Reflections On The Gowanus Canal

“Cul-de-sacs, like the one on Douglass Street, serve as observation posts. At one, Alberto Lasso keeps his collection of empty bottles, gathered from the surrounding streets in carts he built with help from a local welder. Mr. Lasso comes to the same spot every night, sorting bottles of imported beer into cardboard boxes to return for their 5-cent deposits. Once, he saw a car plow through the metal barrier at the end of the street and land in the canal. But otherwise, it’s quiet. ‘That’s why I’m here,’ Mr. Lasso said.”
Kareem Fahim’s ode to the Gowanus Canal in today’s Times is nice to read. And the accompanying collection of readers’ paintings and photos is nice to look at. But my favorite thing about the canal will always be the recurring joke in Jonathan Lethem’s Motherless Brooklyn about it being “the only body of water in the world that was 90 percent guns.”