Oral Interview or Video Story-JB

Band-aids are for cuts, not scars: Are Parks Along Newtown Creek a Pollution Solution, or Another Problem? 

Newtown Creek is a high level polluted body of water that runs through Brooklyn and Queens New York. The communities that live along this creek are surrounded by industrial areas and pollution. Urban communities have a lot of expressive artwork throughout these boroughs that promote their thoughts and feelings towards their surrounding environment. This video is a collaboration of images over a period of time (19th century – present day) and is layered with a poem I have written which was inspired by these images and a Brooklyn spoken word artist by the name of Fenna Thomas.


Newtown creek

Once upon a time 

You were as simple as black and white

Framers thrived off your land 

Your waters were open for freight 

Until a revolution happened

That put factories on top

These lands started to perish 


the water went dark…

From oil spills to sewage and chemicals we cannot see

Your air became thick

Causing your trees to not breath…

People started to notice 

Friends and family getting sick

An illness like asthma had also became a thing…

All the fish started to go missing and oysters blended with rocks

Items around the house 

You started to find floating outside…


it wasn’t until Exxon leaked all of its oil 

That the creek became funded 

And enough was enough 


Communities to form groups

Discovering centuries of pollution

That till this day can’t be helped…


They tried cleaning up areas

Having to use mask and gloves

Because if they breathed in the air 

they lungs could choke 

And water was like acid 

Something that shouldn’t be touched…

Developers made plans for green spaces


Some were nature walks…


nothing could get rid of the smell

Or the sewage 

and trash the creek carried on to the streets… 

We deserve better 

As well as our planet 

Don’t we?

But are these spaces solutions for our future 


Temporary fixes 

Will we continue to use the super fund to fund materials that we are using?

Or will it actually go into the water and the people it abuses?

To helping all communities 


Not just the ones developers funded…

And though schools are building curriculums focused around this pollution

What about business owners who became affected by zoning


What about housing for homeless 


Maybe even just affordable?

Because is what we fighting pollution 


A way for us to get noticed ? 

KEYWORDS: Pollution, New York, Poetry, Art, Effects