The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

it shines and shakes and laughs

with 2 comments

– photo by Mitch Waxman

How one has missed the filth and degradation. Rendering the urgency of returning to these places, lonely and swept by a poisonous fume called wind, and finding the lessons offered has been a source of great angst for your humble narrator. It is difficult to describe my personal experience with these lots and parcels, or defend my deep affection for something like the former Phelps Dodge property at Laurel Hill. This is a shunned place, avoided by all given a choice, yet one finds himself moving inexorably toward it after pinning cap to head and telling “Our Lady of the Pentacle” that “I’m going out for a walk”.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There is little honey to be found here, unless one uses the euphemism favored by DEP employees for the material they handle. Everywhere is a concretized and apocalyptic post industrial landscape and active culture of garbage handlers and warehouse employees. Barren, the landscape enjoys only the crudest amenities. Street trees are quickly shattered by trucks, and a loose sandy gravel seemingly composed of powderized automotive glass reflects a weak and diffuse light transmitted by the burning thermonuclear eye of god itself.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

For one such as myself, a ghastly and shambling outcast scuttling about in a filthy black raincoat, the only thought a place like Maspeth Creek can evince is “Hallelujah”. Every suspicion about the truth of the great human hive is manifest here, and condemnation of society at large is readily at hand. Perhaps this is why I am so drawn to this forgotten valley of corrupted nature, as it mirrors the sickness in my own thoughts. An inch behind my eyes, I believe, is naught but black mayonnaise.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Maybe I am “all ‘effed up”, but to me, this is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. “Welcome to Newtown Creek”, say I, with hardly any sense or ironic humor or twee dispatch.

Also- Upcoming tours…

for an expanded description of the October 13th Kill Van Kull tour, please click here

for an expanded description of the October 20th Newtown Creek tour, please click here

for more information on the October 27th Newtown Creek Boat Tour, click here

for more information on the November 9th Newtown Creek Magic Lantern Show, click here

for an expanded description of the November 11th Newtown Creek tour, please click here


Written by Mitch Waxman

October 12, 2012 at 12:15 am

2 Responses

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  1. Mitch, I always read about that “black mayonaisse”. Here you say it’s only an inch away. You got any photos of it? Maybe you could get a shovel or a pole or a big stick and maybe glop some up in the air and photograph it?


    October 12, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    • The reference in today’s post is about what my brain is turning into. The actual sediments in the creek- depends on where you are. You can scoop it up a foot or so down in Dutch or English Kills, but on the main body of the creek- its around 15-20 feet down. You really, really don’t want to interact with it- nor should you unless you are specifically trained in the safe handling of medical or industrial waste.

      Mitch Waxman

      October 12, 2012 at 2:51 pm

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