The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

raptured vision

with one comment

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My habit is to be early to appointments, public meetings, or gatherings. On this particular day, a Newtown Creek Alliance meeting was set to occur in hoary Greenpoint at the modern Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, and a humble narrator decided to make use of being better than an hour early by strolling through the engineered hillocks of First Calvary Cemetery here in Queens.

Late afternoon was giving way to sunset, and my path took me from the secondary gates near the former Penny Bridge toward the main entrance at Greenpoint Avenue.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Unlike many of my sojourns around the place, no goal governed my steps- I wasn’t “looking for someone”. Instead, a peaceful and contemplative mood governed my steps and allowance was made for serendipity. That’s the spire of St. Raphael’s on Greenpoint Avenue in the distance, by the way.

Amongst the marble and granite, however, a surprising monument was discovered.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Weathered and unmarked, this anonymous cruciform was found. Appearing to be a wooden cross with white bronze worked onto its surface, it was frankly a stunning moment for me to discover this artifact here. Partially because of its modest and quite staid appearance- understatement and tasteful discretion hardly define the monuments at Calvary- but mostly because of the incredible value that the metal would bring to the Crows (metal collectors and scrappers) who harvest such materials for sale to the scrap industry.

It was stunning to find such a thing can remain hidden in this place which has suffered so much from their attentions.

One Response

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  1. The cross looks pretty oxidized and probably of little value to scrappers. Of more value to thieves are the stained glass in the mausoleums. Sometimes skulls and other bones.


    March 16, 2012 at 5:32 pm

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