It’s been a while since I posted something on one of my favorite items on the blog: the “image of the day”. This item should be one that pops up on regular bases, but damn, it’s been so busy lately …
But, this one was too nice to let go.
The image of today is an off-the-grid houseboat/urban sustainability laboratory that’s can be spotted nowadays in one of America’s filthiest waterways: Brooklyn’s Gowanus Canal.
This strange ship, a two-story, 350-square-foot boat named Jerko serves as an ecological house on the water thanks to self-sufficiency energy. Pure urban green living, built by Adam Katzman, environmentalist and “freelance green builder”, complete with a homemade rainwater harvesting and filtration system, solar panels, a parabolic solar cooker, a vegetable and herb garden, and a composting toilet.
Houseboat communities are popular, think about Amsterdam to name one. Living rent free in New York, sounds amazing, no? It all looks very romantic, to sail on a river with a self constructed boat, but think again….
As a result of years of discharges, storm water runoff, sewer outflows and industrial pollutants, the Gowanus Canal has become one of the nation’s most extensively contaminated water bodies.
On Katzman’s Jerko, there is a floating bamboo garden that hopefully will help to oxygenate the severely polluted water. But still, living on this ultra-toxic rivere seems more like suicide.
But as many true free spirits, Katzman keeps on fighting to keep his extra ordinary, experiemental lifestyle. Great. I love outsiders.
© photo by Elisabeth Weinberg