The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Archive for the ‘Graffiti’ Category

which swelled

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Random sightings in Astoria.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The other day, whilst waiting for the bagel shop guy to assemble a sandwich for my consumption, this pile of cigarette refuse was observed. One was impressed not just by the quantity – this has to represent around $75-80 worth of coffin nails as currently priced in NYC – but by the relative tidiness and self contained nature of the refuse. The “Vision Zero” branding on the muni meter receipt just brought it home for one such as myself.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Over on Astoria’s Broadway, nearby Crescent Street, one of those Chinese owned dollar stores had a display of plastic flowers arrayed upon the pavement. Other offerings included off brand backpacks and those wire shopping carts which we all use for transporting bags of laundry to and fro, but the patent artificiality of the flowers transfixed me. It was actually a bit of a challenge to capture how truly saturated their colors were.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Near Astoria Boulevard’s intersection with 21st street, this pentagram graffiti was found on the back door to a fairly ancient commercial building. When I spotted it, a loud exhortation bubbled out of me and “yeah, Satan!” was uttered. This caused no end of concern to the old Greek lady sitting on her porch across the street. Accordingly, one scuttled away and brisk perambulation carried me in a generally northern direction.

I’ve been chased through the neighborhood by a group of angry Greek women before, and do not intend on suffering through that sort of thing again.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Upcoming Tours –

July 26th, 2015
Modern Corridor – LIC, Queens Walking Tour
with Brooklyn Brainery, click here for details and tickets.

As detailed in this recent post, my camera was destroyed in an accident.

For those of you who have offered donations to pay for its replacement, the “Donate” button below will take you to paypal. Any contributions to the camera fund will be greatly appreciated, and rewarded when money isn’t quite as tight as it is at the moment.

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Written by Mitch Waxman

July 23, 2015 at 11:00 am

bleeding hands

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Astoria flava.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Spotted this painting nearby Welling Court in old Astoria, part of a vast installation of murals and street art that adorns the industrial walls of an ancient lane which has definitely seen better days. One loves the Mexican influence (which seems a bit more Maya than Aztec to my eyes).

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Advertisements for the services of the Universal Assistance Crew abound. I’m trying to think up a mission to hire the UAC for, perhaps I’ll employ them as protestors or something. Either way, they claim that they will do any and everything you might need them to.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Mighty Triborough, spanning Astoria park on its way to the Shining City. Something curious is noticed around the footings of Triborough, btw. A complete and utter lack of graffiti, which is remarkable in itself.

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 16, 2014 at 11:00 am

not utter

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Curious marking, everywhere.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

While wandering through the megalopolis, one is exposed to a constant barrage of information. Bill board, signage, even the streets have instructions and a complex code of symbols that instruct and inform. It is impossible, for the literate, to not translate these graphical representations of words directly into thought. You can’t “not” read something, if you can – in fact – read. It would be like ignoring a smell.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The thing is though, and I’ve mentioned environmental adaptation before (in reference to the fact that I don’t really smell Newtown Creek or the sewer plant in Greenpoint anymore), unless something painted or posted to the wall is truly extraordinary, I can’t distinguish it out from the rest of the visual clutter. The way I see it is that even if only a letter or two of a word triggers recognition (that’s an “A” and that’s a “B”) in me, the graffiti person has won. Same thing goes for advertising, I guess. Either way, I don’t like being forced into thinking. That’s the direction in which trouble lies, when one begins to think.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

This is currently occupying a sidewalk here in Astoria, and a Brazilian fellow walking a strange dog told me that the word is Portuguese and translates as “corruption”. It really stands out, as no one else has written anything on any nearby sidewalks, or in front of other houses. My Brazilian friend shrugged his shoulders, and sauntered off with his odd pet. Also, I must compliment the handwriting on this graffito, and would love to own a font which follows its esthetic.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

January 30, 2014 at 7:30 am

tarnished plate

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“follow” me on Twitter at @newtownpentacle

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Queens Plaza is that which greets visitors to our fair borough, the home to a great machine called Queensboro. This machine, utilitarian, is the backbone which carries vehicular and light rail traffic from the western tip of a long island to the eastern shore of the great human hive’s focal point in Manhattan. Grotesque, the area has been the focus of quite a bit of municipal thought and spending over the last few years.

