The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

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Still no rat hordes, but I’m a-hoping.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As described yesterday, a recent walk found one on the western end of Railroad Avenue in the Blissville section of Long Island City. Some people ignore the 10,000 or so industrial jobs and the businesses which employ them along the bulkheads of the Newtown Creek. That’s where I come in, My name’s Waxman, I carry a camera. The weather in NYC was cool, and I was working out of Newtown Creek Alliance’s Queens Division. Reports from Federal Authorities have warned about hordes of ravenous and cannibalistic rats of unusual size, so I was patrolling the tracks of the Long Island Railroad Lower Montauk Line in search of them. The garbage train parks here.

Thankfully, things were uneventful, and I moved on. This is based on a true story.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

On my way home to the rolling hills of almond eyed Astoria, one eschewed the normal path back and instead proceeded northwards from Blissville through the “Crane District” of industrial Maspeth. Neither the Dept. of NYC Planning nor Google Maps have caught up with my daring nomenclature quite yet, still referring to the “Crane District” as “West Maspeth” or “Laurel Hill,” and only a few esthetes and scholars use the archaic “Berlin.” Savages.

Why do I call it the “Crane District”?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A heady mix of socialism and an indignant vendetta against societal norms have infected me with the need to tear away at the foundations of society, and rename places according to whatever whim strikes me. There are no cranes here, that’s fake news.

In all seriousness, though, people still live hereabouts, in the Crane District. There’s private homes all over the place.

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, June 8th. 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.


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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.

2 Responses

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  1. The area is pocketed with cranes, but I don’t know if they’ve mushroomed enough to deserve the District categorization, which implies perhaps a greater clustering within a smaller area than the reality of the place suggests, in my humble two kopeks.

    On another note, you say you “proceeded 𝐧𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐡wards from Blissville through the “Crane District” of industrial Maspeth”

    ..I’ve always considered Blissville to be the sliver of an area sandwiched south of the 495 and east of the newtown creek, from around north of the Greenpoint ave bridge and down to the Koscuiuszko underpass (separate from the cemetery, and being bounded westward by railroad ave, south-east-ward by laurel hill, and north by borden)…

    So how could you have been heading 𝘯𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘩 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 Blissville, through Craneville, when this pocket with the cranes (around 54th Rd/Av) is on the 𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐬𝐢𝐝𝐞 of the BQE, to the east of Blissville, at the extreme northwestern limits of Maspeth?

    Just saying, that’s my own personal mental geography of the area, and of course yours may differ…but it doesn’t jive, so my brain picked up on it.

    Tommy Efreeti

    June 10, 2020 at 10:18 am

    • Blissville: Creek to LIE is East west, Borden Avenue to Laurel Hill Blvd. Crossing under K Bridge, you’re in West Maspeth as soon as you’re on 43rd street admittedly follows a north eastern path that mirrors the BQE to 48th. The BQE cul de sacs the Crane District, w 48th street allowing northward access to Woodside/Sunnyside and eventually Astoria.

      Mitch Waxman

      June 10, 2020 at 12:01 pm


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