Monday, May 29, 2006

Gowanus Lounge Memorial Day Salute: The South Brooklyn Seine!

As we speak, people are carrying the world's biggest coolers of food and liquids into Prospect Park for Memorial Day barbecues. Us, we're thinking about taking the the grill to the Big G where the crowds are sparse and the atmosphere is more post-industrial. Why not? Gowanus is one of several city "waterfront neighborhoods worth your salt" that are profiled in a "shore guide" in the Village Voice. The other spots that merit profiles are City Island, Long Island City, Rockaway and Staten Island. (What, no Coney Island? No Sheepshead Bay? No Brighton Beach? What's up with that?)

Here is some of what the Voice has to say vis a vis Gowanus (okay, so it's laced with sarcasm, but press is press):
Used condoms bob on its oily surface and it often smells like old sneakers, but South Brooklyn's Gowanus Canal has become an unlikely sanctuary for a growing number of New Yorkers. Creaky row houses, graffiti-tagged brick factories, and old-school Italian eateries like Monte's (451 Carroll Street between Nevins Street and Third Avenue) and 2 Toms (255 Third Avenue at Union Street) surround this two-mile-long relic of the neighborhood's industrial boom. For almost a century, the canal was a stagnant soup of raw sewage and toxic waste. But in the last eight years it's been flushed daily with clean water; crabs, ducks, and other wildlife are cautiously returning. To witness this rebirth up close, climb into a canoe or kayak with the Gowanus Dredgers club...Walk over the charming Carroll Street Bridge, built in 1889, and head down 1st Street to the Empty Vessel Project, a busted Navy rescue boat turned experimental floating public art space...
Did you notice the writer calls the Carroll Street Bridge "charming"? GL's Memorial Day is complete.

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