Death Wish LLXVIII – Fishing In The East River

The Street Hustle

The East River is a body of water that is best avoided by any and all sentient humans. Since the early 20th Century, the river has been heavily polluted with the sewage and trash of New York City. For those children like Harpo Marx who used the river as a watering hole, a special stroke known as the East River crawl was invented; a sort of combination Freestyle crossed with a Doggy paddle to allow the pushing of trash out of the way.

Not that 2010’s version of the East River is any better mind you. Swimming in the east side waterway has always been dangerous due to swift moving tides but now a case of toxic skin rash is more than likely to cause various parts of the body to fall off.

Due to various reasons, including the Conservation Movement and embarrassment, the river is cleaner than it has been in decades. This doesn’t mean the East River should be used for anything other than walking on the shore and seeing if a portion of a former Gambino Crime Family member’s corpse might surface. So leave it to a tragic hipster to come up with an idea for an East River fishing derby!


It was a mythic beast.

Twenty-five and a half pounds. Feisty as Carl Paladino on the campaign trail.

Four feet long if it was an inch.

It fought the good fight but, alas, succumbed earlier this week.

And now, your time has come to enter the fray and unseat the leader. Of the best fishing competition in all of… Brooklyn.

Allow us then to present your invitation to the 2010 Brooklyn Fishing Derby, an open sporting contest for gentlemen fishermen, accepting new registrants now.

As with any classy gentlemen’s competition, there are rules: all entries must be in by November 21, only stripers and bluefish, photograph your beast lying flat next to a tape measure and, most importantly, you must do all your rodding and reeling from the shores, without the aid of any sort of yacht, schooner or haute personal watercraft. (While this slightly injures your chances, at least Jacques, your jet ski butler, need not return from his winter sojourn to Turks and Caicos.)

And although the sporting grounds are restricted to the East River between Red Hook and Long Island City, that leaves you miles and miles of the most pristine fishing grounds to ever recover from the brink of ecological collapse to contend for what the committee refers to as an unspecified “cash prize.”

Pride is bigger than the committee…

A classy, gentlemanly competition?   Whomever came up with this knuckleheaded notion has created the most dangerous event to hit New York since the “How Close Can You Get to the Tompkins Square Riots” was all the rage at NYU in 1988. (I finished in the lower third of my bracket.)

Be careful of what you catch dear contestants, the fish might actually be a real 1960’s Japanese Monster Cinema styled beast just waiting for his/her chance to eat what remains of Ground Zero and 51 Park Place. Not to mention the Zombie possibilities.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Every Friday, get 2 for 1 movie tickets when you use your Visa Signature card.

Recent Comments