NEW YORK—Dewey Thompson is a Greenpoint filmmaker and a harbor master for the North Brooklyn Boat Club. Even though the Club’s boathouse is nonexistent, yet the club is alive and kicking. Thompson is now working hard to get funds and permits from the city to set up a boathouse on Newtown Creek.
The Epoch Times: What do you like about boating?
Mr. Dewey Thompson: The city is very regimented. It has a grid: streets that are defined and sidewalks and buildings. When you are on the water you have nothing, you are totally on your own. You make your own way, wherever you want to go. It is a complete sense of freedom.
Epoch Times: Why a boathouse?
Mr. Thompson: In my neighborhood in Greenpoint/Williamsburg there are very few places to legally get into the water. I really wanted to help north Brooklyn to get their own boats and boathouse, and the only way you can do it is to organize and start to raise money and build stuff.
We proposed building a boathouse on the ground floor of the Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center, and I think we are one of the finalists for the money from the city [that is available for north Brooklyn]. We will be building a big boathouse, one of the biggest in the city on Newtown Creek. It will change everything.
Epoch Times: Aren’t you afraid of the pollution in the water?
Mr. Thompson: No. The East river is swimmable, it is a fairly clean body of water. The Newtown Creek is not clean, but we are not suggesting you swim in it, we go boating.It was kayakers and boaters who have pointed out to the city and the state and the federal government that Newtown Creek needed cleaning up. We boaters think of ourselves as stewards of that creek.
Epoch Times: How did the plan start?
Mr. Thompson: The thing I love about Greenpoint/ Williamsburg is that it is a DIY neighborhood. Whatever you want to come up with, you can do it. If there is something you think the community needs, you got to put some energy to it, but you can find people who also believe what you do.
Being a New Yorker is also being really involved in your community. You can do anything you want in New York. You can figure it out.
Epoch Times: Is this part of the spirit that led you do plan the boathouse?
Mr. Thompson: Absolutely. The next step is to win the proposal, to get the money.