The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Archive for the ‘Midtown’ Category

tourist routes

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A query, in today’s post.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

The “Big Little Mayor,” as opposed to that former elected official whom I often referred to as the “Little Big Mayor,” has announced intentions to put the Horse and Carriage businesses found along Central Park on 59th street out of business.

For generations of tourists, these carriage rides have long been a feature of a trip to New York City, and remain a romanticized experience dreamt of by many. Most New Yorkers, myself included, haven’t partaken in a ride – with expense often cited as the reason why. Many will include that they do not wish to ride one because “it’s cruel to the horses.”

Do these animals suffer for the fey attentions of the idle rich and the amusement of vagabond tourists, or are they working animals pursuing an occupation?

- photo by Mitch Waxman

The animal rights people, many of whom act like wild eyed sociopaths and privileged ideologues when you actually meet them in person, claim that this business exhibits a particularly wicked form of cruelty in subjecting the horses to the pressures of the urban setting. They do make a salient and thought provoking point about the welfare and quality of husbandry of these beasts, points which are worthy of both discussion and debate. Of course, trying to have a conversation with an activist of any persuasion is akin to fostering a meaningful dialogue about the efficacy of multiculturalism with a klansman – their mind is made up.

Also, if New York City is too harsh an environment for horses, then what about humans?

Personally, I’d be kind of interested in what the condition of these horses looked like from a farmer’s POV.

Preferably an Amish farmer.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Liam Neeson and the NY Daily News support continuance of the Horse and Carriage trade in busy midtown traffic, Big Little Mayor and others wish to see the atavist conveyances replaced by a Disneyesque automobile propulsed by electrical batteries. Personally, I see efficacy on both sides, and would like to add my own rather Malthusian bit of reasoning about the subject -

The only reason that horses continue to exist is because human beings see value in them and have ordained it so. The horses were smart enough to play ball with the Human Race, early on, just like the dogs did – so we didn’t kill all of them back in the Ice Age like the Giant Sloth and those giant Flightless Birds. Take away the occupation or value of a critter, and human beings will extinct the shit out of it right quick. My favorite animal right is the right to live, but that’s a whole other conversation, and the one thing I’d like to see less than a horse get hit by a truck is a horse going to the glue factory.

And so, as to my query - what’s your opinion on this one, Lords and Ladies? Tempest in a teapot, or something that needs fixing?

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

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

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 21, 2014 at 11:00 am

frescoed halls

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Another one from the archives.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

A couple of friends of mine were getting married, and threw some big fancy “do” at a hotel over on Park Avenue. As always I had a camera with me. A clear night, the venerable Empire State Building was lit up all pretty, and the rest is pixels on a page. My friends still seem quite taken with each other, by the way.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

December 27, 2013 at 7:30 am

thither wouldst, thither shouldst

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Bah.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

My harbor chums invited your humble narrator along recently on a holiday event, one which involved the arrival of Santa Claus riding on a small tug called Sea Gus. The whole shebang was sponsored by Circle Line, specifically their World Yacht brand, and there were hundreds of people awaiting the arrival of the man in red on a chilly night at the Hudson River in Manhattan.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Paparazzi and hordes of fans mobbed the giver of gifts, and he was clearly overwhelmed by the attention. Probably, this is why he acts alone and at night, like assassins do.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

The Circle Line folks filled up a couple of boats, served hot chocolate and cookies to the crowds, and conducted a short excursion down the Hudson. Santa stayed on land, and it was said that he had a meeting with the NYC EDC which he had to attend. Bike paths at the North Pole workshop will gobble up much needed parking spaces, and the elfs are being priced out of their apartments by development. The old fella was meant to submit a statement to them condemning the plan to build luxury condos with an “affordable housing” component at the pole, asking instead for simple dormitories.

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Written by Mitch Waxman

December 20, 2013 at 11:51 am

monstrous guilt

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The farbissina hunt rides again.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Eschewing the behavioral requirements by which social graces are enforced amongst those who aspire, the qualities of polity and well mannered conviviality are not normally mentioned when the subject of discussion is your humble narrator. Oft has this lack of civilized manner called down unexpected storms- which offer, induce, and deliver personal angst and derision. The path I walk and life I’ve lived has been pedantic and painful at best, and many have volunteered that my personality is tolerable only in short doses. Vast physical inadequacies, and the social status of an ineluctably feckless quisling, demand that one such as myself retreats when trouble comes. There is no chance that a stand will be taken and instead to the shadows will I flee.

From my hermitage of shadows, lurking amongst the night, do I stab at and shun the world that surrounds. Humbug.

from wikipedia

Shunning can be the act of social rejection, or mental rejection. Social rejection is when a person or group deliberately avoids association with, and habitually keeps away from an individual or group. This can be a formal decision by a group, or a less formal group action which will spread to all members of the group as a form of solidarity. It is a sanction against association, often associated with religious groups and other tightly knit organizations and communities. Targets of shunning can include persons who have been labeled as apostates, whistleblowers, dissidents, strikebreakers, or anyone the group perceives as a threat or source of conflict.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

When this- your Newtown Pentacle- first appeared on the vast interwebs a few years ago, the accusations hurled my way were many and varied. Some said that I was some sort of shill for the real estate people, given the wonderment expressed about western Queens. Shortly thereafter, some said that I was a pompous windbag pontificating to a nearly empty room of slack jawed Hipsters. Next up, I was accused of being some sort of sleeper agent placed by deep pocketed and borough wide political gangs with shadowy goals. After that, a sudden wave of auto cthonic attention from the press caused some to characterize me as a careerist and carpet bagger. Can you see why I stick to the shadows and shun a world populated by crazy people? If I was any of the things above, wouldn’t I be able to afford to own a car?

It’s mostly night time in December anyway, and I’ve always hated being asked to drink any flavor of Kool-Aid. Back in the old neighborhood, in Brooklyn, we just called it bug juice.

from wikipedia

“Drinking the Kool-Aid” is a metaphor commonly used in the United States that refers to a person or group holding an unquestioned belief, argument, or philosophy without critical examination. It could also refer to knowingly going along with a doomed or dangerous idea because of peer pressure. The phrase typically carries a negative connotation when applied to an individual or group. The phrase derives from the November 1978 Jonestown Massacre, where members of the Peoples Temple, who were followers of the pro-Communist cult leader Reverend Jim Jones, committed suicide by drinking a mixture of a powdered soft drink flavoring agent laced with cyanide.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

What this little invective has to do with the photos presented in today’s post, captured nearby Manhattan’s Flat Iron district in the east 20′s, is surprisingly simple. These were the thoughts roiling and boiling between my ears while I was shooting. It has been a long, long time since I’ve allowed myself to feel anything at all- let alone allowing an old and familiar cauldron of hatred and bile to come to a simmer. Here’s the deal, lords and ladies, and I’m saying it for the umpteenth time: There is no hidden agenda, nor guiding principal, nor shadowed paymaster behind the scenes around these parts. I show you what Queens and the Creek show me, that’s it. I take shots of seemingly significant structures and locations out in the field. I go back to HQ, research to the best of my ability, and present them here. Sometimes, I’m wrong, and count on the wisdom of crowds to point me in the right direction when I am.

Meanwhile, I’m busy shunning the whole world for awhile. Bah.

from wikipedia

Green Infrastructure or Blue-green infrastructure is a network providing the “ingredients” for solving urban and climatic challenges by building with nature. The main components of this approach include stormwater management, climate adaptation, less heat stress, more biodiversity, food production, better air quality, sustainable energy production, clean water and healthy soils, as well as the more anthropocentric functions such as increased quality of life through recreation and providing shade and shelter in and around towns and cities.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

December 2, 2013 at 7:30 am

atavistical menace

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Welcome to the darker side of the year.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Call it what you will. There’s Samhain, and Calan Gaeaf, and we’ve also got All Hallows’ Eve – but it’s just Halloween here at Newtown Pentacle HQ. 2013 has been a slow one for the occult and magick beat, I’m afraid. Haven’t been able to bring you much more than a few headless chickens found on the rail tracks in Maspeth, actually. It’s not that I haven’t been looking, mind you, but I just keep on finding singular shoes divorced from their mated pair. Try and convince me that there isn’t some serial killer at work behind this phenomena, I dare you.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

A lurking fear of mine is the sure knowledge that there are rats in the walls. Just beyond the reach of station lights, they squirm and breed and hunger. Remember last year- directly following the storm- when concerns about this rodent army leaving the flooded tunnel system to try their luck above ground, in the darkened streets of lower Manhattan, were openly debated? Who can guess all there is, that might be down there?

