Bushwick Inlet, Brooklyn

On the rapidly gentrifying East River shoreline of Brooklyn, the border between the neighborhoods of Greenpoint and Williamsburg begins at Bushwick Inlet. Formerly used as an oil storage dock,  this indentation in the shoreline is in the process of being transformed into Brooklyn’s newest park. The inlet is a remnant of Bushwick Creek, which reached further inland prior to urbanization.

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After a struggle to acquire properties along its shores, the entirety of Bushwick Inlet is now assigned to the Parks Department as it prepares to transform the vacant space into a park. Continue reading

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Wallabout Creek, Brooklyn

A half mile to the south of Williamsburg Bridge, the East River makes a turn to the southwest with a wide cove at this knee-shaped bend. Known as Wallabout Bay, it was the site of a notorious floating prison during the Revolutionary War and the Brooklyn Navy Yard. At the northwestern corner of this property, a deep channel cuts inland as the only remnant of Wallabout Creek.

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In the second third of the 19th century, the bay had an artificial island in its middle, Cob Dock, a part of the Brooklyn Navy Yard accessible by the ferry seen in the above postcard. The bay and its feeder stream, Wallabout Creek have a long and storied history. Continue reading

Watering Holes: Pubs named for Hidden Streams

Perhaps it is their desire to connect to a distant past and to appear as established neighborhood institutions that new pubs and taverns in New York City choose to adopt the names of long-buried streams as their names. Perhaps there’s an unwritten tradition in pub naming that results in the revival of certain streams on the map.

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Here are a few New York City watering holes named after… long-buried watering holes. Continue reading