The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

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Somehow, everyone gets to where they deserve to be, it’s all very Faustian.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

When one was still considered to have some sort of potential future, in those days of a long ago and wastrel youth, I had a girlfriend who lived in College Point. Problem is that I lived at the border, or angle, between Canarsie, Midwood, Georgetown, and Mill Basin – think exit 11n on the Belt Pkwy. Getting from my place to hers was a drag, but engendered a series of urban driving adventures which one fears to recount – lest the statute of limitations has not expired.

from wikipedia

The Grand Central Parkway (GCP) is a parkway that stretches from the Triborough Bridge in New York City to Nassau County on Long Island. At the Queens–Nassau border, it becomes the Northern State Parkway, which runs across the northern part of Long Island through Nassau County and into Suffolk County, where it ends in Hauppauge. The westernmost stretch (from the Triborough Bridge to exit 4) also carries a short stretch of Interstate 278 (I-278). The parkway runs through Queens and passes the Cross Island Parkway, Long Island Expressway, LaGuardia Airport and Citi Field, home of the New York Mets. The North Shore Towers is situated on the parkway on the Queens-side along the Nassau County border. The parkway is designated New York State Route 907M (NY 907M), an unsigned reference route. Despite its name, the Grand Central Parkway was not named after Grand Central Terminal.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Foolhardy, a few years later I was dating a girl from Short Hills in New Jersey, and the epic drive between two wildly displaced spots (including the first time I drove over Bayonne Bridge on my way home) are fondly held. Both relationships ended badly, and not because of the commute. Rather it was manifestations of my inner corruption, the very worm that gnaws as it were, and I hope they have both expunged me from their official record. I’m all ‘effed up, and Our Lady of the Pentacle is more of a saint than any of you can ever know. Luckily, I’m married to her, so – no commute.

from wikipedia

Interstate 495 (I-495, also known as the LIE or simply the Expressway by locals) is an auxiliary Interstate Highway on Long Island in New York in the United States. The route extends for 71 miles (114 km) from the western portal of the Queens–Midtown Tunnel in the New York City borough of Manhattan to County Route 58 (CR 58) in Riverhead, Suffolk County. I-495 does not intersect its parent route, I-95. However, it does connect to I-95 through I-295, which it meets in Queens. The portion of I-495 in Nassau and Suffolk counties is known as the Long Island Expressway (LIE), a name commonly applied to the entirety of I-495. The section of the route west of the Nassau–Queens county line is also named the Queens–Midtown Expressway west of Queens Boulevard and the Horace Harding Expressway east of Queens Boulevard, though both names are not often used in common parlance and most signage refers only to the Long Island Expressway.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

What I never realized, in those halcyon days of misspent youth when driving through the megalopolis with the windows down and a mix tape from Dave the Skinhead playing loudly, was that the automobile itself will be the death of us all. Just like the central failing of “Obamacare” is the retention of the metaphor of “insurance” in national policy, the central failing of our time is rethinking the idea of engineering environmental and transportation policy around the auto itself. It’s like trying to make a safer gun, and I’m wondering if there really isn’t a better option for personal transportation?

Ahh, what do I know, anyway? I do wonder whether that deli in Short Hills is still there, the one with the “Jersey version” sloppy joes…

from wikipedia

Of all people who commute to work in New York City, 41% use the subway, 24% drive alone, 12% take the bus, 10% walk to work, 2% travel by commuter rail, 5% carpool, 1% use a taxi, 0.6% ride their bicycle to work, and 0.2% travel by ferry. 54% of households in New York City do not own a car, and rely on public transportation.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

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Written by Mitch Waxman

February 7, 2014 at 1:42 pm

One Response

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  1. A word to the wise: never date someone who’s “G.U.”

    georgetheatheist...oughtta know

    February 7, 2014 at 4:02 pm


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