Creek Feed

Load More

newtown creek on an overcast day

Connor and I walked over to the Newtown Creek Nature Park and spent an hour there talking about the creek, industry and remove…what an amazing respite from the rest of the city.


2016-06-23 13.02.59-1
whale creek inlet

2016-06-23 13.09.33-1

Facing Queens from the steps that mislead you to think of walking into the Creek.
They’re designed a bit like the ghats in India.

2016-06-23 13.29.08

this guy ran out of gas and was paddling to the put-in with a hose on a stick. he works for bridge safety.

2016-06-23 13.52.33

and this is an incredible odd sculpture along the Greenpoint Ave side of the Wastewater Treatment Facility. It’s not an entrance to the building, but a strange inside/outside overbuilt water feature.


Dossier on Councilmen Levins (D33), Reynoso (D34), and van Bramer (D26)

“The Council has 35 committees with oversight of various functions of the city government. Each council member sits on at least three standing, select or subcommittees (listed below). The standing committees meet at least once per month. The Speaker of the Council, the Majority Leader, and the Minority Leader are all ex officio members of every committee.

Council members are elected every four years, except for two consecutive two year terms every twenty years to allow for redistricting between the terms due to the national census (starting in 2001 and 2003 for the 2000 Census and again in 2021 and 2023 for the 2020 Census).” -from Wikipedia


Steven Levin

District 33- Brooklyn Heights, DUMBO, Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Boerum Hill, Vinegar Hill, Downtown Brooklyn, Bedford–Stuyvesant

Committees: Chair of the Committee on General Welfare. Member of Committee(s) on Cultural Affairs, Education, Environmental Protection, Land Use, and Transportation

Subcommittees: Landmarks, Public Siting and Maritime Uses.

NY City Council Profile

Scheduling a meeting:
Office Phone: 718-875-5200

410 Atlantic Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11217

“Stephen Levin was elected in 2009 to represent the 33rd District in the New York City Council, which includes the diverse communities of Brooklyn Heights, DUMBO, Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Boerum Hill, Vinegar Hill, Downtown Brooklyn, and Bedford–Stuyvesant.

A native of Plainfield, New Jersey, Stephen moved to Brooklyn to work as a community organizer after graduating from Brown University. Stephen started his career by simultaneously running a Lead Safe House program and an anti-predatory lending program. The Lead Safe House program helped to relocate families of lead-poisoned children out of hazardous apartments. Stephen also used this program to work with homeowners to effectively and efficiently remediate lead contamination. As director of the anti-predatory lending program, Stephen organized homeowners throughout the community through grassroots outreach and community workshops about the dangers of subprime mortgages. Working with the City, local elected officials, and advocacy groups, Stephen was able to galvanize the community against the unscrupulous lending practices that were decimating the neighborhood with foreclosures. In 2006, Stephen went to work for the New York State Assembly, where his non-profit experience allowed him to advocate effectively for constituents.

As a Councilmember, Stephen has proven to be a leader on education and early childhood issues, and an advocate for increased open space in our communities and transportation safety initiatives. He has passed legislation requiring the Department of Education to notify families and teachers about potential PCB contamination, and has sponsored resolutions calling for mandatory kindergarten and breakfast-in-the-classroom.”


Antonio Reynoso

District 34- Bushwick, Williamsburg, Ridgewood (Queens)

Committees: Chair of Committee on Sanitation and Solid Waste Management, Member of Committees of Education, Gov Operations, Land Use, State and Federal Legislation, Transportation

Subcommittees: Zoning and Franchises, Task Force on Affordable Housing Preservation

NY City Council Profile

Office Phone: 718-963-314

244 Union Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211

“As the Councilmember representing the 34th district, Antonio wants to create an environment conducive to a better quality of life for residents of Bushwick and Williamsburg in Brooklyn and Ridgewood in Queens. He understands that success in his district starts with strong schools, the fundamental access to affordable housing, and economic growth.

Antonio Reynoso was born and raised in the Los Sures section of Williamsburg to immigrant parents from the Dominican Republic. At a young age, Antonio’s parents instilled in him the importance of hard work, education, and community service. These lessons have undoubtedly influenced his core philosophy and remain with him today.

Antonio graduated from LeMoyne College with a bachelor’s degree in political science. As a Community Organizer for NYC A.C.O.R.N., Antonio led a comprehensive coalition to improve the professional lives of child-care providers by legitimizing the profession through Union incorporation.

Since 2007, Antonio has worked relentlessly for the communities throughout the 34th Council District improving the quality of life for the residents of Brooklyn and Queens.  First, being hired as a Ridgewood representative where he empowered constituencies by fostering relationships with building and small business owners and facilitating the processes of city government.  In 2009, Antonio became Councilmember Reyna’s Chief of Staff, where he oversaw and advanced progressive policies and legislative reforms for affordable housing, economic development, job creation, education, and public safety.

Antonio is an experienced leader who knows how to cultivate diverse coalitions and is focused on delivering and maximizing the necessary programs and services to the diverse populations in the 34th District.“


James van Bramer (Council Majority Leader)

Alternate Website

District 26- Woodside, Sunnyside, Long Island City, Astoria

Committees: Chair of Committee Cultural Affairs, Libraries and International Intergroup Relations. Member of Committees of Health, Parks and Rec, Finance, Public Housing, Transport

Subcommittees: none

NY City Council Profile

Office Phone: 718-383-9566

47-01 Queens Boulevard Suite 205 Sunnyside, NY 11104

“A life long resident of Western Queens, Jimmy Van Bramer was elected to the New York City Council on November 3, 2009. He was overwhelmingly elected to a second 4-year term on November 5, 2013.
On January 22nd, 2014 Council Member Van Bramer was elected Majority Leader of the New York City Council which is the second highest ranking member in the 51 member body. As part of his duties as Majority Leader, he was also appointed by Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito to co-chair the newly constituted Budget Negotiating Team (BNT) which plays an integral role in formulating the City’s budget process to fund critical programs, projects and organizations citywide. Council Member Van Bramer also plays a key role is working with all members of the City Council, serving as a bridge between colleagues and the Speaker.

Council Member Van Bramer was also reappointed to chair the Council’s Cultural Affairs, Libraries and International Intergroup Relations Committee. As Chair of the committee, he has direct oversight over 200 libraries and thousands of cultural organizations, institutions and programs throughout New York City. During his first four years as Chair of the Cultural Affairs Committee, Council Member Van Bramer fought hard to restore over $575 million for our City’s libraries and the arts.

In 2013, as an active member of the New York City Council’s budget negotiating team, he helped secure $106 million for capital funding projects that will continue to help our City remain a world class destination.
As a Council Member, he has dedicated himself to addressing the issues that the people in the 26th Council District care about. From 2009 to 2013, Council Member Van Bramer’s office helped over 12,000 constituents with a wide variety of issues, including: illegal drag racing, graffiti on private properties, cleanliness of residential streets, necessary traffic safety improvements, immigration/deportation cases, social services and general quality of life complaints.

Since taking office, Council Member Van Bramer has continued to aggressively tackle overcrowding in our schools. In just four years, he has played a pivotal role in securing six new schools within the 26th District. The addition of these new schools will provide over 2,600 seats to neighborhood children in Astoria, Long Island City, Sunnyside and Woodside.

During his first term, Council Member Van Bramer allocated over $10 million toward enhancing parks throughout the 26th District. With this funding he has helped build new dog runs, renovated existing playground facilities and increase the about of green space throughout the community.
A community organizer, Council Member Van Bramer is the son of two active union members. While growing up he sometimes followed his stepfather, a public-school custodian, to work. As he watched his stepfather polish classroom floors and scrub desks so that children and teachers could have a clean learning space, Council Member Van Bramer learned the importance of hard work, and the powerful impact that seemingly small efforts can have on the lives of working people. Council Member Van Bramer has carried those lessons throughout his life.

Council Member Van Bramer’s career has been devoted to making our community stronger and making life better for Queens families like the one he grew up in. From 1999-2009, he served as the Chief External Affairs Officer of the Queens Public Library. As the library’s link between community members and government, Council Member Van Bramer worked to protect and expand important library services, such as after-school programs and English language classes. He also led members of the Queens community on annual trips to Albany and Washington, D.C. to help them make their voices heard by government officials. In addition, Council Member Van Bramer served as a member of Community Board 2 and its Land Use Committee from 2006-2009.

Before joining the leadership of the Queens Borough Public Library, Council Member Van Bramer fought to protect the rights of regular people in the democratic process by working on the Clean Money, Clean Elections campaign. As the organization’s Deputy Field Director, Jimmy brought together Queens community leaders and working people from every walk of life to win important changes in election laws. Council Member Van Bramer has also worked as a reporter for Lesbian and Gay New York (LGNY), now Gay City News, a community newspaper, where he brought attention to the AIDS epidemic and bias/hate crimes.

