First off, there were goats.
Secondly, Luyster Creek has been mentioned on Brownstoner Queens before, in this June 2013 posting — “Will Luyster Creek Ever Get a Make-Over?” After reading that post, it struck my fancy to wander over and take a look. The waterway is an industrial canal which can be visited, in Astoria, at 19th Avenue near 37th Street and the Steinway Piano Factory.
Luyster Creek has gone by a few different names over the centuries, by the way.
Astoria, and all of western Queens in fact, is ancient.
Luyster Creek is a beautiful if somewhat neglected corner of Queens, a small off-shoot of the Bowery Bay, the body of water you need to cross to get to Rikers Island. The juxtaposition of the still body of water with the wooden remains of an old raft or dock with the hulking array of industrial plants (power generation and water treatment) to the southeast is striking even in a city where we are used to such things. There was some momentum a couple of years ago to turn the forgotten canal into a park. There was a group set up online called the Luyster Creek Waterfront Park and the Trust for Public Land and a group called Green Shores NYC got as far as creating the rendering below as part of its Waterfront Vision Plan in 2011. The trail goes cold there: our emails to the both groups went unreturned, hardly an encouraging sign. Do any readers have anything to report?