The Newtown Pentacle

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Posts Tagged ‘Greenpoint

overtones of

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Another random series of shots, in today’s post.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Over in Greenpoint, a line of empty taxis parked on Provost Street, across the street from the sewer plant.

It’s actually meant to be pronounced as “Provoost” despite being spelled as “Provost.” The Provosts were one of the original five families of Greenpoint, along with the Bennets, Calyers, Praas, and Messeroles. These five Dutch families dominated Greenpoint politically for nearly two centuries, owned most of the land, and only began to recede into history when Neziah Bliss married into the Messerole clan. Bliss laid out the modern street grid, erected the first bridges over Bushwick and Newtown Creeks, and is the father of the modern community.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The IND R train entering into Queens Plaza. Queens Plaza’s IND service opened for business on August 19th in 1933, but back then there was only express service between Manhattan and Queens. It wasn’t until 1955 when the 60th street tunnel opened that the Queens local trains began to travel back and forth into the Shining City. I work on getting this shot every time I’m there, and you have to time it just right to catch an arc flash that the train sets off as it comes to the station tracks grade.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It’s amazing how many manhole cover types there are, a subject which has been discussed endlessly at this – your Newtown Pentacle. The story of municipal consolidation can be read in the screeds embossed onto these iron discs, and the one pictured above was once the property of the “Bureau of Water and Sewers” which is now part of the NYC DEP and can be observed at the border of Sunnyside and Blissville in Queens.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

This is a “Brooklyn Department of City Works” access cover, which was found back in Greenpoint. DCW is also now a part of the consolidated DEP.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Back in Queens, on the “carridor” of Northern Blvd., a puzzling bit of signage has emerged on one of the enormous advertising bill boards found on the corner of 38th street. The easterly facing side says “Stay Calm” with a screed reading “-Peter.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The westerly facing side says “Don’t Panic,” and also has the “-Peter” signature. Dictionary definitions are superimposed on the block print messaging, this one bears the definition of courage. I’ve looked around for what these signs are meant to be selling or saying, but haven’t been able to find out much. If anybody knows what’s up with these messages, please share in the comments.

Either way, they are reminiscent of the sort of things Rowdy Roddy Piper observed in the John Carpenter film “They Live.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A gorgeous bit of hand painted signage adorns the back of a NYCHA emergency truck back in Greenpoint, and is pictured above.

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Written by Mitch Waxman

February 10, 2016 at 11:00 am

of them

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I cannot understand why others do not find these things quite as thrilling as I do.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

On one of my constitutionals, a humble narrator found himself at the veritable edge of Queens, heading in a  southerly direction through Blissville on my way to “the Pernt.” Hoary Greenpoint can be accessed from Queens via just a few easily defensible littoral spots, one of them being an eponymous path called “Greenpoint Avenue” and the bridge which is named for it.

It’s a double bascule draw bridge which spans my beloved Newtown Creek, and I refer to the area surrounding it in both Brooklyn and Queens as “DUGABO” which is short for “Down Under the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge Onramp.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Off in the distance to the east, another one of these Thermopylae like passages is visible, the Kosciuszko Bridge.

Should hostilities between Brooklyn and Queens ever break out, it is certain that their respective militaries will make every effort to take and control these passes. Ultimately, you’d want absolute command and control over Pulaski, Kosciuszko, and Greenpoint Avenue Bridges, although sentries and artillery units would no doubt be deployed all along the Newtown Creek to guard against an amphibious invasion. The crumbling bulkheads and industrial fence lines would no doubt make for a daunting landing, and the Queens faction would have a de facto advantage in the conflict due to their ability to deploy artillery on LIRR flatbed cars.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The Brooklyn side would be devastated by the first wave of a rail based artillery attack, given the massive presence of oil storage tanks on the southern shoreline. The sewer plant would be an easily targeted site, but vast reserves of Kings County loyalist troops can be found to the South and could easily be brought to the front by the G line. I’m sure there would be a fierce battle in the G tunnel underneath the Vernon/Manhattan avenue area, fought by locally raised units. Lentol’s Leathernecks, and Nolan’s Raiders, would fortify on either side of the tube, with setups reminiscent of WW1 trenches. It wouldn’t be long before both sides resorted to the usage of wonder weapons like poison gas, supplies of which are easily attainable on either side of the fabled Newtown Creek.