The ideals that Council Member Van Bramer has worked for over his entire career — respect for working people, equality for all, and the importance of improving quality of life in our community — were instilled in him by his family and strong Catholic upbringing here in Queens. His father, William Van Bramer, was a lifelong member of Printers’ and Pressman’s Union Local 2. Elizabeth Van Bramer, Council Member Van Bramer’s mother, helped support the family by taking a variety of jobs in their neighborhood, and she was a member of Local 1893 of the International Brotherhood of Painters.

Council Member Van Bramer is proud to have been educated in Queens’ public schools. He graduated from P.S. 70, J.H.S. 10, and William Cullen Bryant High School. He then worked his way through St. John’s University. Since 2004 he has represented his neighborhood and the 37th Assembly District on the New York State Democratic Committee. Additionally, he is a past President of the West Queens Independent Democratic Club and a member of the Board of Directors of the Ridgewood Democratic Club.
Majority Leader Van Bramer currently lives in Sunnyside Gardens with Dan Hendrick, his partner of 15 years. The two were married on July 28th, 2012 with Council Member Van Bramer becoming the first openly-gay elected official to get married in the borough of Queens.“

Some Demographics for the Different Neighborhoods Surrounding Newtown Creek




D33- Levin

White, non-hispanic: 76.9%
Black, non-hispanic: 1.2%
Asian, non-hispanic: 4.9%
Other, non-hispanic: 0.6%
2 or more, non-hispanic: 1.7%
Hispanic/Latinx: 14.7%

Median Age: 34

Median Household Income: 45k

Employment Breakdown
White Collar: 62%
Blue Collar: 38%

Bachelor’s or higher: 51%
Did not attain HS diploma: 19%

Interesting Points:

  • Provost St borders the wastewater treatment facility, a number of blocks adjacent to Provost are home to scrap, auto, trucking, other business-to-business industries.


East Williamsburg

D34, Reynoso

White, non-hispanic: 43.1%
Black, non-hispanic: 9.3%
Asian, non-hispanic: 12.7%
Other, non-hispanic: 0.5%
2 or more, non-hispanic: 1.6%
Hispanic/Latinx: 32.7%

Median Age: 32

Median Household Income: 44k

Employment Breakdown
White Collar: 70%
Blue Collar: 30%

Bachelor’s or higher: 19%
Did not attain HS diploma: 47%

Interesting Points:

  • Borinquen Plaza I and II and Hylan are three NYCHA housing projects along Flushing Ave, with a pocket of unemployment in those neighborhoods.
  • Cooper Park is a public park and housing project in Northern Williamsburg, ~7 south of the QBE
  • Most of the properties bordering the creek (north of Meeker) are non-residential, business-to-business wholesale and processing, fabrication businesses.
  • Access to the creekside is very difficult from Williamsburg.


Hunters Point-Sunnyside-West Maspeth, Queens

D26, van Bramer

White, non-hispanic: 35.4%
Black, non-hispanic: 2.5%
Asian, non-hispanic: 24.3%
Other, non-hispanic: 0.8%
2 or more, non-hispanic: 2.1%
Hispanic/Latinx: 34.8%

Median Age: 35

Median Household Income: 56k

Employment Breakdown
White Collar: 62%
Blue Collar: 38%

Bachelor’s or higher: ~41%
Did not attain HS diploma: ~27%
(made of avgs of three different neighborhoods, may vary)

Interesting Points:

  • Heavy development in the Court Square of Sunnyside, Hunters Point.



new works / work in progress:

MORE&MORE (2016)
Animations, sculptures, books

Floating Studio for Dark Ecologies (2014)
Work in Progress

Dear Climate (2014): Tools for Inner Climate Change,
agit prop posters, meditative audio works,
with Una Chaudhuri, Fritz Ertl, and Oliver Kellhammer

Mesocosm (Times Square) (2014)
Software-driven animation

events lately / soon:

Jelly Cam and jelly info

I’ve been more disorganized than I thought I’d be on my residency in Houston! That’s by way of saying, I don’t have any extensive reports, but more generally, I’ve been working two prongs: one, learning more about port operations and sidling up close to big ships and black boxes; two, jellyfish – learning about them, conceptualizing a world dominated by these “global citizens” and figuring out inventive ways to eat them.

I had the honor of spending a day with Juli Berwald, a science writer spending a lot of time thinking about jellyfish.

But this post is primarily a link to Monterey Bay Aquarium’s live jellyfish cam, featuring sea nettles (Chrysaora fuscescens).

If the screen is black, try Sea Nettle Jelly Cam After Hours