The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

not to harsh anyone’s buzz… but…

with 9 comments

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.

Advertisements

Written by Mitch Waxman

August 19, 2010 at 5:24 pm

Posted in newtown creek

9 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Hey we should be happy some one is using the friggin canal! Why do you want to get the bureaucrats/Cops out there and get up these boat owner’s asses? They are not bothering anyone. And get sick from the canal, come on. They are not living down there as far as I know. Parking your boat in the canal is not going to get them sick! Stop over doing it. The real question is why we have not redeveloped and cleaned up the canal. Shitty Gov’t bureaucracy.

    RDF

    September 4, 2010 at 4:23 pm

  2. hi mr waxman , i have red your article in which you show a great deal of unger towards me and my friends . i believe that you base your article on many misconceptions that are rooted in a lack of communication . We are not from any tower or any high income community we are just simple people, bohemians mostly that enjoy nature and the simple things in life. In my case sir i am far from living on a tower in LIC, i actually lived on a basement apt in bk for more than 10 years mostly, I like people and people likes me. One of the reasons is that i dont go around assuming things of people and then writing articles against them . I do understand your concerns about my health ,and i thank u for that on behalf of me and my 2 children. but with the exemption of taking medication for my genetic high cholesterol . I have been given clean bill of health by my doc.
    It would be great if you get to see pass your bitterness to us . We are not bad people we are artist carpenters and freelancers that love the beauty of moving around nyc in the greenest way possible, helps me relax and tell my children that we as species are not as bad. sure we can make crazy v 12 engines for 2 people but we can also learn how to chill and move around with friends and family with out making noise or pollution as fast as the wind would let us.
    . Fight the real issue complain that they ticket u on the subway not that if they will do that then they should ticket everything.
    We could be friends instead of writing against me and my friends u could have ask me to take you rowing where the real problems come from, peace brother and keep the eye on the ball. im not the ball

    facundo

    October 8, 2010 at 12:19 pm

  3. Madam Waxman,
    Is there some reason you are so against sailboats? Did you lose your innocence to your uncle in a sloop during childhood? Or are you just the type of little man that tells teacher when the cool kids make you feel inferior. The water is public domain! And according to maritime law it is not illegal to moor a boat as long as it safe and looked after. If you are truly a supporter of the creek you should encourage the use of it’s waters for environmentally sound recreation. Your article is a moot rant made by big baby, I sure hope you have a day job.

    Andrew

    October 8, 2010 at 12:23 pm

  4. Your “call out” is misguided at best. The sailors who have boats here are not from “Tower Town”. Most of them live in Brooklyn and are artists who are trying to enjoy the NYC waterways despite their toxicity. The fact that there is fishing, crabbing, boating and kayaking in the creek simply demonstrates that the clean up effort can’t happen fast enough.

    Blogger or not, the prudent journalist would make an effort to uncover basic facts before publishing a story full of assumptions.

    anon

    October 8, 2010 at 2:48 pm

  5. hi mr waxman , i have red your article in which you show a great deal of unger towards me and my friends . i believe that you base your article on many misconceptions that are rooted in a lack of communication . We are not from any tower or any high income community we are just simple people, bohemians mostly that enjoy nature and the simple things in life. In my case sir i am far from living on a tower in LIC, i actually lived on a basement apt in bk for more than 10 years mostly, I like people and people likes me. One of the reasons is that i dont go around assuming things of people and then writing articles against them . I do understand your concerns about my health ,and i thank u for that on behalf of me and my 2 children. but with the exemption of taking medication for my genetic high cholesterol . I have been given clean bill of health by my doc.
    It would be great if you get to see pass your bitterness to us . We are not bad people we are artist carpenters and freelancers that love the beauty of moving around nyc in the greenest way possible, helps me relax and tell my children that we as species are not as bad. sure we can make crazy v 12 engines for 2 people but we can also learn how to chill and move around with friends and family with out making noise or pollution as fast as the wind would let us.
    . Fight the real issue complain that they ticket u on the subway not that if they will do that then they should ticket everything.
    We could be friends instead of writing against me and my friends u could have ask me to take you rowing where the real problems come from, peace brother and keep the eye on the ball. im not the ball

    facundo
    October 8, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    facundo

    October 8, 2010 at 9:46 pm

  6. […] August of 2010 brought a posting which garnered a lot of attention, due to Gothamist noticing and linking to it. Simply noticing that a growing proliferation of small boats were berthing illegally at the Vernon Avenue street end, it would be irresponsible of me- given everything that I know about the location not to point out the mortal and existential danger that the operators of these boats were placing themselves in. It’s not even the water, really, its the high pressure natural gas line- the enormous CSO which drains LIC- the omnipresent heavy industrial maritime traffic- which makes the spot so hazardous. Mortal threats were received via email (which I’ve kept private), and the comments thread displayed an angry and accusatory tone. As is the case with all such critique, these comments were presented verbatim- here’s a taste: “i have red your article in which you show a great deal of unger towards me and my friends . i believe that you base your article on many misconceptions that are rooted in a lack of communication”, “Blogger or not, the prudent journalist would make an effort to uncover basic facts before publishing a story full of assumptions”, “are you just the type of little man that tells teacher when the cool kids make you feel inferior. The water is public domain! And according to maritime law it is not illegal to moor a boat as long as it safe and looked after.”, “They are not bothering anyone. And get sick from the canal, come on. They are not living down there as far as I know. Parking your boat in the canal is not going to get them sick! Stop over doing it.” Check out “not to harsh anyone’s buzz… but…“. […]

  7. I would have responded to this collection of vowel movement comments sooner but I was preoccupied with other matters.

    It would seem our narrator’s well-meaning post has struck a nerve with this gaggle of pitifully childish responses. A better display of arrogant hipster whining illustrating these vile, nasty little creatures infesting our city would be difficult to find.

    It’s hard to believe this city has become such a magnet for a these spoiled, narcissistic brats from flyover country, USA who seem to feel that this city is their personal playground. Any comment made they deem as critical is met with a coordinated temper-tantrum with the few other troglodytes who are sufficiently low enough in intelligence and breeding to associate with such. Artists indeed!

    No reasonable adult would take these little trolls and their passive aggressive rants seriously. I assure you their bark, nay whimper, is worse than their bite and that when the sun comes up each day, they will slither back under their rocks.

    Cav

    January 2, 2011 at 5:35 pm

  8. […] cadre of boaters docked at the Vernon Avenue Street end that they were placing themselves in “Mortal and Existential danger“- this is the sort of thing I was talking […]

  9. […] I’m told that the group of boats nesting along the shore here has taken to calling itself the “Hunters Point Boat Sanctuary.” […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: