The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Archive for the ‘Degnon Terminal’ Category

sticky fluid

leave a comment »

Dutch Kills Monday.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One has had occasion to ask the right person the wrong question over the years, and the answers are usually not comforting. Should, during the routine investigations surrounding the Newtown Creek Superfund investigations, human remains be discovered in the muck and mire adoring the bottom of the waterway the procedure would be to invoke the investigative arm of the NYPD and the services of the NYC Coroner’s Office. Apparently, NYPD would look at its list of “cold cases” to try and assign an identity to the remains, whereas the Coroner would attempt to describe “cause of death” and confirm or damn the Gendarmes’ assignation. Depending on what state the body is in – whole, decaying, or skeletonized – this process could conceivably take days, weeks, months, or it might be impossible to ascertain whom these bits used to belong to due to decomposition. Dental record searches, DNA recovery, or other alienist techniques might be used, but… don’t fall into Newtown Creek if you’re having a heart attack while not carrying a wallet.

Other queries to the powers that are have involved the recovery of firearms and other weapons, the bodies of various animals, or more esoteric items from the font of Black Mayonnaise lining the canal’s depths. 1940’s cash registers, slot machines from the 1920’s, boxes of light bulbs, fifty gallon drums of some mysterious goo?

Who can guess… all there is… that might be buried down there?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One almost got a shot of it the other night, alongside the Hunters Point Avenue Bridge.

Ever since rumors of its’ presence here reached me, I’ve been keeping an eye out, but it is stealthy. I’m still not saying what “it” might be, since a humble narrator cannot stand the idea of accusations of credulity. When a shot of it appears here, though…

Whatever “it” might be swam under the bridge and one ran to the other side in the manner of some obsequious and allegorical chicken following it.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Those dashes in the water in the shot above aren’t “it,” but they might have been swimming away in response to its presence. Those dashes are fish – likely Mummichogs and Menhaden for the smaller ones and Bunker for the larger – moving close enough to the surface of the water for their scales to catch and reflect the street lighting. Like all predated creatures, I too stick to the shallows when I can, and often hide behind large wooden things when hungry creatures with sharp teeth ply the deeper waters just like these fishies.

It seemed to heading towards the Borden Avenue Bridge on this particular night, so one double timed towards that span about one really long block away.

It lives? If you closely observe the shorelines of Newtown Creek, you might see it, just like I’m trying to do.

Note: I’m writing this and several of the posts you’re going to see for the next week at the beginning of the week of Monday, June 29th. My plan is to continue doing my solo photo walks around LIC and the Newtown Creek in the dead of night as long as that’s feasible. If you continue to see regular updates as we move into April and beyond, that means everything is kosher as far as health and well being. If the blog stops updating, it means that things have gone badly for a humble narrator.


“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 blurb.com for $30.

each description

leave a comment »

Empty Corridor.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Were it not for political maneuvering and the inertia for which a certain NYS authority whose mandate involves metropolitan transit is famous for, you’d have some open space in Long Island City to visit during this interminable quarantine, namely the Montauk Cutoff. The cyclopean wall on the left hand side of the shot above supports a set of abandoned railroad tracks which several of my chums and I have been trying to turn into a public space for years at this point. Ennui abounds.

One found his way down here last week, to an area of LIC which I often refer to as “the empty corridor.” When the Long Island Expressway and the Queens Midtown Tunnel were installed here, eight decades of blight began. Devil’s advocate, though, says that the chemical and pharmaceutical factories, as well as the lead foundry and varnish plant which the LIE displaced weren’t exactly “not blight” but at least there were a lot of people with jobs hereabouts as opposed to a lot of people driving back and forth to office jobs in Manhattan.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The Empty Corridor is pure and utilitarian. Not a single thought was given to anything natural or “normal.” Anything green growing here is due to shrinking maintenance budgets on behalf of City and State authorities. It’s been decades since they sprayed herbicide, or sent in teams of arborists to clear cut the self seeded trees. Rodents walk around freely here, much to the joy of the residents of a nearby feral cat colony.

Illegal dumping is art. The streets are broken pavement, shattered automotive glass collects along the crushed curbs like rainwater, the air smells of burning wire insulation and automotive exhaust. The buzzing sound of failing electrical transformers echoes out from the manholes, infrequent local traffic rockets past at incredible speed, and half of the street lights are burned out.

I love it so.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

When this whole “social distancing” thing started up, I thought of this particular scene and place.

The immense street level loneliness of places like the Empty Corridor belie their actuality. Whereas in my mind, I was totally alone with my personal biome, in reality I was surrounded by crowds of people. The Long Island Expressway is descending into the Queens Midtown Tunnel at the left of the shot, and just beyond the tunnel is the population center of Long Island City at Hunters Point. On the right is the New York City Housing Authority Warehouse, and most of the street parking is occupied by their fleet of trucks. Biome wise, therefore, there’s probably a couple million people’s worth of cooties floating around in the air down here, or they’re stuck to some greasy smear.

