"A Rancid Canal Runs Through It"

"The Gowanus Canal is the latest, hottest, coolest spot in a city that won't sleep until it's completely gentrified.

Never mind that the federal government designated the Gowanus a Superfund site last year and "one of the most contaminated bodies of water in the nation." Never mind that the waterway is so rank the feds had difficulty catching enough fish to determine if they're safe to eat. (They're not.)

The sediment, once described as looking like black mayonnaise, is thick with metals, coal tar and PCBs, and there's the 300 million gallons of storm water tainted with sewage that flows into the canal every year, changing the water color from gray to greenish from the algae feeding on human waste.

But in this part of the city, the Gowanus is what passes for the great outdoors."

Geraldine Baum reports for the Los Angeles Times August 1, 2011.

Source: LA Times, 08/02/2011