The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

hollow betwixt

with one comment


– photo by Mitch Waxman

Another brutally cold night, another short walk. This one was routed from HQ, along Astoria’s Broadway in the 40’s, to 31st street and then to Astoria Boulevard, and since my feet were still in a kicking mood, all the way to Skillman Avenue in Long Island City. About three to four miles, all told, I’d guess. I really don’t keep track as I trek.

Occasionally I’ll check the “health” app on my phone. It has a wildly inaccurate step counter, but often offers interesting observations about your movements. Apparently, I’ve got a 6.2% limp related to my left leg, which jibes with all the bitching and moaning about “my trick left foot” that I’ve subjected you all to since 2019, when a falling planter shattered the big toe of my left foot.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Incidentally – I’m still marinating about the NYC DOT representatives who told me, in response to a service request offered through the local Community Board’s Transportation Committee – which I’m the chair of – that 31st street has perfectly adequate street lighting. Sigh. Nothing matters, and nobody cares.

The next corner north currently hosts the Neptune Diner and a Staples store. Both will be demolished this year to make room for a luxury condo tower or two which will climb dozens of stories into the sky. Now – I too have always been desirous of living along the Grand Central Parkway at its junction with the Triborough Bridge, and a particularly noisy elevated subway track would be a bonus, but my bet is that when the rich people show up it’s going to become a priority to do something about the dark and dangerous 31st street corridor lighting situation.

Fuck you, very much.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Another prognosis I will offer is that once the Neptune project gets going, the smell of blood in the water will draw out all of the smaller Real Estate sharks and shit flies. They will hunt along Astoria Blvd., I imagine. Gas Stations and supermarkets, due to the size of the property lots they inhabit, are prime targets for these sort of creatures.

Astoria is beginning a process, once that’s just finishing up in Hunters Point, Court Square, and Queens Plaza, and Williamsburg, and Greenpoint. The only thing saving us right now are high interest rates and other inflationary factors. As soon as there’s cheap credit again, the bulldozers will begin to arrive, and the sky will be privatized.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One turned his heels at 46th street, where realization that I hadn’t taken any photos of a recently renovated playground set in. Before this renovation took place, this playground – and especially its grassy edges – were beloved by my sorely missed and dearly departed doggie Zuzu. The joke was “Zuzu’s checking her pee mail,” when we would slowly walk around the edges of the place, with her sniffing and inspecting every tree and blade of grass for neighborhood’s dog to dog news.

As mentioned, it was quite cold but being well wrapped, I kept on scuttling. Why not?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One marched across Northern Blvd. and soon found myself at one of my “go-to” fence holes nearby the Harold Interlocking. Lucky timing saw me arriving just as a Long Island Railroad train was passing through.

It was right about here that I decided on my “turn around” point. I was beginning to feel a bit of fatigue, which – like all french words – I intentionally mispronounce as “Fatygway.” If you’re from the part of Brooklyn that I am, mispronunciation of France Talk is a form of sport. “Hors d’oeuvres” is meant to pronounced as “whores da overs,” ain’t it? C’mon, Bro.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My turnaround point was for a spot where it’s entirely kosher for a privately owned taxi company to gobble up every available parking spot to store their fleet. Ever notice you don’t hear the safe streets crowd complaining about this form of “free car storage”? Wonder why that is?

More tomorrow at this – your Newtown Pentacle.

The Newtown Creekathon returns!

On April 10th, the all day death march around Newtown Creek awakens from its pandemic slumber.

DOOM! DOOM! Fully narrated by Mitch Waxman and Will Elkins of Newtown Creek Alliance, this one starts in LIC at the East River, heads through Blissville, the happy place of Industrial Maspeth, dips a toe in Ridgewood and then plunges desperately into Brooklyn. East Williamsburgh and then Greenpoint are visited and a desperate trek to the East River in Brooklyn commences. DOOM! Click here for more information and to reserve a spot – but seriously – what’s wrong with you that you’re actually considering doing this? DOOM!

“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

March 22, 2022 at 11:00 am

One Response

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  1. Archie Bunker called them “horse ovaries.”

    georgetheatheist . . . 'strue

    March 22, 2022 at 2:33 pm

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