Today is Sunday, October 7. It’s the last day of the HighWaterLine project (in the chalking stage at least). I drew the line from the edge of the largest oil spill in US History and then on to the Queens border on Onderdonk Avenue. I was joined by a young man named Jay who we met in East Williamsburg. He enjoyed exploring his neighborhood, learning about the flood zones, the oil spill and most importantly, getting up close to his local waterway. (Which he pointed out, was coated with oil, filled with trash and smelled something awful).
So how did it feel to be finished? I think it was a little anti-climatic. I don’t know what I was expecting, but I just felt, well done with the chalking. I guess because there are some spin-off projects going on, and because its not like I stopped climate change or anything, that I just felt, okay done with that, let’s get other things going. Don’t get me wrong, it felt great and it has inspired me to want to share the stories through the map I mentioned yesterday, but I am through with the chalking.
So that evening we hosted a wrap party at the Can Factory in Gowanus (a half a block from the line). A big thanks to everyone who came out to support the project, it felt really good to have all your support and interest. We hung the 119 maps that I used for drawing the project, and it was pretty stunning to think, yes I covered that much ground. Again I think the online map is important because even though the maps are impressive, its the people and places along the way that really tell the story. We also aired the fantastic short film that Justin at Cicala Filmworks has put together from the footage on the project. It was really wonderful to see that and to condense the story of the project down to 7 minutes! We are still working on the film and are adding in the more recent footage so if you want to know when thats done sign up on the mailing list.
Like I mentioned before, I am working on some projects around the HighWaterLine, including the online map with images and stories, some collaborative maps with Deborah Balk, a demographer at CUNY who has been studying data around the world of people living on the coast - trying to get a better understanding of the impacts of climate change on coastal communities. I also hope to work with Center for Urban Padagogy on some youth mapping projects, and anything else that might come up!
That and I have already started work on the green roof project!