Cold Concrete Hidden Paradise

A nature walk.  IMG_1674What a lovely idea in the pits of the industrial boroughs of New York city.  A moment to get away and let the mind slip far from the hard concrete.  I have a particular love for the hard lines of industrial city life.  The more disheveled, bent, graffiti covered, and rubble abandoned lots, the more unowned possibility for everyone!  Although, there is a balance to this, which often comes in the form of consumerism-land, let’s diverge in the other direction… NATURE!!!!!

I was on an intuition walk through my neighborhood in Brooklyn and letting my internal compass lead the way.  It was a delicious sunny 50 degree day amongst the harder solid ice days of winter.  As I walked, my body was awaking to the idea that one day soon the sun would actually be a daily friend, but for now, it’s surprise appearance was making me sneeze.

Approaching an hour of wondering I was nearing my tolerance for industrial consistency.  No fear, a sign loomed over me, nearly missed by the other six signs that hung with it.  Nature WAlk!!!!

I stopped, spun around slowly, trying to catch a hint of this hiding oasis.  It must beyond that underpass out of sight.  The hunt was on.  I could feel the open uncluttered vastness dying to take space in my brain, and the intention of my intuition walk leading me to a much-needed grounded oasis.  I hadn’t even left my neighborhood, and I was about to hit never seen before natural GOLD!

It was a definite change.  I left behind the industrial urban decay and was now walking down a corridor more properly described as Industrial Park.  Clean vanilla three-story buildings, well-kept, with lots of fairly nice unused cars and vans.  The factory buildings no longer were rotting away, but shiny new and setting against the sun in bulbous glory.  No nature park yet, but I was sure I was on the right path.  There were no more signs leading me in, but an urban staircase that was much to inviting was the greatest hint.  I also happened upon two people rollerblading down the stairs that secured the knowing that nature was on the other side of those steps.

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Adventure lies wherever unknowing is ahead!!

Much like climbing a mountain face, you know in the moments before that you are about to be hit with your reward. The exhale, the expanse of mother nature punching you in the face…All of the sudden your lungs have more room for oxygen, your tired legs and feet sink deeper into the earth and you are grounded in accomplishment of finding the green treasure chest at the end of an unmarked trail.

Scratching skritch..skritch…scratch…WHa!

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Where the hell is my nature walk people??!?!!!!

At first I hit a small dose of disbelief as I looked down this sterile corridor.  I have never encountered nature such as this before.  There was so much greyish complexity before me that nothing was registering, except a small break-away piece of irony.  Instead of an exhale, I did more of a scoff and timidly kept walking forward.  With my head spinning around like a bird, I continued to look for any sign of green or organic substance.  The rarity of sun pouring over me provided such an opportunistic attitude, and the sky was so blue, I couldn’t let this illusion of cold steel stone change me.

Let’s zoom in.  For you might not recognize these beasts of nature…

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Hey look shadows!!! Their natural, right?

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I certainly have never seen these on any nature walk of mine before.  But here’s to being open-minded.  It could make a safe bird nest platform. Cozy with free state of the art security systems! Did you see that loudspeaker in the distance! If not just get out your binoculars, they are pretty rare in the WILD.

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The contrast of gorgeous blue sky against such modern industrialism does not lose its beauty amongst my unexpected confusion. The 90 degree spiral of concrete wall, dividing me from expensive private industrial lots was surely to be the final entrance into natures greening paradise.Image

 

Views from Inside the concrete walls

 

Finally I know I have come upon the precipus of nature, only by clear signs stating it!  Even if toxic, I had reached said nature.Image

Wash hands and clothing if it comes into contact with water OR sediment!!!!

At last I have come out of the three walled cement tunnel and now was certain I was experiencing the true ahah moment.  Unfortunately, I was made aware of this moment more from the green graphic printed signs designating it to be the nature, rather than seeing actual present nature.  At least with the underwhelming of natural visuals, there was a peak of excitement that goes along with being in a dangerous environment.

As I take you on this walk with me, I don’t want to get ahead of myself and relay any perspective that came from looking back on this experience…so let’s keep looking forward to the nature.

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Peering over the railing where said sign is attached, this is the view.  No mistake, those boat barges are filled with trash and debris.  A whole lot of nature dug up and deposited in boats.  Take a minute and breathe in that view,  let the oxygen or whatever substance there is make you light-headed.  Despite all the natural panorama of creek around me, I was actually more intrigued to see what else the nature walk had to offer.

