The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Archive for the ‘Newtown Creek Waste Water Treatment Plant’ Category

oddly corrobative

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Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The routine one currently ascribes to involves a schedule of “one day out, one day in.” What that means is that if I’m out with the camera on Monday, Tuesday is the day I’m at HQ developing whatever I shot and delivering it to the Internet. One opines that internally lubricated parts like the knee or hip joints require regular flexion lest they lose function. Scuttling, always scuttling, that’s me. As a point of interest, the way that this shakes out this week is that tonight I’ll be out and scuttling.

One appears to be little more than a pile of filthy black fabric caught in a stiff breeze to most passerby, but for some reason I’m catching people’s eyes these days and I don’t like that. Some of the humans want to talk with me, whilst others are suspicious of my presence. Unfortunately, there are also those whom have seemingly developed a taste for human meat during the pandemic, and they gaze at me and my possessions hungrily.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Things have become odd out there, in this second winter of Covid. A winnowing of patience, the thinning of empathy, an acceptance of “that’s how things are now” has been arrived at. You can feel “the vibe” if you’re the sensitive type. Personally, I miss the illegal fireworks.

I’ve been observing the sort of things which hint at the continuing unraveling of civil order, encountered malign actors on the deserted streets, and have taken to swiveling my head around more than previously. Blame whatever you want to for this, I don’t care what others say, and I’m sure there’s a political narrative you’ll find comfort in. It’s going to be a real shit show when the Cops start doing their jobs again, which I predict as coinciding with the arrival of a new local political regime in January. It’s likely too late for that to have any real meaning, however, as the Djinn has escaped its bottle.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Pictured above is a frontline of next year’s political bullshit here in Astoria. A mega project offered by the Kaufman Astoria people called “Innovation Queens” is slated to begin paying off local “voices” to sing the song of gentrification. If you want to know what it costs to buy off these voices – it’s about $5,000 a head. You’ll get all the usual characters – the street minister who’s secretly a gangster, the well thought of community leader who’s secretly the secret gangster’s mistress, the odd local business owner who was planning on selling his bar soon anyway. These sort of characters were all in for the LIC rezonings, the BQX, Amazon, etc. – whatever big idea City Hall and the EDC were flacking at the time and writing checks for. That’s why I can tell you what and how much they cost, because that’s what they cost the bosses last time, and the time before that. Five grand isn’t even bagel money for the real estate people.

The Innovation Queens people describe this little industrial zone along Northern Boulevard as “dark, deserted, dangerous.” In actuality, it didn’t used to be, but ever since they started acquiring/emptying/blighting the properties hereabouts…


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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.

scoundrel out

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Friday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My beloved Creek. Pictured above and below are sections of the Whale Creek tributary of the fabulous Newtown Creek. This canalized section of the greater waterway is contained entirely within the confines of the Department of Environmental Protection’s Newtown Creek Waste Water Treatment and Resource Recovery Plant – or simply, the sewer plant in Greenpoint. The DEP has part of its small navy here, utilizing these boats to execute the mandate laid out for it by NYC’s charter. The blue vessel at the right of the shot is one of DEP’s skimmer boats.

There’s a conveyor belt apparatus which dips down into the water as the Skimmer Boat navigates along, and this mechanism allows them to harvest “floatable” trash and garbage as well as flotsam and jetsam from the rivers and creeks of NYC. They have several variations on this design in their inventory, in addition to the larger “Sludge Boats” which are more commonly noticed.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One enjoys creating long exposure photos of this material swirling around in the eddy currents at the end of the canals. Nothing fancies up a shot like garbage in the water, I always opine.

Blah, blah, blah. I talk myself blue in the face about this issue and nobody cares. Litter on the street becomes litter in the water because of the combined sewer blah blah blah. Nothing changes, nobody cares, nothing matters except ‘Affordable housing’ (which is now going to be referred to as “deeply affordable housing,” if you want a preview of politic talk in 2022) and bike lanes.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It’s been quite a week, with Thanksgiving and all, huh? Personally, I’m getting prepared for another “away game.”

Another bit of travel is on my horizon, and I’m going to be passing through Pittsburgh again in the next couple of weeks. This time around, I’m hoping to pull off a few night time shots when I’m there.

Back next week with more, 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.

open rage

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Monday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Since returning to NYC from my travels, one has not allowed any dust to accumulate upon the camera. Situational need has found me in all sorts of interesting places. Pictured above is the largest single point source of greenhouse gases in Brooklyn, for instance, which are burned off into the atmosphere by the NYC Department of Environmental Protection. Those four pipes carry methane from within the bioreactor eggs of the sewer plant up to venturi apparatuses where the fiery immolation occurs. The machinery is tuned to keep the flames invisible.

Fossil fuel companies are singularly responsible for everything horrible, of course, and not the government which historically encouraged them to do those horrible things – since Governmental agencies and officials are inherently good. The latter entity, however, has engaged with an exemplar of the former – specifically the National Grid outfit – to harvest and filter the gases produced at the sewer plant and sell them to you under the product branding of “natural gas” and “resource recovery.” The Government hopes for a net profit on the process, as does National Grid, but only the latter is evil. The project is scheduled to be up and running about five years ago, and isn’t up and running yet because of the salubrious Government’s red tape, but there you are. Do as I say, not as I do.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That yellow building just to the left of center in the shot above is where the evil fossil fuel industry first set itself up in the modern sense in 1854, manufacturing “coal oil” under the brand name “Kerosene.” The company that started the operation was acquired first by Charles Pratt’s Astral Oil, and then by John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil, and eventually by the Standard Oil Company of New York after the whole Sherman Antitrust Teddy Roosevelt dealie (TR used to be good because progressive, but now he’s evil because racism and colonialism).

