The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Archive for the ‘NY 11105’ Category

valley and grove

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Why do they only turn the air conditioners on when the trains reach Manhattan?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

If you live in the 80% of New York City that is not Manhattan, there is little doubt about the inequality exhibited by those who rule over the shining city when it comes to cutting up the municipal pie. The rest of us get to deal with Manhattan’s garbage, traffic, sewage, and everything else that they want to pretend isn’t a problem. Unfortunately, we need to go to work, and the vast majority of jobs are “over there.” What I can’t understand is why the air conditioning on the trains only seems to get switched on when the subways hit the East River Tunnels.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The ridiculous life I live routinely carries me all around the City, just last week I was in every borough but the Bronx, and found myself on something like 8 different train lines. Without exception, the AC was cut off when leaving Manhattan or turned on when entering it. I could accept this practice if it was close to the end of the line, like the Astoria elevated station pictured above, but an E train entering Queens Plaza has already travelled a considerable distance when it arrives at the station.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There’s likely a technical reason, or some union exemption, which necessitates that passengers sweat it out on the way to work. Perhaps it’s Sandy, or concerns about terrorism, which demand that the climate controls on the Subway remain off when the train is outside Manhattan. Either way, always remember that the Borough motto of Queens is “Welcome to Queens, now go fuck yourself.”

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

There are two Newtown Creek walking tours coming up.

Saturday, June 28th, The Poison Cauldron
With Atlas Obscura, click here for tickets and more info.

Sunday, June 29th, The Insalubrious Valley
With Brooklyn Brainery, lunch included, click here for tickets and more info.

Written by Mitch Waxman

June 24, 2014 at 11:00 am

Project Firebox 89

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An ongoing catalog of New York’s endangered Fireboxes.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Horror and depredation are denied to those who frequent the corner of 19th avenue and 37th street at the ragged edge of blessed Astoria, nearby the sonorous Steinway Factory. This vermillion vanguard waits, eternally, for the day when its clarion call will summon brigades of the capable, the skilled, and the well trained to snuff out conflagrations. Shine on, oh sentinel of the night watch, shine on.

Upcoming Tours

Saturday- September 21, 2013- TODAY
13 Steps Around Dutch Kills Walking Tour with Atlas Obscura- tickets on sale now.

Saturday- September 28, 2013
Newtown Creek Boat Tour with the Working Harbor Committee- tickets on sale now.

Saturday – October 19, 2013
The Insalubrious Valley of the Newtown Creek with Atlas Obscura- tickets on sale soon.

Sunday- October 20th, 2013
The Poison Cauldron of the Newtown Creek with Brooklyn Brainery- tickets on sale now

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

 

Written by Mitch Waxman

September 21, 2013 at 12:15 am

always pedantic

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Astoria, Queens rules.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Having sense enough not to schedule any walking tours against the Jewish holiday last weekend allowed me to have an actual day off last Saturday. Our Lady of the Pentacle and I decided to take a stroll around the neighborhood, soon finding ourselves nearby Astoria Park. Having company such as Our Lady along on my perambulations is a pleasant change to my normally lonely round, although one does have to slow his gait. Our Lady doesn’t dawdle, instead I walk preternaturally fast.

from wikipedia

A loner is a person who avoids or does not actively seek human interaction or prefers to be alone. There are many reasons for solitude, intentional or otherwise, and “loner” does not imply a specific cause. Intentional reasons include spiritual and religious considerations or personal philosophies. Unintentional reasons involve temperament, being highly sensitive, having more extreme forms of shyness, or various mental disorders. The modern term “loner” can be used with a negative connotation in the belief that human beings are social creatures and those that do not participate are deviant.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Yom Kippur is one of those holidays I’ve never understood. “Day of Atonement” and all. If I need to atone and account for my actions to some sort of extra dimensional super being who invisibly observes all that I do in minute detail, it will be after I’m dead and am standing in front of some supernatural court. Also, I have very little that I feel guilty about, as I don’t go out of my way to screw others over nor hurt them. It meant a lot to my parents, this day of atonement, but I’ve never had any use for all the shouting and jumping about that religions bring.

from wikipedia

Anthropophobia or Anthrophobia (literally “fear of people”, from Greek: ανθρωπος, ánthropos, “man” and φόβος, phóbos, “fear”), also called interpersonal relation phobia or social phobia, is pathological fear of people or human company.

Anthropophobia is an extreme, pathological form of shyness and timidity. Being a form of social phobia, it may manifest as fears of blushing or meeting others’ gaze, awkwardness and uneasiness when appearing in society, etc. A specific Japanese cultural form is known as taijin kyofusho.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

We spotted this roughly scrawled graffito over on 20th avenue, on the fenced walls adjoining the ConEd property. Odd, ironic, and frankly- a bit more literate than the stuff you normally see around the ancient village. I did not see anybody wearing a hunting cap lurking about, and kept moving. It was nice actually having a day off, something one such as myself doesn’t get much of these days.

from wikipedia

Holden Caulfield is the 16-year-old protagonist of author J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye. Since the book’s 1951 publication, Holden has become an icon for teenage rebellion and angst, and now stands among the most important characters of 20th-century American literature. The name Holden Caulfield was used in an unpublished short story written in 1942 and first appeared in print in 1945.

