Archive for the ‘Gowanus Canal’ Category

Welcome to Brooklyn Skeptic’s newest (god-willing) weekly photoblogging extravaganza.

Kentile Floors Sign from 9th Street – Gowanus

Right now we are tentatively calling this “Brooklyn Skep-Pics”. Now I say tentatively because I’m open to ideas and because I worry about misleading droves of the good natured “skep” enthusiasts in Brooklyn. There’s a group of people you don’t want angry at you. If you are a lost and confused honey bee fan, please click here to be redirected.

For those of who have stuck around, let us know if you have any name suggestions and please feel free to shower my pictures with compliments.

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My charming and incredibly handsome roommate has informed me of several updates in Gowanus. First of all, apparently Sludgie was not the first whale seen in the Gowanus area. I especially like the part when someone compares Gowanus to “a ‘region of the dead,’ like the River Styx of mythology.” Comforting.

And secondly, Gowanus Yacht Club is set to open this weekend! For those of you unfamiliar with the bar, it is all outdoors and incredibly cheap. On their menu are some 22oz. Ballantine’s for a cheap price (and various other beers), as well as grill food. I wholly intend to quit my job and spend the rest of the summer sitting there. Perhaps we’ll see each other there sometime.

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I want to say, this has been a tough week. Lots of negative things going on. But you…you brightened people’s hearts. The idea of a whale in Brooklyn put a smirk on all of our faces.

I hoped you could have moved on, found a group of fellow whales, swam away in cleaner, gentler waters…(less bodies, shrapnel, and toxic sludge)

In the words of beloved Mayor Bloomberg, “My thoughts are with the whale.”

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Had I known. That. There was a whale. Down the street from me. In. The Gowanus Canal. I. Would have. Dropped whatever I was doing. To. See. That. Shit.

I. Love. Whales.

In all seriousness though, there being a whale in the Gowanus Canal both worries and excites me. I worry due to the canal’s poisonous toxins, but I am excited because there was a whale in Brooklyn.

Sea life is so amazing.

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west hartford whale

A WHALE in Gowanus Canal!!

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There is a certain time of year when 50 degrees seems pleasant and weak afternoon sunlight streaming through your lager reminds you of laying out by the pool with a daiquiri. As the weather becomes less ferocious, we’re all looking for one thing: outdoor happy hour.

Yesterday, we hit up Abilene on Court Street, between 2nd and 3rd Place. I don’t know what this neighborhood is called because I believe anything west of the Gowanus is the nexus of the universe. The bar has several tables outside, which leaves ample doggie-petting opportunities while you’re shivering in the anemic sunshine. Once hypothermia set in, we moved inside where the gigantic street-level windows gave us the feeling that we were still outside, but without the crippling chill.

The photograph above is an example of this bar’s bathroom graffiti. It offers a pretty good picture of the clientele at this particular establishment. Nerds. It is reason enough to check this place out.

442 Court Street
F or G to Carroll
Brooklyn, NY

$3 beers and well drinks until 8pm! Board games and NYC Condoms available at the bar!

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Interesting choice in route, the 4th and 9th R/M to Union Square over the F to 14th Street. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say you had a few valuable words of wisdom there, Friend. However, I do know better, so now I must annihilate you and your arguments.

First off, I must state that the R and M trains are, how you say, pieces of shit. And don’t you dare deny this, Friend. Don’t you (fucking) dare. You and I both know that even at their fastest, I could run alongside both trains and beat either one to the next station. And this is coming from someone with a weak respiratory system, strained left shoulder, and bad knees. Maybe you enjoy riding those graffiti’d subway tracks at such a slow pace you’re able to read every crude comment written on those black, tarred walls. But I, personally, enjoy feeling as though I am in an actual moving vehicle, not a carriage being pulled by a Gypsy Horse in the mid to late 1600’s. But perhaps you have an old soul, which would explain your penchant for slow moving cars, similar to how an 88 year old likes to drive 13 mph on a 65 mph highway. In which case, then yeah, the R or M trains might be a wiser choice.

I, however, am young at heart. I, like most humans, prefer my trains to be fast. I like to feel a steady flow of vibrations below my feet, and getting to work on time.

I’d also like to address the fact that the 4th and 9th Street F stop is above ground. And correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t you once state, and I think pretty recently, that, “Without the Canal, the F train would not make its two glorious above-ground stops at Smith & 9th and 4th Avenue. Think of all those people who wouldn’t be able to send text messages, check their voice mail and make annoying phone calls while commuting with 6000 other people in a single train car.” Oh, hey look what I found. Your exact quote. So, interesting. You choose the shitty, stank, underground R/M, over the oh-so glorious above-ground F stop. Two timer.

Now, I know you’re probably going to come back at me with, “but one rides the R/M for no more than three stops.” Well, I have news for you, the N train moves just as slowly as the R. It skips stops, yes. However, it is so incredibly jam-packed in the morning that the actual weight of the train permits it to drive only at a negative pace. -12 mph, if you’re looking for a rough figure. It is literally, torture.

Convenience is also key here. The F train is a straight shot to 14th Street. No transfers necessary. This means, if you, or I, or anyone else is lucky enough to find an open seat right off the bat, well all I can say is, Zzzzzzz. That means you get to take a nap. And sleep my friend, is a precious, precious thing.

Lastly, if you’re going by old adages, how about this one. N stands for Never; R stands for Rarely.


PS I bet you didn’t expect any of your previous arguments to nip you in the butt.

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Breezy Point

A counterpoint to Gowanus.

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I think there’s one more thing that must be noted about our favorite river of filth oozing through the heart of Brooklyn: subliminal messages.


It’s as though the under-appreciated body of water is saying, “look everyone, there is one other thing in the world that’s nastier than me.”


Gowanus Canal Debate Series: Yay
Gowanus Canal Debate Series: Nay
Gowanus Canal Debate Series: Yay II

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GowanusYou need to sit back and rethink your whole relationship with Brooklyn. I mean, don’t you learn to love all the mutated mice and slime of the one you hold dear, just like Billy Crystal in When Harry Met Sally?

The best thing about Brooklyn is the toxic creatures, the muck, and the buildings that look like they’re leftover from “The Blitz” in WW2. After a while it makes you feel at home.

Really the canal adds to the overall atmosphere of Brooklyn. The quiet stagnant water reflecting the off-colored lights, the indefinable smells, the colorful graffiti…I don’t know why you love Brooklyn, but the irony of expensive boutiques and trendy cafe’s next to scenes of The Warriors…really tugs at my heartstrings.

Gowanus “yay”s pull in the lead.

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