The Newtown Pentacle

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Catching up with the Newtown Pentacle.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

This long winter has been especially difficult for one such as myself, who possesses no reserve of warmth. Accordingly, hermitage is enacted. Hair, beard, and nails are allowed to seek their natural length while an induced stupor was enjoyed by the brain. Now that the burning thermonuclear eye of god itself has once more attained an efficacious position in the sky, all of the dead cellular material external to the skinvelope has been trimmed back and an understimulated brain called to action once more.

The long marches across the concrete devastations have resumed.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

The spot of trouble enjoyed by my household in recent weeks, regarding the reliable availability of internet service – as supplied by Time Warner Cable – seems to have been resolved due to the actions of this fellow. Last Saturday, the third most hated corporation in modern day America sent this fellow, Jose, over to rewire and rekajigger the connections. The connectivity issues seem to have been repaired accordingly, and now the service has returned to “it just sucks” as opposed to “doesn’t work at all.”

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Last Sunday, whilst crossing the Pulaski Bridge to visit Greenpoint via Long Island City, these graffitos were spotted. Displaying an unusually literate and somewhat scientifically accurate credo, my attentions were caught. It wasn’t this screed which stopped me in my tracks, instead it was the one in the penultimate photograph adorning this post.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

No comment, except to say that hidden in green slimy vaults, in his house at R’lyeh

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Written by Mitch Waxman

March 26, 2014 at 12:06 pm

mounting eagerness

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Man, I’ve barely mentioned my beloved Creek lately.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Yesterday, business took me to Red Hook’s Erie Basin, a trip which turned out to be abortive as that which I went to photograph would not be available until next week. Having a free afternoon, unexpectedly, one decided to walk home to Astoria. Shots from the journey are being processed, but your humble narrator found himself all along the river, and everywhere from Brooklyn Bridge park to The Navy Yard. My back started to ache in Williamsburg, and discretion being the better part of valor, I cut the walk off at Metropolitan and Roebling. Not bad for my first serious perambulation of 2014, but I am badly out of shape after a hibernation forced by incessant ice and snow.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Vast soliloquy governed my thoughts on the walk, and a realization that I havent been spending much time on the Newtown Creek- personally and at this blog – in the last few months left me thunderstruck. Accordingly, pictured above is the DB Cabin rail bridge, spanning Dutch Kills, which carries LIRR Montauk branch traffic. DB Cabin hasn’t been opened since 2002, as its motors are non functional. Accordingly, Dutch Kills is an industrial canal which cannot accept anything larger than a rowboat, and that’s only at low tide. There are those who would like to throw this inheritance away, and turn it into some sort of bullheaded swampland, but that’s something that sounds good at cocktail parties. They forget about Mosquitos, and jobs for those beyond their clique, and that M1 zones are for industry – not water sports or bird watching.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

This bridge frustrates me as I’ve never gotten a decent shot of a train crossing it. There’s another rail bridge at English Kills which has stymied my desires in similar fashion over the years, but its just a matter of time until I get both. That’s the thing about me and my beloved Creek – I ain’t going nowhere. There are some who wish I would just fall in and disappear into the black mayonnaise, probably due to my brash nature and overwhelmingly unwholesome aspect, but they can go jump in the East River and swim to Manhattan to beg the Mayor for a job for all I care.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Newtown Creek is the subject of much speculation, discussion, and debate. All over the world – architects, planners, and engineers sniff at the air and smell a giant bucket of Federal money about to spent here. They anxiously twist their hands trying to conceive of some angle by which their pet projects can be shoehorned into the Superfund process. They forget that this is the home of industry, which must be encouraged to not just stay here, but to reinvest in Brooklyn and Queens – albeit in a manner which is less destructive to the processes of human and animal life along the waterway. You can have both.

Also, all bets are off, and your Newtown Pentacle is back in session.

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rusty impediments

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Your motive is loco, man.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

So few places to go, no one to see. The gray frigidity has me down, lords and ladies, and it is not impossible that over the last few weeks, I’ve watched everything on Netflix- including a couple of episodes of “Power Rangers Jungle Fury.” Playing with the cords on my hoodie, counting the floor tiles, bored. That’s me. Cabin Fever, I think they call it.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Been reading lots of good stuff, including a marathon exploration of the dissimilar topics of leprosy and the genetic consequences of multi generational incest- both of which led to the Hapsburgs. None of this relates one little bit to the history of Newtown Creek nor Queens, which actually has been my intention. Little projects like mine tend to drag you down a long drill hole, and you become so focused that you lose sight of the bigger picture… which somehow includes leprosy and incest.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Its cheerier reading than I normally do during this time of year, when my google searches have historically included “stages of putrefaction of cadaver” and “common practices of yeast distillation in 19th century america.” Hey, a guy gets curious about things. Its better to know something, well… some things… than to remain willfully ignorant about unpleasantries.

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not voluntary

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The banal joy of it all is what today’s post explores.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Have to admit that despite my confession to suffering from a bit of a rut, which is a seasonal complaint often offered at this time of year, the places which I continually find myself seldom disappoint. Case in point today are shots collected from the Queens side of the fabled Newtown Creek, amongst the concretized wasteland of DUPBO (Down Under the Pulaski Bridge Onramp). Pictured is a view of my beloved Creek looking towards Greenpoint and the GMDC (Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center) found at the Manhattan Avenue Street End in Brooklyn from DUPBO, which is ultimately kind of a depressing image for me. Your humble narrator has been spending far too much time in Brooklyn lately, and not enough in Queens.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Brooklyn is lost in soliloquy again, currently obsessing over ways to spend its ExxonMobil settlement money. There’s all sorts of stuff going on over there, with everyone in 11122 cooking up an idea to mulch this or compost that and applying for funding. It’s all good stuff, but gardening isn’t going to do much against the torrents of waste and sewage which flow out of Manhattan everyday. Greenpoint is the Mississippi delta of municipal waste, and Manhattan is an upstream pig farm whose shit pipes flow directly into the river. Western Queens, on the other hand, knows exactly what role it is expected to play in Manhattan’s gang of subordinates and doesn’t pretend not to know.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Carpet baggers from all over the City and State, sometimes from other states even, can smell the cash over in Brooklyn and want to take a bite. Foundations and think tanks roam about over there, pronouncing the need for “green infrastructure” (gardening) and other buzzy concepts which the masters over on Manhattan (and their Brooklyn representatives) have decided on as the fix for all things related to sewage runoff. I’m not against it, of course, how can you stand up against gardening? It’s just that over in Queens, We’ve got a highway which feeds a couple of hundred thousand auto trips a day into a tunnel that is just a couple of blocks from the Creek. Said highway runs alongside the concentrating point of all rail on Long Island, which is neighbored by two major automobile bridges (Queensboro and Triborough).

How can you garden your way out of that?

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not conjecture

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Preternatural darkness and solemnitude, that’s the ticket.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Under assault from all quarters, condemned to waiting for everyone else to finish eating before I might scoop up discarded scraps from beneath the master’s table, go I. Seldom considered except as an after thought, your humble narrator is nevertheless always watching from the depth of shadow, day and night alike- staring out through a monocular lens. If most knew what I’ve met lurking out here, in the night, they would stoutly lock their windows and doors. Shadowed groups of anonymous men huddle in doorways, whispering to each other in languages which were ancient in the Americas in the uncounted millennia before Columbus, lit only by sodium lamps on high.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

A wandering mendicant, clad in a filthy black raincoat and armored in a skin of calcified scar tissue, the cold waste offers naught but nepenthe to one such as myself. Industrial quarters, such as the ill fortuned section of Long Island City pictured in todays posting which are routinely transversed and travelled by this lonely pedestrian, offer nothing but opportunity when the burning thermonuclear eye of god itself is occluded by the earth. The sodium lamp illumination be damned, City Hall has declared, and all the street lamps will soon be replaced with newer and so called energy efficient ones. One worries about the impending arrival of these LED street lamps in NYC, and the sociological and psychological effects which the cold flicker and narrow wavelengths of light typically offered by such devices will have on the human hive.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

It is a firm belief, dearly held, that it is possible to induce madness architecturally. If this statement strikes you as hyperbole, consider how the crypto fascist teachings of LeCorbusier led to the creation of the monolithic columns of the city housing projects and the cultural degradations suffered by those whom fate has entrapped within them. When all of NewYork is awash in LED light, with its peculiarly cool color and perceptual flickering bouncing to and from the mirror walls of condominium towers, what will their strange radiances do to the minds of those of us who dwell in the deep nocturne? Don’t worry about me, I like it dark and scary, and enjoy the expressions of madness and the exultation of chaos which the humans create.

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Written by Mitch Waxman

November 19, 2013 at 11:10 am

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