Upcoming Tours

Saturday- September 21, 2013
13 Steps Around Dutch Kills Walking Tour with Atlas Obscura- tickets on sale now.

Saturday- September 28, 2013
Newtown Creek Boat Tour with the Working Harbor Committee- tickets on sale now.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

September 16, 2013 at 10:55 am

Project Firebox 75

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An ongoing catalog of New York’s endangered Fireboxes.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

On 31st street at 21st avenue in almond eyed Astoria, stands another sentinel of the public good, guarding its turf against accident and incursion as it has for decades. Shine on, fire-bro.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Want to see something cool? June 2013 Walking Tours-

The Poison Cauldron TODAY, Saturday, June 15, 2013
Newtown Creek walking tour with Mitch Waxman and Atlas Obscura, tickets now on sale.

Kill Van Kull– Saturday, June 22, 2013
Staten Island walking tour with Mitch Waxman and Working Harbor Committee, tickets now on sale.

The Insalubrious Valley Saturday, June 29, 2013
Newtown Creek walking tour with Mitch Waxman and Newtown Creek Alliance, tickets now on sale.

Written by Mitch Waxman

June 15, 2013 at 12:15 am

sinister family

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“follow” Mitch on Twitter at @newtownpentacle

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Note: Mitch is taking the day off today, and welcoming a guest blogger for commentary on these shots. They were captured recently at Astoria Park while on a “family walk” with Our Lady of the Pentacle and Zuzu the dog. Zuzu the dog, everyone tells us, has gotten fat (even considering the fact that she has a thyroid issue, she has nevertheless put on weight over the winter) and an increased amount of exercise has been called for. Accordingly, we took her on the first of several long weekend walks to Astoria Park, and everything from this point springs from the pen of today’s guest blogger.

Squirrel!

from wikipedia

The word “squirrel”, first specified in 1327, comes from Anglo-Norman esquirel from the Old French escurel, the reflex of a Latin word sciurus. This Latin word was borrowed from the Ancient Greek word σκίουρος, skiouros, which means shadow-tailed, referring to the bushy appendage possessed by many of its members.

The native Old English word, ācweorna, survived only into Middle English (as aquerne) before being replaced. The Old English word is of Common Germanic origin, with cognates such as German Eichhorn, Norwegian ekorn, Dutch eekhoorn, Swedish ekorre and Danish egern.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Squirrel!!! Squirrel!!! SQUIRREL!!!

from wikipedia

Astoria Park, a 59.96-acre (242,600 m2) park located along the East River in the New York City borough of Queens,contains one of the largest open spaces in Queens. The park is operated and maintained by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. Situated in Astoria and adjacent to the Triborough Bridge and Hell Gate Bridge, the park contains New York City’s oldest and largest swimming pool. The outdoor 54,450-square-foot (5,059 m2) pool, planned by Robert Moses, was used for qualifying events for the 1936 and 1964 Summer Olympics.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

SQUIRREL, SQUIRREL, SQUIRREL!!!

from wikipedia

As with other wild game and fish species, the consumption of squirrels that have been exposed to high levels of pollution or toxic waste poses a health risk to humans. A recent example of this took place in 2007 in the northern New Jersey community of Ringwood, where the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services issued a warning to anyone who eats squirrel (especially for children and pregnant women) to limit their consumption after a lead-contaminated squirrel was found near the Ringwood Mines Landfill. Toxic waste had been illegally dumped at this location for many years, before authorities cracked down on this practice in the 1980s. The warning especially affects the local Ramapough Mountain Indians, who have hunted and consumed squirrels from before European contact. The hunting and eating of squirrels is considered to be one of this people’s time-honored traditions, linking them through a process of cultural identity to their ancestors, and to each other. On learning of the ban on squirrel meat consumption, one member of the Ramapough Tribe told a reporter, “I feel my ancestry is disappearing, my heritage”.

Today’s guest blogger, as you might have guessed by now, has actually been the increasingly hungry Zuzu the dog. Her keen observations on urban wildlife, as told from a knee high perspective, are always enlightening.

Also: Upcoming Tours!

13 Steps around Dutch Kills Saturday, May 4, 2013
Newtown Creek walking tour with Mitch Waxman and Atlas Obscura, tickets now on sale.

Parks and Petroleum- Sunday, May 12, 2013
Newtown Creek walking tour with Mitch Waxman and Newtown Creek Alliance, tickets now on sale.

The Insalubrious Valley Saturday, May 25, 2013
Newtown Creek walking tour with Mitch Waxman and Atlas Obscura, tickets now on sale.

Hidden Harbor: Newtown Creek tour with Mitch Waxman – Sunday, May 26,2013
Boat tour presented by the Working Harbor Committee,
Limited seating available, order advance tickets now. Group rates available.

Written by Mitch Waxman

May 3, 2013 at 12:15 am

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