The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Archive for the ‘Lower Manhattan’ Category

saturated fat

leave a comment »

Manhattan, in today’s post.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Last week, a humble narrator found himself in Lower Manhattan, moving on foot betwixt the rivers. Having debarked a boat nearby Houston Street on the Hudson which I’d been on since the morning, my next obligation involved Long Island City and one decided upon involved walking crosstown to connect up with the NYC Ferry’s East River route via Pier 11 at the foot of Wall Street. Along the way, my camera was clicking away at whatever happened to catch my eye. The scene above, a well preserved example of the former mercantile empire which NYC was once at the center of, exhibited the tepid level of what passes for street life and activity in the sections of NYC which are the Crown Jewels of gentrification. Urban planners hate the chaos and tumult of actual street life, and would offer this section – defined by the Holland Tunnel – up as a success story.

It’s Laight Street, if you’re morbidly curious.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Over on Worth Street, a rather large “works” project is underway involving the rebuilding of the road itself. Luckily, this has scratched away the occluding asphalt which disguises the “works” of the City, exposing the veins and arteries of the metropolis for inspection by one such as myself. The area surrounding this trench is the heart of the Legal Industrial Complex in Lower Manhattan. Shadowing of the public way was provided in this particular spot by a fortress like Federal building. It should be pointed out that they don’t seem overly concerned with creating protected bike lanes in this part of the City.

I was following a path that inevitably led to the East River, and as mentioned, moving diagonally across Lower Manhattan.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The Manhattan Municipal Building at 1 Centre Street was renamed in 2015 for former Mayor David M. Dinkins by our current Mayor, who was his protege. Given how startlingly awful the administration of the former executive was, it’s stunning that anything at all is named after him in NYC. There’s a been an attempt at rehabilitating his image in recent years, stealthily led by the current Mayor and his acolytes. Plastering names of former politicians on public buildings is red meat for those currently in office, it should be mentioned. I refuse to call Triborough or Queensboro anything other than their proper names until the Brooklyn Bridge is renamed for Michael Bloomberg or David Patterson. Accordingly, it’s the Manhattan Municipal Building, not the David M. Dinkins municipal building.

Luckily, my steady scuttling got me to the ferry on time, and I arrived in LIC at the appointed hour. Unfortunately, one developed a blister on the second little piggy (or index toe) of my left foot during the walk.


Upcoming Tours and Events

June 9th – Exploring Long Island City – with NY Adventure Club.

Long Island City is a tale of two cities; one filled with glittering water-front skyscrapers and manicured parks, and the other, a highly active ground transportation & distribution zone vital to the New York economy — which will prevail?

Tickets and more details
here.

May 17th – Port Newark Boat Tour – with Working Harbor Committee.

For an exciting adventure, go behind the scenes of the bustling Port of NY & NJ on our Hidden Harbor Tour® of Port Newark! Get an insider’s view of the 3rd largest port in the nation, where container ships dock and unload their goods from around the world. See how the working harbor really works and learn about what all those ships and tugs do. See giant container terminals, oil docks, dry dock repair, and more! Tickets and more details here.


“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Advertisements

Written by Mitch Waxman

May 14, 2018 at 11:00 am

tag removed

with one comment

Don’t go to Manhattan unless you have to, that’s what I say.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Last week, one used his free time to visit a few spots in Lower Manhattan which offer a certain resonance to the historically minded traveler. A quick ferry trip from Greenpoint found me in the financial district, whereupon a looping path carried the camera through first Chatham Square and then over to Paradise Square – aka the former Five Points. It wasn’t a formal “lookee look” as I’ve done and written about that in the past, instead I just wanted to refresh the muscle memory of where a number of Jakob Riis’s photos were captured, and take a walk through one of the few sections of Manhattan that are still interesting.

Also, I was craving Chinese Roast Pork Buns (Bao) and I know a great bakery in the shadow of the Manhattan Bridge near Eldridge Street. My old “go to” on Walker Street has changed management and no longer regularly produces the savory variant of Bao, and instead they focus on the manufacture of sickly sweet ones filled with custard – blech.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There’s a pretty neat roughly two hour route around Lower Manhattan which I feel like I can hang my hat on, starting at the Pier 11 ferry stop at Wall Street. You walk north past Peck Slip and the Brooklyn Bridge, hanging a left a couple of blocks south of the Manhattan Bridge. That carries you through a set of new law tenements to the east side of Chinatown, where you can pick up Canal and make a left on Bowery towards modern day Confucius Plaza (Chatham Square) and then up Mott to the actual Five Points. From there, head west to Broadway and then South through Printers Square where all the courthouses are, then head to the Battery where you’ll find Castle Clinton and Pier A and then loop back again to the Ferry at Pier 11.

