The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

old garden

with 8 comments

You need to get out of the City, every now and then, and commune with nature.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As mentioned in yesterday’s post, a journey to Staten Island was on the menu last weekend. After accomplishing the journey from Astoria to St. George, one found himself whisked away by a municipal vehicle. Not an ambulance driven by men in white coats nor a paddy wagon driven by the fellows in blue shirts, as you might expect, this time it was a white van with a green leaf logo on the side. The NYC Parks Dept. owned this van.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

At our destination, which is vouchsafed by security and controlled access, a somewhat bucolic landscape was encountered. It was sweet smelling, bursting with grasses and trees, and there were critters of all descriptions bounding about. There were literally white tail deer popping in and out of view, ospreys turning in the sky, and bunnies leaping. This was no ordinary meadow, however. This is the built environment you’re looking at, and this was formerly considered one of the worst places upon the entire Earth, a place which my beloved Newtown Creek was actually preferable to.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The only thing that betrays what this spot once was are the bits of methane handling, and sampling, equipment which protrude out of the verge.

Lords and Ladies, welcome to the still under construction Fresh Kills Park, which sits atop the 2,200 acre garbage dump and landfill which NYC operated between 1947 and 2001. The Fresh Kills landfill is the largest man made object upon the entire planet, with hills (or mounds) that rise from 90 to 225 feet above the surrounding terrain.

My kind of place, and luckily, I got invited in to take a few photos.

also – I’m required to state the following, regarding the access which allowed me to capture these photos – “Courtesy of the City of New York. NYC Parks and the Freshkills Park Alliance have made access available for the production of this artwork.” I’m also required to offer this link to and inform that inquiries regarding the park are best sent to

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

August 8, 2014 at 11:00 am

8 Responses

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  1. Is this where the 9/11 remains and debris were dumped, er, land-filled?

    georgetheatheist . . . curious cat

    August 8, 2014 at 11:41 am

  2. to bad there was no effort to capture the methane…. this site, and others like it produce billions of cubic feet of gas, energy we should be putting to good use instead of wasting it and adding to greenhouse gasses.
    great pictures, by the way!!!


    August 8, 2014 at 11:59 am

    • They actually are capturing it, and sell it to an energy company.

      Mitch Waxman

      August 8, 2014 at 1:46 pm

      • Excellent….!

        Jim Kelly

        August 11, 2014 at 12:11 am

  3. Having lived so close to it while it was still the landfill (and oh, smelled it… yes… I think I still can — seared into memory that is), I was curious to see how this project was coming along. I was surprised to find out there -was- a deer population on the Island when I encountered one on a recent hike in the Greenbelt. Nice stuff! I never thought I would ever say, “I can’t wait to go to Fresh Kills!”

    Melissa Martin

    August 8, 2014 at 1:41 pm

  4. […] had been tendered by officials at the NYC Parks Dept. As detailed in several early August posts (here, here, and here), the Parks people have a program which allows artists and photographers to visit […]

  5. […] last time I was at Fresh Kills – described in these 2014 posts: old garden, grassy bank, and shewing much – the procedure saw us leave the private cars outside of the […]

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