New York and Los Angeles Think Each Other's Waterways Stink

LA and NY Times each run articles on the other city's contaminated waterways

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A few weeks ago, The Los Angeles Times ran an article marveling at Brooklynites who enjoy The Gowanus Canal: a rank, contaminated piece of waterway that caught on among canoers. At the time, a Wire staffer wondered if this was the newspaper's way of cheekily making fun of New York. If it was, New York seems to have published its rebuttal today. The New York Times just weighed in on the Los Angeles River: a waterway that is barely a waterway that just became a pilot program for kayakers. The humorous similarities go beyond the subject matter.

Here's the Los Angeles Times lede:

A dozen campers look suspiciously at the winding Brooklyn canal they are about to canoe."OK, what's the most important thing about this waterway?" Owen Foote, their expedition leader, asks. "It stinks!" the preteens squeal in chorus. Indeed it does.

And today's New York Times lede:

LOS ANGELES —As they stood on the bank, the small and eager group exchanged the requisite disparaging jokes about the Los Angeles River, best known for its uninviting concrete channels that make many think of a drainage ditch. "You think we'll turn into a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle if the water touches us?" asked Aaron Goldstein, one of the group. They could be forgiven for their dark humor. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.