The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Archive for August 20th, 2013

carven into

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Getting back home is what its all about.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My travels routinely find a humble narrator in far flung corners of the megalopolis which are remote from the north western corner of Queens wherein one dwells. Whatever event has carried me to these impossibly distant locations, it is paramount in my mind that I need to get back home to Queens and Our Lady of the Pentacle and my little dog Zuzu. Often will I find myself, as above, on a Staten Island Ferry looking through the ridiculously long transit tunnel which will provide me with a solution to this problem.

They used to carry cars on these boats, y’know, now this section is just for bicycles.


Deckhands said Ms. Bayer, sitting at the wheel of the car at the head of a sleepy line of drivers, appeared to have dozed off as the ferry lumbered across the harbor, just as the sun was turning the sky into a pink and orange patchwork of clouds. But as the ferry approached the terminal on Staten Island and the crew lowered the black metal gate, the deckhands said, Ms. Bayer was apparently jolted awake. The car began rolling, but the John F. Kennedy was not yet in the dock.

”It took off like a rocket,” said Kevin Hennessey, a deckhand. ”It was like something out of the movies.”

The first mate, Mickey Mardikos, said the car screeched ”and she went flying through the gate.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

With all the track work and repairs occurring on the weekends, it can be a real hassle getting to and from Queens. Ironically, I live not more than a mile from the transit hub which is Queens Plaza, but getting from Lower Manhattan to this spot on a saturday can often entail multiple transfers and “thinking on your feet.” Recently, it took me around a hour and forty five minutes to get from the Staten Island Ferry Whitehall terminal to Astoria, a distance I could have walked in around two and half hours.

Incidentally, the chronology quoted does not incorporate waiting for the train(s) to arrive, nor walking to and from the stations- it’s actual “on the train time.” Adding this time in makes taking the train anti competitive to just hoofing it. The closer you get to Queens, the more barriers and “gotchas” you hit.

from wikipedia

Queens Plaza is a plaza located on Queens Boulevard, between North and South Plaza streets, in Long Island City, Queens. The plaza is overlapped by an elevated railway transit (which was constructed in 1914), with the Queensboro Bridge starting on the western edge. It has a subway stop for the E M R trains at the Queens Plaza station below ground along the eastern edge, and the 7 <7> N Q trains at the Queensboro Plaza station above the west central part of the plaza on elevated tracks.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Many have commented to me that I should just “accept the things I can’t control” and roll with it. It’s “nobody’s fault” and this necessary series of repairs are just a part of life in the big city.

I always respond, while ruminating on how much I’d rather be at home amongst the rolling hills of almond eyed Astoria, that moving around within Manhattan remains a cakewalk. It’s the connections with Queens that always seem to be problematic. Politicians offer that there is always the East River Ferry, which leaves you off at second street in LIC in the middle of nowhere at Hunters Point and runs on an hourly schedule during the weekend. They then say “Citi Bike” as if it means something.

May I offer that there is no such thing as a weekend in NYC anymore, and that anything which keeps me away from Our Lady of the Pentacle and my little dog ZuZu is sure to draw my ire?

Also, it is H.P. Lovecraft’s birthday today, he would have been 123 years old had he joined with Father Dagon and Mother Hydra in the cyclopean and many-columned street of Y’ha-nthlei, the subaqueous city of the Deep Ones.

from wikipedia

Homesickness frequently occurs when one travels and may be exacerbated by unfamiliar environments or foreign cultural contexts. Homesickness is especially common in youth. Young people may experience a sense of dread, helplessness, or separation anxiety on their first day of school, summer camp, or on a protracted summer vacation away from the family. Many first-year students at boarding schools or universities also experience homesickness. Some new members on military basic training and members on missions or deployments might also experience it.

Want to see something cool? Summer 2013 Walking Tours-

The Poison Cauldron of the Newtown Creek – Saturday, August 24, 2013
Newtown Creek walking tour with Mitch Waxman and Atlas Obscura, tickets now on sale.

Written by Mitch Waxman

August 20, 2013 at 7:30 am

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