The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Seaplane landing at Newtown Creek

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This one’s a little light, still working on part 3 of the Long Island City history (part 1 here, part 2 here). Did you know there was a “newsboy legion” which hung around Vernon and Jackson and did the bidding of a mayor named “Battle-Ax Gleason”? Or that Thomson Avenue was named for the president of the Long Island Rail Road?

On a Friday, May 22, I was riding my bike around the Pentacle and decided that I would chance going past the security booth at the end of 2nd street in Hunter’s Point, down in Long Island City. This is the former site of the Budweiser distributor, and future home of 2,200 middle and high income apartments and a 350 room hotel.

Citynoise has an interesting post about what an Urban Explorer found on the other side of some of these fences (no endorsement, DO NOT BREAK THE LAW).

It was a gray, not good for photography kind of day, but I was taking a few shots anyway. I heard an engine over my shoulder and caught this sequence. (zoomed in for clarity in shot 1)

Seaplane lands on Newtown Creek 01 by you.

photos by Mitch Waxman

A seaplane just flew over Greenpoint, and was looping around for an approach to the water over Long Island City on its way across the East River to the seaplane port in Manhattan (at 23rd street and FDR drive). Interesting, New York has some of the most crowded air on earth, yet seaplanes come and go on filed flight plan only (no air traffic controllers). If you’re rich enough, I guess…

Seaplane lands on Newtown Creek 02 by you.

There’s a lot of history involving New York and seaplanes. Here’s a NY times article from 2003, which is admittedly a puff piece.

Seaplane lands on Newtown Creek 03 by you.

New York used to have a lot more options, air travel wise, than it does today. That was of course, before the Port Authority turned North Beach into LaGuardia

Seaplane lands on Newtown Creek 04 by you.

Apocryphal, but authoritative, someone who is “in the know” about the Creek and East River told me ” they ferry rich guys back and forth between the hamptons, fire island, and the city. They try to keep it quiet and not let people know that you can get to the eastern tip of Long Island in only 35 minutes. Its only for the rich, celebrities, and wall street types though”.

Wonder if the rich realize they’re landing in the Newtown Creek?

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Written by Mitch Waxman

June 15, 2009 at 12:54 pm

Posted in newtown creek

One Response

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  1. [...] shouted out Mitch’s Newtown Pentacle blog recently; let me do it again with his post about a seaplane landing on Newtown Creek.  That’s right . . . that Newtown Creek.  Maybe some fisherman decided to do the NYC Creek [...]


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