From our point of view, it’s appropriate that The Gowanus Canal Conservancy is hosting a Winter Festival this Saturday rather than an ordinary old summer shindig. Everybody has one of those, and it somehow seems fitting to raise funds for a funky little overlooked waterway by throwing a dinner party and concert at a time when most waterfronts are shuttering up for the cold months ahead. But Brooklyn’s only canal has always done its own thing and been its own kind of place.
The 1.8 mile-long waterway was built in the 1800s, back when shipping was big business in the borough. If you haven’t walked over the lovely little pedestrian bridges that cross its narrow berth to see it in person, we recommend you do so soon. We love its decidedly urban vistas filled with brick warehouse skyscapes and the cranes of the metal recycling business; its truly off the beaten path locale; the artsy galleries and studio spaces and bars like Halyards and bakeries like Four & Twenty Blackbirds that are popping up near its shore by dedicated Brooklynites.
Thanks to the Conservancy, there are now also composting programs, bat houses, tree plantings, shorefront cleanups and waterfront “rain gardens,” which help reduce stormwater runoff and pollution into the canal (and also provide chilies like those being picked above). In fact, the GCC is doing their best to help clean the canal up and bring folks to its banks in whatever ways they can–they hope to one day create a linear park along the shore.
If you want to help, we suggest you hit the Winter Fest this Saturday December 3rd from 6:30 p.m. to midnight at the new Build it Green building (at 69 Ninth Street between Second Avenue and the Canal, of course). You’d probably want to come anyway, even if you don’t know the Canal, thanks to the below farm-to-canal menu from Park Slope’s Lot 2, which includes Brooklyn Cured sausages and beer from Butternuts and Captain Lawrence. There are three tiers of tickets: a $60 one that buys you dinner and membership in the conservancy, a $40 tickets for dinner and the concert, and $15 for the concert alone. Here’s where you buy tickets, and here’s more on the evening below:
A three-course dinner will be prepared by Park Slope farm-to-table restaurant, Lot 2.
– Chicken & sausage gumbo (with sausage and tasso provided by Brooklyn Cured)
– Cole slaw with pickled pepper vinaigrette
– Buttermilk & honey cornbread
– Apple crumble bars
Beer will be provided by Butternuts, Captain Lawrence and others. The Dinner will be accompanied by a DJ set and silent auction.