Arts of Noticing

The first assigned project for Designing the Postnatural is a semester long observational task. We are tasked with observing and recording our observations about either a species or ecosystem in NYC that we are unfamiliar with. I decided to observe a stretch of Newtown Creek as I have not really spent any time checking out most of it.

Newtown Creek has had a history of pollution and toxic waste dumping from companies that have industrialized the area since the 1800s. In recent years there have been cleanup efforts for the creek with various levels of success. Most notable after the Greenpoint oil spill when EPA designated the area a superfund site.

At the time of writing this I have visited one new area of the creek. That is the Newtown Creek Nature Walk. This walk is quite odd in that it is full of vegetation of all kinds and includes industrial views of the surroundings. As far as an ecosystem goes it is probably on the stranger side but also fits well with NYC and its history. Meaning that the creek and its current state is all a byproduct of NYCs old school ideal of uninhibited growth and expansion before looking at the negative repercussions that could have.

I will also be checking out a different area of the creek to see if that is a better fit as it is supposedly less tampered with. Depending on which I feel will be a better fit for the project I will focus on one or the other.