The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Archive for January 2013

Project Firebox 56

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“follow” me on Twitter at @newtownpentacle

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Abused, perhaps it will find celebrity when Kaufman Astoria Studios takes possession of this street in Astoria which the movie studio has coveted.

Due to dwell on a demapped street, isolated from the surrounding grid, this noble firebox will soon sit within the security of the cinema industry, becoming part of some ubiquitous New York street scene in hundreds of police procedural dramas and hit Hollywood productions.

It waits, as it always has, for that day when it will be needed to summon aid for the needy, the helpless, the injured.

Also:

Remember that event in the fall which got cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy?

The “Up the Creek” Magic Lantern Show presented by the Obscura Society NYC is back on at Observatory. 

Click here or the image below for more information and tickets.

lantern_bucket

Written by Mitch Waxman

January 26, 2013 at 12:15 am

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“follow” me on Twitter at @newtownpentacle

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Visiting with the Alsops, your humble narrator finds fancy in the notion that he is sitting in a place which is theoretically unique upon this earth.

A Protestant graveyard which dates back to the days of the Dutch colonial decadence, The Alsop plot is entirely enveloped by the coils of First Calvary Cemetery, which is a Catholic institution. Modern minds forgot the fires of the Reformation, wherein our modern world of the west was forged, but such mingling of creeds still draws ire and derision from the faithful.

While in Calvary, and when the light is right, one makes an effort to photograph these centuried stone markers.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Lost in my pursuits, sudden realization that I wasn’t alone washed over. One of the famed Groundling Burrowers appeared. The Lagomorphs are famed as messengers between the underworld and our own, and often have I consulted with this oracular population that exists within Laurel Hill. No question burned in my mind, as before, and I wondered what it had come to tell me.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Stoic, the beast gave no indication.

It fixed me with an unblinking glassy stare. A blossom of terror unfolded in me, becoming a yawning maelstrom of chaos- of the sort described by Poe himself- which threatened to consume my very mind and plunge me into that dark blessing which is the ignorance engendered by madness.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Monstrous silence crushed down upon me, and this thing which had grown haughty and mature in some subterranean pocket of the cemetery continued to glare. The hidden paths known only to its kind, leading to unguessable sorts of ghoulish destinations and nitre choked cathedrals of sorrow below ground, carry these Groundling Burrowers into contact with that which cannot possibly exist down there and broad is their experience.

The beast twitched its ear to the east, and then I drossly noticed what it wanted me to see.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A stone monument, buried except for a small patch of its face. Had the Burrowers purposefully excavated a section, hoping it would be noticed by Grounds Staff or idle passerby?

The creature bounded off, disappearing into a thicket of grass following the fence which cordons off the Alsop ground from the larger cemetery surrounding it.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The visible section of the exposed monument says Richard Alsop, aged 1 month.

The Alsops engaged in an annoying multigenerational habit- the naming all of their male children Richard or Thomas- which confuses me. According to the Alsop genealogy folks a Richard Alsop aged 1 month died and was buried here in an interval between seven year old Hannah and a four year old also named Richard- that would correspond to a period sometime between 1772 and 1777.

Thanks Mr. Rabbit, you Groundling Burrower you.

Also:

Remember that event in the fall which got cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy?

The “Up the Creek” Magic Lantern Show presented by the Obscura Society NYC is back on at Observatory. 

Click here or the image below for more information and tickets.

lantern_bucket

tower flanked

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“follow” me on Twitter at @newtownpentacle

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Having an afternoon off, and desiring to stretch ones legs, your humble narrator soon found himself in familiar locale- First Calvary Cemetery in Queens.

There are are four properties which comprise Calvary, the original occupies a hill called Laurel, and was founded in 1848 by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York. The combined properties host better than three million interments, making it the most densely populated cemetery on the planet. One often witnesses things there that most would describe as “odd”.

On this particular day, I noticed a trail of disturbed earth.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It seemed as if some enormous slug like “thing” had pulled itself along, tearing out the turf as it convulsed and contracted and slithered. My first instinct was that whatever it was, it probably secreted acid from its skin, which is why the grass was so thoroughly scrubbed away.

Great size was suggested not just by the size of its trail but by a several inches deep disturbance of the soil.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The thing would have had to been enormous, a giant even by the scale of earlier aeons. Always fragile when confronted with strong emotions and unexpected stimuli, my brain began to throb with panic. Would… could such a creature, exist here?

Then a synaptic leap was accomplished, and remembered was the proximity of the nearby Newtown Creek- and the reportedly mutagenic qualities of its subaqueous sediments found nearby the Phelps Dodge site.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Close to experiencing “one of my states” at this point, my thoughts raced… could the organocoppers and volatile organic compounds known to exist in nearby waters have given rise to some sort of amphibious mutation of enormous size and unknown intent? Does some sort of blasphemous thing, a perverted and debased evolution of innocent sea life, rip its bulk from the protective depths and wander around the cemetery at night?

Would this explain the perennial existence of muddy streaks observed on the corner of Laurel Hill Blvd. and Review Avenue?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My delicate constitution, carefully balanced and maintained by a staff of doctors and medical professionals, demands that one remain reticent. This is when one of the curative tablets one has been commanded to always have at the ready was consumed, causing my heart to cease its racing action.

