The Newtown Pentacle

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Posts Tagged ‘Pulaski Bridge

writhing mass

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In today’s post- a vehicle accident in DUPBO, LIC.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Happily perambulating upon Jackson Avenue in venerable Hunter Point recently, a cacophony of automotive horns heralded my arrival in DUPBO- Down Under the Pulaski Bridge Onramp- at the corner of Vernon and Jackson. I have actually used Vernon Jackson as an alias, in the past, it should be noted. To my ears, Vernon Jackson is an extremely credible sounding name, the sort of handle which a bounty hunter or hard hitting journalist might be blessed with.

At any rate, there was an awful traffic tie up, and even the legendary patience of the Queens driver was wearing thin.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Motorists in Queens, it should be pointed out, drive angry. The slightest transgression- not immediately hitting the gas at the precise second which a red light turns green, slowing down for any reason, allowing a passenger to debark the automobile- is greeted by an enthusiastic usage of the horn. There is also a societal taboo against going around an obstacle, and one is obliged to sit and honk at an obstruction until it is cleared away. In the case of this particular tie up, it seemed that an “accidental” had occurred.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Such “accidentals” are common, here in this place where highways and rail systems converge upon and feed into those narrow corridors which allow egress to the Shining City. Literally hundreds of thousands of vehicles cross western Queens on any given day, the odds that collisions wouldn’t proliferate would be astronomical. When I say “collision,” it is because I presume that both of the unfortunate conveyances found at the center of this scene were in motion.

Were one of them static, it would instead be an “allision.”

- photo by Mitch Waxman

The honking continued as I wove my way though tangle, on my way to Greenpoint. During my walk from Astoria, a roughly one and one half mile saunter accomplished in roughly forty minutes, I observed two vehicle accident scenes like this. One wonders if there is some database out there which describes the quantity of vehicular incidents in any given neighborhood?

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Want to see something cool? June 2013 Walking Tours-

The Poison Cauldron- Saturday, June 15, 2013
Newtown Creek walking tour with Mitch Waxman and Atlas Obscura, tickets now on sale.

Kill Van Kull- Saturday, June 22, 2013
Staten Island walking tour with Mitch Waxman and Working Harbor Committee, tickets now on sale.

The Insalubrious Valley- Saturday, June 29, 2013
Newtown Creek walking tour with Mitch Waxman and Newtown Creek Alliance, tickets now on sale.

Written by Mitch Waxman

May 29, 2013 at 12:15 am

dream swamp

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“follow” me on Twitter at @newtownpentacle

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Progeny of an aforementioned early morning trek recently enacted across Long Island City from Astoria, these shots depict a February sunrise at certain points of land which adjoin the notorious Newtown Creek.

Driven by a period of certain insomniac ideations, a seasonal affliction whose annual appointment and arrival is scheduled between the months of December and March, the effects of this inability to sleep are are felt on both financial and interpersonal fronts. The good news is that I get a LOT of work done.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Possessing me for much of this year has been the job of updating and retooling of my “Magic Lantern” show, a slideshow presentation which describes and details the various noteworthy features and remarkable history of this loquacious cataract forming the currently undefended border of Brooklyn and Queens, a 3.8 mile long industrial canal known as the Newtown Creek.

The modern version is designed with HD television and computer screens in mind (prior versions were designed for projection), and has been complied at a ridiculous resolution (suitable for Blu-Ray, actually). The master file is a tad under two hours long, and includes literally every tributary, inlet, cove, rivet, and screw found along the banks of Newtown Creek.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

The “production model” comes in at just over 45 minutes, and will be the version presented this Friday at Observatory. It is still a ludicrously detailed accounting of the place, which is limited to a short geospatial distance from the Creek’s bulkheads. The long version examines a much larger area, but that’s something I’m not able to speak freely about yet.

I’d love it if you can join us at Observatory this Friday.

The “Up the Creek” Magic Lantern Show- presented by the Obscura Society NYC- at Observatory, on February the 15th- ThisFriday.

Click here or the image below for more information and tickets.

lantern_bucket

ghastly stillness

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“follow” me on Twitter at @newtownpentacle

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Whilst scuttling across Jackson Avenue in the venerable section of Long Island City recently, the ebb tide of traffic emerging from infinite Brooklyn carried a small vehicle which caught my eye. It was an Italian motor scooter, the perennially in fashion Vespa, but this one had a sidecar.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Your humble narrator has a soft spot in both heart and head concerning the subject of attaching sidecars to any sort of two wheeled transportation devices, as well as an acquired appreciation for the finer points of Italian vehicle design. I’ve never owned one, but were I to purchase such a conveyance, a sidecar for my little dog Zuzu would be part of the deal. I suppose Our Lady of the Pentacle could ride around in it too, but this desire is really built around seeing the dog in a leather aviators cap and goggles.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Practical transportation like this is commonplace in Europe and Asia, where streets are Medieval in size and scope, and the price of Petrol makes even the outrageous modern rate of $3-4 a gallon seem cheap. One of the things which future generations of Americans will never experience, and this may or may not be a bad thing, is cheap gasoline.

Also:

Remember that event in the fall which got cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy?

The “Up the Creek” Magic Lantern Show presented by the Obscura Society NYC is back on at Observatory.

Click here or the image below for more information and tickets.

lantern_bucket

Written by Mitch Waxman

January 30, 2013 at 12:15 am

lurk unseen

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

As mentioned a day or two ago, your humble narrator is currently incapacitated due to a lower back injury. Manifestations of my inferior physical robustness such as this pop up occasionally, serving as reminders of a weak and sickly childhood. Seldom does one go more than a few weeks without some new complaint, which when compounded with the diminishment of advancing years, paints dire portents about long term survival.

from wikipedia

Back pain is regularly cited by national governments as having a major impact on productivity, through loss of workers on sick leave. Some national governments, notably Australia and the United Kingdom, have launched campaigns of public health awareness to help combat the problem, for example the Health and Safety Executive’s Better Backs campaign. In the United States lower back pain’s economic impact reveals that it is the number one reason for individuals under the age of 45 to limit their activity, second highest complaint seen in physician’s offices, fifth most common requirement for hospitalization, and the third leading cause for surgery.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Those around me grow increasingly wary watching this process working upon me. Extraordinary effort at maintaining an appearance and facade of bon vivant and vigor fall apart when these sudden spells occur. Unfortunately, this is my true self- timorous and wracked with an inconceivable number of physical maladies. For the moment, it is difficult to surmount a shallow set of stairs, let alone perform a perambulation.

from wikipedia

The lumbar region (or lower back region) is made up of five vertebrae (L1-L5). In between these vertebrae lie fibrocartilage discs (intervertebral discs), which act as cushions, preventing the vertebrae from rubbing together while at the same time protecting the spinal cord. Nerves stem from the spinal cord through foramina within the vertebrae, providing muscles with sensations and motor associated messages. Stability of the spine is provided through ligaments and muscles of the back, lower back and abdomen. Small joints which prevent, as well as direct, motion of the spine are called facet joints (zygapophysial joints).

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Pain, aside from the psychological torments and thwarted ambitions which are part and parcel of my daily round, is something I am quite used to. The particular complaint in my lower back has all the appearance of something temporary, a visitor for the holidays sent to remind me that time is short, and that despite all- I am human, all too human. At least I still have a heated and electrified house to live in, which seems to be a blessing in the New York City area these days. My little dog, however, seems quite concerned about me and has been sticking to my heels.

from wikipedia

Before the relatively recent discovery of neurons and their role in pain, various different body functions were proposed to account for pain. There were several competing early theories of pain among the ancient Greeks: Aristotle believed that pain was due to evil spirits entering the body through injury, and Hippocrates believed that it was due to an imbalance in vital fluids. In the 11th century, Avicenna theorized that there were a number of feeling senses including touch, pain and titillation, but prior to the scientific Renaissance in Europe pain was not well-understood, and it was thought that pain originated outside the body, perhaps as a punishment from God.

Written by Mitch Waxman

November 20, 2012 at 10:54 am

spaces and travelers

with 4 comments

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Lonely and alienated, your humble narrator nevertheless enjoys several safe harbors where pitying hosts allow me a chance to sit and recover from my endless marching across the great human hive. One of these spots is the North Brooklyn Boat Club in DUPBO, where the tug Cheyenne recently revealed itself to me. Cheyenne is employed by DonJon Marine, and on this day was hitched up to two recycling barges- likely coming from the SimsMetal dock adjoining the Dutch Kills tributary of the loquacious and far larger Newtown Creek. Welcome to yet another Maritime Sunday, at this, your Newtown Pentacle.

from tugboatinformation.com

Built in 1965, by Ira S. Bushey and Sons of Brooklyn, New York (hull #628) as the tug Glenwood for Red Star Towing.

In 1970, she was acquired by Spentonbush Towing where she was renamed as the Cheyenne

The tug was later acquired by Amerada Hess where she retained her name.

She was then acquired by Empire Harbor Marine where the tug retained her name. The company would later be renamed as Port Albany Ventures.

In 2009, Port Albany Ventures was acquired by the DonJon Marine Company of Hillside, New Jersey.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

The mast on Cheyenne was rigged backward, no doubt to allow passage under the Pulaski Bridge without having to waste time waiting for the bridge operators to open the span. The captain is quite visible in the wheel house, and he sounded a couple of toots to the crew at North Brooklyn Boat Club. He did seem aghast when I came into view, but who could blame anyone for reacting in shock to the sort of shambling mess and crude imposture which stares back at me from the mirror.

from donjon.com

Founded in 1964 by Mr. J. Arnold Witte, Donjon’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Donjon Marine’s principal business activities were marine salvage, marine transportation, and related services. Today Donjon Marine is a true provider of multifaceted marine services. Donjon’s controlled expansion into related businesses such as dredging, ferrous and non-ferrous recycling and heavy lift services are a natural progression, paralleling our record of solid technical and cost-effective performance.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Cheyenne fled the scene, no doubt alerting the authorities to the weird habitation witnessed in DUPBO. Regardless of the thunder struck expression on the Captain’s face, another of the dread realizations that a sailor’s life holds, a hearty Maritime Sunday shout out is nevertheless offered.

from donjon.com

DIMENSIONS: Length Overall: 83.0 ft./ 25.30 m

CONSTRUCTION: All Steel

PROPULSION & STEERING: Main Engines: Single Screw Fairbanks Morse Diesel 1,800 bhp

Also- Upcoming tours…

for an expanded description of the October 13th Kill Van Kull tour, please click here

for an expanded description of the October 20th Newtown Creek tour, please click here

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