The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

altered youth

with one comment

Like every other piece of wind blown trash, I always end up at Newtown Creek.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

God, how I love it so – the wastelands of Long Island City at night. One can just let it all hang out, laugh maniacally without scaring the neighbors, and embrace the dissolution and horror of it all here at the titular center of the great urban hive. The Coronavirus wouldn’t last two seconds around here, as far nastier and better established pathogens would beat the crap out of the newcomer. Hand sanitizer? Look where I like to hang out on a Saturday night. Hand sanitizer would bubble, boil, and froth if you poured it on the sidewalk here in Blissville.

The good news about all this pandemic panic is that I finally have an excuse to not have to shake hands or exchange hugs with the humans. Nepenthe.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s Green Asphalt pictured above, a company whose raison d’être is the 2010 Solid Waste Management Act, dictating that NYC can no longer use landfills to dispose of road surfacing materials. When the contractors working for the NYC Department of Transportation scrape away a road’s armor, the milled materials are transported to Green Asphalt or a similar operation where the stuff is heated up and mixed with a small amount of new product. The resulting mass of steaming goo is then used to repave a street, often the very same street it’s was just milled off of.

That’s called recycling, baby, recycling.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Green Asphalt is found on one of my very favorite streets in Queens, Blissville’s Railroad Avenue. Why do I like it so very much? Could be those jet black cats with the glowing yellow eyes. Also might be the railroad tracks which give the street its name, or the ghosts of industrial titans like Fleischman’s Yeast, Van Iderstine’s rendering plant, or even the lesser branches of the Haberman family tree which used to stretch out hereabouts. I like darkness, and solitude, so there’s that too.

It’s hard to find a place in NYC where you can be truly alone, but one such as myself is always alone, even in a crowd.

“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.

One Response

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  1. “That’s called recycling, baby, recycling.”

    So a contractor uses the energy in fuel to grind down the pavement then transport the ground up pavement to a processing plant where more energy is used to re-process the material, call it “green” to make it sound cool and nobody asks further questions. Then re-pave the whole section of street with, uh..what percentage of recycled stuff with new stuff, baby? How efficient in yielding usable product from the stuff brought back from site is this process?

    Of course, the new pavement lasts what, 5 years or so, not counting the spots where the soil underneath the pavement washes out that never gets addressed properly. Then the whole shebang starts again. Of course, nobody ever asks about better paving material that lasts longer or if the street can be re-paved in smaller sections where the problems are instead of blocks upon blocks whether needed or not.

    It is thus as we here in our glorious People’s Banana Empire of New York are in the business of continually making business through re-monetizing shoddy work. Yeah, that’s recycled crony capitalism with taxpayer money, baby!


    March 12, 2020 at 10:37 pm

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