The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

You want to know what heavy traffic is like? When the driver of a car on a highway has the time and opportunity to stick a camera through his car’s moon roof and take night photos, that’s what heavy traffic is like. After our all day drive from Pittsburgh to NYC which moved at 70-75 mph for hundreds of miles, we ground down into the evertraffic leading to the George Washington Bridge in New Jersey. I had crossed half of the state of New Jersey in the time it took me to go the last ten miles on my way to that bridge. Uggh.

These pinch points leading to the landform of Long Island, with Brooklyn and Queens on its western edge, are the strategic weak points of NYC. The real estate people have managed to cut off all of the water access for freight traffic on the Hudson and East River frontages because “affordable housing,” so it’s up to trucks to feed and supply the millions who live on a very Long Island.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Port Elizabeth Newark is thankfully growing by about 5-7% per year, and the port is the largest single driver of the regional economy of the NYC Metropolitan Area, after Wall Street. Unlike Wall Street, the port is constrained in its growth by the fact of these pinch points. All of that commercial activity has to flow into and across NYC to reach first Brooklyn and Queens, and then continue on to Nassau and Suffolk via either the Verrazzano Bridge on the south or the combination of the George Washington and Triborough Bridges on the north. These trucks sit and idle on neighborhood streets during their transit, painting the City with diesel soot.

Bike lanes ain’t gonna save ya, NYC. It ain’t Uber or AirBNB or any of the other entities which the politicians and activists like to blame that’s causing the traffic. It’s last mile delivery services like FedEx, Amazon, and UPS on the small scale and semi tractor trailers on the large. As the local economy expands, so does truck traffic, unless something changes.

Annoyingly, something like 40% of the truck traffic required to feed these growing local economies of NYC’s urban and suburban zones thereby travels through Northern Manhattan with the rest moving through Staten Island and Brooklyn. Think about that one, and mention it to either Mayor “YIMBY Swagger,” or Governor “Spread the Money Around to make the Building Trade Council happy” and ask them about it when you’re graced with their august presence.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It’s funny, the way that the internet works. Writing critiques about the policy situation in NYC, and the endemic political corruption of this new Tammany Hall system, has algorithmically caused Google and other services to read that as a cue to feed me Republican propaganda. Jordan Peterson, Tim Pool, Ben Shapiro, and other noxious voices from that side of the aisle populate my feeds these days. That’s annoying, and illustrates how the internet breeds political polarization.

I’m not a Fascist sympathizer or “on the right,” rather I’m what I’ve always been – a centrist liberal not afraid enough of the “L” word to say “Progressive.” You know who was a progressive? Robert Moses. Nelson Rockefeller too.

I believe that if something isn’t hurting somebody else it should be legal, and that if an existing law or set of policies is restricting somebody else’s freedoms we should get rid of those laws. More freedom is better than less. I also believe that it’s often best to do nothing at all, from a Governmental point of view. I will opine that the Government of New York City is bought and paid for by “big real estate” and that the shit flies which populate that industrial sector will move on to the next turd as soon as NYC has been destroyed by them, when the Politicians they fund are no longer offering them tax breaks which create 30-40% margins for new construction. All of the crap the “electeds” spout to the press falls apart behind the curtain, and they consort with characters whom they would publicly castigate.

Really, ask your Councilmember what it’s like working with Jared Kushner, or Larry Silverstein, or Donald Trump on “affordable housing” real estate projects, and then watch them run away from you while talking about systemic something or some sort of justice thingie.

“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

December 8, 2022 at 11:00 am

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