girls just had their design fair and the future home of Lightstone Groups 700 unit 12 story luxury condos. The space had at least a foot or two of water by the time morning high tide ended. The water also flooded the Carroll Gardens side of the Canal at 1st Street, 2nd Street, and the bus parking lot 75 feet from the Carroll Street bridge. This would be minor compared to what was to come.

    Gowanus rising from Wicked Delicate Films on Vimeo.

    Most of MonDay was spent hiding from the wind, which bounded on old buildings and rattled windows as well as residents as hurricane Sandy began to make her way across New York City. All in all very little rain and no more than normal flooding was reported as the sun moved across the sky in the afternoon. As evening approached, even with public officials shouting the impending dangers, many felt like the worst was over, that the weather had once again spared Gowanus, Brooklyn, and New York City. But as the sun set the water of the Gowanus Canal began to rise again as it did all over NYC.

    The polluted waterway again breached its banks near Carroll Street Bridge, than areas near the Whole Food site at 3rd and 3rd, and up the banks where 2nd Avenue hits the Canal. Still many thought that the water would simply stop as it always had at the underbelly of all the Canal’s bridges. The water did not stop though… it began to overflow onto Carroll Street, up and over areas near 3rd Street, onto 2nd Avenue, and into parking lots near the 9th Street bridge. The water came up through street drains all over South Brooklyn, rising quickly to the surprise of many long term residents. The water filled basements and then filled the first floor of residents near the Canal. Its putride smell that, many joke about, was no laughing matter. The scent of gas, oil, and human waste filled the air as flooding became a serious danger to anyone close to the Canal. Most, if not all of Zone A was flooded. The water even crept up into Zone B by way of Nevins, Bond, and 2nd Avenue.

    Many unbelievable sites from last night’s flooding…

    Overflowing Gowanus from Barbara Kaminsky on Vimeo.


    The Canal’s pollution was not the only issue as fires began to start all over the place. A very large fire was reported on 2nd Avenue at a cardboard recycling center, which could be seen glowing from higher ground in Park Slope…

    posted by @taliator on twitter

    A fire was reported (not confirmed) destroying cars in a parking lot of Nevins Street.

    Residential fires were reported at Bond & Butler and a car/RV was seen on fire at Bond & President St.

    photo by @adamjscher on twitter

    As the day breaks more destruction is sure to be found.


    If you have any Gowanus or South Brooklyn photos please send to: [email protected]

  • Stick a tree up your friends backyard

    Our friends with backyards think their so special. “Look at me”, they say “I’m having a summer BBQ cause my apartments way awesomer than yours.” Then you go to said summer BBQ cause you don’t have a backyard and your socially required to…
    But when you get there you find that the stupid umbrella padio furniture that your friends have only shades four people. And your not going to be one of those four cause you’r late or not one of their special friends with a baby.(urgh Babies…taking our shade!) So, your stuck baking like bacon in the summer sun getting a sunburn that your doctor will say is the worst sunburn ever! This is all because your friends will buy tomatoes plants to grow, but fail to get plants that will grow tall enough to protect you and other non-baby having folk from the sun during backyard events!
    Now its winter and your safe from summer BBQs. But for the sake of your skin you gotta think ahead. You gotta get your stupid backyard summer BBQ having friends a tree that you can get shade from during their events.
    But where does one find a tree? The bodega surely doesn’t sell them and neither does the CSA your apart of. What the tree?
    Don’t worry the Gowanus Canal Conservancy totally has trees and their freaking giving them away this Sunday!!!
    Think about it, you’ll be a hero to everyone, especially the other sunburnt non-baby people!
    Take your backyard friends over to the Salt Lot by the Canal thus Sunday and make them get a tree! (Trees may take more than a summer or longer to get to shading height).


    [Gowanus Canal Conservancy] is teaming up with MilliontreesNYCNew York Restoration Project and BuildItGreen!NYC to bring NYC residents more trees for their homes and yard. We will be giving away 150 free trees at the Salt Lot during our Clean & Green Volunteer Day. Tree adopters will be able to choose their trees online and pick them up the day of the event anytime between 11:00am and 1:00pm. 

    This Clean & Green will bring volunteers back to the Salt Lot again to help out with the tree giveaway, building a new compost windrow, and planting a new rain garden that will help to absorb and filter stormwater runnoff. Come on over for a great day of community and outdoor activities!

    Make sure to wear close-toed shoes and sunscreen, and bring plenty of water!  To RSVP, e-mail [them] at 

    Time: 11am – 3pm    Location: The Salt Lot (2 Second Ave)


Gowanus, Brooklyn

The crack between two hipster neighborhoods, home to the now superfunded Canal, the flash point for the new 'Buy Local' and textile revolutions, & filled with brilliant bohemians. . . this is Gowanus & it’ll awesome your face off.

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