The Newtown Pentacle

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Archive for August 20th, 2009

The Newtown Creek Cruise… a 3 hour tour

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In a mere 23 days- on September 12th, an elite cabal of historians, ecologists, and educators will be exiting Manhattan by ship- acting as a modern day incarnation of the Smelling Committee. Details for ordering Newtown Creek Cruise 2009 tickets will be found below.

The ship, a comfortable and professionally staffed tour boat (which is completed by ample seating, a cash bar, and comfortable restrooms), will leave its berth at 23rd street and the FDR drive and proceed across the East River. The craft will mark a course directly into the mouth of the Newtown Creek, for a three hour tour exploring the historic waterway’s past, present, and future.

This year, the cruise is open to the public,
and tickets are on sale-
Lords and Ladies of Newtown.
On that day, more will enter the Newtown Creek,
than leave it by the landward side. That could be you!!!

Fabled and maligned, the Newtown Creek is the borderline between Brooklyn and Queens, and the Newtown Pentacle- on behalf of the Working Harbor Committee and the Newtown Creek Alliance (both of whom need your continued attendance at these events to continue offering such outings in these dire economic climes) invites you to sign on for a three hour tour hosted by those who know the historic waterway better than anyone else.

Check out Forgotten-NY’s tale of cruising the Newtown Creek aboard the Fireboat John J. Harvey here

Newtown Creek cruise (retouch) by you.

view of East River, from Newtown Creek- photo by Mitch Waxman

In 2008, during my nascent appraisals of the antiquarian community here in Queens, I managed to attach myself to a boat tour of the Newtown Creek, a prior incarnation of this years outing. Onboard, with “Our Lady of the Pentacle” and the pale enthusiast known as the Hermetic Hungarian, I encountered for the first time a preeminent authority on the Newtown Creek- Bernard Ente.

Check out the NYTimes report, who got onboard in 2007.

IMG_0332_newtowncreek.jpg by you..

view of Manhattan, from Newtown Creek- photo by Mitch Waxman

Ente, a tall man with piercing eyes and a sardonic wit, was the host of the first half of the tour. This son of Queens is possessed of an encyclopedic knowledge of the Newtown Creek’s history that might best be described as existential, and, as well as being a talented and prolific photographer- Ente is also one of the driving forces the Newtown Creek Alliance and a familiar figure within the historian communities of the greater City.

His narration made the past a living thing, and phantoms were manifest along the bulkheads. At the halfway point, Ente surrendered his podium to a shifting collage of speakers who updated the crowd on various cases currently in court and the latest environmental findings and news. 

To me, it was a revelation of all that is hidden back there, behind the rusted plate of industrial fences and security cameras. The Newtown Creek is entering a period of intense change in the next year, don’t miss your chance to see the birthplace of the industrial revolution before its irrevocably altered by bridge construction and development. This is a truly extraordinary experience, order tickets today, as it will soon be too late. 

Newtown Creek cruise (retouch) by you.

Newtown Creek- photo by Mitch Waxman

To see what I saw that day, click here for a flickr slideshow. I warn you, this is a long presentation, but its the literal sequence of photos as I shot them. If you’re a photographer, consider it location scouting. If you’re interested in the Newtown Creek as a neighbor, a cause, or are just curious what all the fuss is about- come on board. Details for ordering Newtown Creek Cruise 2009 tickets below.


from the NCA website:

Newtown Creek Cruise

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Departs at 1:00 P.M. sharp from Skyport Marina, East River at 23rd Street, Manhattan.

Ticket Price $50.00             Length of Tour: Three Hours

Souvenir Tour Brochure with historical information and vintage maps. Narration by experienced
historical and environmental guest speakers. Complementary soft drinks will be served.

Come aboard for an intense Newtown Creek exploration! Our comfortable charter boat will travel the length of Newtown Creek.
We will also cover English Kills. The tour will pause at interesting locations for discussion.
Guest narrators will cover historical, environmental, and conservation issues.
The Greenpoint Avenue and Metropolitan Avenue bridges will open on our signal so we can view the furthest reaches of English Kills.
Cruise runs rain or shine.

Cruise sponsor is The Working Harbor Committee. Cruise co-host is the Newtown Creek Alliance.

To order tickets click here  

For more information, contact Tour Chairman Bernard Ente:

Newtown Creek cruise (retouch) by you.

Newtown Creek- photo by Mitch Waxman

Written by Mitch Waxman

August 20, 2009 at 2:39 am

Posted in newtown creek

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