The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

very haggard

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I miss the old days when “troll” meant you hung out under bridges.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My Monday meander meant saw this wandering mendicant patrolling about half of the East River coastline of Queens this week, and since I had packed my “full kit,” setting up the tripod and all the frammistats and whatsits a few times. That’s future Superfund site Anable Basin in the shot above, which has served as the delineation point and northern border for the hyperdrive real estate development zone of the LIC waterfront for a couple of decades now. That’s about to change.

I’ve got maps of what this zone used to host about a hundred years ago, and I can tell you that there’s a lot of poison in the mud hereabouts which is just itching to leach out and find its way into living organisms. I don’t know if petroleum byproducts could accurately be described as “desirous to join with your liver” but Anable Basin is a good place to find out, so the powers that be are planning to surround it with residential towers.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

DURIBO? Down Under the Roosevelt Island Bridge Onramp… can we just start calling this section of Ravenswood that?

The powers at that be in Manhattan (and their anxious lapdogs in elected office in Queens) have designated Ravenswood, which is the most “Gotham City” of all the place names in the borough of Queens, as being part of a “tech corridor” which will reinvigorate the area from a sleepy industrial zone defined by two massive housing projects with the highest rates of childhood asthma in the United States into a Silicon Valley style eutopia of bicycle commuting technocrats. “Central Planning” has decreed that there will be street level retail, and tower apartments, and that the “Big Allis” power plant will not be noticed.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Waterfront post industrial property is ultra valuable, you see. There’s lots of examples in Brooklyn and here in LIC where endemic environmental concerns have been quietly covered over, remediated, or just ignored. Stick a park on top of the land that’s too expensive to fully clean up, let it be an amenity or “draw” for real estate development sited on spots that you get the State to pony up the money to clean through one of the “brownfield” programs located a few hundred feet back, and “Central Planning” has created another success story.

What do they care if somebody gets sick down the road, as they’ll have moved on to private consultancies and maybe even a good paying job in Singapore by then. The job with “Central Planning” is just another click on their resumes, a notch on their career oriented belts.

Tours and Events

Canal to Coast: Reuniting the Waters Boat Tour. Only $5!
Thurs, August 30, 2018, 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM with Waterfront Alliance

Learn about the origins of Brooklyn’s Erie Basin as the Erie Canal’s ultimate destination, and its current role as a vital resource for maritime industry on this guided tour of Red Hook’s Erie Basin and the Brooklyn working waterfront, departing from and returning to New York Water Taxi’s Red Hook Dock. Tickets here.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

August 22, 2018 at 1:00 pm

One Response

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  1. Central planning in this case means the connected elite, sections of the ruling class and various sundry parasitic interests get to, shall we say, wet their beaks in the public trough through these charade studies and remediation efforts. All these central planning programs and timelines are designed to do just this. It’s all politics.

    The other thing to consider is the pollution level/health risk issue. It could very well be that the planners know that their safe level numbers are to some degree exaggerated and the superfund areas are perhaps not as hazardous as officials would have you believe. The elite who would presumably live in these developments are still of use to the ruling class and as such would not be too quick to sacrifice them on the alter of REBNY greed which in itself is too reductionist as to be the real reason.

    Unless, of course, the central planners subscribe more to social Darwinism that I had thought and figure our species and the world at large would be better off with a few less hipsters. Hard to make that idea sound bad.

    My theory is that this superfund business will play out until enough beaks have been sufficiently wet and the public at large has either forgotten about the brownfield thing or just assumed it to have been fully remediated and then the developers will be let in. The residents, newly imported from flyover country, will be too agog at putting “Brooklyn” as their hometown on facebook and living their Seinfeld lifestyle to notice or care and will, alas, be just fine.

    The true believers in the cause will be left abandoned by the roadside having been used only to further the central planner’s great game. They’ll just have to find some new cause to be incensed about and be used again later by the central planners.

    Don Cavaioli


    August 22, 2018 at 3:13 pm

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