The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

proper turns

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

Once upon a time, this wasn’t the proverbial “wrong side of the tracks”, rather this was the center of town. 18th century residents would ask “what on earth could have happened to Maspeth Creek” were they able, and “where is the Town Dock which DeWitt Clinton himself used- where is it”?

What happened?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

19th Century residents and passerby would inquire what disaster occurred, that Haberman’s and Nichols Chemical and all of Berlin and Blissville have disappeared and been forgotten? What has happened to the great factories, the mills, and the hustle and bustle? Where have all the railroads gone, can one paltry freight line actually be charged with servicing all of Newtown Creek?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

For your humble narrator, a good place to ponder this sort of question has always been the Clinton Diner.

This little oasis has hosted a full group from a bus tour I helped conduct, acts a central meeting point for all sorts of Newtown Creek functions, and has provided a much needed cup of coffee and clean rest room to a half frozen yet quite humble narrator on more than one occasion.

It’s also sitting pretty much on a shoreline that Maspeth Creek once flowed past.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Accordingly, a “Happy Valentine’s” day shout out to the Clinton Diner is offered today.

It would be meaningless to offer you shots of its interior as it has been featured more than once in the cinema. Witness below the trademark dolly shot of Martin Scorcese in Goodfellas… The window booth that DeNiro and Liotta are sitting in is the one with the “Go Giants” signage in the shot above.

And a happy valentine’s day greeting is offered to you as well, lords and ladies… or a giddy Lupercalia.

The Clinton Diner is found at 5626 Maspeth Ave., Maspeth, NY 11378-2248 (718) 894-3475

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