I’m going to get the Montauk Cutoff done, as we need some more open space. Or, at least I’m going to reduce the number of streets in Western Queens without sidewalks. There’s no sidewalk on the left side of the street in the shot above, for instance.

Note: I’m writing this and several of the posts you’re going to see for the next week at the beginning of the week of Monday, May 25th. My plan is to continue doing my solo photo walks around LIC and the Newtown Creek in the dead of night as long as that’s feasible. If you continue to see regular updates as we move into April and beyond, that means everything is kosher as far as health and well being. If the blog stops updating, it means that things have gone badly for a humble narrator.


“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 blurb.com for $30.

dissolved in

leave a comment »

Dutch Kills.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It’s become a fairly rare thing for a humble narrator to be out and about whilst the burning thermonuclear eye of god itself is still wobbling about in the sky, but just the other day this was the case. The light was purple in coloration, given that the aforementioned ocular fireball was descending in the west behind New Jersey.

The air smelled uncharacteristically nice at Dutch Kills, which is a tributary of the fabulous Newtown Creek. Dutch Kills diverges from the larger waterbody some .7 of a mile from Newtown Creek’s intersection with the East River, and proceeds into Long Island City roughly 3/4 of a mile. It’s crossed by multiple bridges, and since maritime industrial usage of the bulkheads is zero, self seeded vegetation lines Dutch Kills’ banks.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

If you could see through time like me, you’d observe a swampy marshland here in the pre industrial Dutch Kills watershed. Islands forming around Juniper and Cypress roots covered in cosmopolitan plant colonies – mixed speciations of salt resistant shoreline vegetation. Critters would abound – the Dutch settlers in this area often commented on the vast numbers of deer and birds in this area. So many deer, in fact, that the north side of Newtown Creek reportedly had a wolf problem and Government entities offered a paid bounty for wolf pelts all the way up to the Civil War in the 1860’s.

Upland streams and wetlands were eradicated between the Civil War and the opening of the Queensboro Bridge in 1909, and the subsequent creation of the Sunnyside Yards and the Degnon Terminal in the 1910’s and 20’s finished the job of isolating Dutch Kills from the land surrounding it. The waterway became an industrial canal, with railroad tracks crisscrossing the reclaimed land around it.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It turns out that some of the trees pictured above, the ones with the purple flowers, are called Empress or Princess or Foxglove Trees (Paulownia tomentosa) and their presence is directly linked to the presence of those rail tracks. To start, Empress Trees are quite opportunistic, and can root themselves into cracks in the concrete, or even in the mortar between bricks. They are also an “invasive specie” native to central and western China. Ecologically speaking, they are amazing organisms to encounter, as their leaves “fix” nitrogen in a very efficient fashion and enrich the soil they grow in as dead leaves decay on the ground. Empress trees also drink up a lot of CO2, sequestering 103 metric tons per square acre of the greenhouse gas into their wood. They also look cool, and as mentioned, the flowers are pleasant smelling.

It seems that during the 19th century, Chinese porcelain manufacturers would use the pillowy seeds of Empress Trees for the same purpose that a modern day counterpart would use styrofoam packing peanuts. Cargo traveling by boat and rail spread the seeds along their courses, which is theoretically why you see so many of this type of tree growing wild in areas like Dutch Kills. Perhaps, in a century or so, there will be styrofoam trees found here.

Note: I’m writing this and several of the posts you’re going to see for the next week at the beginning of the week of Monday, May 25th. My plan is to continue doing my solo photo walks around LIC and the Newtown Creek in the dead of night as long as that’s feasible. If you continue to see regular updates as we move into April and beyond, that means everything is kosher as far as health and well being. If the blog stops updating, it means that things have gone badly for a humble narrator.


“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 blurb.com for $30.

strange minuscule

with 2 comments

Still rolling, yo.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

For those of you ideologically opposed to acknowledging the circumstance of the world surrounding you, a humble narrator recommends that you find the like minded and gather together in large groups. Please pass the doobies about from mouth to mouth, share drinking vessels, and remember to cough on each other as that will really show the snowflakes and liberals what’s for. That’s my public service announcement for the day. Messaging was forwarded from and paid for by Socialism Central.

