The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Archive for April 5th, 2018

being wakeful

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At Astoria’s edge, in today’s post.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Sunday last, a humble narrator checked the weather forecast and realized quickly that this was likely going to be a fairly ghastly week as far as weather goes, and so packed up the night kit for an evening walk. My destination was not too far from HQ, a pedestrian bridge over the Grand Central Parkway which also overlooks St. Michael’s cemetery.

The shot above looks eastwards from the pedestrian bridge.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s the pedestrian bridge pictured above. While I was shooting this, a bus discharged one of the families staying at the Westway Hotel homeless shelter on the other side of the parkway. They had a kid who couldn’t have been more than five who was absolutely fascinated by what I was doing, although mom and dad couldn’t have cared less that their kid was talking to strangers. Nice kid, I have to say, and I felt bad for him that his family was in the circumstance that they’re in. At least they landed in a shelter based in a neighborhood that has supermarkets and small businesses to find work in, unlike Blissville.

I wished them a happy Easter and got back to my business.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As per usual, I was wearing the high visibility vest, before you ask.

There’s a sidewalk along the local access road alongside the highway (looking westwards above) which is scary as hell to walk down. The crash barriers stop on the other side of St. Michael’s driveway, and then you’re walking down an increasingly narrow sidewalk which in some places is no more than two feet in depth while traffic shoots right past you at speed. I did actually walk it the other night, which in retrospect was kind of a stupid move.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Looking down on cemetery property, lit by street lamps and passing vehicle lights.

The last time I took a shot from this location, probably about five years ago, that grave with the disturbing subsidence and the two safety cones was in precisely the same condition as it is today.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A bit of a longer shot looking south across a row of mausoleums at St. Michael’s. There’s a famous 20th century Mafia Don buried in one of those marble temples, as a note. The actual inspiration for “the Godfather” Vito Corleone, Frank Costello. In 1974, a rival named Carmine Gallante was alleged to have to have detonated explosives at Costello’s grave to settle an old score and announce his return to “the syndicate” after a long jail sentence.

Of course, there’s no such thing as the Mafia.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Looking back towards the Grand Central, eastwards towards the East Elmhurst neighborhood.

The Grand Central is one of the arterial roads built by Robert Moses back in the 1930’s to guarantee high volume usage of the Triborough Bridge’s toll plazas. His engineers carved a trench through Astoria to carry the Grand Central, forever dividing the community into the Ditmars side on the north, and the Broadway side to the south.


Upcoming Tours and Events

April 14 – Exploring Long Island City – with NY Adventure Club.

Long Island City is a tale of two cities; one filled with glittering water-front skyscrapers and manicured parks, and the other, a highly active ground transportation & distribution zone vital to the New York economy — which will prevail?
Tickets and more details here.

April 15- Newtown Creekathon – with Newtown Creek Alliance.

That grueling 13 and change mile death march through the bowels of New York City known as the “Newtown Creekathon” will be held on that day, and I’ll be leading the charge as we hit every little corner and section of the waterway. This will be quite an undertaking, last year half the crowd tagged out before we hit the half way point. Have you got what it takes the walk the enitre Newtown Creek?
Click here to reserve a spot on the Creekathon.


“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

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Written by Mitch Waxman

April 5, 2018 at 11:00 am

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