The Newtown Pentacle

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Archive for September 17th, 2012

something damnable

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

Your humble narrator came to fruition in the hinterlands of Brooklyn along the vast Jamaica Bay, in the flat lands. A once thriving salt meadow, hewn roughly into dry land by fill, this flat land (nearby an area known for its flat bush) was covered by slabs of cement which carried two story structures and served as “a neighborhood”. In this “neighborhood”, one learned to appreciate the unique cultural milieu of the outer boroughs. Manhattan Special was drunk, stick ball was played, old athletic shoes adorned overhanging wires, and people sat outside their homes at night and interacted with each other. When I arrived in western Queens several years ago, I was happy to find that my new home adhered to similar custom.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It wasn’t long before one realized that malign forces are at work, all along the East River in fact, which seek to blindly wipe aside that which allows these neighborhood cultures to exist- which is the human scale of the place. What I have taken the liberty of describing as the “Real Estate Industrial Complex” seems hell bent on eradicating the actuality of these neighborhoods, in the name of an ever expanding and unsustainable balloon of profit and short term construction jobs. Such matters are “above my pay grade” of course, represent vast sociological and economic forces beyond understanding, as well as the sophistry and euphoria of an irresponsible generation given the proverbial “green light” to rethink the skyline and shape of a New York City which they loathe. It is best to retreat from such weighty matters, and attempt to lose ones self in quaint historical matters and obscure details about the past. Blissville Banshee, anyone?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Yesterday, whilst scanning the vast interwebs for just this sort of Queens related minutia, one came across this noisome link over at queenscrap. It’s a real estate industrial complex oriented piece, of course, wherein a pack of jackal realtors describe their displeasure at the real estate scene here in Astoria.

The problem they describe, of course, is that they are not eking as much blood out of the ancient village as they might, should the current building stock be razed and replaced with shining towers remarkable for a vertical density reminiscent of the sort of city blocks one encounters in Judge Dredd comic books. Complaints are made of low turn over in housing stock, as people who move to Astoria like it so much that they want to stay. These profiteers and vampires say nothing of hospital beds, overcrowded schools, lessened and erratic transit capacity, or an already overburdened infrastructure of sewer and power systems. Naught is mentioned about the hordes of low life criminals who drunkenly wander the place at night, the crowds who surround noisy bars, or the insane truck traffic which makes a joke of the notion of “DOT approved truck routes” as they lumber down residential blocks. Let’s give the already overburdened 114th precinct commanders around twice their current number of cops, and then let’s have a talk about adding thousands of condo units on the East River.

As a resident of the area, I believe that the shot above represents the role played by these usurious middlemen in our culture, and describes my opinion of how they view my neighborhood. Pass the swatter, please.

Written by Mitch Waxman

September 17, 2012 at 12:15 am

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