As the battle for the Gowanus Canal continues, and Superfund supporters bring their campaign from doorsteps to YouTube, the NY Times looks at the canal as one man's artistic muse (and it's not the first time).

Jose Gaytan, a local photographer, has walked to the canal each day for six years, saying it makes him nostalgic for his childhood in 1950s Mexico. “When I was growing up in Juárez, my grandfather was a handyman who took me on jobs with him. The first thing he would do was go to the junkyards in Juárez to buy toilets and things he would clean and fix to sell to the people across the border in El Paso. I used to play in those junkyards. That aroma is embedded in my brain: a mix of sewage, kerosene and oil. That’s what the Gowanus brought back to me. My childhood.” Prior to his move to Brooklyn he lived in SoHo, but was eventually turned off by the tourists and changes there.

Currently you can see Gaytan's “Brooklyn in Transition: A Photographic Essay of the Gowanus” exhibit at the Brooklyn Public Library’s main branch, through August 29th. He notes that he is also "intrigued by the East River shoreline, which I have spent many hours photographing, along with the bridges that link Manhattan with Brooklyn and Queens."