Pictured above is a Caterpillar 450F, a backhoe loader which weighs about 25,000 lbs. or maybe – it’s just photoshop – part of a Demonrat/International Bankers Cabal conspiracy designed to make you believe that construction equipment is real and subvert your freedoms. You caught me out, spreading the sort of ideas that George Soros and Bill Gates want you to think.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, and sometimes it isn’t. That abandoned umbrella in the shot above, encountered while wandering around Long Island City one recent evening? Clearly placed there to aid me in producing an image which Alexandria Oh Castro Cortex secretly monetized by diverting tax dollars away from first responders and all of the other noble soldiers of the State. Did you know that a small number of Americans die every year of impalement by cast off umbrellas? They would have died anyway, so what’s the big deal about COVID?

One of my neighbors reminded me just yesterday morning that the only people dying from the virus are “the weak.” A good American point of view, that, and the sort of rousing rhetoric you might associate with Captain America or Superman. The strong survive and the weak or the sick can just go fuck themselves. Buying tombstones stimulates the economy, right?

Ever hear the one about Ayn Rand, Paul Ryan, and Rand Paul going into a bar? They order their drinks and then die from drinking tainted booze because there are no regulations governing what bars can serve in a glass. Lol.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As you may have guessed, I’m gobsmacked at the colossal lack of empathy and compassion on display at the moment. Just like the asshole parked across the street from my house, while I’m writing this, who is playing his shitty auto tune music at top volume, can we find it in ourselves to think of others for just a moment? Is that too much to ask for? Walk a mile in another man’s shoes? Do unto others?

What am I saying. Go to orphanages and tell the kids that Santa Claus is a deception, designed by the deep state to sell toys.

Note: I’m writing this and several of the posts you’re going to see for the next week at the beginning of the week of Monday, May 25th. My plan is to continue doing my solo photo walks around LIC and the Newtown Creek in the dead of night as long as that’s feasible. If you continue to see regular updates as we move into April and beyond, that means everything is kosher as far as health and well being. If the blog stops updating, it means that things have gone badly for a humble narrator.


“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 blurb.com for $30.

Written by Mitch Waxman

May 25, 2020 at 11:00 am

stirred stealthily

with one comment

Borden Avenue.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I got scared the other night, thinking I had spotted a pride of teenagers roaming about LIC, so I hid behind one of the structural legs of the Long Island Expressway and pondered a few things. Yes, teenagers travel in a “pride.” Busy body white ladies, the “Karen’s” you see all over the internet trying to boss people around, form up a “privilege” when they gather, as in a “Privilege of Karen’s.” A band of teenagers is less than five individuals, whereas a pride is a large group comprised of a lead Alpha team commanding several Master Betas who in turn lead individual bands. Dominance behaviors familiar to any primatologist are displayed. Deep and turbulent currents occur when a Pride encounters a Privilege, with both sides threatening to summon a Cadre of Cops while recording each other with cell phones. Invariably, someone shouts “world star” or “welcome to YouTube.”

As a note, Cops usually come in pairs. Six or more Cops form a Cadre, whereas a full precinct wide deployment is a “fuck ton” as in “Holy Shit, there’s a Fuck Ton of Cops out there.” Any wonder why I choose to just hide behind and beside the structural elements of the built environment?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

“Mitch, there’s no such thing as salt and shade resistant plant species which could survive around the outfall pipes of NYC’s elevated highways,” I’ve been told that by botanist, parks personnel, and everybody else in positions of City or State authority over NYC’s elevated highways. As you can see from the self seeded vegetation in the shot above, whose speciation is cosmopolitan, they are right and I am as always wrong.

Looking out of your narrow windows at a world which you despise, and comparing your world view to mine, it is quite easy to describe me as naive, badly informed, or as some sort of agenda pushing hack. Call me names, abuse my statements, say whatever you wish as it is your absolute right. The fact is… life finds a way. Abandon orthodoxy, see what is and what grows, be organic in your logic. You’ll be happier working towards creating the world you wish we lived in than the dross corner which pain and shattered hope has painted you into. Go take a walk, and watch the world. It can be beautiful. You don’t have to pronounce everything as false and perverse to protect your heart. You just have to embrace the fact that green things can and do crack through the concrete.

Watch out for Prides of Teenagers though, they have zero impulse control.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It’s funny, actually, that I never seem to grow tired of shooting around this outlandish steel traffic viaduct in LIC. The thing arches over Newtown Creek’s Dutch Kills tributary, where it rises 108 feet up, with the Queens Midtown Tunnel and Greenpoint Avenue at either end. The utilitarian esthetics embraced by the engineers of the House of Robert Moses have always spoken to me, design wise, but I like a good onramp.

Note: I’m writing this and several of the posts you’re going to see for the next week at the beginning of the week of Monday, May 18th. My plan is to continue doing my solo photo walks around LIC and the Newtown Creek in the dead of night as long as that’s feasible. If you continue to see regular updates as we move into April and beyond, that means everything is kosher as far as health and well being. If the blog stops updating, it means that things have gone badly for a humble narrator.


“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 blurb.com for $30.

%d bloggers like this: