The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

dimensional reality

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Looking for it, Tuesday.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Trying to get a shot of “it” has proven more difficult than I thought it would be. One is being purposely vague about “it,” since it cannot possibly exist. A different sort of “it” used to reside in the cupola of the Sapphire Megalith of Long Island City at 1 Court Square – a formless and immaterial monstrosity identified via a three lobed and unblinking eye that didst stare down at the world of men with disdain – but that “it” moved out shortly after the whole Amazon thing fell apart and headed back over to Manhattan. This new “it,” which might actually be a very old “it” if these unverified rumors I’m receiving carry any veracity at all, is something else entirely . It’s all quite intriguing, really.

After possibly sighting “it” in the waters of Dutch Kills, just north of here alongside the Hunters Point Avenue Bridge, one positively boogied over to Borden Avenue to see if “it” might just be hanging about the maritime basin found nearby the 1908 vintage Borden Avenue Bridge.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The shape with what appears to be three glowing red eyes isn’t “it.” That’s just a reflection of a tree mixed in with three lights mounted on the high flying Long Island Expressway. “It” was definitely in the basin, however, evinced by the enormous ripples on the water’s surface and the panicked reactions of those smaller fishies who were schooling about in the dark fathoms there.

As a note, a fathom resolves down to about 1.8 meters or exactly six feet. In the center of the Dutch Kills channel, and it varies, you’re looking at probably 2-2.5 fathoms. At the sides, where shoaling is a serious issue, there are spots where the bottom sediments are exposed at low tide and the depth of the water is in negative fathoms. I’ve never heard anyone else use the term “negative fathoms” so it’s likely I just added something to the English Language again.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One changed locations again, this time picking a spot with some brush cover, thinking that “it” very well might be aware of my silhouette against the night sky, with the sky dome all under lit by the street lamps and automotive traffic. Additionally, some fellow who was walking up Borden Avenue just stopped dead in his tracks about four feet away from me and was staring intently, at both me and his phone, and I got weirded out.

In the end, I didn’t get a shot of “it.” I’m trying though. If your journey carries you to Newtown Creek or its tributaries at night anytime soon, keep an eye out on the water near the shorelines and let me know what you see. It’s out there.

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 29th. 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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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.

One Response

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  1. It’s no exaggeration. This old borough is a strange place with many strange stories of the sort that some old locals know and don’t like to talk about. Sounds a bit Lovecraftian and made up I know but not even HPL dared to venture here. Word was, he did once and was afterwards scared of the place.

    This reminds me of a couple of related stories I heard from old man Smith a few years back. I think you were either with me at the time or I later told you some his tales that were kind of strange. Anyway, I met him through a friend of a friend who said this guy was the great-grandson of Yankee Smith (of Shady Lake farm, south Corona) and had ancestors here in Queens dating back from the mid 17th century. If you want to hear old Queens history, old man Smith was the man to talk to. As an aside, he never did tell me his first name and only wanted to be called Smith. An interesting fellow all the same.

    One of his stories was that the Locust Hill fire wasn’t an accident. It was an attempt to lure something the construction crews excavated into some pit they filled with oil to burn it to death. Somehow the fire got out of control as either they panicked in pouring the oil on it or what they were trying to kill staggered around in flames and lit off the refinery. In the aftermath, they found a couple of half eaten bodies and some scattered parts. Smith said they covered it all up as an accident and the bodies were burnt in half. I think you did a post on this fire a while back.

    The other story was that a colonial era settlement in Maspeth, in Maurice Woods around 1643 that the history books claimed colonists were massacred by the local Mespeatches Indians was bullshit. He said that the Indians shunned that area near the creek, had good relations with the white settlers and ceded that particular territory willingly as they were scared of something that lived there. A thing they refused to describe or name only to say it was evil and severely punished humans who dared enter its domain. Smith claimed he got this story handed down through the generations as one of his ancestors had found the village and the grisly carnage aftermath. He said the villagers were torn apart and looked as if they had been partially eaten. Indians didn’t kill people that way and only got the blame because the colonial authorities at the time refused to entertain the idea that something inhuman and evil was responsible and that scavengers had been chewing on the human remains.

    But Smith was adamant that the Indians didn’t kill those colonists and this story was well known among the locals up through the early 20th century as the older folks died off and were gradually replaced by new generations of immigrants.

    Then there’s the story I heard growing up about the old frame house by the Penny bridge that only appears at night on what is an empty lot during the day and most nights. It’s said that people brave enough to enter it are never seen again. A story for another time perhaps.

    Is it all bullshit? Maybe. An old man spinning some yarns over a couple of beers at a local pub. But I know you’ve seen some unusual things in your wanderings and you might recall some stories of my own hard to explain experiences so maybe it’s not bullshit.

    Donald Cavaioli

    cavi900

    June 30, 2020 at 7:14 pm


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