The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

guards around

with 4 comments

I remember…

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There used to be others… They had distinctive faces, but I can’t remember what they looked like anymore. Some were tall and ugly, others short and pretty, and they came in a variety of sizes and colors. That was then, before the masks and the sirens. Now, it’s just me, wandering in wan darkness towards weird illuminations and through the abandonments. The concrete devastations remain the same, as does their odor.

One has finally worked out the correct procedure for capturing the queer lighting of the new Kosciuszko Bridge, but who might know? The shot above depicts the span, alongside the garbage train, on Review Avenue in Blissville and across the street from a polyandrion which is called Calvary by the Roman Catholics.

The weather was chill, my urethral bladder full, and hurt did my left foot do. Other than that, a humble narrator was having a grand old time. I’ve always opined that what this city needed was a good plague, and here we are.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

When you really want to embrace hopelessness, despair, and truly commune with how screwed we all are right now – talk to a history boy like me. I’ll tell you about historical plagues – civilization enders all – which lasted for hundreds of years. The so called Plague of Justinian is my go to for that sort of thing, and it really wipes the smile off of listener’s faces. Calvary Cemetery, pictured above, actually owes its existence to a series of epidemics that scythed through early 19th century NYC, resulting in the Rural Cemetery Act of 1848.

Of note during our current collective storyline, the NYS Anti Mask Law of 1847 is going to end up having some dire consequence with all of us walking around with masks on, I fear. NYPD was enforcing that one as late as 2011, during the “Occupy Wall Street” protests. Did you also know that’s it’s illegal to keep a goat in your apartment in NYC? I’m not judging if you do keep a goat, after all what a person does inside the confines of their residence isn’t for me to judge, but it is technically illegal. Same thing with owning a ferret. Sodomy is kosher, though.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Closer to home, and actually on my way back home to Astoria, I was attracted by the glowing white cruciform adorning the fortress like walls of a mega church on 37th Avenue. It’s the New York Presbyrterian church, as a point of fact, and just for the history boy trivia folks – 37th Avenue used to be called Dutch Kills Street prior to the creation of the Sunnyside Yards. The congregation is largely Korean in ethnicity, I’m told, and the building that the church is housed in used to be an industrial laundry operation. In 1999, a 1,500 seat sanctuary was added to the prexisting complex.

Said complex was built in 1931 for the Knickerbocker Ice Company‘s Laundry division, which inhabited the space until 1970. The Naarden Perfume Company was then based in the space until 1986, whereupon the building was sold to the church people. Apparently, the size of the congregation qualifies this as a “mega church,” which is a fun thing to say out loud in full Brooklynese. Try it. May Gah Choich.

There used to be others…

Note: I’m writing this and several of the posts you’re going to see for the next week at the beginning of the week of Monday, April 27th. 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 for $30.

4 Responses

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  1. Did you notice the new row of graves in the Calvary Cemetery to the left of where your first pic was taken, further up on Laurel Hill Blvd.? For decades there was space there for a small row of graves and I guess this latest plague let them squeeze in a few new bodies there.

    They seemed to be all buried within the same timeframe.


    April 27, 2020 at 3:42 pm

    • I have, no doubt Corona deaths. Calvary spent a good part of the last couple of years uprooting roads all over their property to make room for new interments, coincidentally. A problem they have, shared by many older cemeteries which are “full,” is that most of the people in the ground there have no living relatives willing to pay for perpetual care. The cemetery assumes the cost, but without new interments, there is no income to support grounds keeping or security budgets.

      Mitch Waxman

      April 27, 2020 at 3:46 pm

      • Mitch, what’s it cost these days to get “interred” at Calvary? Including “perpetual care”? Can just anyone be buried there or does a parish priest have to give an ok? How’s this all work? Any Jews or atheists buried there?

        georgetheatheist . . . dig we must

        April 27, 2020 at 10:55 pm

      • Cost? not a clue. Same for pc. Permiss? I think you just need to own a plot. Undoubtedly there are jews and atheists there, but it’s officially catholic and therefore you need to have a catholic priest do the services. Good questions. The offices are in Woodside, under the highway that divides Calvary 2 and 3

        Mitch Waxman

        April 27, 2020 at 11:21 pm

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