The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

watcher’s window

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

Firstly, as I’ve “caught up with myself,” Newtown Pentacle is returning to the familiar three images a day format for an interval. One had quite an abundance of photos to display from before and after the recent trip to Pittsburgh. Back home just in time for the Omicron surge, a humble narrator has resumed his “every other day” schedule of long and short walk around Western Queens.

Recent endeavor found one scuttling about Long Island City’s Court Square section, which has come to resemble Manhattan in terms of population density and building typology. One will point out – again – that despite this massive build out and investment in converting the “mixed use” zoning of LIC over to high density residential zoning, there has not been a similar investment in municipal services. Cops, fire, sanitation, hospital beds, transit. What that means is basically more mouths to feed with the same amount of bread as before. What could go wrong?

Nothing matters, and nobody cares.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The stolen sky of Long Island City is now populated by dormitories for the aspirant class and the already well heeled. One question that continually nags is why the new people don’t have or use window coverings. Drapes, Venetian Blinds, curtains – they seem to prefer letting it all hang out and displaying their lives to each other. I was visiting a friend a couple of years back who lives in Hunters Point, and was looking out of the windows of his tower apartment and noticed a guy across the street, clad only in his underwear, who was doing the dishes. I wondered why he didn’t have curtains, and more importantly – why you’d pay $3,000 plus a month in rent for a “luxury apartment” which didn’t have a dishwasher appliance installed. Weird.

Pictured above is what they call Five Pointz. Personally, I’d rather that the old Neptune Meter company building with its amazing artwork which the tower apartments have stolen the name of was still here, but that’s big real estate for you.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My neighborhood in Astoria is about to be similarly destroyed by a project called “Innovation Queens.” Proposed by Kaufman Astoria and Larry Silverstein, this monstrous ideation will decimate the south eastern section of Astoria by erecting a series of 20-30 story tall towers in a triangular section defined by 38th street and 35th avenue on one side and 43rd street and Northern Blvd./36th avenue on the other.

For those of you who know the area – the movie theater, PC Richards, the pool hall, Malbin Pipe, Harley Davidson, and all of those mechanic and used car businesses are toast. All of the blue collar “walk to work” jobs hosted by these businesses are similarly going to go bye-bye. If you want to make an easy $5,000 bucks, contact the Innovation Queens people and tell them you’ll advocate for the project.

You’ll have to get in line, though, since they’ve already bought off a local bar owner, the driving school people on Steinway, a couple of the NYCHA tenant association presidents, and a “community leader” to flack for them.

“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 7, 2022 at 11:00 am

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