The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

yellow rays

with 3 comments


– photo by Mitch Waxman

Just after sunset, and back at the Dutch Kills tributary of Newtown Creek in Long Island City.

I’ve been keeping an eye on a collapsing bulkhead along 29th street for a while now. It’s a difficult subject, due to there being no easy point of view for the area. This, thereby is one of the few times that I willfully trespass. It’s worth the risk, right here.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There’s two abandoned oil barges in the water here. Nobody knows who’s responsible for that, but they’ve been here for more than 20 years.

Nothing matters, and nobody cares.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The barges have so thoroughly decayed by this point that it’s not even possible to lift them out using a crane.

Want a picture of what’s wrong with NYC? Look at the one above.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s the collapsing bulkhead, lit up in yellows and oranges by a nearby sodium lamp, one mounted on a self storage warehouse that neighbors the waterway. There are no street lights on 29th street.

This is Long Island City, mind you. A block from La Guardia Community College, and two blocks from the Court Square subway station. Hottest real estate zone on the planet, as well. This property itself isn’t owned by some defunct corporate entity either, rather it’s the MTA’s – as in the “gub’mint.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

This slow moving disaster has been going on for three years, with a significant uptick of shoreline dissection beginning around Thanksgiving of 2021. Since then, everytime I check in on this area, things have gotten a little bit worse.

It’s MTA’s, but they have exceptions written into the laws that govern situations like this which indemnify them from the attentions of the regulatory agencies who would normally write an order to fix things up.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

What that means is that any solution to this problem, prior to 29th street collapsing, will be a political one. The cart has to be driven by an elected official, essentially. Currently, there are lawyers who are lawyering other lawyers.

Nothing matters, and nobody cares.

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.

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Written by Mitch Waxman

March 30, 2022 at 11:00 am

3 Responses

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  1. Needs only an OSHA warning label to make it complete as far as the government is concerned.


    March 31, 2022 at 9:20 pm

  2. […] “wide scattering,” “expiring orb,” “harmless stupidity,” “plumbed descent,” “yellow rays,” “crawl proudly,” “nemesis mirror,” “ugly trifles,” “torture of,” “verdant […]

  3. […] Kills bulkhead along LIC’s 29th street to Our Lady of the Pentacle, began to catch my eye in “yellow rays.” Throughout the year, I never missed a chance to ride the 7 train, as I did in “all […]

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