The Newtown Pentacle

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Archive for the ‘Long Island City’ Category

any idea

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A giant boulder, encountered.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

While walking through the Dutch Kills section – up 32nd street towards 36th avenue just yesterday – one encountered a giant rock. It was more of a boulder, really, it was in fact a glacial erratic.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Fairly sure am I that I would have noticed this before, given the orange safety bollards surrounding it, but I haven’t walked through here in a month or so (normally, I stick to Northern Blvd. on my way back from ye old Creek).

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Luckily, the neighborhood hereabouts seems to have embraced the erratic, adorning it in the names of nation states. No doubt, this is symptomatic of the recent World Cup tournament fever which gripped Western Queens.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

One does wonder if this is some sort of manifestation of the native art form of Queens – illegal dumping – but it’s likely related to some work going on further down the street. Wonder how long this has been here without me noticing?

- photo by Mitch Waxman

When I got home and mentioned the rock to Our Lady of the Pentacle, she handed me a Union Jack flag and told me to go back and claim it for the Queen. She’s English, and that’s her people’s vibrant diversity at work. You see a never before noticed chunk of rock, anywhere, and you claim it for the Queen. I claim it for Queens instead.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

This weekend-

Sunday, August 3rd, Kill Van Kull Walking Tour
With Brooklyn Brainery, click here for tickets and more info.

Written by Mitch Waxman

July 31, 2014 at 11:00 am

record scroll

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One does not complain, it is “Kvetching,” which is a whole other thing.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Several comments received both here, at your Newtown Pentacle, and in the real world “meatspace” have opined that your humble narrator spends too much time complaining about this or that. My obviate ranting about the singularly horrible Time Warner Cable, the inebriate legions who pollute the sidewalks of Astoria with their besotted carcasses, or the ludicrous amount of environmental noise offered freely by the neighbors – it would seem – have struck an odd chord and lent an incorrect impression to my narrative.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

First off – I grew up Jewish, and “kvetching” is as much a part of my culture as is coffee and cake – so respect the hell out of my vibrant diversity or I’ll slap a hate crime sticker on you. Secondly, one of the things that I’ve observed about the Borough of Queens over the years is the stoicism which the citizenry hereabouts displays in the face of the daily avalanches of those improprieties which they suffer. Nothing changes unless you speak about it aloud, and “just get used to it” is the precursor to a commonly quoted parable about a frog in a pot of water on a stove who doesn’t realize he’s being boiled alive because the temperature of the water is being raised in a slow and subtle fashion.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Kvetching is a running sarcastic commentary on existential woes, a general call out to others commenting on the sisyphean suffering which existentialist goyem like Albert Camus or Franz Kafka made their careers out of. Kvetching is an attempt at voicing an unease with the status quo, in the hopes of discovering other unfortunates who share in the misery. Kvetching is an attempt to stimulate a conversation about that which is wrong, one which the powers and potentates of this world might take notice of and attempt to ameliorate. Kvetching is your right, as an American, it’s called “speech.” Complaining is something else entirely.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

This weekend-

Sunday, August 3rd, Kill Van Kull Walking Tour
With Brooklyn Brainery, click here for tickets and more info.

Written by Mitch Waxman

July 29, 2014 at 12:49 pm

constantly felt

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All of my trains are filthy.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

One has mentioned the Train Washing Station at the Sunnyside Yard before, in this post from june of last year. Recently, while walking the camera about one evening, happenstance brought me to the Train Washing Station just before sunset as a dirty locomotive arrived.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Unfortunately, all I had on me was my wide angle lens (I wasn’t anticipating this sort of thing, instead, my mission for the evening had involved shooting indoors) so these shots didn’t allow me to get right up next to the engine. Normally, I’ve got the equivalent of a 150mm with me all the time, but a humble narrator has been trying to travel a bit lighter this summer.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

The photo bag has swelled out to outlandish proportion in the last year or two, with multiple lenses and strobes. One enjoys having the widest range of options, of course, but carrying ten pounds of glass across the concrete devastations wreaks havoc upon my fragile spine and aging musculature. Unless I know I’m going to need the full Monty – I leave most of it at home these days, and try to travel about with just one lens.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

There are two Newtown Creek walking tours coming up.

Saturday, July 26th, The Insalubrious Valley of the Newtown Creek
With Atlas Obscura, lunch included, click here for tickets and more info.

Sunday, July 27th, Glittering Realms
With Brooklyn Brainery, lunch included, click here for tickets and more info.

grilling persuasion

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Twirling, ever twirling.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for a humble narrator, filled with meetings and boat trips and all sorts of other stuff. Just last night, I was perspiring heavily in the humidly nighted environs of Greenwood Cemetery reading passages from H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Horror at Red Hook” for a group of pale enthusiasts that Atlas Obscura had assembled. This morning, emails are flying back and forth with certain members of NCA, as we are planning our Open House New York excursions (that’s in October, of course).

- photo by Mitch Waxman

The Brownstoner Queens column which I’ve been writing has been keeping me busy and moving all around Queens this summer. Check out the 4 part series on the Rockaways which Kevin Walsh of Forgotten-NY and I recently accomplished (parts one, two, three, and four). Also, this is a report on the Kosciuszko Bridge meeting I recently attended, and just yesterday – a massive post on the current state of things on Newtown Creek.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Apologies are offered for the disruption in the normal timing and frequency of posts at Newtown Pentacle should be offered, but frankly, I’ve exhibited a pretty good record and adhered to the schedule pretty solidly in 2014. This week’s posts are all likely going to be landing in the afternoon, btw, and should return to the morning coffee break schedule shortly.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

There are two Newtown Creek walking tours coming up.

Saturday, July 26th, The Insalubrious Valley of the Newtown Creek
With Atlas Obscura, lunch included, click here for tickets and more info.

Sunday, July 27th, Glittering Realms
With Brooklyn Brainery, lunch included, click here for tickets and more info.

Written by Mitch Waxman

July 22, 2014 at 1:44 pm

habitual vacancy

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Maritime Monday? What’s with me these days?

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Over at my Brownstoner column today, an article detailing a boat trip up Newtown Creek (called “my beloved Creek“) which brought members of the Newtown Creek CAG to the waterway on the 11th of July is described.

It’s a pretty long read, and describes a site visit and boat excursion which was initiated by the “Newtown Creek Group” who are the “Potentially Responsible Parties” named by the Federal EPA in the Superfund listing of Newtown Creek. While we were out on the boat, the Thomas D. Witte tug from Donjon towing happened along.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Likely coming from SimsMetal, the tug was engaged in guiding two barges out of Newtown Creek towards the East River. Maritime industrial usage of the Creek wasn’t really a part of the discussion while we were onboard our boat. The PRP and EPA’s contractor, Anchor QEA, had sent out representatives and scientific staff to inform and instruct about their efforts, and the extensive schedule of scientific analyses which they’ve been engaged in for the last few years.

They also wanted to discuss the future.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Quoting from the Brownstoner piece -

“Once upon a time, the industrial Newtown Creek represented nearly two million jobs spread across its vast watershed, and it carried a greater tonnage of cargo than the entire Mississippi River. It’s 3.8 miles long, providing the currently undefended border of Brooklyn and Queens, and sits at the dead bang center of New York City.

What do you want to see happen here on Newtown Creek? The Federal EPA, the City of New York, even the so called “Potentially Responsible Parties” or Newtown Creek Group are requesting your input.  What do you say, Maspeth – and Blissville – and Ridgewood – and Sunnyside – and LIC?”

The Newtown Creek CAG summer meeting will be coming up soon.

 

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

There are two Newtown Creek walking tours coming up.

Saturday, July 26th, The Insalubrious Valley of the Newtown Creek
With Atlas Obscura, lunch included, click here for tickets and more info.

Sunday, July 27th, Glittering Realms
With Brooklyn Brainery, lunch included, click here for tickets and more info.

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