It’s a nice walk, lotsa history.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One has been supernally busy for the last couple of weeks, which is not a complaint, and when a rare opportunity for some “me” time came up – I grabbed it by both horns. One has quite a few irons in the fire at the moment, planning events and tours for the summer months, and there’s also been a sudden deluge of meetings to attend regarding that fabulous cataract of urban malfeasance known as the Newtown Creek. It was nice to have an afternoon off which I could fill with some meandering.

NYC History notes for today include the anniversary of the 1936 opening of the Bronx Whitestone Bridge, which was actually yesterday, and today is the anniversary of the creation of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in 1921.


Upcoming Tours and Events

May 17th – Port Newark Boat Tour – with Working Harbor Committee.

For an exciting adventure, go behind the scenes of the bustling Port of NY & NJ on our Hidden Harbor Tour® of Port Newark! Get an insider’s view of the 3rd largest port in the nation, where container ships dock and unload their goods from around the world. See how the working harbor really works and learn about what all those ships and tugs do. See giant container terminals, oil docks, dry dock repair, and more!


Tickets and more details
here.


“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

April 30, 2018 at 11:00 am

flashed farther

with 2 comments

Lower Manhattan is just freaky, yo.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Once, I found a hole in the wall sandwich shop set up in some alley in Lower Manhattan, and that’s where I purchased a delicious milk shake. When I returned to the spot just a week later, not only was the shop gone, but so too was the alley. A few weeks later, I spotted the alley a few blocks distant from its original location, and I was soon drinking another delicious milk shake, pondering how my spatial memory could be so “off.” As you may have guessed where I’m heading at this point, the alley and the shop has disappeared just a day later when I went looking for them.

I’ve been looking for the alley ever since, as that was one hell of a milk shake.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

After visiting the Standard Oil building, as detailed in yesterday’s post, one needed to get back to Queens and my little dog Zuzu. On my way home, however, I decided to walk to Fulton Street rather than just catch the 5 line at Bowling Green. The tripod was deployed several times along the way, and I decided to spend a few minutes at the beating heart of global capitalism. Also, I was hoping to run into the alley again, as I really want another one of those milk shakes.

Pictured above is arguably one of the most important places, historically speaking, on the entire planet.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

This is where George Washington was sworn in as the first President of the United States, after all.

Is it really possible that there’s an alley in the financial district which transposes itself from place to place? Is anything really impossible? The sandwich shop, as I’m describing it, is one of those old school NYC locations which is little more than a counter set in an open doorway. They had their offerings wrapped in wax paper, not plastic. In addition to little bags of potato chips, also offered in wax paper, they sold simple sandwiches of ham, turkey, or roast beef. A large coffee urn was extant, as well as two mixers used to produce the milk shakes. They also offered pastries – bear claws, the square variant of cheese danish, and cinnamon buns. The proprietors were named Chaim and Jose.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Just down the block at the corner of Broad Street is a building which the global economy is operated out of, I’m told.

The milk shake was a bizarre concoction – chocolate ice cream, syrup, whole milk, half a banana, and a shot of strong black coffee. It should have been cloying. Chaim made the first milk shake I had, Jose the second, but they were both on point and identical in flavor and consistency. I don’t get down to the financial district often, but everytime I am here, I search for that alley and the sandwich shop. Have you seen it? Where might that alley be today?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The sandwich shop with the delicious milk shakes found in that alley was called “J.C.’s,” which probably stood for Jose and Chaim. Next door was one of those old school Chinese laundry shops, the sort where you get your clean garments handed back all wrapped up in brown paper and tied off with string. Directly across the narrow pavement of the alley, which was asphalt with Belgian blocks peeking through it, was a shop that sold fishing equipment. Next door to that was a shoemaker whose window signage promised one hour service on reheelings. That’s a real need in the financial district, given the amount of time which people who work hereabouts spend grinding other people and things under their heels, a practice which causes real “wear and tear” on footwear.

