The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Archive for June 21st, 2013

fascinated and repelled

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A short post from a seemingly long pier.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It is actually inconceivable how utterly banal Manhattan has become in the last few years, as “Fun City” has been tamed. Unfortunately for one such as myself- I had a few hours to kill last week, and as my schedule offered little logic in going back to Astoria, decided to use it wandering around the so called center of the universe. Specifics on my little walk around lower Manhattan are few, as I mainly wandered about aghast. Is there any street life left these days which isn’t controlled, licensed, or false?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One of the things which annoys me is the propensity displayed by urban planners to drain all the fun out of a city by polishing away its rough edges and eccentric incongruities in favor of “order.” This “order” tends to eradicate the precise thing that makes a city fun to explore and discover in favor of bland homogeneity. Were modern New York a restaurant- its kitchen would be full of celebrity chefs with few line cooks and no dishwashers, and what food did actually make it to customers- rather than being nutritious and filling, would be artsy fartsy treacle.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I wandered about for several hours last week, searching for something (anything) interesting to focus in on, and eventually gave up and just rode the Staten Island Ferry back and forth a few times. Hungry, your humble narrator found that lower Manhattan suffers a dearth of affordable lunch room options these days as well. High volume salad bars, fast food that is deep fat fried, or mass produced junk for tourists seemed to be all that was available or affordable. In the end, I ended up at Fraunces Tavern, where a delicious, healthy, and well prepared lunch was achieved for less than $15.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Want to see something cool? Summer 2013 Walking Tours-

Kill Van Kull– Saturday, June 22, 2013
Staten Island walking tour with Mitch Waxman and Working Harbor Committee, tickets now on sale.

The Insalubrious Valley Saturday, June 29, 2013
Newtown Creek walking tour with Mitch Waxman and Newtown Creek Alliance, tickets now on sale.

Modern Corridor- Saturday, July 13, 2013
Newtown Creek walking tour with Mitch Waxman and Atlas Obscura, tickets on sale soon.

Written by Mitch Waxman

June 21, 2013 at 7:44 am

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