One Sunday afternoon in June, I spotted two chill dads chatting beneath an old cabinet warehouse after they left Nowadays, a gravel parking lot turned weekend gathering spot with a suburban-backyard theme. The dads had Baby Bjorns, plaid outfits and a golden retriever sniffing around. I had to capture this consummate Park Slopian scene. Except Nowadays is on Cooper Avenue in Ridgewood, Queens, just past the Bushwick border.
An EPA Superfund site leaches radiation into the ground next door. In fact, The New Yorker, declared it "the most radioactive place in New York City" in 2014, a year after the area received the Superfund designation.
You'd never know unless someone told you or if you looked for it online. I found out by accident after Googling the address of an overgrown vacant lot down the street.
A new luxury condo complex rises on the other side of Irving Avenue, catty corner to the toxic waste dump (which emits radioactivity beneath an auto shop and a Dominican bodega). We need Captain Planet over here.