The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

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More things I am irrationally afraid of in today’s post.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Whilst transversing a vast system of labyrinths, those ones which underlie the shining city, and anxiously awaiting the arrival of a certain chain of electrically driven aluminum and glass boxes whose motive path would carry this humble narrator deep into the expanses of infinite Brooklyn, my attentions became fixed upon this ridiculously steep staircase and the so called escalator it adjoined. The term “Escalator” has always sounded kind of French to me, and anything emanating from what Caesar called Gaul is not to be trusted.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

This particular escalator steeply spans an incredible distance, here in the center of a great human hive which is known as Manhattan. Populations of labor and management utilize it to move between high and low throughout the day, and few realize the existential danger which an individual dares when surmounting one of these Gallic sounding things. Have you ever seen what happens to primates when one of these escalator mechanisms malfunctions?

These stairways to heaven can chew up flesh and bone, inhaling living meat into their spinning gears – spitting out the sort of crimson spray one would expect from a Sam Raimi film – and are capable of reducing a wholesome citizen down into a broken chowder of gruesome countenance in mere seconds. Brrr.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Vertigo inducing, examining this “via subterranea,” with its vastly Euclidean angles, caused a humble narrator to experience no small amount of nausea. The horrible potentialities of “might” or “could” began to overwhelm, and no small amount of nervous energy powered an anticipatory hopefulness that the electrically driven chain of aluminum and glass boxes might hasten their arrival at the platform, announced by the usual piston blast of powderized rat feces driven before them and gathered enroute via pneumatic action. One such as myself no longer feels disappointment, as it is my fate to experience only a lukewarm existence, but I was crestfallen when no sign of relief thundered in.

Darkness began to creep into the periphery of my vision as I pondered the possibility of falling up, instead of down, this soaring flight of mechanically moving steps.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Afraid of the dark- a humble narrator always carries a variety of portable lights with him, just in case of the unplanned absence of light on my daily round. When I stop to think of all that must scurry about within these tiled walls of rotting cement, the untold things which slither amongst those shadowy pillars of concrete, iron, and brick which encase and imprison the trackways, it is enough to drive one to the gates of a madhouse forthwith.

Upcoming Tours

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

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

October 15, 2013 at 7:30 am

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