Queens would likely attempt the use of the 7 line to ferry in reinforcement troops like Van Bramer’s Sunnyside Battalion and Dromm’s Sikh and Gurkha Jackson Heights Commandos and the terrifying forces of the Meng Men from Flushing and Elmhurst, while Brooklyn would likely use the L line to bring in Reynoso’s Roughnecks, Levin’s Loppers, and Reyna’s Reapers from points east and south. Further to the east – where the borders of Brooklyn and Queens are not aqueous but rather terrestrial in nature – Dilan’s Death Dealers, Liz Crowley’s Maquis Freedmen, and Joe Crowley’s Fenians (backed up on their flank by Grodenchik’s Garroters, Vallone’s Vanquishers, and Katz’s Killers) would all be engaged in a Stalingrad like guerrilla struggle over Maspeth, Ridgewood, and Fresh Pond.

Media attention on the conflict would be of course be focused on LIC and Greenpoint, since you could see that from Manhattan’s east side.

Irregular sappers, freelancers like the Gambinos and Latin Kings, would no doubt be utilized by both sides in this Blood War of the Boroughs.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Whilst musing about the idea of internecine and interborough warfare, I suddenly realized that traffic had stopped flowing on the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge. Worrying that the dark day had arrived at last when the border of Brooklyn and Queens would be marked by fire and death, it suddenly became apparent that the DOT was preparing to open the bridge to allow a maritime transit.

Whooopppeeee!!!

– photo by Mitch Waxman

To all of those stopped in traffic, it must have appeared odd, seeing some despoiled creature In a filthy black raincoat jumping up and down while squealing with joy and waving a camera around.

A minor inconvenience experienced by others is often a moment of joy for me. 

I got busy with the camera, and ran out onto the non movable part of the roadway, which is normally quite a chancey thing to do on the highly travelled span over Newtown Creek, as you’d get squished by a truck.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

God help me, but I just love watching a draw bridge at work. Also, check out those bike lanes. I encouraged a bicyclist to make a try for it, telling him he could easily jump the gap if he got enough headway speed. He ignored me and played with his phone instead.

Some people, I tell you, have no sense of adventure.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The apogee of the bridge roadway’s open posture was attained shortly, and it rose in monolithic fashion. This is likely the position that the Bridge would be fixed into should hostilities between Brooklyn and Queens break out, which is offered as a strategic and or tactical note to the future combatants.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

In my incessant research of all things Newtown Creek, an eventuality in which the Creek would have become militarized was actually set down by the War Department of the United States, during the World Wars period of the early 20th century.

Naval Destroyers (sometimes the presence of a battleship is discussed as well) were set to be stationed along the Newtown Creek (as well as the East and Hudson rivers) and its tributaries to defend the Petroleum and Industrial bases along its shorelines from air or naval attack. The anticipated pathway which a German invasion fleet would have followed involved a passage through Jamaica Bay and the Narrows in pursuance of invading Manhattan at the Battery and Brooklyn via Bay Ridge. The naval guns on Newtown Creek would have been trained on the Narrows, shooting artillery in a parabola over all of Brooklyn and bombarding enemy vessels on the waterway. The defensive plan was to create a “death zone” between and supported by Forts Totten (Staten Island) and Hamilton (Bay Ridge). Governors Island was also meant to play a role in the deployment of long range defenses and weaponry.

I know, sounds silly to we children of the atom, but this was an actual military plan. It’s part of the reason why the Kosciuszko and Long Island Expressway over Dutch Kills were built as high as they are, to allow the smoke stacks of ocean going Naval Ships purchase. The East River Bridge heights were also built with the Brooklyn Navy Yard and the presence of Capital Ships in NY Harbor during times of war in mind. It’s one of those “alt history” scenarios which leads to a fascinating thought experiment – a Kriegsmarine and Wehrmacht invasion of New York Harbor (their ACTUAL plans, btw, would have included the setup of a German base of operations at Sandy Hook). Just to reiterate – the Germans were ACTUALLY and ACTIVELY planning for this.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Of course, an invasion of the United States would have been contingent on the Germans not being involved in two major European land conflicts simultaneously, and Germany being at peace with the UK and the Royal Navy. The invasion of NY Harbor would have represented about a third of the German assault, with other units landing at Cape Cod in Massachussets and in Virginia. A simultaneous landing of troops from the Japanese Empire would have occurred in Seattle and in San Diego.

