The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

always frightened

with one comment


– photo by Mitch Waxman

More shots from an August 10th walk greet you this morning. One was heading for Dutch Kills, ultimately, but a desire to approach “the zone” from a different angle guided my steps. Specific to my intentions was the need to confirm the latest degradation of the Dutch Kills waterway due to municipal indifference was ongoing.

Streams of forced air bubbles are occurring now. Here’s a brief video of the phenomena. This is alongside the Hunters Point Avenue Bridge, nearby the southwest pier of the structure. Relevant authorities have been informed about the condition, including City and State level agencies.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Part of the reason I chose this particular path involved the avoidance of walking in direct sunlight and growing overheated. Additionally, I didn’t fancy having the sun bobbing around directly in front of me and blowing out my eyesight. I stick to shadows when I can.

Shadows are where I belong.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There’s a fairly serious change in altitude you’ll encounter on Hunters Point Avenue as it leads to Dutch Kills. East of Van Dam Street and leading back up to Greenpoint Avenue is built onto a hill, versus the relatively flat flood plain surrounding the water. There’s an industrial zoned series of buildings in this corridor, which includes a fantastic FDNY Fleet Services building. You’ve also got a bunch of fairly intriguing truck based businesses like Wanrong Trading Corp. – pictured above.

Traffic intensifies as you near Van Dam, which is a primary corridor between Queens Plaza/Queens Boulevard and the Long Island Expressway/Borden Avenue or the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge’s crossing into Brooklyn.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Once you cross Van Dam Street, you’re in the Degnon Terminal. A focal point for private investment capital at the start of the 20th century, the Degnon Terminal used to be full of blue chip national level corporations until the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. In recent years, the industrial park has been rebounding.

You can still see the sky there, which has become something of a rarity in Western Queens over the last 20 years.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Were I not moving out of NYC at the end of this year, I would have received my twenty year award for living in Astoria in the spring of 2023. I can tell tales of blackouts and exploding transformers, and the various waves of bad actors who suddenly appear and disappear on the streets. The homeless guys who come and go – Johnny Rottenfoot, “The Hat,” Raggedy Andy, the self replenishing corps of “Los Burrachos,” Pineapple Face, Big Head, Junkie Johnny, Homeless Melissa and her boyfriend Juan who lived in the bank’s ATM room – there have been so many who suddenly appear and then are just gone. Many have died on the street, which just sucks.

One stands out to me, an older devotee of drink, who died during the winter and was frozen to the sidewalk and wall he was sleeping on. The FDNY had to defrost him so that the morgue could remove the body.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’ve seen Deliverista justice administered, learned that I can sleep through an old west style shootout that occurred directly beneath my bedroom window, and learned that Astoria is one loose screw away from sliding into the East River at any given moment. We had a Cop who thought it would be a good idea to drive to work in a facsimile of the “Dukes of Hazard” General Lee car – with a confederate flag on the roof. We also had “Rape Cop” for a while, a fellow whose penalty for sexually assaulting an inebriated woman was to wear an aviation unit jumpsuit on duty. When he got out of the car, all the neighborhood kids would start chattering “yo, it’s rape cop.”

Sigh. Astoria, Queens. Long Island City, Queens. Home sweet hell.

“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

September 5, 2022 at 11:00 am

One Response

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  1. some rough descriptions / images here…

    michael pribich


    michael pribich

    September 5, 2022 at 1:49 pm

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