The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

nether earth

with 4 comments


– photo by Mitch Waxman

With great solemnity and a terror quickened gait did a humble narrator dance along the Borden Avenue Bridge, spanning the Long Island City constrained Dutch Kills waterway (tributary of an aqueous ribbon of Municipal neglect and malignant reputation known as the Newtown Creek), scanning the poison depths for any possible sign of “it.” My inquiries regarding “it” initially pointed me in the direction of certain tales told by the aboriginal inhabitants of the Dutch Kills area. Back then, prior to the arrival of the European Colonialists, this section looked quite different. Sub tributaries, tidal streams and pools, swamps, marshes, and all of it teeming with the sort of life that bites and flies and wriggles and lays its eggs in your skinvelope. Of course, we only know this because of the surviving reports of the colonialists who witnessed it, and from scientific studies of geographical bores and depositional stratigraphy offered by their descendants.

While pointing a lens at the waters, with my camera’s sensitivity to ambience turned up quite high, a sudden smacking sound and an energetic splash of water gathered my attentions. Surely, my mind – wrecked from months of quarantine and the worries of societal tumult – was telling me what I wanted to hear. I saw nothing. I did not see “It.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Another bridge, same Dutch Kills tributary of that loathsome cataract of urban industry which the children call Newtown Creek, this time it was the Hunters Point Avenue Bridge – same scanning the putrid surface of the water looking for “It.”

There’s often a mucosa of unknown slimes right on the surface of Dutch Kills in this section, no doubt due to the presence of several high volume open sewers or “Combined Sewer Outfalls.” The pipes found here at Dutch Kills are part of NYC’S wastewater disposal system, extending for miles and miles under and into Queens. Perhaps that’s where “It” goes, which makes me wonder if “It” might be a strictly local phenomena or is it occurring on grander scales in terms of both geography and scale.

Will have to make inquiries – contact and cajole Professional Mariners, gossip with the Dock Workers, shoot the shit with friendly Sewer Smithys…

Wonder if “It” might have any connection to what’s living at the bottom of the East River at Hells Gate in Astoria? If so, “It” might represent something far older than the aboriginal stories encountered by the Colonialists. “It” might even connect with the original human population of the harbor, the so called “Clovis Point” culture whose remains have been observed in the hinterlands of Staten Island.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

With my palpitant heart all a flutter at the canonical heresies now liberally circulating through the cerebellum did a humble narrator stagger forth into the Long Island City night. Along the way, a car carrier truck was noticed and I thought it looked cool so I took a picture of it. That’s what I told the driver when he rolled down his window and asked me I was taking pictures of him for. We both laughed, or at least I did… I think that happened but maybe it didn’t. It’s been so long since I’ve interacted with other people regularly that I’m not sure what I’m saying or doing or what’s even real these days. I’ve got a photo, so at least that’s evidence.

The good news is that despite the weather I’ve been maintaining my regular cycle of photo-walk nights, burning up and grinding down the soles of my shoes. Last week saw an Apocalypse of Zoom meetings (3 Zoom’s = A Holocaust, 6 Zoom’s = An Apocalypse. Don’t do 9 Zoom’s, you don’t come back from 9 Zooms) pop up out of nowhere which I had to attend. I even had to get up early for one of them!

To be seen by so many diminishes one.

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, February 22nd. 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.

“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.

Written by Mitch Waxman

February 22, 2021 at 11:00 am

4 Responses

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  1. 2 things.

    1. You planning to get the virus vacine?. Are you a vaxxer or anti vax?

    2. Have you visited the new Home Depot in Maspeth yet?

    georgetheatheist , , , compos mentis

    February 22, 2021 at 2:50 pm

    • Yes to vaccine, no on depot. I live near the NB one, why would I trek to Maspeth?

      Mitch Waxman

      February 22, 2021 at 3:16 pm

      • Trek? It’s right in your creeklands. You can scuttle by it easily.

        georgetheatheist . . . compos mentis

        February 22, 2021 at 3:38 pm

  2. Love the pic. Any factory building with windows lighted at night from within draws my interest – what’s inside?


    February 23, 2021 at 7:32 pm

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