The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

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with 11 comments

Flushing Bay, in today’s post.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Last week I attended a meeting thrown by the NYC Parks Dept. detailing their $35 million dollar upgrades to the World Fair Marina in Flushing Bay. The plans involved relocating and rebuilding one of the docks, installing a new facility house and refueling dock, and installing a bunch of new street furniture on the public sections of the marina (benches, lamp posts etc.) It was my kind of meeting, truth be told, where the government people deliver their information in a punchy and well organized fashion, and public commentary is offered in a businesslike and terse fashion. My main interest in attending revolves around a long term bit of advocacy for Newtown Creek’s Queens shoreline which I’ve been working on, namely the creation of a similar marina on the Newtown Creek coastline Long Island City, and I wanted to take a look at “how it’s done” in the modern era.

Afterwards, a bit of time was spent outside with the camera and tripod, shooting into foggy darkness.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Just like the Dutch Kills tributary of Newtown Creek, the NYC DEP has been experimenting with the installation and planting of greenery, specifically Saw Grasses, in the littoral zones at Flushing Bay. Littoral means the intertidal area of the shoreline, and they’re engaged in the project for the same reasons that they are at Newtown Creek – mitigating the long term environmental consequences of an abundance of their Combined Sewer Outfalls on the waterway. DEP, or the New York City Department of Environmental Protection if you must, inherited a messy combination of underground pipes from precursor agencies when their organization was created during a 1983 City charter revision, many of which were installed in a hodge podge manner and prior to the Federal Clean Water act.

Due to the outfalls, a lot of raw sewage has historically found its way into area waterways, and the section of Flushing Bay nearby LaGuardia Airport and the World Fair Marina is notoriously and reliably smelly. The creation of these engineered wetlands is an attempt to harness the curative powers and mechanisms of nature in pursuance of fixing a manmade problem.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

This is the section of the north shore of Queens which isn’t forbidden, as a note. There’s a NYC Parks property which sits between the water and the Grand Central Parkway called the Flushing Bay Promenade. It’s 1.4 miles long, starts at the equivalent of 27th avenue, and is a modern addition to the Flushing Meadows Corona Park facility whose creation was funded by the NYC DEP in return for Parks allowing them to build a sewer retention tank in the main park.

When it warms up a bit, I plan on bringing the camera back out here to the promenade and do some exploring.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

January 14, 2019 at 11:00 am

11 Responses

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  1. Was there any mention of the two candela structures left over from the 64 WF?


    January 14, 2019 at 11:29 am

  2. Well that’s spellcheck for you

    Mitch Waxman

    January 14, 2019 at 3:21 pm

  3. Cav’s World’s Fair/Flushing Meadows Corona Park trivia challenge:

    1) There are 7, arguably 8 remaining 1964-65 World’s Fair pavilions built specifically for the 64/65 WF. Who can name them all?

    2) There are 2 remaining 1939-40 World’s Fair buildings, one a pavilion and one not. What are they?

    3) Who can name the 2 additional remaining 1964-65 World’s Fair buildings that were not pavilions?

    *Extra Credit*: How many World’s Fairs/Expos were held in New York City, what years were they held and the locations.

    PTU’ers, I know you know the answers.

    Donald Cavaioli


    January 14, 2019 at 3:36 pm

    • New York State is the most obvious 64 pavilion. Then there is the Hall of Science, the Top of the Fair Port Authority Pavilion, There’s some kind of bird cage dome in the Queens Zoo, Is the Arthur Ashe or Louis Armstrong stadium originally the Singer Bowl? AS for the 39 WF, there’s still a little bit of the Aquacade with the boathouse, and of course the Queens Museum as part of the NYC Pavilion, What am I missing?

      peter (@peter24210275)

      January 15, 2019 at 9:25 pm

      • Great!
        The Post Office over by the new pool and ice rink.


        January 16, 2019 at 12:52 am

      • There’s not much left of the original Singer Bowl unfortunately and we could also include the WF Marina candela as it was sort of the Coast Guard pavilion or information center which I didn’t originally include and also Hertz Rent a Car had a small building/office at the bottom of the Port Authority/Terrace on the Park which is still there.

        The 1964 WF administration building is still there and the maintenance building over by the Avery Ave entrance near the Home Depot


        January 16, 2019 at 1:10 am

  4. Answers are beyond my ken but I do enjoy learning new words like ‘littoral’ on the esteemed Pentacle.

    Tommy Efreeti

    January 30, 2019 at 1:45 pm

  5. Thank you so much for providing your exploration notes of this area! I had been meaning to do some night shots around the promenade so your words and pictures helped give me an idea of what to expect as in headed there in a few hours! Insta: @quadlow


    May 25, 2019 at 4:46 pm

    • Good hunting, wear a safety vest (construction worker style), watch out for traffic, be aware of your surroundings as far as other people. Send me a link when you post, would love to see what you get.

      Mitch Waxman

      May 25, 2019 at 4:52 pm

      • Thanks and will do!

        Matthew D Mathias

        May 25, 2019 at 5:08 pm

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