The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

horrible swaying

with 8 comments

In the cold waste.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One is preoccupied, driven to distraction actually, by the Big Little Mayor’s announcement yesterday that he will be using the full power of City Hall to drive the decking over of the Sunnyside Yards and the subsequent installation of a housing complex in that space which would eventually be home to some 30,000 people. It reminded me that I like “gridlock” and “divided government” as it keeps epically bad ideas like this from coming to fruition. The price of decking the yards, alone, runs into the hundreds of billions, for instance. The term “affordable” is determined using a federal formula called the “average median income” or “AMI” which will average together the income and tax data gathered within a set area and calculate what “affordable” means. This area will include the Upper East Side in Manhattan, where the Wall Street people live, which means “affordable” will translate into $50,000 or more in rent a year. The term “affordable housing” is a shell game, and the money would be better spent repairing the decaying NYCHA system.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Robert Moses threw his hands in the air at the idea of decking the Sunnyside Yards, saying that it was just too complicated. So did Nelson Rockefeller. A cultic group of urban planners, however, refuses to give up on the idea. Currently led by Dan Doctoroff, the right hand man of the Big Little Mayor’s analogue for Satan – Michael Bloomberg – these planners salivate at the idea of setting up an ideal community. Towers in the park, as the crypto fascist LeCorbusier would have described it. They use Starrett City as an example? Have you ever been to Starrett City? I have, and I don’t plan on going back to that impersonal collection of Soviet style apartment blocks ever again. Density is a good thing? How about we dense up the sections of Manhattan rife with four story town houses like the Upper East Side?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’ve been wondering what my 2015 was going to hold. Now I know. For those of you reading this at your office desks on Beekman or Chambers streets, start planning on this project not being as much of a slam dunk as you thought it would be. Your worst nightmare, pissing off someone who understands the “system” but isn’t beholden to it, has happened. The Sunnyside Yards project proposal is going to be opposed, vociferously. You can’t fight City Hall? Not on City Hall’s terms you can’t, but this is going to be a street fight, and your expensive suit is going to get very dirty before I’m through. I may call Queens home, but I’m from Brooklyn, and street fights are what we know how to do.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

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Written by Mitch Waxman

February 4, 2015 at 1:00 pm

8 Responses

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  1. You ever hear of the legendary infamous Parkside Gents? (“Parkside” = Astoria Park) Queens had (has?) it’s share of roughnecks.

    georgetheatheist . . . put up yer dukes

    February 4, 2015 at 1:37 pm

    • I haven’t. Was this a 1950’s era social club for wayward youth? We’ve got all kinds of modern “sets” as well. Croats, Albanians, etc.

      Mitch Waxman

      February 4, 2015 at 1:39 pm

  2. I just shared this in a group that grew up in Woodside. I hope you get lots of votes. Thanks for the history on the yards. If Robert Moses couldn’t do it–and damn him he did way too much–I don’t think Doctoroff can.

    Viking Irish

    February 4, 2015 at 4:52 pm

  3. I grew up in Astoria. A mention of the Parkside Gents was enough to chill your spine. A bunch of youth gang members with black leather jackets and maybe zipguns or 2×4’s with nails sticking out of them. They participated in “rumbles” with other nearby gangs.

    georgetheatheist . . . put up yer dukes

    February 5, 2015 at 11:50 am

    • What was this – era wise? 50’s, 60’s, 70’s?

      Mitch Waxman

      February 5, 2015 at 12:22 pm

      • Late 50’s During the bucolic Ike era

        georgetheatheist . . . put up yer dukes

        February 5, 2015 at 9:53 pm

      • Check your email, sent you a link to photos of the gents jacket

        Mitch Waxman

        February 5, 2015 at 9:55 pm

      • I never saw one. Just hoid about them.

        georgetheatheist . . . put up yer dukes

        February 5, 2015 at 9:54 pm


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