The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

were related

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Where do they get all those wonderful toys?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As mentioned, one had a series of obligations last weekend causing an absence at HQ. Saturday, I conducted a walking tour for Newtown Creek Alliance exploring the more populous sections of Newtown Creek along the East River. Sunday, NCA was engaged in an event at the North Brooklyn Boat Club (I’ll tell you about that one tomorrow) and after that concluded – my lonely walk home carried me through Hunters Point and the western end of the Queensboro Bridge complex.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It’s a fairly complex operation, getting a decent shot under Queensboro. Sepulchral shadow cast by the bridge itself is coupled with the crazily bright light pouring in from the surface roads surrounding it. The City uses a few of the areas under the bridge for vehicle and equipment storage, and as an assembly workshop for municipal projects.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

This particular scuttle under the bridge revealed that the DOT (presumptively) is assembling street benches here, currently. These aren’t the street benches of my youth, of course, which were the concrete and wood affairs that you’ll still commonly observe in City Parks. These are the new fancy metal jobs. The old school ones once lined the avenues and boulevards of NYC, but were largely removed sometime during the Koch administration to discourage their usage by the homeless.

For one reason or another, the City government has always been obsessed with discouraging vagrants from sitting down or napping, and with persecuting skate boarders. Bicycles on the sidewalk – that’s fine. Go figure.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

On a similar note, last week I discovered where the DSNY Litter baskets are kept. A huge number of brand spanking new ones were observed on North Henry street in Greenpoint. Luckily, they haven’t been brought into service yet, as that would mess them up.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Upcoming Tours –

May 3, 2015 –
DUBPO, Down Under the Pulaski Bridge Onramp
with Newtown Creek Alliance Historian Mitch Waxman, a free tour offered as part of Janeswalk 2015, click here for tickets.

May 31, 2015 –
Newtown Creek Boat Tour
with Working Harbor Committee and Newtown Creek Alliance Historian Mitch Waxman, click here for tickets.

2 Responses

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  1. I remember those old concrete and wood street benches. We had one at the Triboro Coach Q-38 bus stop on our 63rd Drive corner in Rego Park. It was great to sit on waiting for the bus, especially if it was late as it often was. No shelter from the rain but we didn’t mind. We had never seen a bus stop enclosure back then. The bench first had its wood slats broken and the city finally removed the two concrete stanchions four or five years later. Supposedly they were two expensive to keep replacing the wooden slats. We figured they just did not want to bother.

    That was the 1970’s when the New York was nose diving into decrepitude. By the 1980’s, the city was falling apart and crime skyrocketing. Then 20 years of Giuliani and Bloomberg turned the city around. NYC is now safe, clean and expensive. It’s fashionable now to criticize those two mayors as being autocrats, but we are all in their debt for the better city we now live in. How long that will last remains to be seen with Mayor de Blasio at the helm.

    Elected by what he calls a landslide victory in getting a whopping 12% of the votes, he seems determined to rescind the remarkable improvements of his two predecessors and return the city to the bad old days of 1980. Every politician and community activist is clamoring for control over the NYPD. New York has the best police force in the world, but if you listen to the media, you would think it is a branch of the Ku Klux Klan. The crime rate has already started to rise. Give it time, but he should be able to get crime back up to where it was.

    BTW, those fancy new aluminum benches are pretty, but my 63rd Drive bus stop will never get one. I’d be glad to get back the concrete and wooden one of days long past.

    Scooter Debouter

    April 22, 2015 at 8:24 pm

  2. […] tropical bird was noticed that was suffering from neglect in “Nearby Where,” and “Were Related” revealed where the City government stores a bunch of its gear under the Queensboro Bridge […]

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