The Newtown Pentacle

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

Nearly have I sorted out the various electronic issues caused by the lightning strike which sundered my links with the far flung interwebs, however, the last and greatest hurdle is before me.

The thundering incompetency and bureaucratic nonsense of the Time Warner cable empire awaits. Long has it been since I severed my relationship with them regarding the delivery of televisual and telephonic service, a second rate and badly delivered suite of offerings at best, but they remain the only game in town as far as high speed Internet (at least in my zip code).

Yes, smaller operations exist, but they largely piggy back onto the Time Warner system in Astoria.

Today, I must hie to Manhattan and company headquarters in order to exchange a lightning damaged cable modem. The customer service operator offered me an in home appointment on August 8th, some 14 days from now, so the only way to get this dying elephant to perform its most basic function in a timely fashion is to visit its house and kick it in the trunk.

I would point out that DirecTV was here within 24 hours to assess the situation, and had their replacement equipment up and running within 48 hours of the lightning event.

Hopefully, by tomorrow, the entire system back at Newtown Pentacle HQ will be functionable again- but this is probably vainglorious hope speaking. With luck, I will be able to start doing “my thing” again within a day or two.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Tonight, however, diversion can be obtained at the Flux Factory in LIC. Kate Zidar of Newtown Creek Alliance will be joining Dr. Eric Sanderson for an interesting presentation.


Flux Factory presents…Newtown Creek: Past, Present, Future – JUL 26

Flux Factory is pleased to present the third workshop in a yearlong initiative, The Future of Your Neighborhood: Who Decides?

Newtown Creek: Past, Present, Future

July 26th, 7 pm – 9 pm

Flux Factory

39-31 29th Street, Long Island City, NY 11101

The July workshop will focus on Newtown Creek: one of the most polluted industrial sites in America, bordering Flux Factory’s Long Island City neighborhood. Eric Sanderson of the Mannahatta Project will share historical research he’s collected on the Superfund site, with the aim of making information available to artists, designers, city planners, and other interested parties for widespread use in restoring its original splendor. Kate Zidar, Executive Director of Newtown Creek Alliance, will present information on the current state of the creek, including how community members can participate in materializing visions for its future.


Upcoming Walking Tours:

July 28th, 2012- Working Harbor Committee Kill Van Kull walk- This Saturday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The Kill Van Kull, or tugboat alley as its known to we harbor rats, is a tidal strait that defines the border of Staten Island and New Jersey. A busy and highly industrialized waterfront, Working Harbor’s popular “Hidden Harbor – Newark Bay” boat tours provide water access to the Kill, but what is it like on the landward side?

Starting at the St. George Staten Island Ferry terminal, join WHC Steering Committee member Mitch Waxman for a walk up the Kill Van Kull via Staten Islands Richmond Terrace. You’ll encounter unrivaled views of the maritime traffic on the Kill itself, as well as the hidden past of the maritime communities which line it’s shores. Surprising and historic neighborhoods, an abandoned railway, and tales of prohibition era bootleggers await.

The tour will start at 11, sharp, and you must be on (at least) the 10:30 AM Staten Island Ferry to meet the group at St. George. Again, plan for transportation changes and unexpected weirdness to be revealed to you at

for July 28th tickets, click here for the Working Harbor Committee ticketing page

August 5th, 2012- Newtown Creek Alliance Walking Tour- The Insalubrious Valley

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Newtown Creek Alliance historian Mitch Waxman will be leading a walk through the industrial heartlands of New York City, exploring the insalubrious valley of the Newtown Creek.

The currently undefended border of Brooklyn and Queens, and the place where the Industrial Revolution actually happened, provides a dramatic and picturesque setting for this exploration. We’ll be visiting two movable bridges, the still standing remains of an early 19th century highway, and a forgotten tributary of the larger waterway. As we walk along the Newtown Creek and explore the “wrong side of the tracks” – you’ll hear tales of the early chemical industry, “Dead Animal and Night Soil Wharfs”, colonial era heretics and witches and the coming of the railroad. The tour concludes at the famed Clinton Diner in Maspeth- where scenes from the Martin Scorcese movie “Goodfellas” were shot.

Lunch at Clinton Diner is included with the ticket.

Details/special instructions.

Meetup at the corner of Grand Street and Morgan Avenue in Brooklyn at 11 a.m. on August 5, 2012. The L train serves a station at Bushwick Avenue and Grand Street, and the Q54 and Q59 bus lines stop nearby as well. Check as ongoing weekend construction often causes delays and interruptions. Drivers, it would be wise to leave your vehicle in the vicinity of the Clinton Diner in Maspeth, Queens or near the start of the walk at Grand St. and Morgan Avenue (you can pick up the bus to Brooklyn nearby the Clinton Diner).

Be prepared: We’ll be encountering broken pavement, sometimes heavy truck traffic as we move through a virtual urban desert. Dress and pack appropriately for hiking, closed-toe shoes are highly recommended.

Clinton Diner Menu:

  • Cheese burger deluxe
  • Grilled chicken over garden salad
  • Turkey BLT triple decker sandwich with fries
  • Spaghetti with tomato sauce or butter
  • Greek salad medium
  • Greek Salad wrap with French fries
  • Can of soda or 16oz bottle of Poland Spring

for August 5th tickets, click here for the Newtown Creek Alliance ticketing page

Written by Mitch Waxman

July 26, 2012 at 10:52 am

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