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Just when I thought I might be living on the edge of a toxic adventure, I see that emergency telephone boxes have been placed every 36 feet along the pervading cement wall.  So even if I felt my esophagus start to close in from who knows what air and water assailants, I would only have to drag my body a short distance to call out for help.  Excitement from possible danger…squashed!!

UNTIL…..

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As I bring my gaze away from the telephones and pervading security cameras looming every 24 feet, my foot hits a familiar crackling cellophane.  My open-mindedness is starting to spoil along with the health of this plot of land, and I am unable to keep my gawfah’s inside.  Whomever put all this energy into construction and design, must be watching me through all those camera’s laughing that evil laugh…right?????

So, now that we’re sure our bodies are experiencing the same toxicity levels as this piece of land, it’s time to learn the NATURAL ways to cure those symptoms we’re about to accumulate from taking this walk.  ImageImageImage

Doing some research after this jaunt, I discovered that these plants were once indigenous to this creek side, before being killed off by the respected industry that keeps this area thriving.  Although I wasn’t having the experience of a nature walk, this was a place of critical thinking and discerning oxymoron.  It continued to pull me in to look closer and inspect every inch.  The walk, not surprisingly, was littered with pieces of random trash, and odd pieces of litter, which made this trash can more of an sculptured piece of art.Image

Yes, this can was perfectly clean, inside and out, as well had it’s own security camera pointing directly down into it.

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Recap!!! This is the view from the trash can and my rolling eyeballs.  Gorge!!! Right?? I can only guess the added beauty from the bizarre yellow pole lights that line the water.

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Before heading back, I try to get a little closer to the creek to see what’s happening…this photo is only color enhanced by its natural mixing of oil and other such toxins.

This blog has been long and dripping with sarcasm, but fear not, we are at the end of our nature walk.  As dictated by this last cement barrierImage

It’s locked, of course. Only one way in and one way out.  I must muck through the way I came and hope I don’t come out looking closer to a teenage mutant ninja turtle.

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Alas, I emerge back into the urban industrial grime I’m used to. I “what the hell,” my way home.  Rehashing my intuitive walk, as well as stripping and putting everything I was wearing immediately into the closest dirty laundry receptical. Totally disturbed, I notice a souvenir I’d picked up along the way…

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Dying to know what you think about the rehabilitation of toxic dump sites!!! Good idea, or no? If yes, what’s your version, and if no, where do we start…? Let’s start a convo below in the comments section

HAppy Trails!!

 

Get out there and explore nature, before it all turns into this.

From somewhere inside a puddle,

Contessa

 

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4 thoughts on “Cold Concrete Hidden Paradise

  1. This really made me ponder the process of rehabilitating a toxic environment. Not only to be safe physically, but a rehabilitation about how we think about our toxic environments. Weigh in!!!

  2. I think if anything the question is, how do we allow this to happen? And more so how do we allow ourselves not to be made aware that such places exist? For so long we turn a blind eye to the toxicity within our world. Surely there are much better ways in which we can dispose and minimise of such materials? And if not surely there should be more caution and security in place to watch over these? The place you discovered on your walk, was clearly not safeguarded, and opening you and any other person to elements without warning. Is there no way to counter remedy this? I am sure within herbalism and nature studies there are natural elements of which can be planted as counter elements? There is so much I wish to talk about on this subject myself. But Before I do so, I intend to ponder a tad more….

    Lucy xxx

  3. I can’t really weigh in on the toxic issue because around we here don’t really have any toxic places (although a nearby factory does let out a hell of a stink sometimes, resembling rotten eggs….). Personally speaking though I don’t think any toxic sites should be touched or turned into something else. They should be cleaned as best they can then simply fenced off and left alone. I wouldn’t be too trusting of a place which once contained dangerous chemicals.

    I think it’s a huge shame when natural beauty is sacrificed for industry. Close to where I live there was a patch of land full of ponds and various forms of wildlife before it was used to built a huge monstrosity which I think is meant to be for industrial storage……but remains empty. A waste of land, a waste of money and an eyesore if ever I saw one.

  4. I agree Sarah, there surely has to better ways than raping the worlds natural habitats, after all it isn’t just humans that are effected, its animals, insects, plants & tree’s to name a few. I think that we as a human race should take full fault for our selfishness, if we are to create and use toxic elements and build ugly buildings, surely we should be looking at how best and how safely to dispose of the waste, before using the materials?

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