I ride by the empty lot on Beach Channel Drive and 106th Street several times during the course of the week and am amazed by the bucolic setting that I see: reeds jutting up from rain-created ponds with all sorts of water fowl about. Inside the two-and-a-half block barbed-wired fence, sits empty city blocks filled with all sorts of birds. They include the various types of scavenger seagulls from the bay and ocean: laughing gulls, herring gulls, and terns. In addition, there are the swallows that fly over the bay and sewerage plant at dusk, swooping into this nestled watery place for birds. Butterflies float freely across the lot too. It is a wonderful sight to see through the cyclone fences. But that’s as far as one can get, because that area is polluted.
Yes, it’s off limits for humans. The electrical grid at the southwest corner belies the nature of this peaceful looking setting. Although a part of it was carved out for parking for the ferry at the 108th Street end, no humans are allowed in the other end. Hard to believe that so much land can lie vacant and unused on a peninsula that is bereft of parking in the summer. But so it is. And it is so because that land contains some sort of contaminants that are harmful to us. What those contaminants are, I am uncertain of, because I generally don’t pay close attention to details. Which explains why I park there sometimes.
I read recently that Russia just admitted the explosion 250 miles outside of Moscow was a nuclear plant and that radiation had escaped during the explosion and fire. This comes on the heels of the HBO show about Chernobyl and how screwed up that was. Now I am not suggesting that the previous owners of the lot on Beach Channel Drive had any nuclear material on the premises, but what is so unsafe for humans that birds and insects can fly in and out of there, carrying whatever they picked up and distribute it about the neighborhood? Imagine if those birds contaminated by some weird chemical/electrical experiments gone awry have mutated and are flying about endangering small dogs and children?
Yes, I know what you‘re thinking, Lazer has lost it again. But wouldn’t that make a great horror movie? Think of it! An errant oystercatcher flies into the man-made marsh and gets infected with a strain of who-knows what and turns into a pterodactyl-type raptor terrorizing the neighborhood. That would certainly cut down on the ferry traffic, dontcha’ think!
If it isn’t so bad in there, then why didn’t they just pave paradise and put up a parking lot? Probably could fit a bunch of cars in there, and on weekends people would be happy for the spots, even at ten bucks a day. But that’s not possible because it’s not environmentally safe, right. A little like Chernobyl, no?
So, when the Fall finally comes, and unfortunately it will come, and this beautiful August will end, the migrating birds will all stop over and hang out in this primordial duck soup of a pond that exists in this otherwise beautiful setting. How long does it take for those containments to soak into the sand so that it is safe to go in there? Good question you say, all good questions Lazer. Insightful reporting! Not really, just lazy observations really. Hoping someone will find real answers, real truths. Oh, you want the truth Lazer, you can’t handle the truth Alright already, I ordered the code red, geez! Enjoy the view and the birds, its actually very nice!!!