The beating and fortified heart of American Capitalism’s grand facade is pictured above, as seen on the corner of Wall St. at Broad Street, which is a filled in canal that originally connected to the East River during the days of the decadent Dutch. The canal, which was known as “The Common Ditch,” was filled in by 1676.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One continues to search for the alley where that delicious milk shake was on offer. The last time it was encountered was at the start of Michael Bloomberg’s second term as Mayor. Ponderings and wonderings abound about this alley, the manner it which it seems to transpose its location from place to place, and ultimately about the mystery of the delicious milk shakes. In this neighborhood, it should be mentioned, you need to watch out as there’s always somebody who will grab at and drink your milk shake if you give them half a chance.

A humble narrator makes it a point to wander along the lesser byways and permanently shadowed warrens of lower Manhattan in search of it, while also wondering what else might be hidden away down here.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Largely forgotten in historical circles are the great fires of 1835 and 1845, which burned away much of what was left from colonial times in Lower Manhattan. Massive building projects during the Tammany Hall era eliminated the rest. Hushed bar room conversations with municipal workers hint at there being a world of secrets in Lower Manhattan’s underground. Sewer workers tell of masonry tunnels found during the pursuit of their duties whose floors are littered with clay pipes, and deeply seated caverns with rough hewn walls of dripping timber and nitre crusted stone which appear on no map. The only story I can offer them in response revolves around an alley which seems to change locations and where one can purchase a world class milk shake.

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


Upcoming Tours and Events

April 14 – Exploring Long Island City – with NY Adventure Club.

Long Island City is a tale of two cities; one filled with glittering water-front skyscrapers and manicured parks, and the other, a highly active ground transportation & distribution zone vital to the New York economy — which will prevail?
Tickets and more details here.

April 15- Newtown Creekathon – with Newtown Creek Alliance.

That grueling 13 and change mile death march through the bowels of New York City known as the “Newtown Creekathon” will be held on that day, and I’ll be leading the charge as we hit every little corner and section of the waterway. This will be quite an undertaking, last year half the crowd tagged out before we hit the half way point. Have you got what it takes the walk the enitre Newtown Creek?
Click here to reserve a spot on the Creekathon.


“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

April 10, 2018 at 11:00 am

burns best

with 2 comments

Visiting one of the seats of empire, in today’s post.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Long have my eyes wished to look upon this place, found in Lower Manhattan at Bowling Green nearby Battery Park, and literally across the street from that charging bull statue which is meant to represent capitalism. You can put up all the bronze monuments you want to capitalism that you’d like to, but nobody – and I mean nobody – can hold a candle to what “the man” built at 26 Broadway nearby “de Waalstraat.” This was the center of the American Imperium, ultimately. If you want to answer the question Americans were asking directly after the attacks of Septmber 11th, 2001 – “Why do they hate us?” – you can start weaving the answer to them right here at 26 Broadway.

As a note, a long time before this 31 story office building’s opening in 1928, 26 Broadway was Alexander Hamilton’s home address.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Like the entity which inhabited it, the building is an agglutination which solidified and agglutinated over time and was built by many hands.

The original building at 26 Broadway was ten stories tall and went up in 1885. It was expanded in 1895, and then again in 1921 (that construction took 7 years, finishing in 1928) which resulted in its current form. The original structure is contained somewhere within the 1928 version, which was the tallest building in Lower Manhattan when it was finished. 26 Broadway is crowned by a pyramid shaped structure that was once illuminated, meant to act as a beacon for ships entering New York Harbor, and said pyramid was modeled after the Mausoleum of Maussollos in the City of Halicarnassus – part of the 4th century b.c. Achaemenid Empire in modern day Turkey. “Maussollos” is where modernity derives the word mausoleum from, incidentally.

The master of the early modern world had moved his organization here to Bowling Green back in 1885, from Cleveland.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

We live in an era defined by the fact that he once walked amongst us. We live in an era during which the corporate leader is exalted as a princeps, and ruthless business tactics are celebrated. This was not so when he was born in 1839. In his lifetime, he was viewed as the epitome of American villainy. He is the model for Mr. Burns from the Simpsons cartoon, Mr. Potter from Frank Capra’s “it’s a wonderful life,” and Lex Luthor from the Superman mythos. His empire made him the richest person in recorded history, wealthier than all the kings and queens of England, the Pharoahs of Egypt, and all the Caesars of Rome – put together. Only Augustus Caesar enjoyed personal wealth and power that began to approach his. His instrument – “the organization” as he called it  – controlled better than 90% of American petroleum production, and 26 Broadway was his headquarters.

