The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Archive for September 2013

granite portal

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One step forward, two steps back.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Once upon a time, this charming section of Manhattan was home to cattle yards, rendering plants, and an enormous industrial sector which ran on coal. It was described as smokey, stinky, and not very pleasant by the Knickerbockracy. By the time of the Civil War, that had all changed, and this area which came to be called Union Square had begun to gentrify. Shedding itself of dirty or noisome industry is something the folks over in the City have absolutely excelled at over the years. These days, the place drowns in sentiment, seems fairly underutilized, and would benefit from some of the thinking and urban planning which guides the burgeoning shorelines of the East River in Brooklyn and Queens. Have you noticed that there are few buildings around Union Square which are under 20 stories?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Obligation carried one to the Shining City again just last week, for a lunch meeting this time, and I spied this crew of fellows tearing up a substantial chunk of 18th street. They seemed to be having a great time, using esoteric equipment and enjoying a ribald orgy of demolition. When I was a younger and less humble narrator, around the age of 5, my ambition was to drive a bull dozer. It is good to see that, for some, the dreams of childhood did not suffer the brutal euthanasia which mine have. The City people did not seem to notice the crew, presumptively this scene was just another obstacle for them which impeded rushing about and spending. It’s enough to drive one into the arms of a mixologist.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Profoundly unpopular, physically repulsive and societally unacceptable, one such as myself desires nothing more than to be included in things. How one wishes that parties such as the one witnessed in today’s post were the sort of thing for which an invitation might be offered. This looks like so much fun, tearing into the concretized firmament with powerful engines of modern design. Long have I been curious about what might lie below, but such obsessions are denied me, and one can only photograph that which occurs in a brightly lit world illumined by the burning thermonuclear eye of god itself, here in the Shining City.

Upcoming Tours

Saturday- September 28, 2013
Newtown Creek Boat Tour with the Working Harbor Committee- tickets on sale now.

Saturday – October 19, 2013
The Insalubrious Valley of the Newtown Creek with Atlas Obscura- tickets on sale soon.

Sunday- October 20th, 2013
The Poison Cauldron of the Newtown Creek with Brooklyn Brainery- tickets on sale now

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

 

Written by Mitch Waxman

September 25, 2013 at 12:19 pm

suffocating crawl

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Moon crazed scenery in today’s post.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Finally, the swelter and perspiration choked season of summer has ended, as signaled by the appearance of the eye of Hecate in the eastern sky. One such as myself normally enjoys the summer, but the season just passed in 2013 bore more than a passing verisimilitude to tropical climes, weather which produced naught but dripping perspiration and dangerous levels of ennui. The filthy black raincoat has left the closet and hangs upon a hook awaiting a return to duty and its winter campaign. Finally, it is spooky time once again, in the Newtown Pentacle.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Diana is best appreciated when she hangs over the water, say I, lending her bluish glowings to the inky waves of NY Harbor. That glow is the reflected magnificence of the burning thermonuclear eye of god itself, of course, which travels through weird wavelengths on its journey to the water. My little dog Zuzu is often in an odd psychological state during this time of the month. The moon provides a psychological menses for the canine race, during which they are prone to nervous barking and short tempers. Perhaps the keen sensory prowess for which Zuzu’s kind are renowned are cogent enough to realize that which we can or choose not to witness, and that the dogs know something about the planetoid which we dross primates cannot discern.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Selene herself appeared before me recently, her position in the sky during the autumn months is complimentary to the position of Newtown Pentacle HQ upon the earth, and one decided to break out the whole kit and kaboodle to capture her likeness. Using one of my worst (albeit “longest”) lenses, whose already spotty resolution was further degraded by the use of a “teleconverter”, I managed to pull the shot above off somehow. This was a tripod shot, which is a necessity when attempting anything involving the night sky with a somewhat telescopic lens attached. I set the camera to f18, iso 100, and left the shutter open for nearly a full second. The moon is nearly as bright as the burning thermonuclear eye of god itself, despite appearances to the human eye, and it is quite a challenge to capture in a fashion acceptable for one such as myself.

Upcoming Tours

Saturday- September 28, 2013
Newtown Creek Boat Tour with the Working Harbor Committee- tickets on sale now.

Saturday – October 19, 2013
The Insalubrious Valley of the Newtown Creek with Atlas Obscura- tickets on sale soon.

