There’s a Secret Pond Underneath the New Whole Foods?

gowanus pond recording studio bc

The story of development in New York City is, in part, the story of erasing ancient waterways. The streets you walk today were not always as perfectly dry as they look; the city in its Mannahatta days was cut through with streams, creeks, ponds, and lakes, later filled in with varying degrees of proficiency, and some not that long ago: my grandmother could remember a small pond where today there’s a supermarket parking lot. And when I was in elementary school, we once had a few days off because the vestigial stream underneath the building was pulling down the boiler. (Some people theorized such primitive waterbodies were responsible for Bay Ridge’s rich history of sinkholes.)

Today, we learn there’s a still-accessible pond undulating underneath Gowanus. Below the famed underground BC Studios in the neighborhood, on 3rd Street just east of Third Avenue, is a staircase that leads down to “the pond,” according to a new trailer for a documentary about the space, Gothamist reports. This is no metaphor: the guide in the quick clip tosses an object that makes a notable splooshing sound—like, say, a rock landing in a pond. “‘The Pond’, which is at the bottom of the stairwell of the building, is a portion of an actual original pond,” the owner told the website, “and runs under the entire area, including under the landmark building which is adjacent to Whole Foods across the street. It can’t be followed to the Canal.”

Follow Henry Stewart on Twitter @henrycstewart


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