The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

deeply hidden

with 3 comments

– photo by Mitch Waxman

When your humble narrator was still a boy, certain promises and prognostications were offered by the society at large which have, frankly, just not worked out. Yes, we have the TV which you can wear on your wrist, and there are indeed robot vacuum cleaners… but where are the jet packs and moving sidewalks?

For another set of angles on the LIRR yard at Hunters Point, check out this Newtown Pentacle posting from September 12, “Little Memories

from 1877′s “Long Island and where to go!!: A descriptive work compiled for the Long R.R. Co.“, courtesy google books:

Long Island City is the concentrating point upon the East river, of all the main avenues of travel from the back districts of Long Island to the city of New York. The great arteries of travel leading from New York are Thomson avenue, macadamized, 100 feet wide, leading directly to Newtown, Jamaica and the middle and southern roads on Long Island, and Jackson avenue, also 100 feet wide, and leading directly to Flushing, Whitestone and the northerly roads.

Long Island City is also the concentrating point upon the East river, of the railway system of Long Island.

The railways, upon reaching the city, pass under the main avenues of travel and traffic, and not upon or across their surface.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Concessions will be made that yes, people these days do indeed dress in the manner of superheroes when exercising- modern form fitting fabrics garishly colored are a common sight. However, personal jet packs have never materialized, and the “meal in pill form” is still not a reality.

from wikipedia

Long Island City station was built on June 26, 1854, and was rebuilt seven times during the 19th Century. On December 18, 1902, both the two-story station building, and an office building owned by the LIRR burned down. The station was rebuilt on April 26, 1903, and was electrified on June 16, 1910.

Before the East River Tunnels were built, the Long Island City station served as the terminus for Manhattan-bound passengers from Long Island, who took ferries to the East Side of Manhattan. The passenger ferry service was abandoned on March 3, 1925, although freight was carried by car floats (see Gantry Plaza State Park) to and from Manhattan until the middle twentieth century.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A game my adolescent friends and I used to play was guessing which future scenario offered by cinematic prophets might be the one that society would end up following. We always hoped for Star Trek, with its quasi socialist and expansionist state- but from my vantage point in October of 2011- our culture has instead lodged itself solidly into a Blade Runner/Robocop style dystopia.


Residents of a building in Long Island City, Queens say they are near their wits’ end over the noise from train engines that idle all day in a nearby yard, and want the MTA to put the brakes on it. Borough reporter Ruschell Boone filed the following report.

For some Long Island City residents, the sound of idling train engines plow through their day.

“I’m not here to observe it all day. I wouldn’t want to be here five days a week,” said resident Mark Goetz.

“It’s really horrible. I mean, like I wake up to this noise every morning,” said resident Lillian Marchena.

Marchena’s apartment is directly across the street from the Long Island Rail Road rail yard. She says residents have been complaining for years about the diesel engine trains that sit idling during the day.

“It’s actually gotten a little bit better from the beginning when I first moved in, but it’s still a big problem,” she said.

Over the last two years, the LIRR has turned off some of the engines during the day and placed some trains in other parts of the rail yard as part of a compromise, but some residents said the noise is starting to increase again.

“From 7:30 in the morning ’til 5:30 at night, Monday through Friday,” said Community Board 2 Chairman Joe Conley.

It is a harsh reality for new residents moving to the once-industrial area. The rail yard has been there for more than 100 years, but residents want the diesel engines turned off during the day.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

If you were to read the predictions of a century ago, it was all about optimism, locomotive ambition, and confidence. The promise of a pneumatic, electrified, and somewhat insect free world was the dream of the educated class in the early 20th century. When we dream of the future, here at the start of the 21st century, it’s about maintaining health insurance payments and staying ahead of our bills.

Where is my jet pack?

a Newtown Pentacle posting of April 26, 2011 discussed the LIRR yard in some detail- click here for “Squat Creatures”

3 Responses

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  1. Cav

    October 14, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    • This T-73 jet pack (uses jet-A fuel available at nearby LaGuardia or JFK airports) can be purchased for about $200,000.00 -Batteries not included, but training to fly the infernal contraption is!

      With a 9 minute duration of flight, it’s perfect for leaping out of one’s ostentatious throne chair and go soaring above the Newtown Pentacle or up to the top of the Sapphire Megalith to commune with the eldritch intelligences who dwell within! Lovecraft meets Buzz Lightyear, gotta love it!
      But I’m sure for the same price Brian Walker, the Rocket Guy, could sell you his old backyard spaceship assuming his ex-wife didn’t win it in divorce court.

      Now for whimsical futuristic gadgetry a time machine is what I most desire….or maybe a telepod…


      October 14, 2011 at 2:57 pm

  2. […] Back in January of this year, while “wondering uneasily“, we established that the LIRR station in Long Island City accomplishes tasks which it would take some 30,000 horses to accomplish on a daily basis. Last year, in October- these very tracks were visited in “Deeply Hidden“. […]

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