Now and then, I get over to Gowanus and wind through its desolate streets. You never know what you're going to find in that strange industrial wasteland.
For example, a bunch of silver balloons, filled with helium, rising and falling in the wind. They look like an organism on their own. They call to you, making you wonder how they got here. Did they get lost, drop, and snag on a tree's fallen limb? Did a jilted lover leave them behind?
Venturing down a muddy "do not enter" driveway, past a row of crumbling buildings, a cracked patio where a greasy cat is stalking prey, you come to the toxic waters.
There the balloons are tethered--to an inflatable, gold-painted dolphin, itself tethered to a half-sunken boat stuffed with bright beach balls. (An homage to the dolphin who died here?)
There isn't another human being anywhere in view. It's just you and the balloons. A moment of quiet mystery.
Not for long. More condos are coming. The cafes and Whole Foods. There is little space left for quiet mysteries.