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nightmare spawning

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Thursday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Hudson Yards is an abomination. The Related Companies have been allowed to steal the sky, blotting the firmament out and privatizing it for those who can afford to pay their price.

This is unfortunately the future, and one of the models that NYC will be using for future development. As you’re reading this, the “powers that be” are at work on the area just east of this development. The Penn Hotel is being torn down, as Midtown Manhattan is underdeveloped, and the Political Estate’s sponsors are slavering for more.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

When you flush a toilet here, your bodily waste flows through underground pipes to a NYC DEP facility on 13th street and Avenue D, right in the middle of the projects. It’s then pumped under the East River to Greenpoint, where it’s processed along Newtown Creek. If there’s a summer blackout in Brooklyn or the Bronx, you can bet your bottom dollar that the lights will stay on at Hudson Yards.

If you spend any time interacting with the vampiric aspirations of big Real Estate, and speak against one of their projects, you will be called a “NIMBY” by one of their sock puppet “non profit” organizations that describe themselves as being “YIMBY’s.” NIMBY is an acronym for “Not in my back yard,” and YIMBY is “Yes in my back yard.” These YIMBY’s will accuse you of denying people – who haven’t been born yet – homes because of racism. Never will the hundreds of thousands of apartment units currently warehoused, and purposefully kept off the market, by their masters in the Real Estate industry with the intention of keeping their market prices on an always upward trajectory be mentioned.

Jared Kushner. Donald Trump. The Durst Organization. Larry Silverstein. The Tishmans and the Speyers. These are the sort of creatures who control the discourse over housing and development in NYC. The aspirant politicians are sponsored by these forces, and expected to do their bidding when appointed elected to office. Oddly, the most “Socialist” of the electeds also happen to be YIMBY’s. So are the hardline Republicans, the middle of the road Democrats – everybody in office seems to be bought off to one degree of another by Real Estate.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Hudson Yards is an abomination. Ever wonder what it must be like to live in a building where you can’t open the window for some fresh air?

On the plus side, you don’t have to worry too much about getting rained on in the Hudson Yards area. There ain’t that much visible sky there to allow a cloud to piss down on you.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The only reason you can see the Empire State Building in the shot above is due to a NYC Dept. Of City Planning rule about “preserving sight lines.” The fellow who oversaw this project for City Planning was Vishaan Chakrabarti, who was the same guy that the NYC EDC hired to oversee the Sunnyside Yards proposal. Now… do you understand why I fought so hard and long against that one?

This is what was going to happen to Sunnyside and LIC if that project moved forward. If the Mayor overrules the Council member and Borough President on the Innovation Queens proposal, this is what Astoria is going to turn into in about 10 years. NIMBY my ass.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Given the huge input of $1.2 billion in public money, you’d imagine that the rents here were somewhat reasonable, huh? Well, if you’ve got $7,100 a month for a furnished one bedroom – you’re set. That’s $85,200 a year, which would have to come out of your post taxation paycheck. If you want to buy instead, their available condos start at $5.5 million and range up to a 4 bedroom, 5,000 sq ft. one on sale for $29.5 million.

Does this sound like an industrial sector which requires tax breaks that divert moneys away from the public sector?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Hudson Yards is an abomination.


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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

September 22, 2022 at 11:00 am

damnable expressiveness

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Wednesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Sunday the 21st, I was supposed to go the City and take a ride on a Fireboat. Unfortunately, said Fireboat snapped a cable leading to the rudder and the trip was cancelled.

Given that I was in the high West 20’s, I decided to take a longish walk around the Hudson Yards development before heading back home to Astoria via the 7 train.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Hudson Yards is an abomination. Everybody associated with the planning and design of this project deserves to go to hell. I’ll give the construction workers a pass, as they just do what their told.

I’ve often described Hudson Yards as looking like the debris of a space station which broke up in orbit and randomly embedded itself in the ground during a crash landing on the west side of Manhattan. Inelegantly designed mirror box rhombuses, these structures blot out the sky and cry out “look at my valuation.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Hudson Yards is an abomination, as the project diverted moneys meant for public housing away from their intended target and towards itself with the complicit approval of City Hall and the Dept. of City Planning. $1.2 Billion of it. One point two billion dollars.

