For the love of filth: Gowanusaurs come together to celebrate canal, neighborhood

Boogie on the banks: Women of the Gowanus Wildcats drill team performed in front of the Gowanus Canal during Saturday’s cultural celebration of the neighborhood.
Photo by Caroline Ourso

It was Superfun!

Members of a Gowanus boating club joined forces with other Gowanusaurs on Saturday to stage celebration of local culture along the area’s namesake canal, which one organizer hoped would inspire his neighbors to push for a quicker cleanup of the beloved waterway after federal officials declared it a Superfund site in 2010.

“We are promoting art, dance, music, and film at the shoreline to entice more people to connect with our waterfront,” said Owen Foote, a founder of skipper society the Gowanus Dredgers. “We hope that’s a start of a passion as we all work together to advocate for its restoration.”

The bash along the banks of the Gowanus Canal — where workers recently returned to commence a postponed pilot dredging program as part of the cleanse that began in 2016 — featured a performance by an all-girl troupe of young dancers that wowed the dozens of spectators who gathered to watch the show, according to another Dredger.

“I think they loved it,” Harvey Rehal said of the Gowanus Wildcats drill team’s routine. “Everyone seemed to be in a good mood.”

And the festivities included more than cutting a rug. The roughly 100 people who showed up also browsed an exhibit featuring works by creators who included city-based artist Simon Aredondo, and some of the more adventurous in attendance hit the sludgy waters in vessels to kick off canoeing season on the canal, during which Dredgers members organize free expeditions on the channel on Wednesdays and Saturdays through October, according to Foote.

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