The Newtown Pentacle

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Archive for September 13th, 2009

Calvary Mystery Box

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g10_img_6870_phwlk.jpg by you.

Calvary Cemetery at 48th street – photo by Mitch Waxman

As one proceeds up the glacier carved hillocks that define northwestern Queens- climbing away from the terrors of Laurel Hill and leaving the malefic secrets of Maspeth and the Newtown Creek behind, the intrepid pedestrian will pass under and above an arcade of highways and find second Calvary.

Old Calvary is the original cemetery- second, third, and fourth Calvary are the metastasized and sprawling additions to the venerable original- and a significant portion of the Cemetery Belt.

g10_img_6873_phwlk.jpg by you.

Calvary Cemetery at 48th street – photo by Mitch Waxman

Calvary Cemetery is the organizational name for the vast funerary complex, and the vast majority of it sits well above street grade- with the graves set 6-7 feet or more above eye level along its fencelines. In lonely moments of reflection, I will remark to myself- one such as myself is always alone, even when in the company of friends and familial relations- about my proximity to the mouldering corpses sequestered in festering splendors beyond the cement retaining wall. Fantastic visions appear to me, of rotting hands reaching through the cracked and pitted concrete, and pulling me into their sepulchral world. I’ve often believed this will be my fate, to ride the night winds with an army of ghouls, and know the splendors of Persephone in her palace of mists- as part of her gaunt legion. I’m all ‘effed up.

While lost in my self aggrandizement, I noticed this box.

g10_img_8086_bday.jpg by you.

Calvary Mystery Box on 48th street – photo by Mitch Waxman

I should mention that- “in the field”- the label on this box was misread by your humble narrator, and my error filled me with fancies. I read it as “Catholic Protection Rectifier”, with the secondary label admonishing that this box must remain padlocked at all times. I wondered aloud- does it contain some emergency supply of Eucharist or Holy Water for usage by a squad of the Jesuit Emergency Services Unit (the JESU) which stands ready to be dispatched to combat an outbreak of Vampirism – or even an appearance by flesh eating mobs of the Living Dead? I am a fool, of course, and should read things more carefully.

g10_img_8087_bday.jpg by you.

Calvary Mystery Box on 48th street – photo by Mitch Waxman

The enigmatic steel box contains a Cathodic Protection Rectifier.

Apparently- Cathodic Protection is an electrical technology widely used in pipelines, buried metallic structures, and in maritime situations to guard against corrosion. Operating on the theory that by supplying a specific electrical frequency to a metallic structure, even one clad in masonry or immersed in sea water, an ionic charge imparted by the current will not allow oxygen to bind into the affected alloy at a molecular level. Its the reverse of electroplating, essentially, to my ignorant and amateur vantage point of observation. I’m not much of anything, but I’m especially not an engineer. Cathodic Protection Rectifiers are news to me, I thought it a Catholic Protection Rectifier after all.

This unit was manufactured by Corrpro Canada Inc.

from wikipedia

Cathodic protection (CP) is a technique to control the corrosion of a metal surface by making it work as a cathode of an electrochemical cell. This is achieved by placing in contact with the metal to be protected another more easily corroded metal to act as the anode of the electrochemical cell. Cathodic protection systems are most commonly used to protect steel, water or fuel pipelines and storage tanks, steel pier piles, ships, offshore oil platforms and onshore oil well casings.
Cathodic protection can be, in some cases, an effective method of preventing stress corrosion cracking.

Cathodic protection (CP) is a technique to control the corrosion of a metal surface by making it work as a cathode of an electrochemical cell. This is achieved by placing in contact with the metal to be protected another more easily corroded metal to act as the anode of the electrochemical cell. Cathodic protection systems are most commonly used to protect steel, water or fuel pipelines and storage tanks, steel pier piles, ships, offshore oil platforms and onshore oil well casings.

Cathodic protection can be, in some cases, an effective method of preventing stress corrosion cracking.

Queens being Queens, of course- the device is installed next to a bus shelter and along a public sidewalk, contravening the operating instructions found in this pdf.

Possible recipient candidates for the devices to be working on are innumerable on this locus of piplines, sewers, highway bridges, and overpasses. Most likely its accumen is applied to the decaying fences of the cemetery itself, or to the concrete foundations of the roadway it adjoins. There is also the outside possibility that there is something forbidden- deep below Second Calvary- that has been imprisoned for a century or more in some vault of steel, which cannot be allowed egress to the gentle and ignorant surface of our modern Newtown Pentacle.

I will continue to hold onto it as a Catholic Protection Rectifier, and believe that the Jesuit Emergency Services Unit stands at the ready to defend Queens against those hidden threats of the supranormal night which only fools, guileless children, and the very old believe in. There is nothing on the roof but graffiti, I must remind myself.

As always, if something I’ve posted here is inaccurate, or you can expand on the topic, please post a comment or contact me here.


Written by Mitch Waxman

September 13, 2009 at 2:42 pm

Posted in newtown creek

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