The Newtown Pentacle

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Archive for October 2012

Hallowed Eve

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- photo by Mitch Waxman

Apologies for the lack of a proper Halloween post this year, but your humble narrator has been otherwise occupied with cowering alongside a small dog and glued to the television. The non stop bad news has really become quite off putting, and it was decided that today- one must leave the cocoon and subject certain places around the Newtown Creek to inspection.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

I’ll show you what I saw in tomorrows post, and special thanks are offered to “Hank the elevator guy” for chauffeuring me around the neighborhood(s). Saw lots of interesting things. Lots of tree damage, especially around the public housing projects at the Woodside Houses and over in Ravenswood. Have as good a Halloween as you can, and best wishes to my buddy John Skelson over in Staten Island.

Written by Mitch Waxman

October 31, 2012 at 8:56 pm

Post Sandy

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- photo by Mitch Waxman

My little dog and I sheltered in place during Sandy, and from the sound of what was going on, I’m more than glad we did. Our little section of Astoria seems to have survived the night- power, internet etc. still up and running. Checking in on the web this morning, one discovered that surrounding neighborhoods weren’t quite so lucky.

Mr. Jimmy Van Bramer, our City Councilman, has been running around the district and updating everyone on the situation via facebook and twitter as well as his own site- http://jimmyvanbramer.com. There seems to be a high number of fallen trees in Sunnyside.

Kate Zidar, who heads up Newtown Creek Alliance, has also been very active on twitter. She has been posting shots of the severe flooding which affected Greenpoint as the Newtown Creek breached its bulkheads. https://twitter.com/newtownCreek

The North Brooklyn Boat Club posted shots of the flooding which affected their outfit, check them out at this facebook album.

Newtown Creek Alliance’s Laura Hoffman also posted shots of the aftermath in Greenpoint, at this facebook album.

Finally, the folks at gothamist posted an album this morning, depicting the flooding along the creek.

I’ll be going out tomorrow morning, doing a long walk around the Creek and seeing what I can see. If anyone has anything in particular that they think I should check out, email me here.

Haven’t heard too much from the harbor people yet, but word has reached me that both the John J Harvey and Tug Pegasus survived the night. I don’t think that it is too early to say that life has changed for all of us, and that it’s a good idea to take extra precautions regarding what washed out of the rivers and the Creek in particular.

omnipresent slime

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- photo by Mitch Waxman

This post is being written on Sunday the 28th of October, as a storm bears down upon the Megalopolis. Dire warnings and predictions of a somewhat Assyrian Apocalypse (water) are filling the airwaves, and here in Astoria a palpable sense of foreboding fills the air. My thoughts, of course, involve how my beloved Newtown Creek will fare. Zone A, the mandatory evacuation area as defined by the “powers that be”, includes a broad swath of the Creek. Mainly west of the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge, but points eastward can expect some disruption of normal tidal patterns as well. This is based on what I’ve read at NYC.gov though, I am holding no special “inside knowledge”.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

It’s a question I often wonder about, would a storm surge actually manage to make it through the various right angle turns and engineered courses of the Creek? I suspect that part of the reason for these obstructions to “flow” were engineered into the bulkheads in the first place might have had something to do with such circumstance, but this is merely speculation. The unfortunate truth is that our friends in Greenpoint and Long Island City are likely going to have an unpleasant few days- at least. Let’s all hope that they make it through the storm with as little stress and trouble as possible.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

A few emails reached me today asking what to do, listing the locations of the senders and inquiring as to whether the sender would be “safe” sheltering in place. Honestly, I am not the person to ask, and if the Mayor of New York City is telling you to get out of Dodge- you should take him at his word. Whatever you might have to say about Michael Bloomberg, no one can accuse him of being an alarmist given to wild flights of panic. Regarding North Brooklyn, one thing I can tell you categorically is that the reason that the Newtown Creek Waste Water Treatment Plant is located here is because it is located in the “bottom of the soup bowl”. This soup bowl is formed by the terminal Morraine of Long Island, the Palisades, and Staten Island. A significant amount of the water dumped on NY in the next 24 hours is headed here, regardless of any storm surge.

Everyone take care, batten down the hatches, and if anything crazy happens- react calmly and freak out afterwards. Presuming that power and Internet access are still available, I’ll be posting tomorrow at the usual time. If you still see this post on Tuesday, you’ll know that Astoria is off the grid. Don’t worry about me or my little dog, as we live on a hill.