The evil Standard Oil Company of New York, or SOCONY, rebranded as Vacuum Oil, and eventually decided they wanted to be trademarked as Mobil Oil. Mobil would one day merge with the evil Standard Oil Company of New Jersey in the 1990’s, after SOCONJ had changed its name first to ESSO and then later to Exxon. The evil Exxon Mobil consented to a decree by the obviously good natured New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, dictating that the corporate behemoth will need to siphon an unknown amount of “product” out of the ground at that location pictured above.

Right across the water on the Brooklyn side of Newtown Creek, the inherently good Attorney General of NYS, Andrew Cuomo, forced the inherently evil Exxon Mobil to clean up an oil spill left behind by the similarly proscribed Mobil/SOCONY. Cuomo has since been redefined as an evil scion of sex sins and a corrupt and false eidolon who was mean to the other politicians – just as evil as the fossil fuel companies are, with all of their capitalism and carbon – or like any who might question the validity of “affordable housing” or bike lanes probably are. The dichotomy offered is that someone can be good once and bad later, which is confusing. How can anyone employed by the government be, in any way, bad? I mean… just ask any politician how virtuous and vetted they all are. They’ll tell you exactly how noble, and free of corrupting industrial and financial influences, modern day politics are due to oversight committees staffed by their own colleagues.

It’s not like Tammany Hall is still running the City, right? Those patriarchal rascals were the ones who made the devil’s bargain with the inherently evil capitalists, right? Not at all like the modern day reformers, progressives, or all of the other inherently good politicians who operate in a closed loop of leadership ladder climbing that’s funded and curated by the Real Estate Industrial Complex.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The reason that our ancestors called it “Tammany Hall” was in homage to a legendary “Sachem,” or Chief of the Lenape, named Taminend. Leaders of Tammany like Boss Tweed and Dick Croker were called the “Grand Sachem” of the political club. You remember the Lenape, of course, whose land our inherently good government stole, and who were then resettled in forested areas nobody else wanted by the same do gooders? They’re called the Delaware these days, those Lenape people who survived the inherent goodness of the political state.

Founded in 1790, Tammany Hall really came into its own in 1854 with the election of Mayor Fernando Wood. Wood seriously considered having NYC secede from the Union with the Confederacy, given the amount of slave related business NYC was involved in. Cotton was a commodity bought and sold on Wall Street, and the East River coast of Manhattan is where a large number of the slave ships, which provided a labor force for the Cotton Plantations, were built. It was a risky business, slaving, but you could safely invest in it by buying shares in a slave ship from a broker to spread out the risk, or by putting your money into insurance funds which guaranteed other people’s investments in slavery. It wasn’t difficult to find a way to invest in slaving, as Wall Street handled most of it all in the early 19th century, allowing investors to act shocked at the barbarity of the practice after the Civil War. By then, the smart money was in railroads, anyway.

Coincidence on the 1854 thing, huh? The inherently evil capitalists of the petroleum industry setting up shop here at Newtown Creek, while the inherently good government of Tammany Hall was encouraging slaveholding, armed insurrection, and cotton plantations in the American South? Gosh.


“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 22, 2021 at 11:30 am

natural result

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Nehua notōcā Friday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Last weekend, one found himself at Newtown Creek Alliance HQ for an event, and then stuck around for a while to capture a few photos. Depicted above is the sewer plant in Greenpoint. The NYC DEP has changed the name of the place so many times in the last ten years that I’ve decided to just stick with “the sewer plant in Greenpoint” in retaliation. The DEP’s Deputy Commissioner has chided me about this, saying that I’m denigrating her profession. Sorry Pam, if you’re reading this, but when you changed it to the “Newtown Creek Wastewater and Resource Recovery Plant” you lost me.

Imagine answering the phones there.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It’s been a minute since I’ve set up the tripod and got busy like this at night around Newtown Creek, given that I’ve been enjoying the freedom of my vaccinated status out on the rivers and in the larger City. It’s funny how the same people who are describing the latest missives from City Hall about proving vaccination status before entering a theater or restaurant as “show me your papers” are the same ones who are demanding that Election Day poll workers and cops say “show me your papers.” Everybody wants to see my papers, for different reasons, apparently. Armbands are likely the next frontier.

Personally, I’m still on my Eric Burdon kick, and listening to his two collaborations with LA Funk Band “War” endlessly. Great version of Paint it Black on “Black Man’s Burdon.” Recommendation.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Those four pipes are where the DEP burns off the methane generated by the sewer plant in Greenpoint. They are also the largest point source of greenhouse gases entering the atmosphere in the entire borough of Brooklyn. “DEP” stands for “Department of Environmental Protection,” incidentally.

One of Eric Burdon’s biggest hits was “We Gotta Get out of this Place.” Listen to that guy, he was (and still is) the Walrus – koo koo kachoo.

Speaking of Lonely Hearts Club Bands… what are you doing tomorrow – August 7th? I’ll be conducting a WALKING TOUR OF LONG ISLAND CITY with my pal Geoff Cobb. Details and ticketing available here. Come with?


“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

August 6, 2021 at 11:00 am

mindless animal

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Monday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Sorry for the late update and single shot today, but what can I tell you other than that I’ve been about 24 hours behind schedule since Thursday of last week. Busy, busy, busy.

Back tomorrow with more, 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.

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