So steadied- an examination of my preposition, that an enormous slug like mutation born in a 20 foot thick layer of industrial waste and sewer sediment- the so called Black Mayonnaise- lining the bed of the Newtown Creek, might seem a bit far fetched.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

To be fair, there is evidence that Phelps Dodge supplied refined materials for the Manhattan Project- specifically Tellerium- which would introduce radioactivity into the story. I can tell you categorically that in all the meetings I’ve attended concerning the Newtown Creek, and in all the scientific literature I’ve read about the place- not once have I heard or read about radioactivity (in the water).

There is no truth to the rumors common in Maspeth regarding a huge snapping turtle that rose from Newtown Creek and terrorized the community for an entire summer in the early 1950’s either, I am told.

Oddly enough, every time I meet somebody who works in government, the first thing they’ll say to me is: “There is no truth to the rumors common in Maspeth regarding a huge snapping turtle found there in the summer of 1954.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

This track way is clearly not that of a snapping turtle, I would mention.

There would be distinct foot prints, as well as a defined pattern shaped by the tail.

It would be ridiculous to even suggest that this was the track left behind by an enormous snapping turtle of the sort rumored to have caused the death of several dogs and one mule in Maspeth during 1954, a situation which afflicted the community from the early spring and which only ended after a singular night, in August, which set the tongues of area wags wagging. The sudden appearance and deployment of several Army units accompanied by hundreds of Plain Clothes Police to the industrial quarters nearby the Haberman siding, which was explained away as a raid on illicit liquor racketeers who were operating in the area, is rumored to have put an end to the so called “Monster in Maspeth.”

None of which actually happened, I am repeatedly told.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Following the gouged trail, it suddenly became apparent that an apparently orthodox and certainly more ordinary explanation for the disturbed earth at Calvary Cemetery was at hand.

It appeared that vehicle tracks were visible at the upland section of it, and no doubt they were either cleverly trying to disguise the risible horror of some wandering slug like mutation risen from Newtown Creek to wander the graveyard in the dead of night, or that the gouged turf of the track was instead some part of their grounds keeping function.

It is up to you, lords and ladies, to decide which theorem is likely true.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

You never know what you’re going to see at Calvary Cemetery, amongst the emerald devastations.

Also:

Remember that event in the fall which got cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy?

The “Up the Creek” Magic Lantern Show presented by the Obscura Society NYC is back on at Observatory.

Click here or the image below for more information and tickets.

lantern_bucket

beggars crouched

with one comment

“follow” me on Twitter at @newtownpentacle

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Personal velocity seems to be at an all time low, lords and ladies, as your humble narrator must have seen too many winters. A shut in and seemingly partial invalid, at least cognitively, one must do with the few pleasures left to him as the end is likely nigh and sure to be horrible. An insubstantial element of joy, however, has been watching the painfully slow processes at work around the Sunnyside Yards as the East Side access project incarnates.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Vast, the part of the project walked through in today’s post is the fascinating and parallel insertion of a second track on the LIRR main line.

My comprehension of the situation is limited, but as I understand- it involves the requirements of Amtrak, which gave up some amount of allotted space and track rights at Sunnyside Yard to the City and State project, on condition that it no longer suffer schedule interruptions due to LIRR breakdowns or bottlenecks. It seems that even with Amtrak’s former holdings, frequent service delays experienced by the LIRR rippled out from NY and across the Northeast corridor rail network.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Your humble narrator is a relative late comer to the story of the railroads, and there are incredible gaps in my understanding of the system. One thing which I’ve never been able to clarify for myself is why there isn’t more active rail at work.

Once upon a time, in the City of New York, there were miles of active tracks servicing thousands of individual businesses. The plan which is actively under construction will ostensibly improve passenger service, but what about freight?

Also:

Remember that event in the fall which got cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy?

The “Up the Creek” Magic Lantern Show presented by the Obscura Society NYC is back on at Observatory.

Click here or the image below for more information and tickets.

lantern_bucket

nitrous wheezing

leave a comment »

“follow” me on Twitter at @newtownpentacle

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Recent readings on the Satanic Cult panics of the 1980’s and 90’s, the most famous of which was the infamous McMartin case in California, revealed that a manual for the Pagan community on how to avoid circumspection was published. Its title included the phrase “How to Appear Harmless”, which struck one such as myself with a deep whimsy. Much effort is expended on my part, in order to dissuade the local gentry from lighting torches and picking up pitch forks as I near.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Wandering about, exposed to prying eyes and on foot, one must be concerned about not just sentry men, guard dogs, and violent neighbors but with the more esoteric hazards presented by Queens. While consumed with such paranoid mutterings, this odd drawer of bubbling black slime was noticed on a deserted stretch of 37th avenue at the border of Sunnyside.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The locale is defined by the presence of a large municipal property, an enormous and ethnically Korean church, and the tracks of the Long Island Railroad. Deserted on the weekends and evenings, the street largely serves as a thoroughfare for traffic moving between the Home Depot on Northern Blvd.’s 48th street exit and 43rd street.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Initial supposition that this was merely a manifestation of the native art form of Queens- illegal dumping- was complicated by the complete lack of smell. It wasn’t paint, and it sure wasn’t oil. What the fuligin substance was is anyone’s guess, I suppose.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

An impulse to poke at it with a stick was suppressed, as repeated viewings of the classic horror movie “The Blob” have taught me that such activity might allow a viscous entity of malign intelligence or intent egress to unprotected flesh.

Also:

Remember that event in the fall which got cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy?

The “Up the Creek” Magic Lantern Show presented by the Obscura Society NYC is back on at Observatory. 

Click here or the image below for more information and tickets.

lantern_bucket

Written by Mitch Waxman

January 22, 2013 at 12:15 am

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