The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Archive for October 2015

yellow paw

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A few randoms, in today’s post.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

An assertion which has been offered on several occasions… it’s actually more an observation or opinion, actually… is that the 7 line of the NYCTA division of the MTA is the most photogenic of NYC’s subways – particularly that stretch that emanates off the Queensboro Bridge heading towards Sunnyside and Woodside. There’s all kinds of delays, crowding, and an angry mob has and continues to form from Queensicans suffering the “7 Train Blues” but for a purely visual bit of candy – the 7 just can’t be beat.

I also enjoy photographing the G, particularly at the elevated Smith 9th street stop in far off Red Hook, but the 7 is tops.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The Carridor, or Northern Blvd. as it is conventionally known, is also one of my favorite spots to wave the camera around – particularly at twilight. Pictured above is a car lot that occupies a triangular property nearby 43rd street. The particulars of Northern Boulevard’s mapping, which sees it sweep around the curvilinear borders of the Sunnyside Yards, creates several oddly shaped properties. There are few rectilinear or squared off lots along its run from 31st street to Woodside Avenue. As it enters Jackson Heights, the road assumes a more conventional path as it moves through Roosevelt and Corona on its way to Flushing.

I’ve walked all of Northern Blvd. between 31st and Citifield, where pedestrian sidewalks disappear nearby the intersection with Ditmars and Astoria Blvd., and can tell you that the section adjoining Astoria, Sunnyside, and Woodside are my favorites – the happy hunting grounds, as it were.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One has been fascinated throughout the summer by a certain Brownfield remediation project underway in Queens Plaza, incidentally. Sometime soon, you will be greeted by post detailing the operations underway at the former West/CN Chemical factory and the efforts being made to raise residential towers on the site. Personally, I would not want to a) live in Queens Plaza, b) live on the site of a chemical factory which was erected on a swamp, c) live within throwing distance of the tens of thousands of automobiles which exit the Queensboro or traverse Jackson Avenue, or d) live within direct ear shot of the 7, N, Q elevated tracks. I wouldn’t mind capturing shots of these trains from the windows of one of these towers, I would add, but wouldn’t want to live there.

I’ll happily take my little spot here in Astoria, although it is never quiet here either.

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Written by Mitch Waxman

October 21, 2015 at 1:36 pm

been decreed

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Scenes from the lugubrious Newtown Creek, in today’s post.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One had to go to Greenpoint to talk to a guy about a thing, recently. The guy in question was my colleague from Newtown Creek Alliance, Will Elkins, and the thing was to pick up some flyers he had printed up for the OHNY Plank Road event we conducted last weekend. We met at the North Brooklyn Boat Club location in Greenpoint’s DUPBO (Down Under the Pulaski Bridge Onramp) neighborhood, and soon I found myself catching a ride with him in a medium sized row boat – outfitted with an electric motor – plying the waters of Newtown Creek.

We were heading for the so called “Unnamed Canal” which is analogous to the intersection of Kingsland Avenue and North Henry Street, which sits alongside a relict DSNY marine waste transfer station. That’s where NCA’s “Living Dock” project is underway.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As the electric engine slowly but surely propelled us along, the FDNY’s “BATT” SAFE Boat (Callsign: WDG3982) appeared behind us. The SAFE Boat platform has been discussed numerous times at this – your Newtown Pentacle – over the years. It utilizes the “weapons platform” concept which has been in vogue in military circles for the last couple of decades, which dictates that you create a single superstructure which can accomplish a variety of basic missions and then customize it to the particular occupation of the user. The NYPD carry towing equipment, the FDNY has water monitors (nozzles that shoot water or foam), and the Coast Guard mounts M60 machine guns to them.

This creates an economy of scale for the procurement of basic replacement parts like screws and engine bits, and creates a large number of trained mechanics who can easily find employment based on their familiarity with the design. The SAFE Boats come in small, medium, and large. The BATT is of the “response boat small” type.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

By all appearances, the BATT was on patrol. It’s officially designated as a “Law Enforcement” vessel everywhere that I checked. Above, the BATT is depicted as proceeding eastward along the Newtown Creek, with LIC’s M1 industrial zone and the SimsMetal Newtown Creek Dock as a backdrop. Presumptively, they were on a regular patrol. It’s likely that this unit is based at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, although there are other Marine unit bases to the north where it might hail from.

