Wednesday, July 26, 2006

"New Life for the Gowanus"

CarollStBridge

Today's New York Sun has a lengthy and very upbeat article on our namesake, the Big G, that continues the excellent press our once scorned South Brooklyn Seine and environs has been getting in recent months. The Sun notes the upcoming opening of the Gowanus Holiday Inn Express (which we learn, to our disappointment, does not have canal views), notes that developer Shaya Boymelgreen is still cooking up plans for Gowanus Village and updates the status of planning and zoning efforts that will determine Gowanus' actual future. It devotes a great deal of space to the work of the Gowanus Canal Community Development Corporation, which recently released an updated comprehensive plan for the neighborhood.

Here's our favorite part of the article:
The Gowanus, like the canals in Chartres, Venice, Gdansk, and Georgetown, has an intimate scale and calm waters. Gowanus is rich in history; as a creek it was one of the first Dutch settlements; the site of the Battle of Brooklyn ("Good God, what brave men must I lose this day!" said Washington of the 400 Marylanders); the landscape industrialized by real estate developer Edwin Litchfield, who petitioned the legislature to allow the building of the canal (his Italianate Brooklyn Improvement Co. building still stands at Third Avenue and Third Street, and was recently landmarked). The canal has water, scale, ecology and history — and it smells better than Venice!
In point of fact, Gowanus Lounge has logged months of time in Venice over the years, and we can attest to the fact that in the last several years, at least, we have rarely noticed the Gowanus smelling as ripe as many of the canals of our favorite city in all the world can smell on the wrong day.

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