The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Archive for April 5th, 2013

eternal day

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

Back in Queens, a humble narrator has been rather busy for the last few days.

Next week, the schedule of spring and summer Newtown Creek tours will be revealed to you at last, as well as some details about the ambitious schedule of boat tours which the Working Harbor Committee is planning. Short perambulations around the neighborhood have been my only distraction from the plotting and planning of this year’s excursions. Unnatural and unseasonable cold, however, has left the streets adorned in a drab winter appearance.

One starves for color.


On Sunday, we joined over 140 people aboard a New York Water Taxi for the Working Harbor Committee’s tour of Newtown Creek. The tour was narrated by Mitch Waxman whose encyclopedic knowledge and passion for the area can be seen on his blog The Newtown Pentacle, and on his tours and work as the historian for the Newtown Creek Alliance.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Resorting to hanging around the produce departments of storefront merchants brings no surcease to this desire for the bright hues of Spring. Normally, one would expect the trees to show some sign of returning vitality and conscientious property owners would have already begun planting early varietal. Free ranging grasses should also be raising bright green shoots by now. Instead, the yellows and browns of winter linger, as does an unnatural chill.

One thirsts for warmth.


Not that Mr. Waxman is any sort of an academic. While the Newtown Creek Alliance, an environmental advocacy group, lists him as its resident historian, his credentials were earned on the street and the Internet, through countless solitary walks and countless nights poring over obscure archives. 

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Mainly, I’m just tired of hanging around in the cold wastes waiting for something to happen, and truly look forward to a day spent entirely out of doors and unencumbered by the heavy garments of an overly long winter. The next few months should be pretty interesting, lords and ladies, and without spilling a certain can of beans- pencil me in for May 26th.

One desires company.


Usually it’s not a great thing when your memory of the first time you met someone person is inseparable from a terrible, gag-inducing stink. But with Mitch Waxman, it comes with the territory.

Written by Mitch Waxman

April 5, 2013 at 12:15 am

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