Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Today's Must Reading + Map: Dirty Gowanus

Photographer and nouveau blogger Sonja Shield--who reports her Brooklyn Ramblings blog was just released from "Blogger Robot Prison" on the same site that hosts Gowanus Lounge--digs into the Gowanus Whole Foods site and offers a thoroughly researched and sobering analysis of just what is inside the oozing hole in the ground at Third Street and Third Avenue. Click over to Sonja's blog to get all the unsettling details. We will simply summarize by saying that among the tasty treats in the soil and water are Naphthalene (an ingredient in mothballs and "possible" carcinogen) and something called Xylene, a "toxic chemical that can cause dizziness, confusion, and problems with balance at high levels." (Can someone pass the Organic Ginger Miso Dressing, please?) Many contaminants have been removed and the rest are deemed okay to remain as they're underground. "There have been a number of spills and environmental contaminants in the vicinity of the proposed Whole Foods lot since 1978, the first year of DEC's on-line database," Shield reports.

Best of all, Shield has created the absolute must-read Map of the Day: A "Dirty Gowanus" map (pictured above) that shows some of the unappetizing issues near the Whole Foods site. We especially love the "volatile organics" at Third and Third in '96--what's that, like, flammable arugula and explosive bok choy?

While we don't like dumping on our favorite canal or its environs, all we can say is: Bon App├ętit.

Note to Self: Maybe the Park Slope Food Coop shouldn't be written off as dead just yet.


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