The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Archive for September 21st, 2021

polychromatic rhythm

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

520 Kingsland Avenue, found along the fabulous Newtown Creek in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, hosts a 26,000 square foot green roof. Green roofs drink storm water and improve an environmental condition called the “Maspeth Urban Heat Island Effect” which can see atmospheric temperatures in unplanted areas rise 10-15 degrees higher than in surrounding neighborhoods. Given that the phenomena was named for another Newtown Creek neighborhood, you see why Newtown Creek Alliance and our allies cared enough to do something about it.

As I often say – I like deeds, not words. Shit gets done on the Creek. Not taking personal credit for that, as a note, we have some pretty dedicated and capable people in our gaggle.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The main section of the roof is dedicated to pollinator plants, whereas other sections have different functions and aren’t designed to be “public facing.” This is what we mean when saying that Newtown Creek must remain industrial, but there’s a simple series of steps that can benefit several factors. 520 Kingsland is a functioning tv studio – which means high paying union wages. It’s an artist studio, and the HQ for non profit entities like Newtown Creek Alliance. It also diverts thousands of gallons of precipitation away from the combined sewer outfalls network of sewer pipes, and lowers the ambient temperatures both inside and outside the building.

It’s this sort of multiphasic approach to urban spaces that can be a game changer for New York City, and provide inspiration for other post industrial American municipalities.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As you may have guessed by now, I’m a fan of this project.

Also, as you may have guessed by now, I was really grooving on the solitude I was enjoying up there to ruminate and contemplate. Unfortunately, as it was a cloudless day, the brutal amount of sunlight raining down on me was taking a toll. The Romans fashioned a god out of this sensation, one whose cult was in a serious competition with Christianity as to who would become the official state religion of their Empire. We’ve still got a Roman Catholic Church two thousand years later, and not many people have ever heard of Sol Invictus – the Warrior Sun – so there you are.

“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

September 21, 2021 at 11:00 am

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