The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

trivial impressions

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Walking in DUPBO, Down Under the Pulaski Bridge Onramp, in today’s post.

-photo by Mitch Waxman

A dish has two sides, as my dad would remind me whenever my chores included washing dishes, as does my beloved Newtown Creek. The well documented Brooklyn side in Greenpoint teems with eager humans, all of whom wish for a day when a cleaned up Newtown Creek will offer them a playground for kayaking and horticultural pursuits. No critique of such aims is offered or implied by the statement, it just “is.” The Queens side, however, is largely ignored.

-photo by Mitch Waxman

To be fair, folks in Greenpoint can find digs that are less than a block away from the waterway, while over in Queens the population centers are a good distance back from the bulkheads. Most of the waterfront property is cordoned off by corporate fence lines, rail tracks, and highways. The neighborhoods of the northern bank also tend to be clustered around transit arteries like Northern or Queens Boulevards. Additionally, the human infestation here in Queens seems to prefer not to think about Newtown Creek, considering it Brooklyn’s problem.

-photo by Mitch Waxman

This drives a humble narrator near to insanity, of course, as the Newtown Creek derives its name from the Queens side and it is one of the three primary reasons that Long Island City became the “workshop of America” by the “WW1” phase of the second Thirty Years War during the 20th century (1- LIRR, 2- East River, 3- Newtown Creek). The scene pictured in today’s post, incidentally, is part of the FreshDirect truck fleet in DUPBO. FreshDirect, like most of the companies based along the Creek these days, ignores the three advantageous reasons for basing themselves here- rather they’re here simply for proximity to the Midtown Tunnel and access to Midtown Manhattan.

Written by Mitch Waxman

July 1, 2013 at 7:34 am

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