Thursday, March 21, 2013

Gowanus Balloons

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.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I love that second photo; the lonely balloons.

Please be careful whilst walking by the Gowanus. Many a friend had been jumped underneath the BQE, but that was when the city was edgy, gritty and non-glossy...

-Chums mum

laura said...

are you sure? or is this projection? whats are the choices? whole foods or mac donalds? you know what side i am on. what i would like to see is the return of manufacturing in NYC. but we cant fight globalism.

Goggla said...

Ha, I love random stuff like this. Maybe it was meant for you?

Marty Wombacher said...

I loved this post, great one!

Anonymous said...

Why can't we fight globalism? If we don't, NYC and all cities will just turn into swaths of condoss, tourists and lower wage service jobs to serve the small percent of wealthy people who use our city as a playground.

mch said...

Whimsy. So much of it in NYC, but it receives too little attention in the midst of celebrations of "the city that never sleeps."

Anonymous said...

If it cleans up the canal, I am fine with the new development. It is a crime what has happened there, it could be beautiful.

As for the balloons, dolphin, and beach balls, I am in awe. I love it.

Anonymous said...

It's a project of Public Lab, mapping the pollution in Gowanus. http://publiclaboratory.org/place/new-york-city

Brendan said...

Why do people always talk as though the only choice is between ultra-luxury development and no development at all?

It was not always that way.

Anonymous said...

hello ! how silly can you get and not much better to do with your time .
Just not grown up or kids can do this
From jill
in UK