Bowsprite: A New York Harbor Sketchbook

digester eggs of newtown creek

Posted in Uncategorized by bowsprite on 2012/04/08

The digester eggs and the walkway/observation deck are a sci-fi aluminum grey, but I was in an aubergine mood today.

The Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant has been in operation since 1967. Eight eggs sit on top of 54 acres of sewage plant area through which flow 200 to 310 million gallons of wastewater per day.

What artists these eggs are in the company of!

Etched in granite are the Native American names for these places. Carved into the steps of the kayak launch are the archaeological periods we have somehow survived (with little barnacles and mussels wedged into the steps. Probably zebra mussels, so don’t feel bad for ‘em.) And there is a fragrance garden that is wheelchair accessible, but sorry, nothing for the olfactory-challenged.

A relief of the Newtown Creek, pre-European days, is etched deeply into tilted granite so  rainwater can fill it and flow.  Two metal engraved maps of the areas set into another granite table. One depicts the industrial history from 1887 – 1951 (their source is  Sanborn Maps.) Lime, tin, barrelmaking, oil, gas, petroleum, shipyard, rope and line storage, grinding, dyeing, asphalt, paving, bricks, lumber, stones, iron and bronze works, welding, chemical, box factory, hat and tie company, steam laundry: these are labels on the first map. The dark line delineates the bulkhead.  In the second map, courtesy of the DEP 2008, the dark lines are shrubs. (Who are the artists, please?)

These artists, New York Shitty, are right on the mark: the free-association of eggs, droppings and Nature Walk of purgative plants made me laugh.

Digester eggs Jello art. I am in awe: Gold medal. We know the Jell-o Plant was here (animal carcasses=bone gelatin), thank you Newtown Pentacle.

And this artist–No Pots, Just Paintings–got it. The combination of the eggs and the onion top of the Russian Orthodox churches in the neighborhood are perfect. Alas, s/he is so terse, there’s no information on the artist.

Evocative photos of Newtown Creek here.  Just a stone’s throw across the Newtown Creek is the graffitti mecca, closed for a year during which it was ‘nearly destroyed by vandals’ (developers?)

The official site of the eggs is here, but the others are just more fun, and for thoroughness (fun, history, photos, philosophy, black humor) no one can beat the Newtown Pentacle!

Thank you, Tugster, who put together the combination of digester eggs and Easter, and made it so FUN! a hoppy one to all!

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