Thank you. CORD
"In the 10 years that I have lived a block away from the Gowanus Canal, I have been struck both by its beauty and its deformities. Any body of water in an urban setting is attractive under a blue sky and bright sun, sky being one of the contributors to the beauty, for you can see plenty of it from any point along the canal. You can also see huge potential for improvement: removal of the garbage from the banks and from the water; removal of chain link fences, graded grass and pavement pathways, weeping willow trees on the banks, some low-rise houses, cafes, wine bars, galleries, music venues, illuminated pathways at night; benches to view the rich birdlife, maybe even the occasional fish rippling the water’s surface, even a small marina. I wouldn’t want it to be say, a destination neighborhood like the Village, not that many people, not that intense, more low-key.
The warehouses fit into my vision too, their architecture is not unattractive, it’s the right scale, the buildings are brick and the evening sun casts some of them in a warm glow that fills me with cheer. View this stunning photo on the “Pardon Me For Asking” blogspot. http://pardonmeforasking.blogspot.com/2009/04/official-gowanus-superfund-comment-by.html
It’s an area of early industrial architecture that ought to be preserved, in my view. These buildings house small-scale manufacturing, and should retain the zoning that permits them to thrive.
I don’t know why my vision for the Gowanus doesn’t hold as much merit as that of some of the loud voices in the Community allied with the large-scale developers. It was really our bad luck that a large-scale luxury home developer came along instead of more small-scale developers who maintain the low-rise neighborhood character, though some of their architectural decisions could be questioned (Satori, for one).
Views aside, no-one’s ideal can be fulfilled without cleaning the polluted waters of the canal. Or without addressing the sewer overflows and storm water run-offs. For decades, the city and state applied band-aides to the myriad of problems in and along the canal and it was always confusing who was doing what, who was responsible for what, what progress was being made, what was accomplished, what constituted success and what right the community had to be informed. There have been lots of studies, but what became of them? Did anyone act on them? Did the Mayor, who’s suddenly so interested, ever read any of them? I doubt it. It’s been a despicable state of affairs for one of the most polluted waterways in New York State.
For the first time last week, I heard from competent professionals, the EPA. Never before had I heard the Canal’s problems laid out in a comprehensive way. Never before did I hear that these problems could be tackled strategically, not piece-meal. That’s the only way it makes any sense for most big challenges in life. If you don’t step back and see the big picture, you cannot develop a strategy and a solution. You just waste resources and opportunities."
"NO MORE BAND AIDS.
NO MORE FUZZY LOGIC OR FUZZY MATH.
NO MORE SLIGHT-OF-HAND MANEUVERS"
"BRING IN THE EPA AND LET’S GET THE CANAL CLEANED AND HEAR THE FROGS CROAKING IN DELIGHT!"
Hoyt Street Alliance