Take a winter stroll to the Newtown Creek Nature Walk and other scenic Greenpoint spots
A sewage treatment facility has some of Greenpoint’s best waterfront views.
The good thing is that the public can see them, too.
The Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant is right on the shoreline of the toxic waterway.
It has billion-dollar vistas of the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, whistle-shaped Citigroup Center and an eye-catching array of Long Island City towers.
We know this because the city Department of Environmental Protection built a pocket park on a sliver of the site more than a decade ago.
As long as you resist the urge to wade or fish in the poisonous creek, which is a federal Superfund site, you’ll have a great time at the Newtown Creek Nature Walk, which is what it’s called.
The nature walk is a quarter-mile long. But fear not — if you need exercise, it’s a hike from the nearest subway station and ferry dock to 100 Paidge Ave., where it’s located.
Environmental artist George Trakas designed it.
Quenelle Rothschild & Partners LLP was the landscape architect.
Picturesque digester eggs
Native plants grow on the site. In the summer, they’re green, lush and flowering. Just FYI: In winter the trees are leafless, the grasses are sere and brown. The waterfront views are your reason to be here.
In addition to the iconic skyscrapers, you’ll see a barge being loaded with crushed cars on the Queens shoreline.
And on the far side of Whale Creek, which is one of the nature walk’s boundaries, you’ll see the sewage treatment plant’s digester eggs. The gigantic metal spheres process organic sludge but look glam.
The Newtown Creek Nature Walk is open daily from sunrise to sunset, weather permitting. Admission is free.
A view from the bridge
Another Greenpoint spot with great waterfront views is the Pulaski Bridge.
You reach this dandy drawbridge over Newtown Creek via McGuinness Boulevard, which has a sidewalk.
In the middle of the bridge, there’s a viewing area where you can take pictures. If you have vertigo, it’s a little bit unnerving to stand there because you can feel the bridge bounce as cars pass over it.
On the Greenpoint side of the creek, you will see a dramatic old-fashioned brick industrial building. It’s the Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center at 1155-1205 Manhattan Ave.
As the center’s website explains, the property is the former Chelsea Fiber Mills, which was a maker of rope for marine uses.
Part of the complex dates back to the 1860s. Today, it belongs to a nonprofit and houses small manufacturers and artisans.
Behind this property, you can see a new tower, One Blue Slip, which is at mega-development Greenpoint Landing, and the framework of companion tower 41 Blue Slip, which is under construction.
On the Long Island City side of the creek, sailboats are tied up along the shoreline in a picturesque row.
And you get a somewhat closer view of the skyscrapers that you can see from the Newtown Creek Nature Walk.
Down on the esplanade
Down on terra firma, there are a couple good vantage points for viewing Newtown Creek.
First, walk to the end of Manhattan Avenue, beside the Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center, and you’ll find a kayak launch.
This puts you at eye level with the sailboats on the Long Island City shoreline.
Second, stroll from Manhattan Avenue to Commercial Street, which will take you to Greenpoint Landing.
On the water’s edge alongside One Blue Slip, there’s a public esplanade that developers Brookfield Properties and Park Tower Group built.
James Corner Field Operations designed the walkway, seating areas and landscaped terrain.
Of course, the plantings are prettier in the summertime. Nevertheless, it’s exciting to walk by the waterside on terrain that’s public recreation space for the first time.
The property was a lumberyard for eight decades before Park Tower Group bought it in 2005.
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