The Newtown Pentacle

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

A lot of this Newtown Creek thing involves going to meetings in Greenpoint- this monitoring committee or that alliance or just some gathering at which an unelected official or designated regulator will speak at. This consumes quite a bit of time, which is amplified in my case, as I walk to the place from Astoria. Not a long walk by any stretch, roughly 3 miles, but sometimes it feels as if I spend all my time walking to and from the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Long have I been intrigued by this little fix a flat building which sits at the cross roads of Greenpoint Avenue, Van Dam St., and Review avenue on the Queens side in Blissville. Run down, it seems to be held together with tape and tacks, but there has always been something about the structure which has caught my eye. “Something” seems significant about it, given its location. Despite efforts at finding that something, it has always remained an enigma. Until now, thanks to the NYC Municipal Archives LUNA website.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

This shot, of the Sobol Brothers SOCONY station at the intersection of Greenpoint and Van Dam, is from August 20, 1930- roughly 82 years ago. SOCONY, of course, stands for Standard Oil Company of New York. Standard used to franchise out filling stations, in the same manner as its modern day incarnation ExxonMobil does. The name SOCONY indicates that the signage went up after 1911 when the Standard Trust was broken up, incidentally.

click here for the giant sharp version of the NYCMA image.

Also, at the ever reliable fultonhistory.com, I found this ad for the company, which seems to have had several locations in Queens.

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