The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Archive for the ‘Court Square’ Category

bottomless pit

with 2 comments

NYC is full of bowels, my friends, full of them.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Various travels and tribulations cause one such as myself to appear in different sections of the Megalopolis continually, and sometimes the distance is too great to walk in my allotted time. Luckily, most of my travels involve short hops on the Subway, but occasionally the end of the line is where I’m headed. Never a fan of being confined in a dripping wet concrete bunker full of rats and insectivorous life forms, the same discipline used while sitting in a Dentist’s chair is invoked, and I’m able to endure the experience. I’m sure that you, Lords and Ladies, do the same.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

It is impossible, however, for my mind not to wander. Great effort is made not to make eye contact with the humans who infest this Megalopolis – they are changeable and can often be dangerous – when intervals of travel in these subterranean aluminum and glass boxes are thrust upon me. Often, my thoughts turn to how easy it would be to conceal unpleasantries down here – in some side tunnel or hidden chamber down here in NYC’s guts.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Morlocks, dough colored hairless lemurs, or other extant iterations of the monkey tribe could easily exist down here. The possibility of Rat Kings, basilisks, or even goblins existing in great numbers crosses my mind when on a long subway trip. Those hidden galleries, abandoned platforms, and the blue lit emergency exit points which flash by as the train moves along populate my mind with outlandish possibility.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

It’s at the “end of the line” stations where my apprehension grows to unbearable proportion. Recently, on the 5 train as it neared its final destination deep in Brooklyn, the entire car emptied out. For more than three stops, a humble narrator rode alone, expecting some nightmare entity to board the train who would proceed to masticate and ingest me. Another lost soul, who disappeared after entering the system…

“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 16, 2014 at 11:35 am

nervous element

leave a comment »

Cutting up Queens Blvd. in today’s post.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Bigger and quite a bit badder than the masonry saw witnessed in last week’s posting “dusk comes,” your humble narrator recently spotted a crew on Queens Blvd. creating a street trench using a 155 HP Vermeer CC155 Concrete Cutter. The gizmo uses a giant (84 inches in diameter) wheel, one that sports carbide tipped teeth, to chew into the asphalt and underlying cement of the so called “Boulevard of Death.”

from vermeer.com

Cutting streets for utility installation or pothole repair is no problem for the Vermeer CC155. With the sustained torque output of its Tier II 155 hp/115.6 kW Cummins engine and a microprocessor to manage load control, the CC155 is a smart choice for interstate and highway repair, airport lighting projects, and demolition work.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Quoting my union laborer buddy who lives upstairs, whom I casually mentioned encountering this device to – “Bro, y’know how much time ya save with a trencher? Pssshhhht. (he demonstratively lit a Marlboro Red at this point) Bro, I friggin hate jackhammers, screws up my back every time I use one bro, gotta have a trencher Bro, ya gotta.” One couldn’t help but notice that the signage adorning the traffic bollard which the crew had set about indicated that they were working on a Verizon project, which is presumptively the roll out of FIOS in Queens.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Let’s face it, everything sucks, but nothing outside of government sucks more than Time Warner Cable. That organization represents such a high level of suck that they should be sent to Albany and turned into a branch of State government whose singular mission is “to suck,” and become the official state agency in charge of obfuscation and incompetent management – the OIM. Your humble narrator welcomes anyone who will provide competition to those clowns, even if its “Ma Bell,” and if it means attacking the boulevard of death with a giant saw then so be it.

There are two public Newtown Creek walking tours coming up, one in Queens and one that walks the currently undefended border of the two boroughs.

DUPBO, with Newtown Creek Alliance and MAS Janeswalk, on May 3rd.
Click here for more info and ticketing.

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

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

April 30, 2014 at 11:48 am

damnably irregular

with one comment

A curious bird, spotted in this dirty old part of the city, where the sun refuse to shine.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Just the other day, a squamous thing wrapped in a dirty black raincoat was sashaying down sturdy Jackson Avenue and enjoying the glamorous environs of the Court Square section while anticipating, with palpitant heart, entering Queens Plaza when an odd avian seized all attentions. That squamous travesty, your humble narrator and faithful chronicler of all things odd here in the “Borough that Time Forgot,” accordingly stopped dead in his tracks and reached for the camera.

What, exactly, is up with those red and yellow feathers?

from wikipedia

Pigeons and doves constitute the bird clade Columbidae, that includes about 310 species. They are stout-bodied birds with short necks, and have short, slender bills with fleshy ceres. Doves feed on seeds, fruits, and plants. This family occurs worldwide, but the greatest variety is in the Indomalaya and Australasia ecozones.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

It all started when a path was being negotiated through a herd of these so called ferals. Birds know that no ill will is borne for their kind from one such as myself, and they seldom scatter when my path carries me through their chaotic gatherings on the pavement. This is an issue, as great effort is expended in the attempt not to crush or kick them while in mid step.

Whilst picking my way amongst them, one bird stood out from the pack.

from wikipedia

Feral pigeons (Columba livia), also called city doves, city pigeons, or street pigeons, are derived from domestic pigeons that have returned to the wild. The domestic pigeon was originally bred from the wild Rock Dove, which naturally inhabits sea-cliffs and mountains. Rock (i.e., ‘wild’), domestic, and feral pigeons are all the same species and will readily interbreed. Feral pigeons find the ledges of buildings to be a substitute for sea cliffs, have become adapted to urban life, and are abundant in towns and cities throughout much of the world.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Disturbingly heterogenous, Pigeons exhibit multitudes of colorations naturally, something the normal urban observer would readily acknowledge. Never has a bird of this speciation displayed anything like what’s depicted in these shots in my presence. A Pigeon with red and yellow wings is something new, to me at least.

Weird.

from phys.org

Various forms of a gene named Tyrp1 make pigeons either blue-black (the grayish color of common city pigeons), red or brown. Mutations of a second gene, named Sox10, makes pigeons red no matter what the first gene does. And different forms of a third gene, named Slc45a2, make the pigeons’ colors either intense or washed out.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

It didn’t seem to be paint or dye, it should be mentioned, which would betray itself by causing the appearance of the feathers to be matted. This ain’t “photoshop” either, lords and ladies, as a note for the jaded or suspicious amongst you.

That’s a wild NYC Pigeon, with wings and a tail which are red and yellow, spotted on Jackson Avenue in Long Island City on the 9th of March in 2014 – just for the record.

from feralpigeonproject.com

Scientists have long wondered why feral pigeon populations show such plumage diversity compared to other feral animals. Generally, feral animals revert to the wild or ancestral type (in this case a blue-bar colouration), yet towns and cities are full of pigeons of a wide variety of colours. The question is, what causes this variation? Is it that female pigeons are choosing particular coloured males or vice versa? Are particular coloured pigeons more or less vulnerable to predation?

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

March 14, 2014 at 11:30 am

receptive ears

leave a comment »

Cool cars in today’s post.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

One found himself down by the former 5pointz in LIC, which had recently been reverse vandalized.

It’s a shame, really. 5ptz was the only thing in LIC that brought the punters and foreign tourists out from Manhattan, but LIC needs more mirror walls and luxury condos, so it had to go. This is the way of things, I guess, but it’s a crying shame and victory for the forces of blandness.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

While visiting the lamentable location, this interesting car with its hilarious vanity plate was spotted. The vehicle was a variation of a classic muscle car, although its registration sticker called it a pickup.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Sights such as this will no doubt be increasingly rare, as I saw the guy who got out of it heading towards the former 5ptz. Soon all one will see parked around here shall be Zip Cars, and tower dwellers unloading loads of big box store goods.

Luckily, vanilla ice cream can be obtained at Cosco in 50 gallon drums.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

December 12, 2013 at 7:30 am

linger strangely

with 4 comments

The fedora district of Long Island City.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Last week, one found himself wandering desperately through the Fedora District.

A term of my own invention, as it seems like the sort of spot built for and by fellows who routinely placed felt hats upon their heads when leaving the house. My sweaty desperation was brought on by certain bodily functions which were calling for, nay, demanding attention.

Simply put, I had to poop, drop a deuce, or extrude ex food.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

One of the big problems experienced all over the megalopolis is a lack of publicly available rest rooms.

For some reason, the credentialed urban planners of the world do not acknowledge human biology in their calculations, nor require accessible bathrooms from the real estate people in exchange for their tax breaks and $1 land deals.

This is why people piss on their green infrastructure, there’s no where else to go.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

I should have stopped at the diner on Jackson to take care of business, but didn’t have the money or time to spend on a cup of joe or similar item as a ransom for relief. Urgency commanded one to double time it back to Astoria and the comforts of those porcelain fixtures which we keep confined in a tile room. I, for one, urge the incoming Mayor’s transition team to consider the fact that humans will need to crap and pee occasionally.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

pitying moon

with one comment

Darkness abounds in otherwise wholesome locales.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

The dystopic setting of Queens Plaza, where tombstone like shards of cement and soaring steel parabolas rise, seems hostile to human life. That’s its paradox, of course, as the transit hub is all about human life but the only things missing from the scene are broken ended pipes that randomly shoot out fire and scarlet demons whipping the damned with barbed flails. The place is agonizing upon the ears, filled with fumes and engine exhaust, and if there is a public lavatory there- I haven’t found it yet. Gazing upon Queens Plaza, one realizes that this is one of the most populated spots upon the Earth- with a proviso that most of the people there at any given time are merely passing through on the subways, cars, bicycles, and buses they’re riding in.

