The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

must each dwarf

with 3 comments

“They rob, kill and plunder all under the deceiving name of Roman Rule. They make a desert and call it peace” – Tacitus

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Moving through lower Manhattan, the long time New Yorker cannot help but notice the changes to the area beneath the FDR drive. One remembers a day when this area was used for parking, and also served as a camp for homeless folks. My mental picture of this spot – a dank, dark, dripping waterfront mess infested with dangerous, and often addled or demented, primates – was forged in the 1980’s, so admittedly – it’s thirty years out of date. I also remember a day when Carvel Ice Cream shops were ubiquitous.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

What you’ve got down here in modernity is a very well used “sort of” park or public space. There’s “model chicks” jogging around in yoga pants, “stock broker” guys leading tiny dogs around on leads, and lots of people lounging about. Pier 11 has become a sort of commuter hub these days, and there are hot dog carts and other vendors set up under the highway who charge $4 or more for a bottle of Snapple Iced Tea. CitiBike has one of its bike share racks in the area, and South Street has accordingly had bike lanes deducted from it. Al Smith would hardly recognize the street he grew up on.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

In contrast, there’s Queens. This is the 7 elevated subway pictured above, as it leaves Court Square toward Hunters Point in LIC. Now, this is the same block which 5ptz once occupied, and one wonders if – when the luxury condos which will replace the art institution open – some future version of myself will say that they remember an earlier iteration of reality. Of course, many have told me that I watch too many movies, but I’d really love to be able to see the future as well as the past.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Upcoming Walking Tours-

Saturday, October 25th, Glittering Realms
Walking Tour with Atlas Obscura, click here for tickets and more info.

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Written by Mitch Waxman

October 24, 2014 at 11:00 am

3 Responses

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  1. Do you also remember the Good Humor man?

    georgetheatheist . . . a coconut pop, please

    October 24, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    • I actually was a Good Humor man for a summer back in high school. Drove one of the old school trucks with the open driver compartment and the big freezer. Had one of those change belt things too.

      Mitch Waxman

      October 24, 2014 at 12:37 pm

      • My first job at age 16 was as a Good Humor man during the summer months. I made $30 profit a week. Had a hand cart that I pushed through the streets of Astoria. The garage was around 37th Street just north of Northern Blvd. I still remember the “burn” of handling the dry ice.

        georgetheatheist . . . a coconut pop, please

        October 27, 2014 at 1:12 pm


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