This is the former home and HQ of the Standard Oil Company, and it’s master was John D. Rockefeller.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One normally eschews visiting this section of Manhattan unless it’s absolutely necessary. A meeting I was invited to was being held “nearby Bowling Green,” as I was told. Once I consented to attend, and was then told the address where the gathering would be occurring, a broad smile broke out across my normally sullen and sunken countenance.

Esso, as Standard Oil’s New Jersey arm became known in the early 20th century – it’s Exxon now – was headquartered here until 1946. Greenpoint’s Mobil, the New York operation, was similarly managed out of the Standard Oil Building at 26 Broadway until 1956.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The views from 26 Broadway are exactly what one would expect in terms of being spectacular.

The crowded warrens of the lesser corporate towers fill the streets abundantly, and humanity is fairly removed from the equation, reduced to the status of crawling insects from this perpective. You see a few survivors of the Beaux Arts era from up here – the old Customs House (modern day Museum of the American Indian) pictured in the previous shot, the Cunard building, Castle Clinton over in Battery Park. The most important building in this area, saving the actual Stock Exchange – in terms of American History – is the Standard Oil building.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

In his lifetime, John D. Rockefeller was reviled. He was, personally, the “one percent.” A culture which celebrated the self made man nevertheless saw this self made man as a monster, despite his best efforts to demonstrate his humanity and Christian virtues. In his later life, seeking to salvage the family name from infamy, Rockefeller and his sons began a career of philanthropy which familial descendants continue to this day. Standard Oil was notoriously ruthless in the continental territories of the United States, but it’s when you look overseas that the true scope and infamy of their ambitions become clear. The company’s agents, operating in the smoking ruins of the Ottoman Empire after the First World War, began troublesome relationships with the Sheiks and Mullahs of the Arabian Penninsula (along with British Petroleum and Royal Dutch Shell) whose consequences continue to bedevil the American Imperium to this day.

Why hit the World Trade Center? It was the personal project of John D. Rockefeller’s grandson David. Memory is held long in the near east, and revenge is a dish best served cold.


Upcoming Tours and Events

April 14 – Exploring Long Island City – with NY Adventure Club.

Long Island City is a tale of two cities; one filled with glittering water-front skyscrapers and manicured parks, and the other, a highly active ground transportation & distribution zone vital to the New York economy — which will prevail?
Tickets and more details here.

April 15- Newtown Creekathon – with Newtown Creek Alliance.

That grueling 13 and change mile death march through the bowels of New York City known as the “Newtown Creekathon” will be held on that day, and I’ll be leading the charge as we hit every little corner and section of the waterway. This will be quite an undertaking, last year half the crowd tagged out before we hit the half way point. Have you got what it takes the walk the enitre Newtown Creek?
Click here to reserve a spot on the Creekathon.


“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

April 9, 2018 at 11:00 am

gleaming dome

with 2 comments

The “A” in MTA is for “Adventure.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Inhuman and hideous, claustrophobic and filth ridden, the nest of Mammon and Asmodeus, home sweet hell. To say that one bears a certain disdain for Manhattan in his old age would indicate that an understatement is being offered. Manhattan? That’s not where you’ll find the solution, instead Manhattan is the problem. Vainglorious pride blinds.

These days, nobody you ask would say they “want to go” to the island of Manhattan from the other four boroughs, instead they’ll say “I HAVE TO go to Manhattan.” That’s usually when the MTA comes up.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One such as myself gets around a lot. There isn’t a standard commute these days, rather it’s a series of odd destinations which are often set against a patchwork of neighborhoods and places unfamiliar. How do you get from Maspeth to Red Hook, or Richmond Terrace to Elmhurst? Broadway Junction connects to which trains, and are there any that near Astoria? Best transit route from Rockaway to Greenpoint, or the Bronx Zoo?

