Well, that’s one way to avoid the G train. Passersby in South Brooklyn spotted a man paddle boarding on the Gowanus Canal this week. That’s right, as in standing on a flat board with no shoes on in the notoriously disgusting Gowanus Canal, splashing water around with no protection against falling in.
In case you’re unfamiliar, the canal has all the diseases, no dolphins (R.I.P. Dolph Fun-dgren) and, if you’ve ever walked around the neighborhood after a rain, smells like sewage. But that didn’t stop one brave soul from Brooklyn by the name of Gary Francis from pursuing his dream of splashing garbage water all over himself for the sake of some political statement.
“Paddling the Gowanus Canal is beautiful & offers a great look at the underbelly of Brooklyn,” wrote Francis on his Instagram selfie, “as well as being prime protected water for training. I’ve seen ducks, geese, cormorants, big fish, little fish, crabs & herons, it is very much alive.”
Alive is right! Try telling that to your new foot in six weeks, Gary!
Anyway, first the Gowanus swimmer, and now this. Has the Gowanus Canal officially been tamed? And what can we expect to see on the water with Brooklyn’s final frontier now settled? Thanks to Francis’ feat, the Gowanus Canal is poised to become New York’s newest lakeside vacation spot, featuring fly-fishing (that is, catching fish that can fly), a food-boat popup market sponsored by Troma Films and water-on condos, probably.
After all, is the canal really that much dirtier than the city above it? The answer is obviously yes, but indulge the poetry of that thought for a moment. Francis certainly did:
“Today’s top comment was ‘Does it smell?’ from someone [standing] above me on this bridge. ‘Does it smell up there?’ I asked back.”
[h/t Pardon Me For Asking]