The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

obstinate retort

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random things I’ve seen.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My pals at the North Brooklyn Boat Club collect bricks and other things they find along the shorelines of the lugubrious Newtown Creek. Historic bricks are a whole topic in themselves, but the ones you find along the creek can be somewhat revelatory, as many of them were used in the furnaces of the industrial revolution. The company which manufactured these so called “refractory” ceramics was founded in 1854, and located on Richards street, between Van Dyke and Beard streets, in Red Hook.

Odds are that it was used for the retort of a manufactured gas plant, based on the sort of discoloring and wear pattern it exhibits. It’s also likely infiltrated with all sorts of heavy metals and arsenic compounds.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Over in Blissville, along Greenpoint Avenue at the corner of Starr, this (reportedly) 1930 model building hosts a deli at the street level and two apartments above. There’s a basement as well, and I’ve found conflicting accounts regarding the date of construction, with NYC’s Buildings Department displaying a “CofO” listing the place as having been first occupied in 1917. The records regarding Queens at DOB are pretty spotty, if you ask me, and I chalk up their inaccuracies to the chaos of LIC & New York City Consolidation.

According to the DOB, the building Newtown Pentacle HQ occupies in Astoria is actually the parking lot of an Italian restaurant in Rego Park, as an example.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

This one is shot from the last car of an N train leaving Queens Plaza, through that trippy lenticular plastic that MTA believes will defeat the armies of chaos. I dream of getting on an N, or Q, with clean windows. It’s part of the reason why I like taking the C, as those older model cars still allow an unimpeded view of the tunnels.

Regardless of optical distortion, I like the shot above for some reason.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Simply put, the shot above describes the proper Brooklyn pronunciation of the word “fifth.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Back in Queens, which is the only place in NYC where a private property owner can get away with hanging his own sign on the pedestrian sidewalk admonishing passerby to make way for his workers and their heavy equipment. Look out for forklifts indeed.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle


Written by Mitch Waxman

February 18, 2016 at 11:00 am

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