Also- Upcoming Newtown Creek tours and events:

for more information on the November 9th Newtown Creek Magic Lantern Show, click here

for an expanded description of the November 11th Newtown Creek tour, please click here

grin horribly

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- photo by Mitch Waxman

Prurient thrills and visual stimulation help to attenuate the shocking reality of my daily existence, a non ending series of humiliating but overwhelmingly dull events. Referring to the biblical quotation, your humble narrator is neither hot nor cold, and is instead merely lukewarm. Unlike the stout seamen and union workers who staff the gargantuan cargo docks of Port Elizabeth Newark, it is my lot to always disappoint and or fail those who count upon me.

Sometimes the burden is overwhelming.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

These shots were gathered upon a trip produced but he Working Harbor Committee, and are notable simply because they depict the Gantry Cranes and ship loading action at night. This is fairly typical for the workers of the port, a twenty four hour operation which keeps the wheels of commerce spinning here at the heart of the Megalopolis. There is always something making its way here which needs tending, a juggernaut of consumer goods and foodstuffs.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

The agenda of the powerful and elite is one that we all must follow, or so I am told by those closer to the source of all things. Therefore, untold fortunes will soon be spent to rearrange this bridge to accommodate the needs of these dock facilities, which will further it’s role as an economic engine. Said monies, of course, will be gathered from or passed onto the populace at large. The docks serve this populace, it is in their best interest, I am told.

The message of this Maritime Sunday is a tepid one, as stated above. It’s not good, nor bad. It just is.

Also- Upcoming Newtown Creek tours and events:

for more information on the November 9th Newtown Creek Magic Lantern Show, click here

for an expanded description of the November 11th Newtown Creek tour, please click here

unplaced and forgotten

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- photo by Mitch Waxman

As mentioned in the past, an oft repeated refrain is that “In Queens, illegal dumping is an art form”. Walking home from a soul numbing journey to St. Michael’s Cemetery in Astoria, a perambulation which sought to temporarily alleviate the coruscating horror of my own company, this pithy little installation was observed along the service road of the Grand Central Parkway from the stout little overpass that carries Astoria Blvd. South over the larger highway.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Given my mood of late, such confirmations of the destructive malice of my neighbors bring an evil smile to the leathery face worn by this charmless mendicant. Should there be a moment in life during which a memory of pleasant character may rise to the surface, displacing the endless litany of failings and missteps which comprise my actual conscious milieu, such wanton disregard for the public grounds might dampen it. Of course, such moments do not come for one such as myself.

Also- Upcoming Newtown Creek tours and events:

for more information on the November 9th Newtown Creek Magic Lantern Show, click here

for an expanded description of the November 11th Newtown Creek tour, please click here

Written by Mitch Waxman

October 27, 2012 at 12:15 am

drifting sands

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- photo by Mitch Waxman

Your humble narrator speaks from a deep cavern, a lonely chasm of sorrowful legacies and charred ambition. This is no happy place of wonder, instead a frozen waste and illimitable desert of hope. Nobody stares into this particular abyss and concurrently, I have no one to stare back into.

It is the season of the wolf, at last.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Mounting storms and threatening seas stretch out to and occlude all horizons, and a vastly indifferent universe spins along its axis. The air smells of something, perhaps some sort of solvent or maybe house paint, and the water has a taste. Water should not have a taste.

Maybe it is time to go.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

World weary, diseased, likely insane. Outsider, shunned by those who bask in the light, pariah. One can only hope for the sandwich board signage of the doomsayers, or the ashen cloak of the hermitage. Hope is extinguished, the light fades. The village dogs are scratching at my door, and slaver hungrily for delight.

Perhaps it is time to allow them to feed.

Also- Upcoming Newtown Creek tours and events:

for more information on the October 27th Newtown Creek Boat Tour, click here

for more information on the November 9th Newtown Creek Magic Lantern Show, click here

for an expanded description of the November 11th Newtown Creek tour, please click here

Written by Mitch Waxman

October 26, 2012 at 3:10 am

Spooky Newtown Creek Tour this Saturday

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This Saturday!

for more information on the October 27th Newtown Creek Boat Tour, click here

Written by Mitch Waxman

October 25, 2012 at 4:03 pm

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