The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Archive for September 15th, 2020

inhuman squeals

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

My recent walks have been far ranging. In a post Zuzu the dog world, one has been able to resume being out of the house for hours and hours as I don’t have to provide her with the acute care and attention she required during her decline. Accordingly, one has been poking his lens into all sorts of places and really burning the shoe leather up. I’ve got an app on my phone which approximates the mileage and “number of steps” it accompanies me through. Resumption of my old “one day out, one day in” schedule has occurred, and a predominance of my time and attentions are being focused on the Newtown Creek again.

According to an app on my phone, which is expertly programmed to guilt me out, I’m walking a bit less than I was this time last year. This time last year, however, you actually had to go to meetings rather than log into them, and those meetings usually take place miles and miles from HQ, and there wasn’t a respiratory plague going around. App chiding notwithstanding, the stamina and ability to march around for six to eight hours at a pop have recently returned. Hibernation is bad for you.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Literally “DUKBO” or “Down Under the Kosciuszcko Bridge Onramp” in Maspeth is where this shot was gathered. Construction on the bridge is more or less finished at this point, but they are still turning the odd screw and tweaking this or that.

This is the 2.1 mile mark on the Newtown Creek, as in it’s that far back from the East River where I was standing. The Penny Bridge site is visible in the shot above.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The former property of Phelps Dodge, which occupied this section of the creek in one corporate guise or another for more than a century, the water quality in this area is both complex and poor. The original 19th century owner of this property was General Chemical, which manufactured several exquisitely toxic but lovely chemical cocktails here but their mainstay was sulfuric acid. Phelps Dodge turned the acid factory into a copper refinery, which persisted here well into the late 20th century. There’s a food wholesaler based here now.

Apparently they’re down a shopping cart.

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, September 14th. 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 here, 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 for $30.

Written by Mitch Waxman

September 15, 2020 at 11:00 am

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