The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

hieroglyphed dial

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

The Green Asphalt company operates out of a property in the Blissville section of Long Island City, along the inscrutable Newtown Creek. Green Asphalt is in the recycling business, ultimately. When the NYC DOT or its contractors are resurfacing a road, milling machines are brought in first, which scratch away the top layers of “road armor” which are collected in dump trucks. That road armor is asphalt, which is an admixture of concrete and petroleum oil and tar. It seems that asphalt can be renewed, rather than dumped, using an industrial process involving very hot steam and lots of machinery.

Green Asphalt operates within the regulatory framework of NYC’s 2010 Solid Waste Management policy. They divert literally millions of tons of asphalt from expensively going into landfills. They also employ a lot of Unionized Blue Collar employees. Win.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s some of the equipment they have deployed over in Blissville. My colleagues and I from Newtown Creek Alliance were invited to attend a presentation and open site day the company offered. There was a neat shwag bag on offer, and they gave us coffee and sandwiches during the event. The Deputy Borough President of Queens attended, as did a few of the other “powers that be” here in the World’s Borough.

Overall, some pretty nice people run the show over there, working in an ecologically important role. It’s a heavy industry, yes, and one that’s currently entirely truck based (they’re going to be expanding use of their maritime bulkhead along the Creek soon) but before companies like Green Asphalt came along, NYC used to pay through the nose for dumping asphalt in landfills located in distant places.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

This post, by the way, is where the “adventures of vaccinated Mitch” really start. Like a bat let out of a cage is how I’d describe the last few weeks of activity. These photos were gathered at the end of April, shortly after the second shot had fully soaked in. I’ve been in 4 of the 5 Boroughs just in the last few weeks, traveling on boats and trains and of course by foot.

What’s been really weird for me has been being awake during the daylight hours after the long nocturnal interval.

“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

May 17, 2021 at 1:00 pm

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  1. […] continued eastwards along the Newtown Creek, past the spectacle of the Green Asphalt outfit filling a barge with their product. A single maritime barge carries the equivalent cargo of […]

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