The Newtown Pentacle

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- photo by Mitch Waxman

Here’s a little slice of life, from Astoria…

The public litter baskets are regularly emptied around these parts, DSNY does its thing well. The thing is, DOB does its thing pretty good too. Hence- they spend a lot of time looking for illegal sublets and apartments. One of the methods they use to determine the address from which a particular violation might emanate from are reports submitted by the DSNY and DOH inspectors who enforce the recycling rules. If a two family house is putting out more than a certain amount of garbage, for instance, it triggers further interest from these inspectors.

The inspectors are good at their job too, by the way.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Of course, what officialdom doesn’t reckon is whom they are dealing with, here amongst the blessed hills of raven haired Astoria. A significant proportion of the population hereabouts was born overseas, and will relate tales of civil disobedience and outright partisan warfare against varied regimes- those of Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, and Tito are mentioned by older inhabitants. Younger residents will relate their antagonistic relationships with governments, and having stood tall before the dictatorial policies of (amongst others) Mubarak, Thatcher, and several South American military “Juntas.” They do not fear Michael Bloomberg.

Resistance to bureaucracy is baked into their bones, and it is impossible to make them do something which they don’t want to.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Accordingly, local custom has developed wherein the residents of these illegal apartment conversions are simply using the corner litter basket for household trash in order to not reveal the location where they are living.

Subsequently, the corner litter baskets are no longer usable for their intended purpose. Consequently, trash and litter are wind blown and gather wherever nature decides to deposit them, which is more often than not the sidewalks and fence lines of legal abodes. Said legal abodes are then ticketed for not cleaning the pavement, according to statute. Also, since the pavement is already covered in trash, there are no societal cues offered to discourage the populace from just dropping additional trash wherever they can.

The litter baskets are full up anyway.

Written by Mitch Waxman

February 27, 2013 at 12:15 am

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