The novelist Joanna Hershon has set her scenes in a vibrant multiplicity of locales: China, Tanzania, Anguilla, New Hampshire, New York and Berlin, for example. Her painter husband Derek Buckner, on the other hand, has traveled to Mexico for his work, but often enough finds inspiration in the intensely local, and even in the apparently mundane. The Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and the Gowanus Canal have appeared on his canvases, and Mr. Buckner once devoted an entire series to depictions of marshmallows.
It seems likely, then, that Mr. Buckner’s creativity might be more adversely affected than his wife’s by their recent activity on the real estate market. The pair just sold their four-bedroom Brooklyn townhouse at 414 Sackett Street for $2.5 million, according to city records. (Any additional snack-food-themed collections can, of course, be completed from wherever they land next.)
The teeming waters of the Gowanus Canal have never been more alive–and not just with deadly, deadly bacteria.
On June 15, the super-polluted Gowanus Canal will be hosting the Gowanus Challenge, a 2.5-mile boat race that aims to raise funds and, hopefully, awareness. Gowanus Dredgers Club treasurer Owen Foote told The Observer that the Read More
The early effects of Hurricane Sandy led to some flooding along the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn, one of the most polluted waterways in the country. With the storm at its height, the canal has completely overflowed and is covering many of the streets in the Carroll Gardens neighborhood adjacent to its shores.
When The Levee Breaks
With the combined effects of the surge from Hurricane Sandy and high tide, the Gowanus Canal broke its banks this morning in multiple locations and flooded over many of the streets in mandatory evacuation Zone A along its shores. The Observer was on hand to take pictures of the waters. It was far worse than anything we witnessed with the initial Sandy surge at high tide last night.
Who would want to live on the shores of a Superfund site? Maybe the better question is, who would want to own a place on one?
Toll Brothers killed their plan to build a new housing complex on the Gowanus Canal two years ago when the U.S. Enviornmental Protection Agency decreed the canal was toxic, despite protests and counter-proposals from the Bloomberg administration. That is why the news earlier this month that the Lighthouse Group was going to develop the site was so surprising. But part of the developer’s secret appears to be hundreds more units and renting them rather than selling them.
The Mysteries of Brooklyn
In 2004, just as Brooklyn was becoming a thing, McMansion developers Toll Brothers set their sites on an unusual location in the middle of the borough: the banks of the Gowanus Canal, one of the most heavily polluted corners of the city. After the public review process concluded, the plan was impeded by an unprecedented obstacle: the EPA announced it was adding the Gowanus canal to its Superfund list. And that’s when the Toll Brothers decided to scrap the plans.
But yesterday, Browstoner revealed a new development in the story, hearing that a rather unknown firm, The Lightstone Group, has intentions to take over the Toll Brothers site and build 700 new apartments there.
The Mysteries of Brooklyn
There is something about big box stores that brings out irrational hatred. Especially in Brooklyn.
Now that plans for a 52,000-square foot Whole Foods store are hurtling toward groundbreaking, Brooklynites have been forced to confront their fears that without dogged opposition, the borough might come to resemble the kind of suburban hellhole found in the southern or central U.S. Or the Upper West Side, even.
The seven-year roller coaster ride that has been Whole Foods’ Brooklyn saga may be taking another nose dive. The blissful ride started in 2005, long before Brian Williams had ever heard of Brooklyn. It slowed to a snail’s pace in 2007 and then completely halted in 2008 in the midst of the grotesque Gowanus Canal’s Superfunding. New York State was nice enough to clean up the property and set Whole Foods back on track in 2010.
The whole ordeal has left us twisted and nauseous from the bureaucratic and communal ups, downs, and loop-de-loops. (Or maybe the toxins are making us nauseous.) Regardless, Whole Foods might be one rubber stamp away from approval, but the Gowanus locals are not succumbing without one last fight.
You’re welcome, Toll Brothers.
The big-time developers fumed, along with the mayor, when the Environmental Protection Agency decided to designate the Gowanus Canal a Superfund site last year. Playing a game of Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil, Toll threatened to pull out of a big 447-unit development on the Read More