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Manhattan terrifies. Its teeming masses yearn to breathe free, but are forced to congregate in the great human hive in the name of industry. The atmosphere hosts a thriving variety of bacterial and viral specie, which float along on gusts of contaminant laden air from host to host. Pandemic is inevitable, and it would not be the first time either. First Cholera, then Typhus, Tuberculosis, and Influenza have historically cut great swaths of the population down on this crowded island. Always there are those who cannot afford to be sick, and are forced to go about their business with the affect and manner of the walking dead.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Halloween though, isn’t about some mad serial killer operating in Queens, or an army of starving rats emerging from the Subways to feast, nor some plague that renders its victims with a virulent visage reminiscent of the living dead. Instead, it’s about spectral menaces rising from graveyards to wander the land in search of living souls to take back to hell with them, silly. The Danse Macabre is underway, so watch out Newtownicans, for evil of the most vile sort is afoot.

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weary trip

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Watch out, its Mischief Night.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

October 30th, for some, is a day when normal inhibitions against creating chaos are suspended. Mischief Night is the common term for this orgy of self indulgence and prankery perpetrated upon the wholesome masses and jaded gentry alike, and it is also known as Cabbage Night or Devils Night. Chilling traditions followed by its adolescent adherents include the hurling of toilet paper rolls into trees and over homes, bombardment of passerby and vehicles with cabbage, the ringing of doorbells, and relocation of garden furniture or statuary to distaff locale. There is also quite a bit of pumpkin smashing. All of this in the name of mischief… and that means one thing to me- LOKI.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Fearing that a Viking God might be behind all of this so called “tradition,” your humble narrator made his way to Manhattan’s west side to converse with the ascended masters. Consultations with an unreliably accurate storefront psychic in Hells Kitchen had proved fruitless in ascertaining if my assertions ascribing that the influences felt by many on this so called “Mischief Night” were, in fact, due to the influences of the Jotun born lord of mischief and father of Hel. My path took me to a certain relict saloon on 9th avenue, a dark corner of the Shining City and a place wherein a certain retired sea captain is known to inhabit. This too proved a waste of time, but I had a very nice whiskey while visiting.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Unhappy act, I soon realized that this whiskey was no mere liquor and my thoughts began to gallop towards the bridge of incontinent madness, and one began contemplating and growing increasingly concerned what Mischief Night might involve. Hallucinations spawned by the drink included an impossibly large sailing ship, made out of the toenail clippings of corpses, roaring into NY Harbor. Clouds of Valkyrie accompanied, smashing the Verrazano to bits as they descended upon an unsuspecting City, while the ships Captain- Loki itself- cackled in cacodaemonic hilarity on its bow.

My last clear memory was draining of that glass, and then snapping out of it on the R train on my way back to Astoria. I’ve really got to stay out of the City, man.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

October 30, 2013 at 7:30 am

crawled out

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Today’s post is late, it’s late!

- photo by Mitch Waxman

For the next few days, it’s going to be a single image and a short but pithy comment from a humble narrator at this, your Newtown Pentacle. I need to take a little break, and gear up a major series of posts which will be coming your way very soon. The big Newtown Creek boat tour on Saturday appears to be completely sold out, by the way.

Upcoming Tours

Saturday- September 28, 2013
Newtown Creek Boat Tour with the Working Harbor Committee- tickets on sale now.

Saturday – October 19, 2013
The Insalubrious Valley of the Newtown Creek with Atlas Obscura- tickets on sale soon.

Sunday- October 20th, 2013
The Poison Cauldron of the Newtown Creek with Brooklyn Brainery- tickets on sale now

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

 

Written by Mitch Waxman

September 26, 2013 at 11:52 am

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