These are the sort of questions which one asks himself regularly, but last Saturday morning my problem was a simple one – get from HQ in Astoria to Lower Manhattan to do a tour on a NYC Ferry for the NY Transit Museum. As mentioned, the “A” in MTA is for “adventure,” particularly on the weekends.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

An obvious path to Pier 11 would be taking the Astoria Ferry from Hallets Cove. Unfortunately, they were operating on a winter and weekend schedule, and I would have arrived at the pier for the tour nearly an hour earlier than my customary arrival (a half hour in advance of a tour) time. I also would have to have to factor in the mile long walk to the waterfront, meaning that my journey would entail me leaving HQ something like three hours in advance of arrival if I also wanted to get breakfast, and I did want breakfast.

I decided on chancing it with the MTA, and taking the train. Realization that the Subway is now the daily gamble set in.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I boarded an R at Steinway Street, which became an F in the tunnel. It let me off at the 63rd street station, where I had to leave the system and execute a walking transfer to get to the Lexington Avenue line’s 4/5/6 platform. There, I discovered that I had to take a 6 to 42nd street to then transfer to a 5. Luckily, the 5 got me to Fulton Street where the unpleasant miasmas of the Financial District were pulsing about in a bit of fog.

What the hell is it about Lower Manhattan with the garbage and the rats and the stink and those puddles of yellow/green bubbling water everywhere. What’s that greasy black stuff all over the sidewalks, or that liquid which just dripped on me from high above, and… blech… if you say the Newtown Creek is bad… try Fulton Street and lower Manhattan in general.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

If ever there was an area in which I’d like to set the Real Estate Industrial Complex absolutely loose, it’s a peninsular section of the Shining City just south of City Hall and north of Battery Park. Imagine it, all that filthy lucre to be made, and the developers could take turns bulldozing landmarks. The bike people could drive protected bicycling lanes right through the lobbies of buildings… What a time they’d have.

Thing is, whatever feeding frenzy might happen here will be limited evermore. Without reliable and predictable transit to carry people into Manhattan, the folks in outer boroughs might have to find other places to work that aren’t so disgusting.


“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

March 5, 2018 at 11:00 am

faulty circuits

with one comment

Just another day in paradise, yo.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

If memory serves, the section of Manhattan along the East River found between the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges was once known as “the fourth ward.” Formerly hosting some of the busiest docks on the entire planet, this stretch of shoreline was occupied by tenements, factories, and warehouses. Robert Moses took care of that back in the mid 20th century when his arterial road project “The FDR Drive” was driven through, an endeavor which was accompanied by an “urban renewal” project that saw the surrounding building stock leveled and replaced by public housing and large apartment blocks.

Today, shadowed by the “high speed” roadway above, there’s a “park” along the waterfront. One thing to take notice of in the shot above are the pipes descending down from the roadway, which carry wastewater from the elevated road and allow it to drain directly into the water. For some reason, nobody in government thinks this is much of a problem.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

If you look over the fence at the waters of the East River, you’ll notice the stubby remains of concrete pier footings jutting out of the water here and there. To be fair, unlike today, the citizenry wanted nothing to do with the East River. Until quite recently, the City treated the East River as an extension of the sewer system and it was rife with not just sewer effluents but with industrial waste products as well. The political struggle in modern times is to create unfettered public access to the water for recreation.

As you’d imagine, and as mentioned several times over the years, when the weather is cold and forbidding a humble narrator is busy consuming historical literature and studying the great human hive. My dad would say that this is one of those periods when I’ve got my head stuck right up my butt and that I should put the books down and get outside.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Just a block or two back from the waterfront is the financial district of lower Manhattan, an inhuman landscape of glass walls and towering blocks where the greed demons Mammon and Asmodeus rule. A Potemkin Village called the South Street Seaport is nearby, which purports to represent what once was, and every now and then you’ll encounter some toony old structure which has somehow survived the wrecking ball, but Manhattan is ultimately a lost cause – historically speaking.

For some reason, whenever I’m walking around down here, I hear Al Smith’s voice singing “The Sidewalks of New York.”


“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

January 18, 2018 at 1:30 pm

archaic chirography

with one comment

It’s National Pepper Pot day, in these United States.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Last week, I was hanging out with a friend over in the City, and we decided to hit the eastern side of Chinatown for a wee photo walk. This is the Manhattan side definition of “DUMBO,” which is an area still defined by the presence of late 19th century tenement buildings and narrow streets. Chatham Square, the Five Points, and Paradise Alley aren’t too far away, and it’s one of the few spots on the island which haven’t been ruined by the real estate industrial complex in recent decades. Off in the distance, a municipal complex of government buildings and courthouses positively looms.

We were wandering about, my friend and I, and decided to grab some lunch at a Chinese bakery before heading south and east. After a super hot cup of coffee and a couple of roast pork buns (Bao) we fired up the cameras and started marching about in an area which has apparently been called “Two Bridges” since 1955. I think the Two Bridges thing, since I’ve never actually heard it before, is real estate industrial complex propaganda being specifically disseminated by the Extell corporation which happens to be building a 68 story market rate tower nearby. Just a hunch there, by the way.

Saying that, as of 2003 there’s been a Two Bridges Historic District on the national list of such things, so…

– photo by Mitch Waxman

This part of Manhattan Island has been occupied for longer than the United States has existed, and was part of the exurbs of the New Amsterdam colony. During the “Gangs of New York” era, Chatham Square was a central market place and meeting point where foodstuffs, farm goods, and often less than salubrious goods and services were offered for sale. The tenement dwellers in this area, who were those “huddled masses” mentioned by the screed on the Statue of Liberty, were largely destitute and lived in conditions which modernity would perceive as squalor. Jakob Riis and other contemporaries described it as squalor, it should be mentioned, so maybe…

from wikipedia

Up until about 1820, the square was used as a large open air market for goods and livestock, mainly horses. By the mid-19th century, it became a center for tattoo parlors, flophouses and saloons, as a seedy section of the old Five Points neighborhood. In the 20th century, after The Great Depression and Prohibition, the area was reformed.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I always try to analogize the era of early to mid 19th century New York City to people by reminding them that this was the same age as when Cowboys were riding horses about the west, and that folks in Europe were still fighting each other with swords, spears, and arrows. They had cannons and firearms over in Europe, of course, but these early weapons were pretty clumsy, prone to misfires, and inaccurate. There’s a reason that they used to affix those long bayonets on muskets back then, y’know.

Guns were practically a brand new commodity, with Mr. Remington having begun the democratization of rifle firearms only in 1816. It wasn’t until 1852 that Horace Smith and Daniel B. Wesson incorporated, becoming the Henry Fords of firearms. In NYC, a pistol was a fairly uncommon and expensive commodity, as I understand things. Rifles and shot guns were more common but still relatively rare amongst the tenement crowd.

It would be far more likely, were you to invent time travel and visit this section of Manhattan in the 1850’s, that you would be beaten to death or fatally stabbed shortly after stepping out of your time machine. They were big on blades back then…

– photo by Mitch Waxman

You can’t walk through Chinatown and not grab some shots of the foodstuffs being offered for sale on the sidewalks in front of shops. Thing is, these fish may or may not be considered “food” per se. A lot of what’s on sale in this eastern section of Chinatown is actually medicinal in nature, which my ignorant and dross western eyes cannot discern. Have to admit, I’m pretty ignorant about the nuances of the Chinese culture(s)…

from wikipedia

Manhattan’s Chinatown (simplified Chinese: 曼哈顿华埠; traditional Chinese: 曼哈頓華埠; pinyin: Mànhādùn huábù; juytping: Maan6haa1deon6 waa1bou6) is a neighborhood in Lower Manhattan, New York City, bordering the Lower East Side to its east, Little Italy to its north, Civic Center to its south, and Tribeca to its west. Chinatown is home to the highest concentration of Chinese people in the Western Hemisphere.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Personally, I love the fact that there are still junkie squats and homeless camps found in and amongst the streets/alleys of this area. It’s good to know that there are still some parts of Manhattan that have been resistant to the high fructose financial syrup that has decimated the East and West Village, turned the Lower East Side into bro-hipster Disneyland, and rendered the neighborhood around Port Authority into a grotesque.

I miss the old days, when Manhattan was ecstatic and predatory all at the same time…

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My friend and I continued south and east, into the boring Battery section. We had a quick refreshment at a local watering hole, used the facilities, and got the hell out of dodge before rush hour started. A quick trip on the 5 line got us to 59/Lex, where a transfer was enacted to the IND R line which carried us beneath the river and back to the almond eyed milieu known as Astoria. As is always the case, a warm feeling erupted in my chest upon returning to Queens.

Might have been indigestion though, from eating those two roast pork buns. Probably should have had just one…


“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

December 29, 2017 at 1:30 pm

%d bloggers like this: