The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Archive for February 16th, 2022

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

The first decent snowfall of this year was at the end of the first week in January, and like the heavy fog which drew me over to Astoria Park, the weather system produced an interesting series of atmospheric conditions. This time around, I left HQ in the late afternoon, as I had timed this “long walk” to the Dutch Kills tributary of Newtown Creek in Long Island City to coincide with sunset. Luckily, the storm which had just dumped the snow was still visible, but moving quickly away towards the south.

High clouds equal lots of color in the sunset, low clouds mean murky and muddy skies.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Far and away, my favorite part of Newtown Creek is Dutch Kills. Lots of bridges which offer points of view over the water, and a feature rich landscape of fairly low lying industrial buildings that don’t block the light. I’m quite fond of other spots on the creek, Industrial Maspeth and the area surrounding the Kosciuszcko Bridge are “happy hunting grounds” for the camera. What all of my favorites have in common is some form of access to the shoreline without having to climb a fence or trespass on private property to get there.

Dutch Kills is my jam, though. It’s the first section of Newtown Creek that I explored and studied, all those years ago, and is a relatively “easy reach” for me when I’m headed out for a walk from HQ in Astoria.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The leftie contingent of politicians here in Queens hate capitalism, but they love big real estate, which is a dichotomous situation. They believe in the “YIMBY” or “yes in my back yard” ideation, which states that in order to have “affordable housing” you need to demolish the existing and currently affordable housing stock, and then replace it with luxury condo buildings which will offer a small percentage of rooms in the new structures as “below market rate” “affordable apartments.” Given that “below market rate” is often offered at a 25-35% higher in rent price than what they replaced…

Nothing matters, and nobody cares.

Hey, check it out – from what the YIMBY’s refer to as “a transit rich corridor along Borden Avenue” you can see the sewer plant in Brooklyn, looking south past the tracks of the garbage train, and a giant recycling oriented waste transfer station which is down the block from an even bigger facility that handles putrescent garbage, alongside a Federal Superfund Site. Or, as the real estate people refer to it – the Borden Avenue Corridor.

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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 16, 2022 at 11:00 am

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