The Newtown Pentacle

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Archive for the ‘Dutch Kills’ Category

kneel before

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Mister or Master, Softee is a cad.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

I say this every time that the Mister rings his bells: Mrs. Softee is lonely during the torrid nights of a New York summer, wondering for whom her man plays his song. Mister Softee is no damn good, and she’s sure of it.

Pictured above is a proper “Mister Softee” truck, found on its rounds in Astoria one night, doing exactly what he told the Mrs. that he’d be up to. 

Still, the Mrs. hears stories. It might be that people are describing the romantic misadventures of Master Softee, who is single, and unapologetic about it.

from wikipedia

Mister Softee is a United States-based ice cream truck franchisor popular in the Northeast. It was founded by William and James Conway (Oct. 30, 1927 – May 28, 2006) in 1956 in Philadelphia. It is one of the largest franchisor of soft ice cream in the United States. It has about 350 franchisees operating 600 trucks in 15 states. The company is headquartered in Runnemede, New Jersey. It is still run by the Conway family; James Conway, Jr. is now President.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Simone Weichselbuam wrote a fantastic piece over at nydailynews.com back at the beginning of May, describing the conflict between the long running “Mister Softee” Ice Cream Truck empire (based in NJ) and the upstart “Master Softee” operation which runs its business out of LIC. Check it out below.

from nydailynews.com

Mister Softee is anything but soft when it comes to safeguarding his cherished name.

The New Jersey-based owner of the ubiquitous ice cream trucks is suing a rogue Queens vendor, charging he opened his depot in Long Island City to peddle a knockoff version.

A mix of about two dozen nearly identical Master Softee and Mister Softee trucks are lined up inside and outside Dimitrios Tsirkos’s 11th St. garage.

The fledgling business has soured tempers throughout Mister Softee headquarters in South Jersey and its franchisees across Queens and the Bronx.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

One has been observing the “Master” variant with increasing frequency during recent forays across the concrete devastations. So many so that I might have to start offering the following statement:

Mistress Softee is lonely during the torrid nights of a New York summer, wondering for whom her man plays his song. Master Softee is no damn good, and she’s sure of it.

from law360.com

“All Triskos did was change the ‘i’ in ‘Mister’ to an ‘a,’ [and] Tsirkos continues to use all of Mister Softee’s trade dress and the Mister Softee truck design and [jingle],” the injunction request said. “Clearly, changing just one letter in the mark and using it in conjunction with the other Mister Softee marks constitutes trademark infringement that continues to cause Mister Softee irreparable harm.”

Mister Softee says that customers buying ice cream from Tsirkos’ rogue trucks “may believe they are dealing with an authorized Mister Softee franchisee, who is storing and dispensing Mister Softee food products in a sanitary manner … when in fact, they are not.”

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

There are two Newtown Creek walking tours, and a Magic Lantern show, coming up.

Saturday, May 31st, Plank Road with Newtown Creek Alliance.
Click here for tickets and more info.

Saturday, June 7th, 13 Steps around Dutch Kills with Atlas Obscura.
Click here for tickets and more info.

Wednesday, June 11th, Newtown Creek Magic Lantern Show with Brooklyn Brainery.
Click here for tickets and more info.

Written by Mitch Waxman

May 30, 2014 at 11:00 am

likewise thought

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From Dutch Kills, the neighborhood.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Marching home one recent afternoon, a humble narrator was confronted with a scene that beggared description. A taxi pulled over to the side of the road, 39th avenue actually, and the driver jumped out and went into a bodega. He left his car door wide open, and the engine running. “Steal me” was the first thing that came to mind, but bear in mind that I grew up in Brooklyn, so I think “Steal Me” a lot.

Please, steal me, is what this scene says.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Lucifer lays little Easter Eggs like this in front of me all the time. Temptation, temptation. I’m certain that I would be sitting in the back seat of an NYPD crusader shortly after jumping in the front seat of this cab, but… man alive… this is two blocks from Queens Plaza, and you leave your door not only open… but the engine running as well? The taxi should have been stolen just to teach the guy a lesson.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

The driver eventually sauntered out of the bodega – emerging with a cup of coffee. The fellow resumed his station behind the wheel, and turned back into traffic. A humble narrator blurted out, using my best Brookleiner accent, “Hey, dis is New York City, Yo. Da fuck were’s you tinking?”.

He replied that since nothing happened, I was crazy, and inquired whether or not I needed a ride somewhere.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

There are two Newtown Creek walking tours, and a Magic Lantern show, coming up.

Saturday, May 31st, Plank Road with Newtown Creek Alliance.
Click here for tickets and more info.

Saturday, June 7th, 13 Steps around Dutch Kills with Atlas Obscura.
Click here for tickets and more info.

Wednesday, June 11th, Newtown Creek Magic Lantern Show with Brooklyn Brainery.
Click here for tickets and more info.

Written by Mitch Waxman

May 27, 2014 at 11:00 am

combats betwixt

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Just like the good old days.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Lugging a dslr and its associated kit around can be quite a drag.

