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Someone coughs near me on my crowded commute. Me: holding my breath in a vain attempt to “avoid their germs” as I turn purple around the edges. Futile attempt, really.

Photo courtesy of

But short of walking around in a surgical mask like my folks do in Asia, what can I do?

If only there were some kind of germ-mask that didn’t look like a germ-mask…

LEO SCOUGH – Black Flannel Scarf with Light Blue Mustache. Photo:

Well look-ee here, a Gowanus inventor team has developed something called a Scough.

A scough is a scarf with a germ-barrier mask tucked in a hidden pocket in the scarf. It even has elastic ear-bands to help hold your germ-barrier in place. The removable mask has carbon and silver filters that according to the Brooklyn inventors, absorb germs and pollution and even kill viruses.



Scoughes are made of cotton, some with a cashmere or wool blend.  All scoughes come with one filter and cost between $39 and $59. Replacement filters can be purchased for $10 each or $20 for a 3-pack. Read more at DNAinfo, Brooklyn News12.

So why this odd post about scoughs? Well, while struggling for an April Fools post, I found this story that reeked of a prank. Upon investigation, I was amused to find it was indeed a real product. Now that’s an April Fool’s joke for ya!

by Mai Armstrong for Working Harbor Committee


Photo: Charles Kyriazos via Wiki Commons

On my way back from hosting WHC’s Walking Tour of the Staten Island Waterfront this past Saturday, I encountered a trio of tourists from Ohio. Obviously bewildered by the chaos caused by subway closures and redirects, I offered my assistance. As most locals know, the subway system on the weekends is quite a challenge to navigate and this weekend was no exception.

Photo via NYC EDC

The 3 young men were in town just for the weekend to celebrate their buddies nuptials. Having just toured the Statue of Liberty, they were headed for Coney Island to see the iconic boardwalk and to ride the world-famous Cyclone and the Wonder Wheel. Unbeknownst to them, an hour-long journey on the subway lay ahead of them, likely longer due to track work.

Now, if there were a Coney Island Ferry, the trip would take less than 30 minutes and offer an amazing view of our vibrant waterfront along the way.

Photo: ©Mitch Waxman / Newtown Pentacle

Last week, I had the opportunity to ride on a Coney Island Ferry trial with the Friends of Coney Island Creek Ferry and Landing. The round-trip left from Pier 11 in Lower Manhattan and took us to Steeplechase Pier in Coney Island Creek.

Photo: ©Mitch Waxman / Newtown Pentacle

The purpose of the trip was to advocate for and install a recreational ferry route and improve ferry landings from The Battery to a proposed Ferry Landing on Coney Island Creek.

Image via Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance

The Brooklyn Paper: A second group of People’s Playground boat lovers say that a pier tucked away in Coney Island Creek is the perfect place to dock a ferry from Manhattan, and even ran a successful test run to it from Battery Park on June 17. But a recently announced mayoral plan for the fetid waterway could leave their beloved vessel literally out to sea.

Photo: Stefano Giovannini via The Brooklyn Paper

[The American Princess,] a boat with 150 passengers set sail from Manhattan and landed at what ferry backers are calling the perfect dock at W. 21st Street and Neptune Avenue in Coney Island on June 17 — a maiden voyage that they hope thousands of tourists may soon make every day.

But there is one major obstacle — Mayor Bloomberg’s recently announced anti-flooding plan would build a dam across the mouth of the creek and convert the waterway into a marsh, making it impossible for boats to get inside.

Coney Island Creek Wetlands Restoration Proposal. Photo: NYC Mayor’s office via The Brooklyn Daily

The cruise was the brainchild of Friends of Coney Island Creek Ferry and Landing, a month-old organization trying to convince the city to convert a derelict jetty and adjoining lot on the inlet’s bank into a gateway to the People’s Playground. It argues that creating a water route from the city to Coney would not just cut travel time in half — 29 minutes compared to at least an hour by train — but would revitalize local businesses and the long-neglected Coney Island Creek itself.

“A recreational ferry can provide much-needed community economic development on Coney Island,” said founder Stuart Pertz, an urban designer and professor at Pratt Institute.

Photo: ©Mitch Waxman / Newtown Pentacle

A city study on the possibility of launching a ferry service to Coney considered the fishing pier in Kaiser Park as a possible docking location. The city rejected both the dock and the creek, saying they were too far from the amusement district.

Photo: Stefano Giovannini via The Brooklyn Paper

But Pertz and Friends argue that the dock at the end of W. 21st Street got overlooked — and would be just a 10-minute walk from MCU Park, the Parachute Jump, and Borough President Markowitz’s planned amphitheater in the former Childs restaurant. Read more here…

by Mai Armstrong for Working Harbor Committee

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