New York/Greenpoint


Newtown Creek wastewater treatment plant (the eggs) — Greenpoint, Brooklyn
Polshek Partnership Architects — © Brian Rose

Over the weekend I went to the Newtown Creek sewage plant to tour the famous digester eggs, iconic sludge stomachs that tower over Greenpoint and can be seen from many vantage points around the city. The tour was part of Open House New York, a yearly event, in which architectural landmarks, not usually accessible, are open to the public.


Newtown Creek — © Brian Rose


Adjacent to Newtown Creek wastewater treatment plant — © Brian Rose

The eggs dominate a post-apocalyptic industrial landscape, the site of the largest oil spill in US history–still lurking beneath the surface–where ancient crumbling infrastructure meets futuristic high technology.


Newtown Creek sewage plant — © Brian Rose


Nature walk — © Brian Rose


Nature walk — © Brian Rose

On Saturday I walked around with my digital camera after going up on the catwalk above the eggs. There’s a “nature walk” that takes one along Newtown Creek, a walled in pathway leads through and around the treatment plant. It’s both wonderful and alien. The light from a leaden sky pressed down.


N. Henry Street — © Brian Rose

On Sunday I returned with my view camera–brilliant sunshine this time–and walked over the bridge that crosses Newtown Creek, and went up to an immense cemetery that overlooks the area. As to be expected I was chased out as soon as I set up my tripod. Photography not allowed. Fortunately, however, I was not picked up as a suspected terrorist while framing the eggs through the oil tanks next to the creek or the fluttering sunflowers on N. Henry Street.


Greenpoint Avenue — © Brian Rose

God Bless America.

2 thoughts on “New York/Greenpoint

  1. Anonymous

    You were chased out of a cemetery? Am I reading that right? It's so easy to do sneaky photos, why are the "officials" afraid of obvious photography?

  2. brnyc

    You would think.

    Anyone with a cell phone can take a picture almost anywhere. It comes down to two situations–private property where they don't want professional photographers doing photo shoots–so they have an arbitrary rule banning tripods. And false security concerns, which usually come down on highly visible photographers with cameras on tripods as opposed to people with small snapshot cameras. No potential terrorist is going to go around with a 4×5 view camera, but we're the scapegoats.

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