The Newtown Pentacle

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

A humble narrator has really been hitting the bricks recently. Physical fitness has been a casualty of the pandemic for me, and I’ve passed through “overweight” and into “fat.” No doubt is held in my mind that the problems I’ve been experiencing, regarding my trick left foot, can be ameliorated by shedding body weight. Of course, the recursive side of this is that I’ve got to walk those pounds off, further aggravating the orthopedic situation in the affected foot, but as my grandmother used to say: suffering is why you were put here.

As mentioned last week, my exercise regime involves frequent short walks most days, with long walks occurring about every three to four days. A short walk for me starts at HQ in Astoria, nearby the 46th street stop on the R/M lines. I’ll scuttle in one direction or another, and in the case of today’s shots, that direction was towards the Hunters Point section of Long Island City.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

On a short walk I try not have a specific destination or “shot list” in mind. Rather, I follow my toes, and go wherever they happen to be pointing. This is 29th street nearby the corner of 39th Avenue, looking southwards towards Queens Plaza and the looming glassine dormitories recently installed in the area.

There’s a narrative at work in this zone, wherein local residents who once stridently identified themselves as proponents of large scale hotel construction in the Dutch Kills neighborhood just north of Queens Plaza have suddenly realized the error of doing the Manhattan people’s bidding. The former Mayor decided that these hotels would make excellent homeless shelters during the pandemic.

There are so many homeless shelters here now that the people who supported the hotel build out are somewhat outnumbered in their own neighborhood by the transient population. Said transients are accused of misdeeds, offenses, and outright criminal behavior. The former Mayor didn’t want the Police involved in disciplinary applications for the transients, preferring that the shelter operators use private security. Of course, the City didn’t check to see if these operators actually hired anybody to perform that security function, but that’s kind of the De Blasio story – ain’t it?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Avoiding concentrations of the human infestation is always at the top of my list, but this becomes increasingly difficult due to the aforementioned installation of those glass walled dormitories in Long Island City. I really have to scuttle far afield for this pursuit, but no matter where you go, there they are.

Why dormitories, you ask? When a developer is erecting a building that participates in the “affordable housing” scam, ask them how many of those apartments aren’t studios or one bedrooms. The statistics on this are critical, since the “affordable” aspect is over and done with once the original tenant moves out and the apartment begins to move towards “market” price with every new lease signed. Two and three bedroom apartments attract families, who will predictably occupy the space continually while their kids journey through 13-14 school years. One bedroom, and studios, flip on average once every couple/three years.

Get it? See the way that works?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The last iteration of the City Council, in those mad last sixty days which those three termed rapscallions treated us to – after they were insulated from electoral consequence after Election Day – saw a plan for a skyscraper on the upper east side which will house facilities for the NY Blood Center approved by the body. Mention of the Blood Center’s presence here in LIC, in a two story warehouse building with a half block sized footprint, never came up. One wonders what will happen to the property in LIC. A hospital, school, or perhaps a modern precinct house for the 108? Bwahhh. You kidding?

They now call it “deeply affordable housing.” My favorite 9/11 era messaging involved the usage of the term “Now, more than ever” to sell laundry soap and Ford automobiles. Be alarmed, all the time, and your patriotic duty is to buy things. How can you be against “deeply” affordable housing… are you a systemically racist remnant of transphobic capitalism or what?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Things haven’t been the same in LIC since the thing in the cupola of the sapphire megalith departed. An inhuman intelligence which could not possibly exist, it stared down on low lying LIC and Astoria with its three lobed burning eye, coveting. A couple of years ago, it left the building in the manner of Elvis, leaving behind a mostly empty sapphire shell. The cupola used to be the highest point on Long Island, the tallest perch outside of Manhattan, but today it’s become a medium sized anachronism of earlier times.

Sarcasm, it drips, like venom.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Chickens come home to roost, most consequence is unintended, and housing is only “affordable” if someone can afford to pay the rent. Right now that’s the case, and landlords are somehow finding tenants that can drop 30-50 grand a year into their pockets. A lot of dirty laundry is going to start appearing soon, I think, as the twelve year long incumbents are out of office and the new seat fillers are going to have to start distracting the electorate away from their own machinations. The process of “throwing the last guy under the bus” is already underway. Thankfully we have a new Mayor.

Adams is going to be the best Mayor in New York City’s – or in fact the world’s – history – just ask him – he’ll tell you so.

“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

January 10, 2022 at 11:00 am

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