The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

emotional need

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

Sentimental reminiscing is on the menu for me these days, as we head into what is going to be my last summer in New York City. I’ve been here my entire life, and every single corner of the City that I’ve inhabited for the last half century just bleeds with memories of times good and bad.

The best of the urban mythologies from the old neighborhood revolved around the supposed corpses of construction workers, who were killed during construction of the Verrazzano Bridge, whose corpses sunk into the still liquid concrete never to be seen again. This is an urban myth, by the way. The structural integrity of the bridge’s footings would be compromised by the voids created by those bodies.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The Rockaway Ferry gives you a pretty cool set of views of Coney Island on the way. That’s the Steeplechase Park section. Coney’s were a smallish representative of the rabbit family endemic to the area when the English speaking Europeans arrived, and that’s where the name “Coney Island” comes from. Most of the large scale apartment buildings were constructed by Gambino adjacent real estate powers like Fred Trump and the Waubassie Brothers (I’m probably spelling the second name wrong, btw.)

Coney Island meant a lot to my depression era parents, but back in the 1980’s it was synonymous with hookers and crack and crime for my generation. The Russians arriving here, and in Brighton Beach, back in the 1990’s changed the place, and some of the old veneer has returned to Coney, but underneath the surface there’s still a lot of weirdness waiting to boil over in these parts.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Wonder Wheel and the Cyclone roller coaster are what most think of when they mention Coney Island, along with Nathan’s Hot Dogs.

It goes to show how ossified the culture of NYC has become in recent decades, that the “cultural show pieces” all date back to a century or more ago.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Along the way, you get a good view of Queens’ Breezy Point and how thoroughly doomed this part of the City is once the waters begin to rise in the next twenty to thirty years. No flood insurance for you, and “managed retreat” is a phrase to start getting used to.

Really, a big part of why I’m leaving NYC is a conviction that it’s time to start moving away from the Atlantic Coast.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s the other bridge on Flatbush Avenue, the Gil Hodges Marine Parkway Bridge. On the Brooklyn side, it leads to the part of Brooklyn I’m from – the Canarsie, Flatlands, Mill Basin area. The Queens side let’s you make a right and go to the gated community of Breezy Point, or go straight towards Riis Park, or make a left and head over to Rockaway, Far Rockaway, or even Long Beach.

The NYC Ferry dock isn’t too far away from this bridge, about 15 minutes or so.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I don’t see that everyday, an A train traveling along the waterfront, so I took a picture. Lasts longer.

More tomorrow.

“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

June 23, 2022 at 11:00 am

2 Responses

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  1. Amalgamated Warbasse Houses is a limited equity housing cooperative in Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York City. It is named after Dr. James Peter Warbasse and was built by the United Housing Foundation and the Amalgamated Clothing Workers Union.


    June 23, 2022 at 1:38 pm

  2. […] been,” kept on working the sunset angle in “seemed older,” and rode the Rockaway Ferry in “emotional need.” I tried to photograph a lunar eclipse in “hidden pneumatics,” and Sunnyside Yards was […]

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