Lost in my alt history thoughts, I suddenly realized that I didn’t know which vessel the bridge had opened for, and a quick dog trot to the fences of the eastern side of the bridge was enacted.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The Mary H tug was towing a fuel barge, no doubt headed some three and change miles back from the East River to the Bayside Fuel depot found nearby another one of the flash points in a Borough on Borough war – the Metropolitan Avenue Bridge. Both Grand Street and Metropolitan Avenue Bridges span narrow passes on the Creek, where small arms fire and snipers would be easily able to command and control access between the two warring sides.

What would be the cause of a war between the two boroughs? Good question, lords and ladies.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My bet is that it would be a trade dispute, with Brooklyn enacting a restrictive tariff on all things artisinal and organic.

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limned orb

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Seasons Greetings, indeed.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The first electric Christmas tree lights were displayed back in 1882, by Edward Hibberd Johnson. It just so happened that Johnson was a partner in the Edison Illuminating Company, incidentally. In 1903, commercially available Christmas lights went on the market, and America has been gaga for the decorations ever since. Pictured above is Nassau Avenue in Greenpoint, which like many commercial strips in NYC, has a merchants association that strings lights over the thoroughfare to bring the cheer. Closer to home, the merchants association on Steinway Street here in Astoria, Queens, actually pipes Christmas music onto the commercial strip through speakers. I cannot imagine anything more horrible than living on Steinway Street and having Christmas music playing in a continuous loop outside my window.

Factor in the fact that the vast majority of people who live on Steinway are observationally religious Muslims, and it gets that much more macabre. The neighbors from the Levant seem to tolerate it pretty well, but still…

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One such as myself would do away with all of these winter holidays and instead create a custom of serious self reflection and ascetic study. I think Voltaire had it right when he suggested that we should all spend more time pursuing our studies, but to each his own. Giant inflatable puppets it is.

Idiots and demagogues claim that there is a “war on Christmas” underway in our society, which causes me to retort that Christmas is a actually illegal in the nation of Brunei, and that the Sultan who rules that country was a dear and personal friend of Ronald Reagan.

This usually rubs those idiots and demagogues the wrong way, which is my intention.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

For myself, when I want to see red and green lights, I head over to the Sunnyside Yards. You don’t have to wait for December, which is a plus.

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Written by Mitch Waxman

December 21, 2015 at 11:00 am

mountain folk

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The whole horde of loathsome sentience came to Greenpoint recently.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One received an email recently, from the “powers that be” in lower Manhattan, which announced the most super duper secret in the whole wide world. The Mayor himself would be coming to Greenpoint, to make a major announcement about a very, very important thing. “Ok”, says a humble narrator. I mean… it’s Newtown Creek he’s coming to… I had to go.

Now, before I continue, allow me to lay down a few ground rules for this post.

a) I’ve never been a sports guy. While the other kids were trading baseball cards, I was collecting politician cards. “I’ll trade you two near mint 1985 Donald Manes’s for that 1993 rookie year Chuck Schumer” – that’s my sort of thing. I know a bunch of the people in these shots from Newtown Creek “stuff” – like Diana Reyna, who is pictured in the shot above. All the politics and policy stuff notwithstanding, there’s a lot of genuinely nice people involved in public life – and Diana Reyna is one of them.

There’s also certain elected officials who can best be described as being a “bag of dicks that talks.”

b) the press conference was announcing a policy intended to protect the M1 and IBZ zones from being overrun by hotels and storage facilities. As policy goes, it doesn’t entirely suck. The idea is that any new hotel or storage facility will now have to approved by some city council led process which hands off even more power to the individual council members, and the speaker, than they already possess. There’s also some “yada yada” about money for training industrial workers of the future – that sort of thing.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

c) I’ve been following the Mayor’s career since shortly after he stopped aiding, abetting, and providing comfort to America’s enemies in Nicuaragua back in the 1980’s. I watched him during his years on the council, noted his turn at public advocate, and thoroughly enjoyed the campaign he ran in 2013 in which 73.15% of the 1,087,710 eligible voters who cast a ballot gave him what he calls his mandate.

d) There are 4.3 million eligible voters in New York City, so remember that the Mayor’s “mandate” represents, in actuality, 73% of roughly 24% of the electorate. Suffice to say, and for those of you who follow my Twitter stream this will not be a surprise, I’m not a fan of this adminstration and I don’t have any Bill de Blasio cards in my collection. He’s kind of the Pete Rose of politics – you can’t deny his record, but…

e) Everything that follows is heavily inflected with sarcasm, written in a mocking tone, and designed to make the Mayor seem churlish, dishonest, and strange. I really don’t like this Mayorality, and the creeping entropy which is nibbling its way back into the very fiber of our municipality which the adminstration coddles. If you want a straight “journalistic” kind of thing on this topic, google it and you’ll find Marcia Kramer from CBS throwing him shade, or any of the other press people’s straight up reportage of what was in the press release that was handed out. I have to say that, because the de Blasio people are notoriously lacking in the sense of humor category, and this post is going all tangential on me as I’m writing it.

