The Newtown Pentacle

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Posts Tagged ‘Dutch Kills

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Wednesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One does enjoy it when they accidentally leave the industrial fences open, over at the Dutch Kills tributary of the fabulous Newtown Creek in Queens’ Long Island City section. It was a hot night in LIC, with high humidity. One was hoping for a spectacular sunset which didn’t materialize, which is sort of a metaphor for my entire life, but that’s neither here nor there. Here’s this profundity however – If you’re working at sorting different grades of gravel and sand, you need the sort of stuff pictured above to do so. That’s a sly observation, no?

There was some sort of drama playing out on the street behind me, wherein a woman was displaying all sorts of outré behavior while two uniformed men sat in a car not far away and watched her. They had DHS logos on their polo shirts, so the entire tableau likely involved official business on the part of the Department of Homeless Services. I didn’t inquire into the matter as it was none of my actual business.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Oh, the sewer jellies. The sewer jellies are categorically my business. Over at Dutch Kills’ intersection with Hunters Point Avenue, a work barge has been stationed. The gear they’re using seems to involve large chunks of lumber and a lot of rope. These floating apparatuses allow the sewer borne lipids dancing along the surface of the water to congeal into fungible fecundities. When the light is just right, one may discern the conditions.

New York City has a combined sewer system. What that means is that sanitary and storm water travel through the same pipes. A quarter inch of rain in NYC, citywide, translates into a billion gallons of water entering the system. During thunderstorms and other sudden deluges, the people who operate the sewers – the NYC Department of Environmental Protection or DEP – are forced to release untreated combined sewer waste water into outfall pipes which empty into area waterways. A lot of cooking grease and oils get carried in this flow, as does petroleum residue from the streets.

Jellies. Meringue. Syrups. The DEP calls the stuff honey.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One always scolds newcomers to the Newtown Creek watershed to beware the trucking traffic and be very careful when moving about. Eyes are crinkled, smiles are forced, and they tell me that they know how to cross streets. I offer “this is not the world you know” and then point out safety cones which are squished by, or torn apart by, the wheels of heavy trucks.

If a safety cone ain’t safe on the street, you ain’t. Never walk in front of a truck without first getting acknowledged by the driver that they know you’re there. You don’t want to get squished by a gravel sorting machine, which would turn you into a kind of red street jelly.


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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

July 14, 2021 at 11:00 am

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Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A few weeks ago, three young fellows drove a car into the Dutch Kills tributary of Newtown Creek in Long Island City and died. Somebody has erected a roadside memorial at the spot that they drove into the water.

According to the cops, these three unfortunates were proceeding down Borden Avenue at a prodigious rate of speed. They didn’t make a certain turn and instead headed for this dead end under the Long Island Expressway, and their vehicle went airborne and into the water. The cops and Fire Dept. brought out divers and all sorts of equipment but couldn’t save the trio.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A view of the same spot, from about a block away.

The official narrative is that the speeding car hit skateboard ramps, which caused them to go airborne. Something I haven’t mentioned during the pandemic is the sudden and unofficial creation of a skate park on the Borden Avenue street end at Dutch Kills. I’ve encouraged everyone who either knew about it or was involved with it to apply for “Open Streets” status which would have seen barriers erected but nobody every listens to me until something awful has happened. That’s when they admit I was right.

Yes Commissioner, this is a great idea but Greenpoint has a history of industrial fires so maybe putting that high pressure gas main in this spot is a bad idea, next week there’s going to be a recycling plant fire directly across the street and next month a semi is going to drive through the sewer plant’s fence and land where the main is meant to go.” “Yes, City Council Member, but building out 35,000 units of residential without creating a single new hospital bed is short sighted… what if a plague sets up in NYC, which according to our history happens every so often…” “Yes, Mayor, but decking the Sunnyside Yards will be fiendishly expensive and you’re running the risk of radicalizing the otherwise stable and predictable political system of Western Queens and destabilizing…”

Call me Ezekiel, for I am a prophet.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As to the narrative revolving around this traffic accident, which cost three young men their lives… I seriously doubt the skateboard ramp theory since – as you can see – the ramp is quite intact and anything a car might touch when it’s moving at 100 mph generally doesn’t remain intact.

Why do I care? Nothing matters, nobody else cares, and we’re all going to hell in a handbasket. Get yours, I’m going to get mine, and then get the ‘eff out of this hellhole. I’m done.

As a note, today’s the anniversary of the General Slocum disaster.


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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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Friday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

You might have heard about the tragic death of 3 young fellows last weekend at Dutch Kills in Long Island City. I don’t know much more than what the news presented, but apparently they were speeding down Borden Avenue and didn’t realize that a dead end was in front of them. They punched through the street end and their car ended up in the water, more or less directly under the Long Island Expressway.

Despite a massive FDNY and NYPD response, including divers, the three occupants of the car died. This sort of thing happens more often than you think it does, and it’s the third such occurrence I’m aware of in just the last decade or so.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

About ten years ago, a kid died driving into Newtown Creek at Apollo Street in Greenpoint. Similarly, about six to seven years ago several teenagers died in this manner at Astoria’s Luyster Creek. Now there’s three more. Is it bad driving? Yes. Is it lousy road design, certainly.

We’ve all “tsk tsk’d” about the race cars and the backfiring fart cars. The ATV and Dirt Bike mobs. There’s regularly illegal drag racing on Review Avenue a few blocks away, where another fatality occurred after a racer lost control of his car and smashed into a utility pole nearby the cemetery. Also in Maspeth, where businesses like Restaurant Depot have been forced to place heavy chains across their parking lot entrances and hire overnight security. Ridgewood, Greenpoint, East Williamsburg are experiencing this phenomena as well. We’ve got a regional command issue at work here, not a precinct sized one.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

On a happier note, I discovered that during the pandemic months somebody built a barber shop and beauty salon into a passenger van frame. The vehicle was sitting in front of a mechanic shop in Blissville, and I was captivated by the motto of “vibrant beauty.”

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


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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 28, 2021 at 11:00 am

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Wednesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

These shots are from Monday the 26th of April, and collected during an evening walk from Astoria to Long Island City’s hinterlands. The route I walked was largely my “stations of the cross” walk, perpetrated regularly during the pandemic year, with the notable difference being that since I’m fully vaccinated these days the walk took place right around sunset.

Perihelions at this time of year, given the relative angling of the burning thermonuclear eye of god itself relative to the street grids of NYC, are efficacious. Within 4-6 weeks, the light simply won’t be as good. That’s the Northern Blvd. Shield Wall of the Sunnyside Yards, incidentally.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My walk from Astoria sees me scuttling southwards over the truss bridges spanning Sunnyside Yards, to Skillman Avenue which carries my bloated meat suit down to the Degnon Terminal section of Long Island City where Dutch Kills is found. Over at Dutch Kills, a tributary of the gruesome extravaganza known as the Newtown Creek, I spotted a bird.

Given that every time I try to describe a bird, its speciation, common name – whatever – I’m inevitably wrong, I now just make up invented names for them. That’s a Two Fingered Butter Hawk, I’d say. This is part of why the Audubon Society hates me. You should see their faces when I advocate for feral cats as an alternative for chemical pesticides for rodent control on industrial sites.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There’s a bit of maintenance work being performed on Dutch Kills by contractors for the NYC DOT. They’re specifically working on the wood pile “dolphins” protecting the Hunters Point Avenue Bridge from non existent maritime traffic.

The barge they’re using is interesting, and something I haven’t seen before. There are multiple snap together sections of the thing. I guess it was chosen as a work platform because of that non functioning MTA rail bridge at the head of the canal. You need something you can unload from a truck and assemble directly in the water, presumptively.


“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 19, 2021 at 1:00 pm

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Monday’s, amirite?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My dream for Dutch Kills, post superfund, involves carnivorous plants. Just imagine how cool it would to visit this Long Island City tributary of the fabulous Newtown Creek and look down on a quivering shoreline with thousands of tiny mouths snapping their flowery jaws at you. You’d carry a bit of meat there – jerky, raw, whatever – tossing it down towards the undulating banks of green, purple, and scarlet iridescence. Small birds and rats would become stuck in the vegetative glue and winding tendrils of this carpet of carnivores, and we certainly wouldn’t have to worry about mosquitoes or gnats anymore here in the Degnon Terminal. Speciation wise, I’m thinking pitcher plants, sundews, bladderworts, and or butterworts.

I’d also like to see all sorts of lizard living here. The little gecko looking buggers you see at the cemeteries in Woodside and Maspeth somehow survive the winters, so let’s get a bunch of whatever the hell they are are start up a colony here. Also, we could use more bats, so bats. Giant spiders too. You get enough bats and giant spiders, you might be able to seed in some dog sized monitor lizards.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Once we’ve established a sticky mat of flesh hungry plantings, populated every nook and cranny with eye licking lizards, web spurting Araneae, and every utility pole has a house designed for creepy bats – then we can begin a vetting process for mad scientists to take up residence in the ruins of some of these old factories. It’s been too long since somebody attempted to build their own race of atomic mutants back here in Long Island City. I’m wondering what a cross between a Coyote and a Baboon might look like. What could go wrong? We can tell everyone they’re artists.

Think of all the corollary industries which would prosper due to the super science sector basing itself here in LIC – clone tanks, giant electrodes, lightning gathering kites, steel restraining clamps – all of this could be made locally. I mean… weed and sodomy are now totally legal, we need to find a new frontier. I think “mad science” might be it.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Giant robot work, however, is something which would need to be suppressed for climate change related issues. Purely biological, or even partially cybernetic, abominations are probably ok but we need to remember what happened over in Maspeth during the 1950’s after the aluminum plant was abandoned. It took the Marines an entire summer to get that one under control, and the area around Haberman has never fully recovered.

If you want to work with robots, I’d suggest instead finding a way to first control ants and then improvising a method for aggrandizing them to the size of cargo vans (you’d want to do it in that particular order, btw). Giant robots tend to get busted up by the military and then end up in a landfill, whereas you can compost the corpses of giant insects. Think about the future.

Even mad scientists need to be ecologically conscious these days, lords and ladies.


“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

April 19, 2021 at 11:00 am

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