Camera body and lenses, and all the other crap I use, weigh something like ten pounds. Doesn’t sound like much, but that’s all on one shoulder and after awhile, it feels like you’ve got an anchor suspended across your back. I used to exclusively carry a Canon G10 with a specialized sort of mini tripod that involves rare earth magnets, and just to mix things up, for the last couple of days I’ve left the dslr and camera bag at home and taken the G10 and its mount with me instead.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

The G10 is a grand little camera, notable mainly for its lens. The tiny sensor captures a quite noisy image – these shots were captured at ISO 200′s digital equivalent. My 7D dslr would render ISO 1000 in a similar fashion, something you can chalk up to sensor size and processor chip power. Still, it’s quite liberating to be carrying something that isn’t much heavier than a book for a change, and the bulk of multiple lenses was not missed on recent walks.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

The singular virtue enjoyed when carrying this particular camera emanates from the fancy magnet tripod I’ve attached to it, which was originally designed to work as a mount for the sort of laser leveler which a carpenter or drywall installer might employ.

Multiple rare earth magnets provide a steady grip on any ferrous surface, allowing for a steady and unyielding mount for the image capture. At night, I’ll attach a wire release trigger to the device, which further minimizes camera shake and allows long exposure shots at ISO 100, the lowest and least noisy setting the thing is capable of.

Have a cool holiday weekend, lords and ladies, and take lots of pictures. I know I will.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

May 23, 2014 at 11:00 am

beckoning beyonds

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Confused paranoia and insensate musing, in today’s post.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

My feet hurt, as does a knee or two.

Worries abound, all sorts of existential threats present themselves daily. The neighbors are worrisome and curious, and many of them were born to foreign communists. Some hail from terribly artificial nation states whose judicial system is built around medieval religious law, like Italy. There are public defecators and licentious drunks without, a riot of noise erupts constantly, and my dog has been curiously alert and watching the western sky of late. This Russia/Ukraine thing is also noisome, but we need the Russians, just in case Earth is ever invaded by an alien army.

For the same reason, we must preserve the felid specie of Tigers – for service as shock troops on the front lines of a true world war.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Surely, the universe has never been more unsettling than at the present moment, one can sense that the gears of fate and the clockwork of dharma spin inexorably toward doom, with a state of jellyfish like psychic dissolution awaiting the human infestation. Fearfully, willingly, entering into a dark age of ignorance and intolerant barbarism simply in the name of forgetting the horrible truths of our time.

How one longs for the good old days of centuries past. Things are so much worse now than they were a mere hundred years ago, during the opening shots of the “World War,” don’t you think?

Note: One prefers referring to WW1 to as “Phase One of the second Thirty Years War.” The First World War was merely a consolidation and clearing away of the medieval system, removing the decayed Austro Hungarian, Chinese, and Turkish Imperial players from the chess board and making room for the modern big guns to step up in Phase Two.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Alright, a hundred years back is a bad example. Let’s do two hundred years then, in… 1814…

OK, 1714… 1614… Jeez… 1514, well, let’s just say things in the present might not be as dire, loathsome, or squamous as we might believe them to be. Things could be a lot worse. An invasion fleet of alien starships could be driving asteroids at us from just beyond Mars, shelling our cities and killing the oceans. There could be bacterial analogues, born in the horrible mouldering slopes of an alien world, festering in the throats and orifices of our livestock or offspring.

Of course, were some star born army of conquerors to arrive upon the earth with lascivious or malicious intent, tiger riding Russian troops will be there to answer them.

I think that’s fairly obvious.

There are two public Newtown Creek walking tours coming up,
one in LIC, Queens and one in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Glittering Realms: Brooklyn’s Greenpoint with Atlas Obscura, on Saturday May 17th.
Click here for more info and ticketing.

Modern Corridor: Queen’s LIC with Brooklyn Brainery, on Sunday May 18th.
Click here for more info and ticketing.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

May 15, 2014 at 11:02 am

there flashed

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A life form, encountered.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Involuntarily marching home after a long day in the sun, one found himself on 36th avenue, in the Brazilian section. A generous and friendly, sometimes volatile creed, the Brazilians are a charismatic group who bring much needed color to an otherwise moribund section where Astoria bumps up against the Dutch Kills neighborhood. That’s where I encountered the bird, who was a member of their community.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

A descendant of the mega saurians who once ruled the earth, in those days before the hammer of god itself smashed the planet into ruination, the bird was perched imperiously upon a firebox. He seemed haughty, and offered knowing glances to all the mammals marching to and fro.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

The creature seemed possessed of a sentient intelligence, and one grew increasingly uneasy when its stare became fixed upon me. Wonderings about whether or not this bird might be associated with or involved in organized crime came to mind. It seemed to be demanding something.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s when this affable child of the southern hemisphere appeared, offering the avian some sort of elixir, which was served in a wholesome seeming cup. The entity quaffed whatever was in the vessel, but it’s fixed yellow gaze never left my vicinity. The birds servant opined about how wonderful the creature was, but that might have been something that he had no choice in. Was this, in fact, the Don of some underworld clique, as I suspected?

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Can a bird be a member of the underworld? By definition, wouldn’t a bird be part of an overworld? Better not ask too many questions, lest my days become haunted by flocks of rough looking characters bent upon a campaign of torment and harassment. Who can guess, all there is, that might be hidden up amongst the rafters and rooftops of the Newtown Pentacle?

There are two public Newtown Creek walking tours coming up, one in LIC, Queens and one in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Glittering Realms, with Atlas Obscura, on Saturday May 17th.
Click here for more info and ticketing.

Modern Corridor, with Brooklyn Brainery, on Sunday May 18th.
Click here for more info and ticketing.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

May 8, 2014 at 11:00 am

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