2014 JS: Newtown Creek Ride

2014 JS: Newtown Creek Ride

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Word of the day
Pollution (n.) – the presence in or introduction into the environment of a substance or thing that has harmful or poisonous effects.
Latin: from polluere: to soil, defile, contaminate

Intro Lesson:
We started off, as usual, labeling the boroughs and compass directions. We focused specifically on this maze-looking section between Brooklyn and Queens which we then learned was our destination for the day: Newtown Creek. We talked about how the creek used to be very natural and looked like any, normal, “flow-ey” river should but due to industrialism, it now looks very “robotic” as coined by Cappy. We also learned that the bottom of the creek is polluted with gunk called “black mayonnaise”. Sounds disgusting right? It is. Its a mix of oil, feces, and a whole bunch of other gross stuff! Yuck!

Newtown Creek Ride:
As always, we got started at the East River on 96th Street. We rode over to the Queensboro (nothing new for our riders), crossed, and rode through Long Island City before…getting our Brooklyn Badges! To get to Brooklyn, we took the Pulanski Bridge. We stopped in the middle to take a look at the water from above. You could even see how oil makes its own rainbow-looking layer at the top of the water. Once in Brooklyn, we stopped at the intersection of Manhattan Avenue and Huron Street to view the site of the sewer explosion that gave a clue to the extent of the oil spillage in the neighborhood—gases had seeped into the system and BOOM. Manhole covers shot into the air, windows shattered and a crater was left in the street!

We we’re getting hungry so we took the opportunity to view a revitalized section of the creek waterfront at Whale Creek tributary—Newtown Creek Nature Walk. We wended our way throught he maze-like entrance and compared the winding estuary pattern of the original creek (as engraved on a stone table) to the current bulkhead-lined, right angled, industrial version. At the very back of the walk, we sat at one long picnic-like bench and feasted on turkey and cheese sandwiches, peaches, and salad. Rejuvenated and hydrated, we headed back over the Pulaski.

Boy, did we not see what was coming next. As we approached the Queensboro once again to come back to our home base, it was blocked off! (We found out afterward that this was the problem.) There were cops telling us that that were was an accident, and that we would have to wait to go over. Being the patient champs that the Jump Streeters are, they did just that. We waited, but when it looked like the bridge wasn’t opening up for a while longer, we decided to improvise…how might you ask? We took the Triborough Bridge to Randall’s Island and then, finally, the pedestrian bridge over to Manhattan. That’s not all though! Just steps away from the Triborough, Cappy got a flat tire. Thanks to our handy Jump Streeters, the problem was resolved quickly. Oh, and it even started drizzling, but thankfully only when we were very close to Stanley Isaacs.

What a day!


Co-Leaders: Cappy, Emily, Juleon, Dani, Janet, Elyse, Justin

Ride Statistics:
Miles biked: 15.62
Miles walked: 0.48 miles
Programing time: 6
Ride time: 4.5 hrs
Calories: 1089

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