Saying that they improved the area with the money meant for the projects, the Hudson Yards team at The Related Companies convey and virtue signal their largesse. Yes, compared to the abandoned buildings and gangs of drug dealers and hookers which used to populate the area between 8th Avenue and the West Side Highway in the 20’s and 30’s, they’ve improved things.

Like the Romans would when declaring a victory.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

These vampires also created a street scape which is unwelcoming and cold.

This isn’t New York. This is what people from Atlanta, or Los Angeles, or Disneyworld think New York is. Public space here isn’t truly public, it’s privately held and that means that they can set the rules for the sidewalks. They have the right to impinge your speech, tell you to move on after sitting there too long, and set behavioral rules barring otherwise noisome but legal habits like smoking or break dancing or sleeping on a park bench. Your NYC streets are officially now their Hudson Yards development zone public/private partnership streets. Technically speaking, I’m not allowed to publish the photos you’re looking at of these buildings without first getting their permission, as it violates their copyright.

Want to know what form fascism will take in a blue state?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

While scuttling about Hudson Yards, I found a long staircase leading up to a skyway walk. Roughly three stories, I’d venture. Connected to a Whole Foods outpost and a series of coffee shops and boutiques, this walkway continues on to one of their encapsulated malls through a glassine maze. These mall spaces are not part of the street grid, and are set up in a manner that divorces you from geospatial awareness of the surrounding area – which just happens to be Hells Kitchen.

These buildings, and this entire project, are built around the “super block” concepts underlying the debauched intellectual legacies of the French Cryptofascist Le Corbusier. Adherents to Le Corbusier’s ideas included Robert Moses, and if you’ve ever wondered how and why what happened to the Bronx happened, it was Le Corbusier as channeled by Moses and his apparatus.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Hudson Yards is sterilized, but not stylized. It’s anonymous, reducing the citizenry down to stock art cutouts existing on some architectural rendering. It separates the social classes from interaction, except as clerk and customer. It eliminates the messy exigency of life on the New York streets. It’s inhuman in scale, like Speer’s designs for post WW2 Nazi Berlin, but there’s no pageantry on offer.

Hudson Yards is an abomination.


“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

September 21, 2022 at 11:00 am

opiate peace

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Friday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

So, the NYC Ferry has started a new service, one that starts on… Staten Island… and then proceeds up the Hudson River to midtown. Now… why on earth would you introduce a paid service that’s meant to compete with the free one?

Answer is that the free one goes to lower Manhattan, leaving you nearby the Battery and Wall Street, whereas the new paid service takes you to the high west 30’s along the west side of the City.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The new boat route really allows the ferry captains to open up the throttle, I would mention, and the boat is bouncing along on the waves. It leaves from St. George, makes a stop nearby Battery Park City at Vesey Street, then heads all the way up to west 39th street.

Talking to people from Staten Island riding the thing revealed that they didn’t mind paying for it, given that using the Staten Island Ferry to get to Manhattan would see them paying a subway fare. This way, they get to be on the water the whole way.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The burning thermonuclear eye of god itself was dipping down behind New Jersey as I was riding the ferry, and there’s a Coast Guard rule that demands that anyone with a camera has to take a picture of the Statue of Liberty under such circumstance, so…

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I had a meeting which I was meant to call in to just as the moon began to manifest. Something Newtown Creek related, which is probably quite a surprise, huh?

I am very, very tired of going to meetings.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’ve always found the Hudson River pretty boring, truth be told. You’ve got three or four nice shots along the way, but two of them have been absolutely ruined by catastrophic architectural decisions.

I don’t actually mind those two cantilevered buildings, as a note.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As soon as I hit land, I called into my meeting, which I attended via my headphones while still shooting.

Back next week with more wonders, at this – your Newtown Pentacle.


