Photos by Mike ‘Fruit Cup’ Gallant
I went up to Greenpoint to check out the Newton Creek Armada. The Newton Nature Walk, right between Brooklyn and Queens, is a strange place. The park is clean; with nice trees, real squirrels, modern looking benches and railings, bushes and shit, accessible garbage bins, not many cigarette butts, and also some of the filthiest, sludgiest runoff in NYC to muse over. There is a film over the green water and the garbage boats – parked next to scrap metal depositories – are packed high with indistinguishable brown junk. It seems like the type of place where mutant, space junkies rise from the water at night to aimlessly wander North Greenpoint, leaving piles of addictive toxic sludge behind them.
The biggest grease move this park makes is the placing of clean stone bleachers that lead into the water, inviting people to sit and watch all the filth and industrial beauty. I sat and watched as a crab emerged near the shore line. As he sank back down, two plastic bottles floated by. It was real nice.
Mike and I decided we wanted to drive some of the motorized boats that limped along through the current. We were confused about how to get our hands on a controller, but then we ran into Nathan Kensinger (artist/ photographer), a solid dude who sat us down and explained everything. This was a good conversation. Check out his website. They had us sign waivers specifically stating not to touch the water, as it was toxic.
We waited in line for about 30 minutes, which wasn’t that bad because most of the people were very friendly, especially Laura and Sarah. To pass time we watched footage from the cameras underneath the boats streaming on screens placed around the Armada site. We only had ten minutes with the boats, and had to stay in a particular area. It would have been cool to pilot the boats a little further out, but all things considered it was still a blast. I felt like a kid again. Mike and I raced, and I kicked the shit out of him both times. He tried to blame it on the boat, but he’s just a pansy mongoloid who likes to take photos in black and white (Friends Forever).
Like true sailors, we got drunk with the old man beer drinkers at Turkey’s Nest. On the way back to the train, I ran into my old t-ball coach, Mr. Pobat. It was a solid day.