The Newtown Pentacle

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Archive for May 20th, 2011

longings and welcome

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

The first bit of business today is about our departed friend Bernie Ente, and a memorial moment we have planned for the Newtown Creek Cruise tomorrow.

As many of you know, Bernie was and remains an inspiration to those of us involved in the story of Newtown Creek, in many ways he was “the King of the Creek”. He was the founder and institutor of this annual exploration of the troubled waterway, and there won’t be anyone connected with the organization and execution of this trip who won’t acutely feel his absence.

Accordingly, there is going to be a memorial moment performed for our fallen King, and several people have contacted me saying they wish to be present, but cannot afford the price of the boat trip. I have been instructing all who wish to attend to gather at the Maspeth Avenue street end (click here for google maps location and pictured above) and be there by 11:30. You’ll see a gigantic boat coming up the Creek, that’ll be us. The whole shebang will be short and sweet, as Bernie would be embarrassed by such honorifics and would chide me to focus in on what’s truly important- the revelation of Newtown Creek’s often occluded past, and the stunning possibilities for our communities offered by it’s revitalization and renewal.

Erik Baard will be paddling up the Creek with Richard Melnick of the Greater Astoria Historic Society, should any of you wish to attend on the water, although I stress that this is not an official Long Island City Boathouse event. Erik can be contacted via this facebook link if you wish to join them.

(afterwards, you can then cross the Grand Avenue Bridge and head over to Rust Street, where a rally to save the St. Saviour’s site and turn it into a City Park is meant to be happening at 1pm, but you’ll have to hit Google for specifics on that- I’ve been too busy with my own business to pay much attention to this effort in the last month- but there’s meant to be quite a gathering of elected officials and the folks from COMET and other Maspeth based community groups)

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Secondly, when our vessel returns to South Street Seaport at 1pm, those of you onboard who wish to discuss what you’ve just seen with Working Harbor personnel and or your humble narrator should plan on joining us for our customary post game. We will be proceeding to a local cafe bar where the camaraderie and libation will flow, and a relaxed conversation will be offered. Your tab, of course, is your own. This is not a part of the tour, and is not offered as part of the ticket price, but if you buy old Mitch a drink or two- he might tell you about some of the unknowable things he’s seen dancing around in the Creek during thunderstorms or share the story of the “Blissville Banshee” with you.

Nothing loosens Mitch’s tongue like a flask of cheap hip pocket liquor.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Lastly, and I promise- this is the last time you’ll see this string of text, there are still a few ticketed seats available but I can’t promise they’ll be there when you leave work tonight. If you’ve been prevaricating about whether or not to come, now is the time to “drop the hammer”.

And… did I mention we’ve got a speaker from Riverkeeper scheduled to be onboard?


It is critical for you to purchase tickets for the Newtown Creek Cruise soon. We’re filling up rapidly and seating is limited. Your humble narrator is acting as chairman for this journey, and spectacular guest speakers are enlisted to be onboard. Click here to order tickets. Something I can promise you, given the heavy rain we’re having at the beginning of this week, is that the Newtown Creek will be especially photogenic on Saturday. Current forecasts call for “Partly sunny. A slight chance of showers in the morning. Highs in the mid 70s. North winds around 5 mph. Chance of rain 20 percent” (we leave the dock at 10- late morning)! Photographers in Greenpoint, Long Island City, and beyond- this is going to be hyperfocal MAGIC.


he May 21st, Newtown Creek Cruise:

Explore Newtown Creek by Boat

Saturday, 21 May, 2011

Pier 17, South Street Seaport.

Departs 10 am sharp

Returns 1 pm

Price: $60

Join us for a special water tour with expert narration from historical and environmental guest speakers.

There are limited tickets available on the MV American Princess for a very rare tour of Newtown Creek. Guest narrators will cover points of industrial and historical interest as well as environmental and conservation issues during your three-hour exploration. New York’s forgotten history will be revealed – as well as bright plans for the creeks future.

MV American Princess is a large, comfortable vessel with indoor and outdoor seating. Complimentary soft drinks and a tour brochure are included.

Cruise runs rain or shine

Queries? Contact Tour Chairman Mitch Waxman:

Hosted by Hidden Harbor Tours ® in association with the Newtown Creek Alliance.

Click here to order tickets

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