“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 13, 2022 at 11:00 am

cheerful trifles

with 2 comments

Monday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The thing I was saying all summer was this – “if we don’t collectively hit 70% vaccines saturation by late July, Halloween and Thanksgiving will be fine but it ain’t going to be a very Merry Christmas and New Years is going to suck.” Since we didn’t hit that magic vaccine saturation number either locally or nationally, Our Lady of the Pentacle and myself scheduled a holiday trip for the first weekend of December under the presumption of rough seas arriving for the holiday week. Of course, we spent Christmas watching tv by ourselves, and regardless of that, we both had a Covid experience for New Years so – “Call me Ezekiel, for I am a prophet.”

We couldn’t agree on our mode of travel for our weekend away – her schedule is far more demanding than mine currently is, so Our Lady decided to fly whereas I opted for experiencing another journey on the Amtrak. I vastly prefer travel on trains as compared to planes, as a note. It’s just a comfort thing, and I hate airports, and don’t mind spending a bit of down time reading or staring out a window.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One hopped on the subway from Astoria, and headed over to Manhattan’s Moynihan Penn Station on Manhattan’s west side. Upon arrival, I realized that one of the 2021 resolutions I had made – to explore and photograph the newly opened facility in some detail – has gone undone. It’s the “mask thing” holding me back, ultimately. Give me the choice between being outside and unmasked versus within a structure and masked up…

Generally speaking, I seldom wear a mask when outside – I’m vaxxed, and unless a crowd suddenly forms around me – am not too worried about Covid exposure as long as there’s a breeze blowing. Beyond legal requirements for mask usage inside buildings, it’s fairly prosaic and smart to religiously wear one indoors due to ventilation issues.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The National order for masking up on mass transit is, and was in early December, still in effect. One of the problems with these requirements for Covid era facial accoutrements revolves around wearing prescription eyeglasses, as I do. Getting the mask to sit just right so as to not fog up my glasses has been a struggle for me since March of 2020. I’ve tried anti-fog spray, positioning the thing just right… you name it. The only tip I can offer which has had any sort of positive effect on the fog front involves washing down your eyeglasses with a dot of Dawn dishwashing liquid before heading out into the world. Getting them factory clean and “degreased” with the detergent ameliorates, but doesn’t eliminate, the issue.

Regardless, the Amtrak announcement that my train was leaving the station was received, and I queued up to get onto the locomotive.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

First stop that the Amtrak people allowed us to get off the train at was in Philadelphia at 30th street Station. A roughly 15 minute layover, this is where Amtrak changes out the actual locomotive engine of the train. Northeast corridor trains operate on electrical power, whereas the ones that will be heading deeper onto the continent generally use diesel. It’s a pretty simple procedure – the Amtrak people disconnect a series of cables and the big steel locket thingamabobs that connect the locomotive to the passenger cars. The original “Cogen” locomotive rolls away and another rolls in, which then has its cables and bits and bobs connected to the passenger cars. There’s a bunch of people wearing overalls who wave lanterns at each other from either side of the train while this is going on.

Finally, bells ring and you’re instructed to get back onboard, or to stay in Philadelphia and get used to eating lousy pizza or cheese steak sandwiches in the City known as America’s consolation prize. Really, as a New Yorker, I’m obligated to shit talk Philadelphia.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

We arrived at our destination about five minutes late, which really isn’t bad when you get down to it. Four hundred and forty six miles of travel, which ate up about 8 hours of my life. I enjoyed myself immensely doing absolutely nothing. Stared out the window, watching America roll past, that’s what I did.

I also ate the Amtrak hamburger again, as I’m a masochist.

When we were deciding where to go on our weekend away, the travels of September kept on intruding into the story, and since I had such a great time in Pittsburgh when I was there by myself…

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Welcome back to the Steel City, lords and ladies.

We were staying in an AirBNB on Mt. Washington this time around, not the downtown area where my lodgings were last time. More tomorrow.


“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

January 17, 2022 at 11:00 am

uncounted billions

with 3 comments

Friday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Back in the saddle again, as it were.

It seems, after returning from my various journeys, that a humble narrator has had a bit of a fire lit in the seat of his pants. Within three days of returning to NYC, circumstance demanded that I needed to travel all over the place, and that’s when the malevolent sentience of NYC penalized me for leaving her behind for the interval.

A City based memorial get together in honor of a recently departed friend saw me standing on the subway platforms at Queens Plaza afterwards, which is when the 7 train shot above was captured. I got to talk to the cops about this one, while some asshole was smoking a joint about twenty feet away from us. I don’t care that he was smoking weed, mind you, it’s that he was smoking anything at all on the freaking platform at Queens Plaza and the cops decided to hassle me for taking a photo – which is 100% legal – instead of the other guy who was doing something 100% illegal.

“Why are you taking pictures of the subway”? I dunno officer, maybe it’s cause I’m the Chair of the Community Board’s Transportation Committee, or that I’m part of a transit advocacy group called Access Queens which focuses on problems that happen on this line? Maybe it’s because I can do whatever the hell I want to, and I wouldn’t have to explain myself to you even if I am in the middle of committing a crime let alone not committing one? If it was the former situation, you’d have already added a pair of steel bracelets to my accoutrements prior to getting me to say something stupid enough for you to take me back to the Station House. Grrrr.

“Dystopian shithole,” that’s what I kept on repeating to myself after the N line arrived across the platform and carried me into Astoria. Covid seems to have applied the icing to De Blasio’s seven year long layer cake of municipal despair, indifference, and “less than.” Pfah.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Another occasion found me walking through the blight and wasteland blocks surrounding Manhattan’s horrific Hudson Yards development. The section of midtown nearby Hudson Yards, and the similarly ill conceived Javitz Convention Center, has long been a dangerous and lonely section of the city inhabited by scalliwags, truants, muggers, drug enthusiasts, and whatever the hell “woke” people call street prostitutes these days. Hudson Yards has somehow made this worse by luring future victims to the area. Luckily for them, the wealthy can afford private security. Cops ain’t doing shit for shinola until De Blasio is out of office, so if you’re not rich enough to afford a body man, keep your guard up lords and ladies. Turbulence is ahead.

Luckily, the traffic gendarmes were there to ensure the smooth flow of New Jersey bound automobile traffic through the zone. Wonder how long it’s going to be before somebody comes up with the bright idea to knock down that church (Sts. Cyril & Methodius & St. Raphael’s Catholic Church Croatian Parish) and replace it with a 30 story Walgreens because a) progress, b) affordable housing, c) ride a bike asshole, d) you’re a racist if you disagree with anything that might have just popped into my head right now.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Finally, seeking some sort of quiet time and communion with my arrival “back home,” I rode the ferry out to Staten Island hoping for some tugboat time. I got some of that, but was again thwarted by NYC teaching me a lesson for leaving her behind for a few weeks.

It seems that on my way back to the City, I had to stop off to get sniffed by the security theater labradors stationed therein while rushing through the terminal to catch the Staten Island Ferry. A momentary delay, the sniffing nevertheless caused me to miss the boat, since the ferry guy had already partially closed the sliding glass door he spends his life sliding open and closed, and he would have had to reopen it, and since he’s a city employee who’s already dead inside… there went a half hour of my life, which I spent being cased by a rip off crew that hangs around the SI Ferry terminals.

I’ve seen and noticed this particular pack of “clown shoes” before, a group of scaly looking early to mid 20’s guys who work as a unit. One guy spots the “vic,” and then texts his buddies. They move in through the crowd from different angles, and before you know it you’re standing in the middle of a huddle of dim witted muggers who work you over – picking your pockets and grabbing whatever they can before scattering. I noticed them noticing me (and especially the camera) immediately, and began a fun game of moving about the terminal to give them some exercise while playing dumb about the situation. They would text each other when I stopped moving, and then begin collecting nearby me again. Then I’d move again, and then there they were. So bad at crime, the millennials are. So incredibly bad.

To the cops at Queens Plaza – there’s a heroin operation which uses the Staten Island Ferry to move product between New Jersey and Manhattan. Has been going on for years. Look for what you boys in blue refer to as “skels” when on the big orange boat. Noticing things like this is quite literally your job. Stop hassling photographers.

Bah. Back next week.


“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

November 19, 2021 at 11:00 am

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