As a note, I forgot to take the flyers from Mr. Elkins after returning to land and after having walked to Greenpoint from Astoria to get them. This is one of the many reasons that a humble narrator can best be described as an idiot.

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Written by Mitch Waxman

October 20, 2015 at 12:00 pm

clumsy modifications

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The Newtown Pentacle is back in session.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One has been creeping and crawling about, here in Astoria and in those spaces beyond, in pursuance of certain – lets just call it “esoteric” information. Hidden amongst the dross facts, the conventional interpretations, and the expected interpretations are hints at the true nature of things hereabouts. Dark undercurrents flow beneath the pavement here in the Newtown Pentacle, following ancient pathways which were wisely buried and carefully occluded by those generations for whom the setting of the burning thermonuclear eye of God itself meant naught but shadowed terror. Once, wolves prowled freely across the sunken meadows and painted nocturnal terror across the stinking marshes of western Queens and North Brooklyn. The Dutch, and later the Angles, went to great pains to hunt down and exterminate these canid predators – eventually causing their local extinction.

Who is to say, though, what moved into that niche once occupied by the wolves? Or what old world horrors the seafaring Nederlanders and Britons unknowingly carried here from their far flung journeys to the Far East? The settlers of this area were heretics and rebels, cultists who rejected the orderly religious practices of their times. Did Thomas Case and his followers speak truly when they promised adherents to their bizarre form of Quakerism that bodily transmogrification and eternal life could be attained upon this plane of material existence?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

During the two week interval which saw this, your Newtown Pentacle, enter into a “holding pattern” – your humble narrator has been traveling non stop across the megalopolis in pursuance of carefully hidden reference. Uncommented private libraries have been visited, and the counsel of diabolist and clergy alike have been sought. It is once again the “most wonderful time of the year” as the liturgical wheel rolls towards Hallowmas and Samhain. Those hidden waterways which still gurgle and splash beneath the sunlit streets, dripping into night black grottoes and hidden voids perverted by modernity’s sewage and filth… Do the phantoms of those primeval wolves gather along them even now?

Who can guess, all that there is, that might be buried down there?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The presence of occultists and magick workers amongst us has long been established by multitudinous postings at this and other publications. Long time readers of this – your Newtown Pentacle – will attest to the presence of ritual altars and offerings found along area streets, railway junctions, and even within the gates of the mortuary complexes which distinguish this section of the megalopolis. Consultation with souls braver than myself confirms the presence of subterranean populations of humanity living in abandoned tunnels and forgotten vaults beneath the pavement. Forbidden books suggest that they might not be alone down there, and members of the underground communities refuse to speak, other than in hurried whispers, of things which stalk in the shadows.

It is best, ultimately, that those of us who exist in the open air warmed by the emanations of the burning thermonuclear eye of God itself remain ignorant of such things… or so they say.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Were it to become generally known what exists in the dank earth, amongst the plumes of industrial chemicals and atavist stream beds which litter the deep city, if the truth behind all of those “lost pet” posters were to be acknowledged… It might be enough to depopulate the City of Greater New York and signal the descent of  humanity into madness and the glad acceptance of a new dark age.

The good news in that, however, would be that rents would likely go down.

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Written by Mitch Waxman

October 19, 2015 at 12:30 pm

work round

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Kirby Towing’s Siberian Sea tug, along the Kill Van Kull’s Chemical Coast.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As mentioned, one is taking a short break – hence the singular image which greets you above. Back Monday with new stuff.

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Written by Mitch Waxman

October 16, 2015 at 11:00 am

have studied

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Elizabeth McAllister Tug, Newark Bay.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As mentioned, one is taking a short break – hence the singular image which greets you above. Back soon with new stuff.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

October 15, 2015 at 11:00 am

red whilst

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Staten Island Ferry, New York Harbor.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As mentioned, one is taking a short break – hence the singular image which greets you above. Back soon with new stuff.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

October 14, 2015 at 11:00 am

land adjacent

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Reinauer’s Matthew Tibbets Tug, Newtown Creek.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As mentioned, one is taking a short break – hence the singular image which greets you above. Back soon with new stuff.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

October 13, 2015 at 11:00 am

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