In case you haven’t heard of Steve Duncan, he’s a “guerilla” historian and photographer who has made a name for himself exploring parts of New York City that you probably didn’t even know existed. In the latest installment of his Undercity documentary series with filmmaker Andrew Wonder, Duncan hops over a barbed wire fence, pries open a manhole, and climbs down to the ancient sewage extension tunnels below Bushwick.
Well, the tunnels aren’t quite “ancient,” but they date back to the bygone days before brunch at Northeast Kingdom and whiskey shots at Tandem, before Brooklyn was even a part of New York City. In the 1880s when the sewer extension was built below Knickerbocker St., the area was known for its breweries. The tunnels carried wastewater from the breweries to the East River, Duncan explains in the clip, ankle deep in (clean) sewage water.
The whole outing is illegal, but Duncan provides a special view into our historic city. More on Gothamist.