Mayan Apocalypse Countdown: just 8 days left until the 13th b’ak’tun ends, initiating the Mayan Apocalypse on December 21st. Tick, tock.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

An amenity, called Dutch Kills Green, has been installed as a city park. Controversy over its design and the opinions of area wags notwithstanding, your humble narrator has observed that the place is being well used. A nearby school offers daily crowds of scalawag teenagers, and the place seems popular with both indigent and office worker alike. Several interesting madmen cross the place regularly, including myself.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Annoying, artless graffito has appeared of late in the place. This post is offered in the hope that those of you, lords and ladies, who find themselves in the employ of those powers and potentates who enjoy official stewardship over the community might like to know the phone number of one of these “street artists”. It is realized that so much of the graffiti which turns up is anonymous, and that some minor satisfaction might arrive from being able to ring the person up.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Phone conversation is something generationally aberrant to those under a certain age, with SMS text or twitter replacing verbal communication, so you might wish to tweet the artist instead. Alternatively, Facebook might be your bag.

Written by Mitch Waxman

December 13, 2012 at 12:15 am

ache horribly

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

Down Under the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge Onramp, or DUGABO as I call it, on the Queens side of the loquacious Newtown Creek, is found south of the tracks of the Long Island Railroad. A largish industrial footprint, whose boot heels were dug into the swampy soil as early at the 1830’s, both describes and damns the area. The ghosts of fat renderer and yeast brewery alike haunt the spot, as does your humble narrator.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Wandering around down here recently, this intriguing bit of graffiti was observed. I’ve seen such markings before, over on Dutch Kills Street nearby Queens Plaza. It’s unusual mainly because of the figurative nature of the illustration, most area graffiti tends to be gang oriented, typographical in nature, or features the usage of a stylized and highly practiced logo or “tag”.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Deeper meanings and interpretation are best left to curators and wonks, but I for one like the drawing. The text betrays the twee irony of the hipsters, in my opinion. Always remember, lords and ladies, I go to these places so you don’t have to.

“follow” me on Twitter at @newtownpentacle

yellow rays

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

Recorded recently in the neighborhood of Dutch Kills, not the waterway but the neighborhood which the waterway once flowed into. It’s confusing, as the waterway is often cited or mentioned in these postings and is “way over there” from the perspective of the neighborhood- which is found between Ravenswood, the East River, and Astoria. Large hotels are on the rise in the area, and there’s a whole lot of construction underway. For street artists, this is a bit of a playground.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Personally, this is my kind of stuff. Garish in color and whimsical, not like the dark sarcasm and obviate ideations often observed in Brooklyn. Moreover, where one would expect to find elaborate renderings of “tags”, figurative cartooning trumps.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A fairly even temper hangs about the brow of a humble narrator today, and this splash of color is much appreciated by this withering shadow.

Written by Mitch Waxman

April 6, 2012 at 12:15 am

aerial ocean

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

Just a short one today, some of the interesting odds and ends observed during my travels over the last few weeks. The shot above is from 58th rd. in Maspeth, once known as the Maspeth Plank road and paved with crushed oyster shells. It led to Furman’s Island, a notorious spit of muddy land that was legendary in its time for the offensive industries located there.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

This curious collection of women’s shoes, singles not pairs, was spotted on Provost in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. The mind boggles at where the mated shoes might have been dumped, but these are found on the street named for one of the “OG’s” – the Original Greenpointers. They were named Provoost rather than Provost, of course, but Dutch words seldom translate unscathed into english.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Also in Greenpoint, this time nearby Manhattan Avenue. Manhattan is a double wide street because there was a street car or Trolley line that ran down it, which broke off from the East River to Calvary line which plied Greenpoint Avenue. The Manhattan Avenue line went over the Vernon Avenue Bridge and connected with Long Island City. The street art or graffiti depicted in this shot is signed “Mara” and a humble narrator is glad that some of the conclusions I’ve drawn about Newtown Creek are seemingly being noticed by others.

Written by Mitch Waxman

March 29, 2012 at 12:15 am

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