f) I’m actually registered as a Democrat, something I felt forced to do as my former status as an “independent” kept me from voting in primaries. If NYC had open primaries, I’d likely be independent again. My politics are odd, can be somewhat severe, and hard to fit into any box manufactured much later than the late 60’s – when I was manufactured, coincidentally. I mention this only so you don’t think this post is some sort of partisan “party thing.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One found it funny, actually, that the spot chosen to make this announcement about saving industrial zones from development and the pressures of the real estate market occurred in North Brooklyn, with Newtown Creek and Tower Town in Long Island City as backdrop. I found it humorous when passing tugs, and locomotives moving along the Queens side, interrupted the Mayor’s speech with industrial noise and distracted him.

Amusing as well, the fact that we were at the Newtown Creek superfund site, which is on the same Federal list that the Mayor fought to keep the Gowanus Canal from being named to several years ago.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One found it bizarre to hear the Mayor decry the power and reach of the Real Estate Industrial Complex, the very “powers that be” whom he has enjoyed a long relationship with that have reduced the amount of market rate housing in Brooklyn, and New York City as a whole, creating the so called “crisis” he has to solve. As responsible as any in the government for the destruction, dismantling, and gentrification of the industrial zones in South Brooklyn during his time in the City Council, the Mayor has long been allied with real estate interests like Bruce Ratner and the Toll Brothers.

He pushed through the decking of the Atlantic Yards for one, a project which still has not yielded “affordable housing” or “community amenities” or anything other than a basketball stadium and a couple of luxury towers which rise above it. For the other, he fought tooth and nail against the Gowanus Canal being named to the Superfund list.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Feckless, the Mayor has announced his intentions to deck over the Sunnyside Yards here in Queens in his mad quest to build 200,000 units of “affordable housing” before he leaves office – which God willing will happen during the next election cycle with the job unfinished. What he doesn’t mention is that much of that “affordable housing” will be incorporated into a far larger build out, using ratios like 60/40 or 70/30 for representing the number of luxury/affordable units found therein. Also, “affordable” means a one bedroom at north of $2,500 a month.

Cynically, his plan involves no new infrastructure – subways, fire, police, or sewer. Ten pounds of people in a five pound bag, indeed. The developments themselves will enjoy long periods of tax free existence, subsidies, and no interest municpal loans which will rob the “city of the future” of any chance to actually pay for the municipal services required to sustain itself. At Atlantic Yards, there is a 99 year tax forebearance on the part of the City which is enjoyed by the Stadium and luxury towers.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A “PINO” or Progressive in Name Only, the Mayor likens himself to LaGuardia and the Roosevelts.

He seeks to stride the national stage, and would do so – he claims – if only the world would listen to him without interrupting. LaGuardia, with Robert Moses, built the highways, tunnels, parks, firehouses, hospitals, libraries, schools, and police stations first. Exurb neighborhoods like Flatbush and Sunnyside bulked up from sleepy hamlets to bustling urban centers when mass transportation became available, not before. You don’t build the housing first, and then hope for the next guy to connect all the dots.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’m sure the Mayor is a very nice fellow, and honestly believes he is doing something grand and noble.

I’ve been asking this about him for years though – does he seem like the kind of guy whom you’d trust with something in your personal life that was important? Your wife is pregnant and just about due and you have to leave town on a business trip – is Bill the guy you ask to take her to the hospital? If Rahm Emmanuel of Chicago was lonely, and called Bill in the middle of the night, would he just let it go to voicemail?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Blogging is a lot more fun than journalism, incidentally, as modern journalists aren’t allowed to have opinions. They have to strike a line defined by lawyers and corporatists. The elected officials can, and will, turn access on and off to entire media organizations if they feel that they were treated badly. Accordingly, modern day journalists can’t report the “inside baseball” on these characters, as their entire operation will suffer the payback. They don’t have the budget, frankly, and modern news isn’t about in depth institutional memory anymore. It about forcing some good looking girl to stand out in the middle of a hurricane at Rockaway Beach.

I have no budget, actually, and it pisses me off that the mainstream guys and gals (with a few exceptions, like Marcia Kramer) who do don’t poke at the electeds with a stick often enough.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There were a whole crew of camera people and reporters, an entourage that follows the big fellow around the City as he makes his rounds. The elected officials all came to the mike, one by one, to say how great the “Save Industry” plan is and how needed it was. The big crew who were at the podium at the beginning of the event began to peter out, and after Assemblyman Lentol of Greenpoint said his peace, the Mayor announced to the third estate that Hizzonner would be willing to answer questions which were “on topic.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

This tactic is often employed by the de Blasio adminstration, incidentally. “On topic” indicates that the Mayor isn’t interested in discussing the issues or problems which bedevil him, rather it’s meant to be a continuation of the “speechifying” portion of the event during which he can amplify his “message.” This is something which the third estate actually does protest in vociferous tone. Recently, to counter the charges of evasiveness which members of the press have accused him of, the Mayor has instituted “town hall” meetings. A recent one held in Queens saw an audience which was composed only of his supporters, all of whom had been vetted by a local councilman.

Needless to say, the Town Hall was a ribald success, according to City Hall.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

So, that’s the post about the time that the Mayor came to Newtown Creek in Greenpoint to announce a very, very important thing. This post is emblematic of the Mayor’s problem, by the way. No matter how good or bad the policy is, he’s always in the way of it. The guy could have improved sliced bread, but you’d be suspicious of “why” he was tinkering with baked goods and discover that he’s had a life long relationship with a bagel consortium or something who were early contributors to his campaign.

I wonder what this industrial zone protection thing is actually about – as in who it is really designed for rather than who it’s said to benefit. Were there that many hotels opening in industrial neighborhoods that it required the “full court press” from City Hall? Define what you mean by “hotel”? Who benefits from this? Who loses? Can the City still continue to place homeless shelters in industrial zones? What about “single room occupancy” and other “short stay” apartments?

Also, if industrial zones are going to be protected, what about the one adjoining the Sunnyside Yards?

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Written by Mitch Waxman

November 17, 2015 at 11:00 am

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The Invisible Flame, in today’s post.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Pictured above is the so called “Unnamed Canal” tributary of Newtown Creek, found in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint. Roughly analogous to North Henry Street’s intersection with Kingsland Avenue, were North Henry’s northern terminus not enclosed entirely within the NYC DEP’s Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant’s fence line.

Directly to the west is the former DSNY Maritime Waste Transfer station, to the east is the home of Allocco Recycling. Sharp eyes will notice the Newtown Creek Alliance Living Dock project bobbing around in the water at the eastern, or left side of the shot.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A fairly uncommon view of the sewer plant, with its iconic stainless steel digester eggs dominating the shot. These eggs process “thickened sludge” using biological processes. What comes out of them has been effectively sterilized by the micro organisms which are cultivated and maintained within, but the process does generate several waste products along the way. Within, a material called “Struvite” collects on the hard surfaces which requires the DEP to perform maintenance at regular intervals to scrape the stuff away.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Another byproduct of the digester process are mephitic gases. The four Venturi jet structures you see at the left side of the image above are the exhaust pipes for the process, and the mephitic gas they are designed to handle is Methane, which is burned off. When the system first came online, the Methane flames were the characteristic bright blue turning to orange that anyone with a domestic stove is familiar with. Passerby on the Long Island Expressway who saw the flames would regularly call 911 to report a fire occurring at the plant. The DEP responded by “tuning” the speed and temperature of the Venturi structures to render the flames invisible.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The largest point source of greenhouse gases on the Brooklyn side of the Newtown Creek, these jets produce an invisible flame whose only visual cue is the diffraction of light. The DEP has famously entered into a contract with the National Grid corporation, which will harvest the Methane currently being burnt off. National Grid will use the Methane to augment their “Natural Gas” network, selling it to their customers.

The Invisible Flame, btw, is an analogy used in Islamic mysticism when referring to a supranatural race of mischievous or malign spirits whom they call the Djinn. Western Europeans use the term “Demon” for the Djinn.

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Written by Mitch Waxman

October 29, 2015 at 1:00 pm

gently heaving

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Tis the Season.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Recently, one found himself headed towards DUGABO in Greenpoint for a Newtown Creek Alliance event. My intentions were merely to photograph and record the occasion, but as a humble narrator is cursed with the attention span of a house fly, I soon became distracted by a calvalcade of death.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Mysteriously, an abandoned DSNY property in the area is littered with animal bones. It is actually difficult to trespass on the property without crunching the most intimate of internal organs beneath your booted foot.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A good number of these ossuarial remains are cut, in the manner which a butcher might employ. All are sun bleached, and whereas the vast majority are definitely avian in character, the higher animals are clearly represented as well.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Of interest is the fact that you mostly find limb bones, with nary a skull nor pelvis apparent.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Oddly, a floppy disc was observed at the site. Once ubiquitous, this sort of device has been obsolete for a generation, and it is odd to spot one. Who can know what information it might have once held?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There are fresher remains to be found all over DUGABO, this ex rat was spotted on the Queens side of DUGABO whilst one was in transit to Brooklyn. Truly, DUGABO seems “death magnetic.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The views from this dead end, as is the case all over my beloved Creek, are spectacular.

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Written by Mitch Waxman

October 27, 2015 at 3:10 pm

vast and vague

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Cool Cars in Greenpoint (?), in today’s post.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That long walk under the Brooklyn Queens Expressway in Greenpoint and Williamsburg mentioned at the beginning of this week provided one with several interesting diversions, and notably this undeniably “Cool Car” was one of them.

I’m of the opinion that this Dodge 4 door coupe was likely a 1948 model, an educated guess based on the shape of the windows, fenders, and bumpers – but it is definitely a product of the 1946-1949 era and the very definition of what I like to refer to as “cool cars.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There were no tags or registration information adorning the auto, which makes it kind of a difficult endeavor to identify, and given the relative homogeneity of post World War 2 automobile manufacture (Detroit was still gearing down from the war, and the explosion of creativity which auto manufacturers displayed in the 1950’s was not in effect in the years directly following the war).

from wikipedia 

Civilian production at Dodge was restarted by late 1945, in time for the 1946 model year. The “seller’s market” of the early postwar years, brought on by the lack of any new cars throughout the war, meant that every automaker found it easy to sell vehicles regardless of any drawbacks they might have. Like almost every other automaker, Dodge sold lightly facelifted revisions of its 1942 design through the 1948 season. As before, these were a single series of six-cylinder models with two trim levels (basic Deluxe or plusher Custom).

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Your humble narrator is far from an expert on vintage automobiles, it should be mentioned, so if anybody who is reading this is possessed on knowledge on the subject – or recognizes the specific model – please share your smarts with the rest of us in the comments section found below.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The location at which this artifact of America’s golden age was found spawns several semantic points as well for the infrastructure nerd. This auto was parked south of McGuinness Blvd. along the west side of Meeker Avenue, under the BQE. Technically, the east side of Meeker is in Bushwick (according to the old ward maps of the pre conolidation City of Brooklyn) and the area to the south of McGuinness is in WIlliamsburg not Greenpoint.

Life long Greenpernters will tell you that their neighborhood actually continues for several blocks east and that the nebulous border Greenpoint shares with Williamsburg is around Withers Street and south of Manhattan Avenue, however.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Ultimately, this atavistic automobile seemed to be in decent condition, at least externally. It obviously has been parked in this spot for a while given the amount of soot and dust which adorns it. Being Brooklyn, someone felt obliged to trace out “wash me” in the soot – natch.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It’s a funny thing for me, of course, seeing a 1940’s Dodge parked here in the “House of Moses,” where it fits in with the esthetics of Robert Moses’s early career.

Robert Moses was the master builder of much of NYC’s infrastructure, and personally responsible for creating both the Brooklyn Queens Expressway and the Kosciuszko Bridge. It was his Triborough staffers that mapped out the vast swath that the BQE moves through and was built – condemning and demolishing mile after mile of homes, businesses, and stores to make way for the automobile. Moses plunged Meeker Avenue into centuried and unending darkness when the BQE was constructed, and callously created the divisions between neighborhoods that we all know today. He sort of invented “urban blight.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Manufactured items from the middle of the 20th century like this Dodge Coupe are notoriously rare, and extremely attractive to hot rod enthusiasts. A restored or modified iteration of this vehicle would be an extremely valuable commodity. Back then, they really knew how to “build ’em” – both highways and the cars which populate them.

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Upcoming Tours –

August 22nd, 2015
First Calvary Cemetery – LIC, Queens Walking Tour
click here for details and tickets.

September 3rd, 2015
Newtown Creek Boat Tour
with Open House NY, click here for details and tickets.

Written by Mitch Waxman

August 20, 2015 at 11:00 am

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