The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Posts Tagged ‘Manhattan

paternal way

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Everybody gets better reception than me.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Recent obligation called for one to leave the blessed hillocks of Astoria and enter the concrete bunkers which underlie the ancient village in order to participate in the “mass transportation” craze onboard an electrical apparatus maintained by the municipality solely for the express purpose of shuttling the human infestation to and from the Shining City of Manhattan. Ghastly chance demanded that one would be forced into transferring between lines, an abhorrent but clearly foreseen happenstance. One such as myself loathes these intervals of transit, and wonders. What else may there be, lurking about in darkened tunnel and subterranean vault, down there?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My business in the Shining City was plain and predictable, taking place onboard a boat full of the scientifically minded who desired a close look at the battered shorelines of New York City. Your humble narrator spent some time humbly narrating, and the rest photographing. The event concluded, and the blaring cacophony of Times Square presented itself. Choked with phantoms and other tourists who have come here hoping to see something happen, this has always been the section of New York City which one such as myself likes to avoid.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Back on an aluminum and plastic box, which carries an unknown annual tonnage of primate meat to and from the Shining City, everybody around me was busily interacting with their personal tracking devices. In the name of the black goat of the woods, I never though the day would come that cellular radio frequencies would emanate through the powderized rat feces and clouds of fungal spores down here. This is not a good thing.

    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 23, 2013 at 12:18 pm

unpeopled and illimitable

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A visit to the center of the universe.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Times Square, I believe, is likely not just the former physical location of the Garden of Eden but is possibly the exact location where the Big Bang happened (might have been herald square- too close to call). All of reality unfolded out from this spot, when a super massive particle achieved its potential, birthing stars and galaxies and the night sky. Then the area laid relatively fallow for a few billion decades until NYC came along. I have no scientific proof to back this statement up, but it feels kind of right, and in 21st century America belief or a hunch is all you need to claim a belief or statement as a scientific fact.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Magical thinking- “god is on our side” or “don’t worry, it’ll all work out in the end”- is something we are all guilty of at one time or another. It is important, as Americans, that we don’t imagine ourselves as having limitations or being ready to acknowledge any sort of harsh reality. Times Square is, and always has been, all about harsh reality. For generations, it represented the failures of NYC with its open air drug dealing, prostitutes, and unpoliceable violent activity. Today it represents the takeover of the American city by international entertainment franchisees.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

What I can describe to you however, is that the underbelly is still present in Times Square- lurking around the service entrances and alleys and sleeping on nearby piers. You don’t see it during the cacophony of the day and evening, lit harshly by neon and led signage, but shamble about the place during the off hours and you’ll soon discover that the old Times Square never went away. Its still here, in this spot where a female Australopithecine bit into an apple and damned us all.

Written by Mitch Waxman

September 6, 2013 at 10:21 am

Happy Labor Day

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It took a whole lot of labor to build this thing.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Don’t get sunburned, eat too much, or too drunk today. I got all those things out of the way yesterday, during and after the Tugboat Race on the Hudson.

Written by Mitch Waxman

September 2, 2013 at 10:36 am

sonorous chanting

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In today’s post- darkness in the Shining City

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Continuing the brief moment of joy and hope for a better future which the large apertures of my new lens have made possible, a recent jaunt through the malevolent tunnels and filthy canyons of Manhattan saw me capturing images which were formerly out of reach with that other equipment which has suffered a long tenancy at my side. Loathsome, corrupted, and redolent, the rotting heart of the megalopolis nevertheless offers the wandering mendicant multitudinous opportunities to test and experiment the new device in its frontier of unnatural darkness, and to remain alone amongst the anonymous many.

Always, must I remain, an Outsider.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

South Street Seaport, at night, is subsumed in a preternatural darkness offered by the elevated FDR Drive with its muted sodium street lamps. One fears the presence of Nosferatu in the area, or at least the sudden approach of crowd of drunken Wall Street executives seeking to compliment their evening’s display of excess with a round of fisticuffs. It is amazing, what these favored sons get up to at night amongst the exclusive bars and restaurants, and what they get away with in this patrician enclave of a protected plutocracy.

Crassus would have felt very much at home in the rat infested Lower Manhattan of modern times, and would probably consent to be Mayor if the plebes begged him to do it.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As a young narrator, it was a stated desire to “get the hell out of Brooklyn and live in the City.” For many years did I dwell on the shadowy island, with its constancy of noise and the horrible randomness during which ones life would be trampled upon and impacted by external powers. One night, a Barbara Streisand production- I believe it was Prince of Tides- set itself up on my corner and decided that lighting up the side of my apartment building would be esthetically pleasing, for instance. Waking up at 3 in the morning when an artificial sun is pointed at your window is something that stays with a guy.

Best choice I ever made was picking and moving to the blessed rolling hills of almond eyed Astoria, here in Queens.

Things to do!

Working Harbor Committee presents: Great North River Tugboat Races and Competition, September 1st, 2013
9:30-11:30 a.m. at West 42nd Street and the Hudson River. Spectator Boat tickets now on sale.

Written by Mitch Waxman

August 26, 2013 at 7:30 am

gradual glow

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She floats thro’ the air with the greatest of ease

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Like one of the personalized parables which populate “Thus Spake Zarathustra,” your humble narrator dares not tread the sky for he knows that failure will result due to personal inadequacy and a hidebound mind. This youngling spotted at South Street Seaport’s “Trapeze School New York,” it seems, has no such limitations placed on her “Will to Power.”

from newyork.trapezeschool.com

Trapeze School New York is dedicated to making flying trapeze available to anyone who seeks inspiration, challenge, fitness or just a couple hours of unique fun. Our mission every day is to create a safe, fun, challenging environment where our students strive to surpass limitations and more richly enjoy their lives.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The trapeze section of Pier 16 is well fortified, with nets and rigging, and is surrounded by a chain link fence to keep the curious out of harms way. The procedure, as I’ve observed it, is to allow participants an opportunity to learn the circus art under tutelage. They come up, one by one, and train in handling themselves on the wire.

If your humble narrator was to attempt something like this, it would merely provide an EMT the opportunity to learn how to resuscitate someone who died of fright.

from wikipedia

A trapeze is a short horizontal bar hung by ropes or metal straps from a support. It is an aerial apparatus commonly found in circus performances. Trapeze acts may be static, swinging or flying, and may be performed solo, double, triple or as a group act.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’ve never had the urge to swing from a series of ropes, ride a wild or even tame horse, nor drive without a seat belt on. Vast physical cowardice is my thing, having long ago decided that disease or old age will suit me nicely, rather than accidental or violent death. These people are meshuggeneh.

from wikipedia

meshugaas, also mishegaas or mishegoss: Crazy or senseless activity or behavior; craziness (Yiddish משוגעת meshugaas, from Hebrew məšugga‘ath, a form of the above)

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Nothing wrong with the activity, however, they are all trussed up with safety lines and every participant observed ends their routine by practicing a drop into the safety net, which is actually pretty smart. Still, it takes some sort of fortitude to do this in front of hundreds of people a couple of dozen feet over the dock. This is one wild hobby to cultivate- swinging roughly through the air, on the flying trapeze, at South Street Seaport.

from wikipedia

Courage is the ability and willingness to confront fear, pain, danger, uncertainty, or intimidation. Physical courage is courage in the face of physical pain, hardship, death, or threat of death, while moral courage is the ability to act rightly in the face of popular opposition, shame, scandal, or discouragement.

In some traditions, fortitude holds approximately the same meaning as courage. In the Western tradition, notable thoughts on courage have come from philosophers such as Aristotle, Aquinas and Kierkegaard; in the Eastern tradition, some thoughts on courage were offered by the Tao Te Ching. More recently, courage has been explored by the discipline of psychology.

Want to see something cool? Summer 2013 Walking Tours-

13 Steps around Dutch Kills Saturday, August 17, 2013
Newtown Creek walking tour with Mitch Waxman and Newtown Creek Alliance, tickets now on sale.

abysmal descent

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I’ve got 99 problems, here’s three.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

At least once a day, and moreso as the years have advanced, your humble narrator finds himself unable to maintain consciousness and suddenly finds himself unconscious. During these intervals of helpless autonomic writhing, vast hallucinations occur, and immediately upon reacquiring cogency an enormous disorientation is experienced. Physical symptoms, apparent to all witnesses, include a display of clumsiness and overt muscle stiffness. Additionally, unpleasant expulsions of waste products are urgently required upon a return to regency over the body, which is worrying. This has been happening to me since early childhood, and one wonders how long this condition will last.

I endeavor to increase the resiliency of my psychological infrastructure.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The tender pink envelope in which my viscera and skeleton are contained has- on more than one occasion- been found punctured, blistered, crushed, torn, or slashed open by environmental interactions. Additionally, enormous nervous system signal activity, which I understand as being commonly called “pain”, has been generated by this skinvelope when overexposed to the damaging radiation which emanates from the burning thermonuclear eye of god itself. This too is a problem which has afflicted me for decades.

It is my goal to install some sort of armor about myself, before the next assault is offered.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Little trust exists for my perceptions, either, as I’m all ‘effed up. Some sort of damage exists in the wiring between those sensors which adjoin the outside world and which transmit environmental data into the skull with its underpowered central processing unit. Inability and organic weakness cause one to experience odd intuitions and bizarre ideations, no doubt due to limits and defects in the CPU’s wetware. Perhaps this is why I slavishly record everything I see, an attempt to visually catalog and contain those torrents of information which assault and inform, and explain away that which is witnessed.

Were it only possible to fix and fortify the brain.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Want to see something cool? Summer 2013 Walking Tours-

Kill Van Kull Saturday, August 10, 2013
Staten Island walking tour with Mitch Waxman and Working Harbor Committee, tickets now on sale.

13 Steps around Dutch Kills Saturday, August 17, 2013
Newtown Creek walking tour with Mitch Waxman and Newtown Creek Alliance, tickets now on sale.

Written by Mitch Waxman

August 7, 2013 at 10:47 am

goaded into

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The floating fuzz.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Harbor Launch No. 451 was christened with the name PO Edward Byrne when it was launched in 2010, and just the other night, it was literally running circles around the Working Harbor Committee. We were onboard the Zephyr, an excursion vessel, and the cops came roaring up alongside and began to circle us. Doesn’t matter what you’re driving, when a bunch of cops pull up next to you, you stiffen up and try to present overt signs of wholesomeness in an effort to avoid their attentions.

from nyc.gov

“This new launch will enable us to be even more vigilant in keeping the city safe from crime and terrorism,” Commissioner Kelly said. “It is a tangible symbol of Eddie Byrne’s legacy. All who see it will be reminded of his courage and his sacrifice.”

The new boat will be used for various police emergencies and operations in New York Harbor , including search and rescue and recovery and proactive counterterrorism patrol. The 45-foot vessel is custom equipped with a thermal camera and advanced navigation system, enabling police officers to better conduct search and rescue operations in low-visibility conditions. It can travel up to 48 knots, or 53 m.p.h.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The vessel in today’s shots is a SAFE Boat, which is a pretty sophisticated little craft that can take on a variety of utility and security functions depending on who its customized for. There’s a Coast Guard variant, and an FDNY one, and every agency that has any jurisdiction on the water seems to have at least one of these increasingly ubiquitous vessels bobbing around NY Harbor.

from wikipedia

Commanding Officer of Harbor Unit – Deputy Inspector David Driscoll

On March 15, 1858, five members of the New York City Police Department rowed out into New York Harbor to combat piracy aboard merchant ships lying at anchor. The NYPD Harbor Unit has existed ever since, protecting life and property. With hundreds of miles of inland waterways to cover, the unit operates 27 boats from three bases.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Harbor Patrol actually predates the Civil War, but in the beginning, they were all about fighting River Pirates. Back in the heyday of NY Harbor, pirates would launch from shore in rowboats with felt wrapped oars. They would sneak onboard anchored ships in the maritime equivalent of a modern “home invasion” and grab whatever they could carry. The problem was so rampant that the Harbor Patrol was formed. Today, the piracy problem is under control, and the unit largely works the Homeland Security beat instead.

from policeny.com

The Metropolitan Police’s Harbor Police were established on Feb. 15, 1858 as the 24th Precinct. When established the command consisted of 2 sergeants and 25 patrolmen. Harbor’s first station house was located at 21 State Street, near the corner of Whitehall Street in lower Manhattan.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Want to see something cool? Summer 2013 Walking Tours-

Glittering Realms Saturday, August 3rd, 2013
Newtown Creek walking tour with Mitch Waxman and Atlas Obscura, tickets now on sale.

Kill Van Kull Saturday, August 10, 2013
Staten Island walking tour with Mitch Waxman and Working Harbor Committee, tickets now on sale.

13 Steps around Dutch Kills Saturday, August 17, 2013
Newtown Creek walking tour with Mitch Waxman and Newtown Creek Alliance, tickets now on sale.

Written by Mitch Waxman

August 2, 2013 at 10:04 am

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