Sunday- October 20th, 2013
The Poison Cauldron of the Newtown Creek with Brooklyn Brainery- tickets on sale now

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

 

Written by Mitch Waxman

September 24, 2013 at 12:59 pm

paternal way

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Everybody gets better reception than me.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Recent obligation called for one to leave the blessed hillocks of Astoria and enter the concrete bunkers which underlie the ancient village in order to participate in the “mass transportation” craze onboard an electrical apparatus maintained by the municipality solely for the express purpose of shuttling the human infestation to and from the Shining City of Manhattan. Ghastly chance demanded that one would be forced into transferring between lines, an abhorrent but clearly foreseen happenstance. One such as myself loathes these intervals of transit, and wonders. What else may there be, lurking about in darkened tunnel and subterranean vault, down there?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My business in the Shining City was plain and predictable, taking place onboard a boat full of the scientifically minded who desired a close look at the battered shorelines of New York City. Your humble narrator spent some time humbly narrating, and the rest photographing. The event concluded, and the blaring cacophony of Times Square presented itself. Choked with phantoms and other tourists who have come here hoping to see something happen, this has always been the section of New York City which one such as myself likes to avoid.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Back on an aluminum and plastic box, which carries an unknown annual tonnage of primate meat to and from the Shining City, everybody around me was busily interacting with their personal tracking devices. In the name of the black goat of the woods, I never though the day would come that cellular radio frequencies would emanate through the powderized rat feces and clouds of fungal spores down here. This is not a good thing.

    Upcoming Tours

Saturday- September 28, 2013
Newtown Creek Boat Tour with the Working Harbor Committee- tickets on sale now.

Saturday – October 19, 2013
The Insalubrious Valley of the Newtown Creek with Atlas Obscura- tickets on sale soon.

Sunday- October 20th, 2013
The Poison Cauldron of the Newtown Creek with Brooklyn Brainery- tickets on sale now

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

 

Written by Mitch Waxman

September 23, 2013 at 12:18 pm

chill current

with 2 comments

Maritime Sunday once more gurgles and splashes into port.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Joan Turecamo, IMO number 7902025, is a 392 ton Tug which was built in 1981 at the Matton Shipyard in Cohoes, NY. She’s owned and operated by the Moran Company, and was recently spotted while onboard a Working Harbor Committee “Newark Bay” tour.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

She was plying the poison waters of the Kill Van Kull, another one of the chemically complex industrial waterways that one such as myself calls home. Kill Van Kull has been referred to as “Tugboat Alley” more than once at this, your Newtown Pentacle, for the enormous number of towing and cargo vessels making their way to and from the titan Port Elizabeth Newark Port complex.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The Moran tug was headed out to the larger harbor when spotted, and seemed to be under full steam while working against the current. A hearty maritime Sunday shout out is offered to the cast and crew of the tugboat Joan Turecamo.

Upcoming Tours

Saturday- September 28, 2013
Newtown Creek Boat Tour with the Working Harbor Committee- tickets on sale now.

Saturday – October 19, 2013
The Insalubrious Valley of the Newtown Creek with Atlas Obscura- tickets on sale soon.

Sunday- October 20th, 2013
The Poison Cauldron of the Newtown Creek with Brooklyn Brainery- tickets on sale now

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

 

Project Firebox 89

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An ongoing catalog of New York’s endangered Fireboxes.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Horror and depredation are denied to those who frequent the corner of 19th avenue and 37th street at the ragged edge of blessed Astoria, nearby the sonorous Steinway Factory. This vermillion vanguard waits, eternally, for the day when its clarion call will summon brigades of the capable, the skilled, and the well trained to snuff out conflagrations. Shine on, oh sentinel of the night watch, shine on.

Upcoming Tours

Saturday- September 21, 2013- TODAY
13 Steps Around Dutch Kills Walking Tour with Atlas Obscura- tickets on sale now.

Saturday- September 28, 2013
Newtown Creek Boat Tour with the Working Harbor Committee- tickets on sale now.

Saturday – October 19, 2013
The Insalubrious Valley of the Newtown Creek with Atlas Obscura- tickets on sale soon.

Sunday- October 20th, 2013
The Poison Cauldron of the Newtown Creek with Brooklyn Brainery- tickets on sale now

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

 

Written by Mitch Waxman

September 21, 2013 at 12:15 am

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