The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

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Adrift on seasonal ennui, that’s me.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

T’is not a kind month, December.

Memories of childhood disappointment and debasements, diminished expectations, and dire existential crises are those anniversaries celebrated concurrently with December by one such as myself. Nevertheless, despite the short intervals of daylight, and lowered frequencies of natural ambience, your humble narrator stumbles forth to record the audient void of Queens.

Mainly, I’m looking for rusty stuff like the sign above, which is increasingly hard to find in Long Island City.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Occasion carried me to Hunters Point recently, and specifically that section of the ancient Dutch village which I refer to as Tower Town. Observed, extant, was an installation of some of that “green infrastructure” that area wags and the municipal princeps have been discussing and presenting to the general public as a prophylactic measure against the return of Hurricane Sandy to the Metropolitan area.

It was a tree pit, stoutly fortified against canine degradations, which hosted a plethora of ornamental cabbages.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I noticed cabbage in a Manhattan tree pit recently, and when I saw this installation of leafy plants one began to wonder if ornamental cabbage was “a thing.” My pal Gil over at the Smiling Hogshead Ranch, and the folks at Brooklyn Grange, tell me that we should be growing food everywhere we possibly can, literally every nook and cranny that light and water can reach. But ornamental cabbages? Why not try growing some kale or carrots, here in Tower Town?

I jest, of course, as in city wide aggregate the thousands of tree pits will add up to a significant acreage and offer a not insignificant amount of storm water someplace to go other than into the combined sewer system.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

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Written by Mitch Waxman

December 16, 2013 at 8:30 am

One Response

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  1. Those little plots of cabbage function are apparently known as bioswales –
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bioswale
    As far as I’m concerned, we’re learning together 🙂

    Deniz

    December 16, 2013 at 6:02 pm


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