The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

flung carelessly

with one comment

High flying, somewhat minimalist Wednesday is here.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Last week I had to conduct a walking tour of Newtown Creek, specifically my Infrastructure Creek tour, for Atlas Obscura. It was on that crazily misty day, and luckily I was able to conclude the thing before the fog broke and turned into a drenching rain. The walking tour ends at the waterfront in Hunters Point, where the final gyrations of the big real estate build out which have occupied the area for the last 15 or so years is playing out. Lots and lots of tower cranes are installed, and are busily at work on the new apartment buildings which will complete the Hunters Point South development.

These really are incredible machines, these cranes. Big, too.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A smaller, and self propelled, crane was available for inspection nearby the tower crane and construction site pictured at top. This would be one heck of a ride, in my eyes, and getting the weekly shopping and laundry chores up the stairs would be vastly simplified. I imagine it would be difficult to park, however.

Hey, are there any advocate groups out there fighting for dedicated “crane lanes”?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

This kind of fire hydrant has lived up to its design specifications exactly. The old school hydrants with the fluting and rounded tops are directly welded onto the pipe in the ground, and when they get knocked over by a truck or whatever, DEP has to shut off the main feeding the entire line. These new school ones, on the other hand, are connected to a valve above the pavement, and designed to pop off the pipe when a truck or car backs into them. All DEP has to do is shut the valve and file a work order for a crew to come and reconnect the hydrant.

Modern design, huh?

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Buy a book!

In the Shadows at Newtown Creek,” an 88 page softcover 8.5×11 magazine format photo book by Mitch Waxman, is now on sale at for $30.

Written by Mitch Waxman

December 18, 2019 at 2:00 pm

One Response

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  1. There’s a not so subtle metaphor buried alongside that hydrant about being an outmoded relic without a use or apparent obvious function to younger generations.

    Tommy Efreeti

    December 30, 2019 at 2:37 pm

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