The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

grisly claws

with 3 comments


– photo by Mitch Waxman

It’s not like this in other cities. Not even Philadelphia. After having ridden on the NYC Ferry from Astoria to the Brooklyn Navy Yard, a humble narrator began a long scuttle northwards back towards Queens. One followed the Brooklyn Queens Expressway, and used its shadowed under vaults to escape the deleterious brightness of the burning thermonuclear eye of god itself. Shadow and filth.

This is a horrific corridor, as a note. Abandoned cars, mystery trucks without license plates, camp sites. Above are legions of fowl, and splattered below is their collective foul. Garbage turns in wind driven vortexes, stagnant pools glimmer with slime, the residue of spent petroleum coats everything in soot. The very air you breathe is a poisonous fume.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

This is figuratively the sort of New York City which Jakob Riis wrote about, where the toll of political corruption is writ large. This is literally the New York City spoken of by Robert Caro, and since 1939 this has been the House of Moses. Robert Moses, that is.

Hey… wait a second… did you notice… I was almost starting to care again. Woah. Glad I caught myself. “Nothing matters and nobody cares… Nothing matters and nobody cares… Nothing matters and nobody cares.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Don’t believe me that “Nothing matters and nobody cares”? Just look at that one above, Bro.

There’s a runoff pipe from the BQE, positioned right over a sewer grate that empties into the East River without ever entering a sewer plant first. It’s packed in with garbage, in one of the few open parking spots, where any random person can park a panel truck without license plates indefinitely. Think that nobody who works for the City or State has spotted this? Worried about “homeland security concerns” the way they would under the FDR Drive? Answer is yes, but it doesn’t matter to them and they don’t actually care.

Hey, do you know who the current President of the Borough of Brooklyn is? Do you suppose this sort of scene matters to him, and whether or not he cares about it? Within the next 48 hours, he’s got a new first name – Mayor.

“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

December 30, 2021 at 11:00 am

3 Responses

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  1. This is under the BQE in Queens? But where?

    Pat Dorfman

    December 30, 2021 at 8:14 pm

  2. Ugh.


    September 21, 2022 at 9:02 pm

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