The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Posts Tagged ‘Subway

bottomless pit

with 2 comments

NYC is full of bowels, my friends, full of them.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Various travels and tribulations cause one such as myself to appear in different sections of the Megalopolis continually, and sometimes the distance is too great to walk in my allotted time. Luckily, most of my travels involve short hops on the Subway, but occasionally the end of the line is where I’m headed. Never a fan of being confined in a dripping wet concrete bunker full of rats and insectivorous life forms, the same discipline used while sitting in a Dentist’s chair is invoked, and I’m able to endure the experience. I’m sure that you, Lords and Ladies, do the same.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

It is impossible, however, for my mind not to wander. Great effort is made not to make eye contact with the humans who infest this Megalopolis – they are changeable and can often be dangerous – when intervals of travel in these subterranean aluminum and glass boxes are thrust upon me. Often, my thoughts turn to how easy it would be to conceal unpleasantries down here – in some side tunnel or hidden chamber down here in NYC’s guts.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Morlocks, dough colored hairless lemurs, or other extant iterations of the monkey tribe could easily exist down here. The possibility of Rat Kings, basilisks, or even goblins existing in great numbers crosses my mind when on a long subway trip. Those hidden galleries, abandoned platforms, and the blue lit emergency exit points which flash by as the train moves along populate my mind with outlandish possibility.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

It’s at the “end of the line” stations where my apprehension grows to unbearable proportion. Recently, on the 5 train as it neared its final destination deep in Brooklyn, the entire car emptied out. For more than three stops, a humble narrator rode alone, expecting some nightmare entity to board the train who would proceed to masticate and ingest me. Another lost soul, who disappeared after entering the system…

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

There are two Newtown Creek walking tours coming up.

Saturday, July 26th, The Insalubrious Valley of the Newtown Creek
With Atlas Obscura, lunch included, click here for tickets and more info.

Sunday, July 27th, Glittering Realms
With Brooklyn Brainery, lunch included, click here for tickets and more info.

Written by Mitch Waxman

July 16, 2014 at 11:35 am

to fade

with one comment

The Stygian depths, in today’s post.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

After a glorious day, enjoying the emanations offered by the burning thermonuclear eye of god itself whilst wandering about the heart of the human infestation, one was forced into entering the underworld to return home. Neither heroic journey, nor some Campbellian metaphorical archetype, your humble narrator entered the vast network of verminous tunnels that underlie the metropolis with the intention of riding within those contrivances which ply them. Unfortunately, as one of those periodic service interruptions which plague the weekend was underway, the trains were crowded… and with families. Large families with hundreds of kids.

As a note, were I to have behaved in this manner in public – with or without my parents present – as soon as word of it reached them, they would have murdered me where I stood. A homicide – and I’m not kidding – and it would have been my mother who ended me.

Statements like this are how I know that I’m getting old.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Upon arriving at Queens Plaza, where my personal radar or “Spidey Sense” always tingles, I discovered three things.

The first was this rather bold graffito, whose meaning or intent is something unknown and that I can only speculate about. There are organized crime elements, of fearsome reputation, who use the number 13 as part of their “trade dress” or “branding” at work in western Queens – this might be them. As an old and solitary fellow, I really have no clue about such matters, although one suspects that more than a few could identify the tag and provide a back story.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

The second thing encountered was what seemed to be a broken arrow, or perhaps the snapped wooden stick of a flag. It was arranged nearby the graffiti, so I like to think that some clandestine drama had played itself out here on the local side of the platform. All sorts of urban scenarios could have occurred, many of which might have ended with the above scene.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

The third thing I found was a neighbor that was also returning home after a day spent out and about. The fellow greeted me and asked how I was doing. Tersely spoken, my reply was “that this city could use a good plague.” I could have offered “people walk around like they’re safe or something,” or one of the other favorite mottoes of youthful times. He seemed disturbed by my answer, and queried if I really meant that.

The human infestation can be a bit overwhelming sometimes, for a creature like myself.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

There’s a Newtown Creek walking tour, and a Magic Lantern show, coming up.

Wednesday, June 11th, Newtown Creek Magic Lantern Show with Brooklyn Brainery.
Click here for tickets and more info.

Sunday, June 15th, DUPBO – Down Under the Pulaski Bridge Onramp
A FREE tour, courtesy of Green Shores NYC, click here for rsvp info

Written by Mitch Waxman

June 9, 2014 at 11:00 am

probably below

leave a comment »

“Wet Paint,” said the sign.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

A short break, wherein offerings at this, your Newtown Pentacle, will consist of lighter fare than that normally served is underway. Obligation and a series of deadlines have dominated all attention, and accordingly – for the next few days, singular images with a pithy yet abbreviated description will be supplied. One must render unto Caesar, after all.

There are now four 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.

Plank Road, with Newtown Creek Alliance, on April 19th. This one is free, click here to get on the list.

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 15, 2014 at 11:00 am

damp rock

with 2 comments

I’ll sleep when I’m dead.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

For the last couple of weeks, an abundance of “business” has occupied my days and nights. Nothing I’ve had to do has been too extreme, but a surfeit of multiple hour long tasks has plagued me. Today, one needs to prepare to see the accountant later in the week and tie off last years tax obligations, but a point will be made to experience some “r&r” in the afternoon.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

The good news is that after all these tasks are accomplished, I can get back to doing actual work. You know, the whole “walk around Queens and explore its amazing and oft occluded past” thing. The even better new is that a whole series of excursions which will allow me to share this wonderful place with others are coming as well, and some of them will even be free events.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

As is my habit when so overwhelmed, Newtown Pentacle will be going into single image mode for the next few days. Keeping up with content discovery and capture is a bear sometimes, especially when constricted by the never ending series of storms and lousy weather which has so far made 2014 remarkable.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

April 8, 2014 at 12:31 pm

by surprise

with one comment

Cool atmospherics in Sunnyside.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

One of those periodic blasts of duty has been upon me for the last week or so, a lot to do with little time to do it, and the rain last week didn’t help. Got in the way of one project, delayed two others, and obliterated any semblance of free time when precipitants fell not. Accordingly, rather than walking everywhere, as I just did not have the time, mass transit was utilized.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Unlike several of my friends, especially that walking encyclopedia of regional transport options – Kevin Walsh of Forgotten-NY, I generally don’t familiarize myself with transit lines that I don’t frequent. Limited space available on my internal hard drives, and the needs of the now often crowd out things I don’t need to use often. However, I was quite proud of myself while improvising a bus and train path on the fly, just the other day, which is how I ended up on the 7 train.

Normally, I’d just walk from Greenpoint to Flushing, as it’s only a few miles and carries one across a staggeringly interesting cross section of Brooklyn and Queens.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

The good news is that the first walking tour of 2014 is now accomplished, on Saturday I did the “13 Steps around Dutch Kills” tour with Atlas Obscura, which was one of the many things I had to do last week. Next tour with the Obscura Society will be “The Poison Cauldron of the Newtown Creek” on April 26, tickets are available here.

The reason I was heading to Flushing, and lucky enough to catch these cool atmospherics and lighting in Sunnyside, was to get some shots of the Unisphere for my Brownstoner column – check them out here.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

April 7, 2014 at 11:00 am

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 862 other followers

%d bloggers like this: