Jesse Jarnow

stand in the place where you live (now face north), no. 1

Answering Kevin Kelly’s questions about The Big Here were way tougher than I imagined. I knew in advance that I didn’t know many of the answers, but even tracking some of them down via Google was a bit tough — quite different from an age where most people would probably know most of this stuff instinctually. I only got through the first 10 (of 30) and it took a good long while. If any of these seem horribly wrong to fellow Brooklynites, please correct.

1.) Point north.
Thatta way: over the basketball court, past the vacant lot, across Bogart Street, and towards Queens.

2.) What time is sunset today?
Probably 8:30ish? ( says 8:18.)

3.) Trace the water you drink from rainfall to your tap.
Water collects in the Catskill/Delaware and Croton watersheds, in 18 reservoirs and three controlled lakes, before being channeled underground through the Croton Aqueduct, to the boroughs.

4.) When you flush, where do the solids go? What happens to the waste water?
The waste water in my neighborhood eventually makes it way to the Newtown Creek treatment facility in Greenpoint. The sludge is dewatered into biosolids and subsequently used as fertilizer or something else pleasantly beneficial. Yay poop!

5.) How many feet above sea level are you?
Looks to be about 20.

6.) What spring wildflower is consistently among the first to bloom here?
Ferns, from what I can tell. Are they a wildflower? Yeep.

7.) How far do you have to travel before you reach a different watershed? Can you draw the boundaries of yours?
Northern Long Island. The Southern Long Island watershed begins not-so-far to the south, a mile or two tops.

8.) Is the soil under your feet, more clay, sand, rock or silt?
More clay than sand, leftover from the Wisconsin Ice Sheet.

9.) Before your tribe lived here, what did the previous inhabitants eat and how did they sustain themselves?
The Canarsee Indians, Algonquians, were hunters, including ducks, turkeys, geese, deer, and clams. They grew corn, too.

10.) Name five native edible plants in your neighborhood and the season(s) they are available.
No idea, but I bet Wildman Steve Brill can tell me!


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