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*HighWaterLine* - Verrazano to Battery Tunnel

more information at http://www.highwaterline.org
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Start point 9/13
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Start point 9/14
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Start Point 9/15
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Beacons 9/16
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Start 9/16
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Contemplating the lights
These girls were out all day with their family for the soccer games. They watched me install, uninstall and re-install the beacons. They were so thrilled to get to see them illuminated at night and decided to sit around it looking at the light and the bubbles while I photographed the rest of the installation.

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A day filled with questions
I spent most of the day answering a lot of questions from kids and adults both. The kids were great, they were really interested in helping out with the installation. Not one of them questioned why I was out doing this. They took it in stride and just wanted to be a part of it.
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The voice of god
I was drawing the line at this oil station when I heard a voice from overhead ask what I was doing. I looked around but couldn't see anyone, then I realized it was a man in the building who was speaking to me through the pa system. I went over to explain the project - and to let him know I thought maybe the voice of god was speaking to me - and he laughed (about the project and the voice of god) and just asked that I be careful near the pumping station. If the salt water came up here, I wonder how the tanks and water pipes would stand up to the flooding.

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The industrial zone
So we all know how dirty the Gowanus Canal is - gonorrhea and all. But in some ways it can't help it. It's lined with some pretty toxic sites which are leeching into the surrounding ground water, providing ample toxic runoff and possibly discharge. This is a concrete pulverization site right on the canal.


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"water & marker"
prescient. i enjoyed holding hands with these kids from the neighborhood.
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actually thats not true
While you may not be able to stop me (the artist and the project) you can in fact stop the worst case scenario from happening. To find out some ways to change your lifestyle check out the tack action pages.
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A rose in the garden of Gowanus
Despite the heavy industry that lines the Gowanus, there are, in fact, a few jewels. I really liked the upper end, where there are a few artist studios, some interesting redevelopment and quiet tree lined streets. It was quite beautiful.

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Someone love me
The building in the distance is just crying out to be inhabited by green businesses and eco-artists. Really.

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Don't get me started
On the whole foods site...

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Sunset Industrial Park
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Man v. Nature
As you can imagine, I saw a fair share of trash strewn lots around the city. And nature is always winning out. I'm not saying that all of nature wins, but some of it does.

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Graf & Big Trucks
Other people working on the edge - graffiti artists and the photographer, Michael Iacovoni.
The industrial tricycle was right at home in this heavily industrial area. I couldn't see or sense the water which was so close by (look at the rotting piers in the sat map image). The traffic along this road was frighteningly fast paced and frighteningly large.

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Big scary Brooklyn terminal
I thought for sure I would get in trouble here (I actually didn't get in any trouble throughout the whole project). The security was pretty high, there were guards and gates and everything looked very serious. I locked up the bike on first avenue, quietly wheeled the heavy hitter across 58th and then calmly drew the line as if there was nothing out of the ordinary going on. (That demeanor probably saved me a lot of times).
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A bike runs through it
I am drawing the line along the Shore Parkway on a beautiful sunny day in September. A guy rides up to me to ask me what I am doing. He says "I am wondering because I have been riding through it watching it spray out behind me." He was interested in the project and found room for an action packet in his small bike under-seat pouch.

This is also where I met the woman who thought the line was ugly. But you can read about that in the blog (click on the "read more" below).

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What if?
What if there were no butterflies left to flap their wings?

Read about the disappearing butterfiles
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One day we'll notice something different
I met an older gentleman around this area. He watched me go back and forth a couple of times and decided to ask what I was up to. He lives on the street where the Bay Ridge tornados hit. His house wasn't damaged, but some of his neighbors suffered massive damage. The auto showroom had all of its plate glass windows shattered and the roof blown off. He was saying that we were lucky that they hit in the middle of the night. If they had hit during the day there would have been a lot more people on the street and more chance that many people could have been injured.

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Eileen
I met Eileen round about here. She was Scottish, but had lived in Bay Ridge for over 20 years (still had the brogue though). She stopped me because she was concerned that I was going to hurt my back leaning over to wheel the Heavy Hitter (I have to keep the front wheels up when it is full - 50 pounds full - so that the chalk doesn't get gummed up by the rotor inside), she gave me the idea to wheel it behind me, which was a great innovation for when the chalker was empty! She was interested in the affects of climate change locally and was interested to hear about the previous "perfect storm" which hit New York in 1938, creating a wall of water 20 feet high which hit Battery Park in Manhattan. She took an action packet and I saw her standing looking over the water reading all of the cards.

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Below the Verrazano

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The fabulous food vendors
One of the interesting aspects of the HWL project was learning more about the different neighborhoods of Brooklyn and - wonderfully - the foods. I looked forward to finally trying the flavors of the vendors at the Red Hook ballfields - and was not at all disappointed. They fed my friends and I very well.
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In the future I will own the internet
I had one young man - of the many kids who were helping me - who stuck with me through the whole installation. He helped carry water back and forth from the fountain, helped fill the beacons and told people about the project. Along the way I got to hear a lot about what he was up to as well. His favorite topic was the internet and the future. His plan is to one day own the internet. Then he would give other people the internet on a disc. There was also something about a dog, but I couldn't quite figure out how that fit in with the internet (it did). He was hopeful that in the future, I would be interested in his internet. I told him I certainly would be.
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Sweet Sunset Park
I have no idea what goes on in here (what with it being across the street from a big jail of some kind), but the smell that it produces is quite yummy! There were ladies out front in the white coats and hair nets that are associated with commercial food industry. There was no signage or anything around to identify what was happening inside, just my imagination to conjute pictures of something along the lines of a Charlie & the Chocolate Factory type of scene.