The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

sometimes awed

with 5 comments

The unknown country, East New York,

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As mentioned yesterday, a drive around East New York was on the schedule recently, which was accomplished with frequent Newtown Pentacle opiner “Cav” (take that George the Atheist). Cav met me in Astoria, in his “automobile” and we motored along the Grand Central Parkway to the Jackie Robinson, or Interborough, Parkway in pursuance of a visit to the legend choked locale of East New York.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As described endlessly, your humble narrator is a feckless quisling and vast physical coward, so leaving Cav’s auto was not on the menu. The murder capital of Brooklyn is not a place where you’d like to be noticed carrying an array of electronics including a highly visible DSLR camera, after all. Apprently, the facility pictured above suffered a fire, which somehow terrified me.

Cav laughed at me and my building sense of terror several times as we drove around the neighborhood, which is an area he knew well in his professional capacity. I’ll let him tell you what he did for a living hereabouts, but suffice to say that he was a Municipal employee.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Cav knew this neighborhood like the back of his hand, accordingly, and pointed out several land marks. He indicated that the building pictured above was once the City Hall of John Pitkin’s East New York, before it was agglutinated into the City of Brooklyn, back in 1886.

Apparently, it’s now simply a residence.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Speaking of residences, the housing stock hereabouts was simply awesome. Unfortunately, the likely plans of City Planning, the NYCEDC, and our Mayor don’t include the people currently living in these structures – nor the structures themselves – in their “rezoning” efforts. East New York, which has had a series of targets painted on it for several generations, is currently being targeted by the “Real Estate Industrial Complex.”

Growing hungry, and knowing that the delicatessens of my youth were only a few miles away, I offered to buy Cav lunch if we headed towards the Flatlands/Canarsie/Mill Basin area. Never one to turn down a free meal, Cav pointed the car in a westerly direction and we headed towards Flatlands Avenue and the neighborhoods with which I can speak about with some authority and personal experience.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It was along Glenwood and Flatlands, as we headed west past Starret City, that we began to encounter the horror of the now.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

We encountered some of that “affordable housing” which the Mayor is pushing, as mentioned above. Soulless and barren expressions of architectural banality, they surpassed what my pal Kevin Walsh originally christened as “Queens Crap” or “Fedders Specials” more than a decade ago. Looks like NYC is hell bent on not just repeating but magnifying the mistakes we made in the 20th century. Instead of vertical spires of poverty, we’re building horizontal sprawling poverty.

Cav offered that if the Soviets had created housing like this, even Stalin would have had to deal with riots.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Block after block, the sort of architecture “designed to drive people insane” was encountered at the border of eastern Canarsie and East New York.

As mentioned endlessly, your humble narrator emanates from this neighborhood in Brooklyn and there is only one thing that I can say about this sort of construction.

Eff you, de Blasio, eff you.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

January 28, 2016 at 11:00 am

5 Responses

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  1. “take that George the Atheist”.. . . what did I do to deserve this?

    BTW, I used to work in the nabe as well. How come Cav’s “automobile” has quotes around it?

    georgetheatheist . . . doin' the best possible

    January 28, 2016 at 11:19 am

    • just ribbing ya, you and Cav have been my most frequent commenters over the years and I wanted to make you you jealous that I was hanging out with him. “automobile” or “horseless carriage” is a strange concept to the dedicated pedestrian.

      Mitch Waxman

      January 28, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    • I was a sergeant in the 75 precinct from January 2005 until I retired in May 2013 so I know the streets, got to look inside many of the older buildings (some were pretty cool) on jobs and know where all the good homicides and weird stuff took place.

      It’s an older Toyota Camry so I’d put automobile in quotes around it myself (haven’t finished the resto on my much preferred ’79 MGB yet) but quite necessary to get about where I was exiled to live in Ozone Park.

      “Take that George the Atheist”- Uhhhh…. I don’t think I want to be in the middle of that.

      Don Cavaioli


      January 29, 2016 at 2:04 pm

  2. They are doing the same thing here in Frisco. FRISCO! Of all places, noted for it’s (former) beauty. It’s horrible.

    Fiesta Cranberry

    January 28, 2016 at 4:30 pm

  3. Jealous? Moi?

    georgetheatheist . . . doin' the best possible

    January 29, 2016 at 11:41 am

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