Robert Sullivan (the same guy who wrote Rats) has an article in New York Magazine about Fresh Kills Landfill, where piles of garbage "about the height of Mexico’s Great Pyramid of Cholula" are currently being repurposed to become one of New York City's largest parks. Here's a post I'd written about Fresh Kills Park last summer.
In an age when our remaining inner-city wildnernesses are usually abandoned industrial or military sites, the new park's designers are hoping to set a new standard in park design: "They would not build a new park on top of an old dump. Instead, they would make the old dump a part of the new park, by acknowledging it, reclaiming it, recycling it on behalf of a modern metropolis."
The future of Fresh Kills: cross-country skiing on half a century's accumulation of garbage. Rendering courtesy of Field Operations.
Sullivan's article is also rich with garbage trivia: the Sanitation Dept. processes 312 gallons of liquid dump excretions from Fresh Kills every minute. "Henry David Thoreau, living in Staten Island while trying to get freelance writing work in Manhattan, used to walk onto the marsh island in Fresh Kills to dig arrowheads, 'the surest crop.'” And the urban archaeological artifacts buried there include "a million dollars’ worth of cocaine and heroin accidentally lost in a garbage scow (1948); eight capsules of radium accidentally taken from a doctor’s office (1949); a leg, possibly from a gangland-style hit (1974)."
Read the whole story here, or find out more about Fresh Kills Park from the official City website.
Elsewhere, the Times Escapes section ran a story last week on inner-city hiking trails with city skyline views. The article included trail recommendations in DC, Pittsburgh, Philly, NYC, Hartford, Boston, and Portland. All good places to walk off your Thanksgiving meals.