Since this blog was launched in December 2015, I’ve documented the city’s hidden waterways with as much detail as possible, but then after publishing the pieces, I stumble upon more old photos, maps, and postcards of the published streams.
The photo of note here is this August 1940 aerial survey of the first World’s Fair at Flushing Meadows, looking east. It is a Parks Department photo from the Municipal Archives collection. The corridor of open land between the street grids of downtown Flushing and Queensboro Hill is today’s Kissena Corridor Park, where Kissena Creek used to flow.
Ask a native New Yorker where one can find the city’s largest botanical garden, and the answer is outside of Manhattan. The same goes for the city’s largest zoo and largest city-operated park. In a measure of the limited independence that the city’s other four boroughs feel, each has its own zoo, art museum, and botanical garden.
By definition, a botanical garden is a collection of diverse plant species from many climates, locations and habitats. This includes sandy deserts and wetlands (saltwater and freshwater). In places where there are no natural streams, the botanical gardens carve out waterways that appear naturalistic and plant wetland flora along their banks.
One such example is the Queens Botanical Garden in Flushing, which has an artificial stream running through its property, which itself is a landfill covering a natural stream running through a sewer deep beneath the surface. Continue reading