The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

malignity now

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Being careful.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One is operating under the theory that a hang nail could end up being fatal right now, as could a fractured bone or infected pimple. Accordingly, one is being exceptionally “intentional” and paying attention to every action before executing it. Every footfall is considered, as are the various pathways I’m using on my “constitutional” walks. When I find myself heading towards a place where a population of humans might be encountered, an navigational alteration is instituted. Even while scuttling along the familiar 1848 vintage fence lines of First Calvary Cemetery here in LIC’s Blissville section, an area not exactly known for its crowds, one is wary.

Given my notoriously paranoid sensibilities, innate desires for solitude and isolation, and general distrust of the human infestation… well, let’s just say that I’m a bit better prepared for the situation we all find ourselves in than most. Saying that, I’m really worried about the folks for whom “normal” life is psychologically unbearable. There’s a saying which goes something like “in the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king.” I mentioned this to a friend of mine recently, a fine young fellow long diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome (a population of people partially defined by innate social distancing and a severe desire not to be emotionally or personally engaged with or to be physically touched), and commented that he is now poised to lead us all into the future here in CoronAmerica.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The streets in the industrial zone were eerie quiet, but there was still a bit of activity amongst the so called “essential” trades – garbage, trucking, transit. I normally stick out like a sore thumb on purpose, hoping to not get squished by a truck or just being so obsequious while I’m photographing things that the various security guards and cops who notice me figure that I can’t possibly “be up to something.”

That’s the new Koscisuzcko Bridge pictured above, as seen from Review Avenue, with the fence of Calvary Cemetery behind me. Calvary, like most of the cemeteries in Western Queens and North Brooklyn, was created in response to a series of epidemics which swept through NYC at the start of the 19th century. See what I did there? Topical historical reference…

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The drive to eliminate burials in the crowded city center, which were thought to be the cause of several of the Typhus and Cholera epidemics that scythed through the tenements of pre Civil War Manhattan, began with the Rural Cemeteries Act of 1847.

The new law demanded that the denominational religious organizations of the time acquire land outside of Manhattan in pursuance of creating cemeteries for,their flocks. First Calvary was established by the Roman Catholics in 1848, and their funerary operations continued to expand well into the 20th century here in Queens – there’s 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Calvary properties due east of Blissville, over in Woodside.

Pictured above is the former location of the Long Island Railroad’s Penny Bridge station, currently occupied by the green box cars of the so called Garbage Train, where mourners from Brooklyn would enter into Queens for funerary ritual and rite.

Tomorrow, a bit more from Blissville. Stay safe, lords and ladies, and leave some comments for a humble narrator as I could use the virtual company.

Note: I’m writing this and several of the posts you’re going to see for the next week at the end of the week of Monday, March 30th. My plan is to continue doing my solo photo walks around LIC and the Newtown Creek in the dead of night as long as that’s feasible. If you continue to see regular updates as we move into April and beyond, that means everything is kosher as far as health and well being. If the blog stops updating, it means that things have gone badly for a humble narrator.


“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 blurb.com for $30.

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