The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

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soothing diagnosis

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Want to see something cool?

- photo by Mitch Waxman

There are three public Newtown Creek walking tours coming up, one in Queens and one in Brooklyn and one that walks the currently undefended border of the two boroughs. I have another iron in the fire, which I’ll tell you about later this week. As you’re reading this, I’m likely on a boat with the Working Harbor Committee’s Education program, showing off the harbor to a group of high school students.

Plank Road, with Newtown Creek Alliance, on April 19th. This one is free, click here to get on the list.

Poison Cauldron, with Atlas Obscura, on April 26th. Click here for more info and ticketing.

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

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shall vex

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A baited trap, in LIC.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Everyone knows about the particular predilection that the Gendarme has for those toroids of fried and sweetened dough which are commonly called Donuts, and it is simply “messed up” that someone seems to using one as bait. Should a hungry constable happen along and happily reach for this confection, what sort of snare might be triggered? Is this a cop trap of some kind? What’s hidden inside that duct or pipe?

- photo by Mitch Waxman

The funny thing about the cop/donut myth is that it really isn’t true. Most of the police officers I’ve met over the years were actually in pretty good shape, and the ones who weren’t in wholesome condition owed it to a love of the brewer’s art rather than that of the baker’s. Still one wonders how many innocent but hungry servants of the realm hereabouts have been ensnared on this LIC block, adjoining Skillman Avenue?

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Commonly held, the mythology about American Police and their love for donuts is reasonably predicated upon the frequent observation of unit cars and uniformed personnel, by the citizenry at large, congregating at locations commonly called “Donut Shops.” Simply answered, even if your job is to drive around a neighborhood for eight hours at a pop, you still need to pee and or buy coffee periodically – an endless cycle in itself – and sharing a common location for such activity allows units to compare notes on the days events. Donut shops are open late, as are the Police. It’s messed up that someone is setting out donut baited snares though, and provides for a worrisome development within this, our Newtown Pentacle.

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Written by Mitch Waxman

March 31, 2014 at 9:30 am

exponent of escape

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It’s nothing but darkness down there.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Loathsome, your humble narrator is nevertheless and occasionally required to put in an appearance now and then. Shattering disillusionment is what normally accompanies me, as It is my nature to fail. Hopes that I might eventually arrive at some combination of personality traits which a vast majority would find nonobjectionable are vainglorious, as I seem to have become exactly what my school instructors warned about decades ago. Sometimes, I’ll just ride the subway, and bathe in the clouds of powderized rat shit which herald their coming.

All I deserve, I suppose, as I’m all ‘effed up.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

This has been an extraordinarily busy week for me, running about the City of Brooklyn and the villages of Queens. Newtown Creek, Red Hook and the Gowanus – and even the Brooklyn Navy Yard has been on my agenda. Last night, a friend asked me to attend a reading by Tirella from his new book about the 1964 World’s Fair at the Astoria Bookshop and by the time we were discussing it at a neighborhood pub afterwards, I was actually starting to nod out.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Apologies are offered for the late post today, but even one such as myself needs to fall unconscious and wildly hallucinate for 7-8 hours periodically. Such opportunity was denied for two days in a row, wherein one caught less than 6 hours of such activity in a 48 hour period. My normal late night antics, which find me at the computer during the witching hours, were cut short by the omnipresent needs of my biology.

All too human, I fear.

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Written by Mitch Waxman

January 17, 2014 at 10:02 am

noxiously abroad

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Look at me, I’m as helpless as a kitten up a tree.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Last Saturday, one found himself in the company of Craig Nunn and his Shorewalkers tour group running around LIC in a deep fog. The so called Polar Vortex had dissipated, and the abnormally cold water and frozen ground suddenly found themselves interacting with air that had suddenly grown 30-40 degrees warmer than that which had been circulating formerly.

The result: a whole pile of fog.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

These shots were gathered down at the East River shoreline, although you’d hardly recognize it. Manhattan was virtually obscured, and much of it seemed to have disappeared entirely, which is in many ways a dream come true for one such as myself.

 

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Queensboro, which is hard to miss normally, was relegated down to a mere shadow in the mist. Passerby, here in Tower Town, were heard to mention that they perceived something was moving about in the fog – something huge. Some thought it might be the Circle Line or some other large vessel.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Roosevelt Island’s southern extent was positively gothic in appearance. The fog was behaving in the manner of clouds, as observed from a high altitude plane, rising and falling with the tepid breeze and threading between tree and building.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island, newly constructed, was nicely framed by the clouds of moisture. My camera was getting soaked while shooting, incidentally, and I had to retire it to the saftey of my camera bag shortly after capturing these shots.

Oy, it was so humid.

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Written by Mitch Waxman

January 14, 2014 at 7:30 am

brief space

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An interesting effect observed.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

By this stage of the game, lords and ladies, the shot above must depict a scene quite familiar to your eyes. The waterway is the Dutch Kills tributary of the fabled Newtown Creek, and the industrial buildings framing it part of the Degnon Terminal here in Long Island City, Queens. The water is frozen, as would be expected in this frigid month.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Hanging around with the Newtown Creek Alliance folks, one of the terms I’ve learned which cannot be expunged from active memory is “sediment mound.” That’s when an open sewer deposits layer after layer of its cargo, over the course of decades, and piles up a mound. These mounds are normally indistinct to the eye, sitting hidden in the turbid water.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

What’s interesting in these shots, to me at least, is that the sediment mounds and other features of the bed which Dutch Kills flows through, are visible in the melting edges of the ice. It appeared that the ice didn’t form as solidly at the shorelines as it did in the center of the water. The center was, in fact, a solid plate of ice which had garbage rolling around on it.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

These were captured on January the 11th, a very foggy day. The shot above is a stitched panorama, which depicts the entire water way while facing roughly southwards.

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