Untapped Cities joined us again for a local exploration here in New York, this time as we explored the polluted waterways and uncertain future of Newtown Creek, with local historian Mitch Waxman:

Newtown Creek - Untapped Cities

It takes a certain type of person to get up on a Saturday morning to take a tour of an industrial wasteland. That type of person would be me, and about 20 others, who couldn’t resist the Atlas Obscura tour, “The Poison Cauldron of Newtown Creek,” a 3-hour tour they described as “an intense walking tour of the toxic hellscape of Newtown Creek.” The colorful tour was led by Mitch Waxman and Mai Armstrong of the Newtown Creek Alliance.

As an urban planner, Newtown Creek is one of those locations that you hope stick around even when a city cleans itself up, as a reminder of our industrial and irresponsible past. These days the city is promoting its shiny new Wastewater Treatment Plant  (which you can take tours of too) but the land around it is a forgotten piece of New York with a volatile history..

“The Poison Cauldron of Newtown Creek” on Untapped Cities>

Newtown Creek Nature Walk in Atlas Obscura>

This exploration was part of the Obscura Society New York chapter - The real world exploration arm of Atlas Obscura seeks out the secret histories, unusual access, and opportunities to explore strange and overlooked places hidden all around us. JOIN US

Obscura Society Upcoming Explorations>