The bldgblog remains a source for inspiration and ideas.This time, Geoff Manaugh reviews the book The Meadowlands by Robert Sullivan. The Meadowlands are basically New York's dump, a forgotten and abused patch of land. But just because of all this trash, a curious landscape began to emerge.
Lutz's book describes the region as a "32-square-mile stretch of sweeping wilderness that evokes morbid fantasies of Mafia hits and buried remains." As Lutz explained in a 2008 interview with Photoshelter, "When I first saw the Meadowlands I was completely blown away at this vast open space with the Manhattan skyline in the distance. It was this space that existed between spaces, somewhere between urban and suburban all the while made up of swamps, towns and intersecting highways. None of it made any sense to me, still doesn't."
In many places, the so-called ground is, in fact, trash—so much so that "underground fires are still common today... you can see little black holes where the hills have recently burped hot gases or fire... huge underground plumes of carbon dioxide and of warm moist methane, giant stillborn tropical winds that seep through the ground to feed the Meadowlands' fires, or creep up into the atmosphere," forming a particularly Dantean local climatology of reeking crosswinds. One of these fires "burned for fifteen years."
The Meadowlands are, after all, a massive dump, more landfill than landscape.