Few ultimately set out with the destination of either Hell or Queens Plaza, but everyone ends up at one or the other sooner or later.

from wikipedia

Reduplicative paramnesia is the delusional belief that a place or location has been duplicated, existing in two or more places simultaneously, or that it has been ‘relocated’ to another site. It is one of the delusional misidentification syndromes and, although rare, is most commonly associated with acquired brain injury, particularly simultaneous damage to the right cerebral hemisphere and to both frontal lobes.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Offered above is Dutch Kills Street, just down the block from the infernal conglomeration, looking south off of Jackson Avenue. A medium large (by LIC standards) residential property (of the modern sort) is nearing completion on one side of the street and a far larger project is set to begin on the other. The auto bridge above the roadway carries traffic from Queensboro towards Thomson Avenue over the Sunnyside Yards.

This street isn’t the same post industrial set piece riddled with green steel columns just exited, mind you, instead these steel beams are brown and beige and there’s no traffic except above. There’s something one might describe as foreboding about the street’s current incarnation, for some reason, a preternatural darkness. Intuition demands that one never find himself at the dead end of this street at night, although I have no empirical reason to believe that there is much lurking back there other than the odd feral cat or two.

There’s just something about the spot that feels sinister to me, perhaps the new real estate developments with their mirror glass walls shall brighten the street’s outlook in future times, or at least flush out whatever may dwell therein.

from wikipedia

Delusional companion syndrome is considered a neuropathology of the self, specifically a delusional misidentification syndrome. Affected individuals believe certain non-living objects possess consciousness and can think independently and feel emotion. The psychosis must coexist with a detectable brain pathology for delusional companion syndrome to be diagnosed. The syndrome is most often identified in patients who suffer from damage to the brain due to physical trauma, neuronal degeneration or developmental abnormalities. Especially in the latter case, patients also tend to present with many other symptoms and are diagnosed as having other established conditions. Comforting objects like cuddly toys are often the focus of delusion.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

The mirror glass frontages currently in vogue do little to suit the tastes of a creature such as your humble narrator. Devastating planar surfaces rising inorganically, the logical melancholy and joy starved jaundice of a decadent and jaded age, covered in reflective materials whose action reveals too much… No, one such as myself prefers the inhuman scale of earlier times and the fortress of factories at the Degnon Terminal on Thomson Avenue. Their day is long past, the tenants today are colleges and offices, but the structures still exude solidity and inevitability nearly a century after they were rudely erected from the swampy waste meadows surrounding the Dutch Kills tributary of that squamous cataract of urban legend called the Newtown Creek.

from wikipedia

The criteria for failure are heavily dependent on context of use, and may be relative to a particular observer or belief system. A situation considered to be a failure by one might be considered a success by another, particularly in cases of direct competition or a zero-sum game. Similarly, the degree of success or failure in a situation may be differently viewed by distinct observers or participants, such that a situation that one considers to be a failure, another might consider to be a success, a qualified success or a neutral situation.

It may also be difficult or impossible to ascertain whether a situation meets criteria for failure or success due to ambiguous or ill-defined definition of those criteria. Finding useful and effective criteria, or heuristics, to judge the success or failure of a situation may itself be a significant task.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

December 5, 2013 at 7:30 am

discern nothing

with one comment

Always moving, no place to go.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

As one who detests entering the Subway system, it fits neatly within New York City’s macabre sense of humor to force me to enter the labyrinth on a fairly regular basis. The fits of depth born panic and revulsion suffered whilst encased in the rotting concrete bunkers must be controlled. It would be untoward to inflict my own insecurities and phobias upon those fellow unfortunates traveling alongside me, and positively dismissive of a social order in which “anything goes.” Why shouldn’t one defecate in public?

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Fear of offering loquacious discomforts to others isn’t something reflected by the general population, for course. It would be ridiculous to complain about the manner in which some behave while down here. Eating fried and highly aromatic dishes, performing basic grooming of hair and nails, or applying face paint- there are those for whom the Subway is an extension of the home. Last week, a woman I was sitting next to was utilizing the atomizer of a perfume bottle to liberally paint the confined air, and the rest of us, with her chosen scent.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

It must be a wonderful thing, to be so confident in one’s self. The thought of exposing one’s private moments in such a brazen fashion is beyond me, as I was urged during toilet training to consider certain acts as “private.” Just the other day I was thinking, while watching a mid 40’s woman squeezing out a zit on the R train, that we really need to reintroduce the concept of shame and shunning back into society. You are not, my pimply friend, simply “free to be you and me” when out amongst the other humans. Decorum, please.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

November 4, 2013 at 10:15 am

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 876 other followers

%d bloggers like this: