The Newtown Pentacle

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Archive for August 19th, 2010

not to harsh anyone’s buzz… but…

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Note: If you are the owner of one of the subjects of this posting … you are in mortal and existential danger docking at the illegal location you have chosen. Sorry to call you out, but you’re going to get hurt, sick, or both.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

At Newtown Creek, just before the Pulaski Bridge, the foundations of the Vernon Avenue Bridge are observed. On the Queens side, its is found at Vernon Avenue -quite obviously-, which was once joined to Manhattan Avenue in Greenpoint by a bridge, whose official nomen was “the Vernon Avenue Bridge”.

This post is not about that long lamented span which connected the two communities, instead, we’re looking at the remaining bulkheads and an incongruous and dangerous situation that the City is allowing to exist by not enforcing its own rules.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The shot above was run in the guilty agony posting of June 30, 2010, and it walks through the landward side of the area on the Queens side. It looks directly across Newtown Creek from Vernon to Manhattan Avenue in Greenpoint, and portrays several fellows accessing those docked boats which have drawn the attentions of this- your Newtown Pentacle.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The entire scene is laid bare in the stitched panorama image above, delineating the Pulaski Bridge, and a significant proportion of the concretized Queens shoreline of the Newtown Creek is apparent. Visible in the shot are a series of small watercraft which dock at the bulkheaded shore of that malign waterway.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

An enthusiast and supporter of recreational usage of the waters of New York Harbor, your humble narrator nevertheless wonders why it is that the self same city which cannot abide a ticketed passenger placing a package on the subway seat next to himself- or tolerate the riding of a bicycle on a sidewalk- or the smoking a cigarette in a city park- overlooks these boats. Probably has something to do with the proximity of Tower Town…

For a long time now, there have been boats illegally docked here. For a while, there was even a timber staircase installed, but it burned sometime during the winter of 2009. Transpose this to the familiar streets, and imagine parking a car in a traffic lane on the FDR Drive, and building a private staircase so you can get to it. What’s going on here?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

This is an industrial waterway, after all, and should a tugboat and its multi ton barge misjudge the current- the results would be both tragic and utterly predictable. Also, for those of you not “in the know”… when you see one of those green DEP signs, you’re encountering what is known as a CSO- or combined sewer outfall. You’ll notice one in the shot above, near the second to last boat from the right, the one that’s tied onto the concrete barrier that’s breaking away from its fellows.

The city, however, seems to be looking the other way. Wonder how this scenario would play out if it was residents of the Queensbridge Houses docking illegally along the East River rather than the upper class from Tower Town doing it on Newtown Creek. Two sets of rules followed by the City these days, one for the rich and one for the poor.

Also, where’s the Coast Guard? I am no expert on the strategic defense of America’s coastlines, but allowing a series of undocumented small vessels to lie in wait along part of “America’s Maritime Highway(and a frequent destination for fuel and hazardous materials barges) is the very definition of their mission and an apt candidate for “Homeland Security” attention.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The CSO’s are the real villains here at the Newtown Creek. Worry all you want about the oil spill in Greenpoint, or the Meeker Avenue Plumes, but its the CSO’s that will sicken and kill you. Every bit of infected phlegm spit into the street, each can of motor oil or antifreeze dumped into the gutter, and all the pharmaceutical residue that is pissed into the system will end up spilling out here when it rains.

Look for these green signs, and call the phone number scribed on them when you observe them vomiting forth their filth.

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Written by Mitch Waxman

August 19, 2010 at 5:24 pm

Posted in newtown creek

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