The Newtown Pentacle

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Posts Tagged ‘Flushing Bay Promenade

utterly bewildered

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Getting minimalist at Flushing Bay.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I found myself out in Flushing again last week, making good on my threat to return there during the daylight hours. Last time that I was in this neighborhood, it was at night, which really isn’t the best time to scout a location properly. This time around, it was a mid day winter’s afternoon.

Ultimately, where I wanted to get to was Flushing Creek, but more on that in subsequent posts.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Have to admit, it was a little odd just waving the camera around without having to do the whole “set up” needed for the night shot process. Funny how something so normative to me can suddenly become alien, sort of like eating the first real meal after an interval with a stomach virus can seem bizarre.

Light, abundant light that I need to cut down and control? Weird.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s a car tire submerged in the surf which has been turned into a colony nest for shellfish, which is something I found neat. Saw several examples of this sort of thing all around the bay and later on Flushing Creek itself. Just goes to show that the mechanisms of nature, given enough time, can adapt to anything.

Back tomorrow with more, and we’ll be exploring part of Flushing Creek for the next few days at this – your Newtown Pentacle.


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Written by Mitch Waxman

February 18, 2019 at 12:00 pm

rested uneasily

with one comment

Flushing Creek at night.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s not Flushing Creek in the shot above, rather it’s part of a largish NYC DOT facility that adjoins it. I’m fairly sure that the elevated roadway to the left is the Whitstone Expressway and that the one on the right is Interstate Highway 678, which is odd since 678 never leaves NY State and actually connects the Bronx and Queens with the Hutchinson, but there’s Robert Moses for you. There’s a tangled cloverleaf of high speed roads here – where East Elmhurst, Willets and College Points, and Flushing combine. As mentioned earlier in the week, I call this the area “where boulevards collide.” It’s all very confusing, and one of the least pedestrian friendly spots in the entire city.

There is a protected bike lane, though, because… priorities…

– photo by Mitch Waxman

An open fence allowed access to the water at Flushing Creek, alternatively known as the Flushing River. This shot looks sort of westward along the industrialized canal. Both Flushing Bay and Creek have all the usual environmental issues – I’m told – involving open sewers and post industrial pollution that are commonly observed along NYC’s inland waterways like the Gowanus or my beloved Newtown Creek.

Again, I’m not overly familiar with this “zone.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I believe that’s Northern Blvd. up there, on the truss bridge over Flushing Creek. This shot is looking towards “Downtown Flushing” and the Main Street area. I intend to get to know this waterway quite a bit better in the coming months, as I’m always looking for something new to point my camera at, and to learn more about the Borough of Queens.

More tomorrow.


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Written by Mitch Waxman

January 24, 2019 at 11:00 am

too shapeless

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Flushing Bay Promenade.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s part of the World’s Fair Marina at Flushing Bay, looking westwards towards LaGuardia Airport, in the shot above. Having attended a NYC Parks Dept. meeting discussing their plans to reinvest and upgrade the Marina (Parks runs it) a couple weeks back, a mental note to return and explore a bit was overturned last week before the weather got ugly. Off to East Elmhurst’s border with Corona and Flushing went a humble narrator, using the Q19 Bus as my conveyance.

I mean, come on, doesn’t everybody hang around the Queens waterfront at night in January?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It was medium cold, as a note, although as the night went on and the wind picked up it did become increasingly uncomfortable. During warmer months, I’m known to be out on one of my little night jaunts for six to seven hours, but this time of year, shorter intervals are required due to the climate. In all actuality, I was ok, but the camera gear was malfunctioning a bit. The camera itself was fine, but my remote release wire was “sticking.” I soon started sticking it into an interior pocket of my sweatshirt to warm it up, which made its malfunction predictable rather than sporadic.

I had longtime Newtown Pentacle curmudgeon and frequent comment offerer Don Cav with me for this one, who met me at the entrance to the park. Don is a World’s Fair(s) enthusiast and never misses an opportunity to visit the place, or to tell me in person that I’m wrong about absolutely everything.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Unfortunately, as Don and I were chatting, I missed wiping my lens down for the shot above. I’m sure that a certain other frequent commenter named George will soon ask why I included it in this post due to the many photographic imperfections created by the dusty lens, to which I will offer – I just kind of like it.

I also get to sayCandela Structures” when describing it, but it might be more accurate to describe this thingamabob as a “Schladermundt Structure.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As mentioned above, it wasn’t life threatening cold like it was at the beginning of this week, as we were walking around the promenade, but there was ice floating about in the salty waters of Flushing Bay so… it was cold enough.

The shot above looks eastwards towards the mouth of Flushing Creek.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Across the water “my kind of thing” was visible.

By that I mean large scale industrial properties with interesting utilitarian shapes. I’m not going to get all “granular” about what’s found in this area, as it would be entirely disingenuous for me to present freshly discovered details in a manner indicative of some long familiarity. I can tell you where colonial era farmhouses used to stand in Maspeth, but have no real knowledge of Flushing’s environs. That’s something I plan on addressing this year, another one of my little mental notes.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

More tomorrow, and Flushing Creek at night, at this – your Newtown Pentacle.


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Written by Mitch Waxman

January 23, 2019 at 11:00 am

youth’s madness

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East Elmhurst.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As described yesterday, I uncharacteristically rode a bus from Astoria to East Elmhurst in order to get into the right spot for some “waving the camera around” action, which deposited me a few blocks away from my destination. A scuttling I went, heading eastwards on Astoria Blvd. I was heading for the zone I describe as “where Boulevards collide” or “just so Robert Moses.” It’s where Ditmars, Astoria, and Northern Blvd. all smash together with the Grand Central Parkway and Citifield at the edge of Flushing. You’ll be walking down the sidewalk in certain spots, and all of a sudden find yourself walking onto an off ramp to the highway.

One of the least pedestrian friendly spots in Queens, I tell you, although I’ve only been through here a few times.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

On my way, I spotted this tiny domestic survivor from long ago on Astoria Blvd. Itty bitty and wood framed, it had advertisements in its windows advertising a “Cuarto en renta” (room for rent). Something about the propert caught my eye, and instinct told me that “something has happened here.” Can’t tell you what, didn’t do the research on the property, but usually if something catches my eye the way this place did…

I’ll look into it. 

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s one of the entranceways to the Flushing Bay Promenade pictured above, which is actually a pedestrian bridge overflying the Grand Central Parkway with Flushing Bay beyond. LaGuardia Airport is to the west, Flushing Meadows Corona Park to the east. Directly north is Flushing Bay, and as you can discern from the shot above, I arrived right on time just as the burning thermonuclear eye of God itself had ducked behind Manhattan. The night time, it’s the right time, I say.

More tomorrow. 


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Written by Mitch Waxman

January 22, 2019 at 11:00 am

present bungalow

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Flushing Bay, in today’s post.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Last week I attended a meeting thrown by the NYC Parks Dept. detailing their $35 million dollar upgrades to the World Fair Marina in Flushing Bay. The plans involved relocating and rebuilding one of the docks, installing a new facility house and refueling dock, and installing a bunch of new street furniture on the public sections of the marina (benches, lamp posts etc.) It was my kind of meeting, truth be told, where the government people deliver their information in a punchy and well organized fashion, and public commentary is offered in a businesslike and terse fashion. My main interest in attending revolves around a long term bit of advocacy for Newtown Creek’s Queens shoreline which I’ve been working on, namely the creation of a similar marina on the Newtown Creek coastline Long Island City, and I wanted to take a look at “how it’s done” in the modern era.

Afterwards, a bit of time was spent outside with the camera and tripod, shooting into foggy darkness.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Just like the Dutch Kills tributary of Newtown Creek, the NYC DEP has been experimenting with the installation and planting of greenery, specifically Saw Grasses, in the littoral zones at Flushing Bay. Littoral means the intertidal area of the shoreline, and they’re engaged in the project for the same reasons that they are at Newtown Creek – mitigating the long term environmental consequences of an abundance of their Combined Sewer Outfalls on the waterway. DEP, or the New York City Department of Environmental Protection if you must, inherited a messy combination of underground pipes from precursor agencies when their organization was created during a 1983 City charter revision, many of which were installed in a hodge podge manner and prior to the Federal Clean Water act.

Due to the outfalls, a lot of raw sewage has historically found its way into area waterways, and the section of Flushing Bay nearby LaGuardia Airport and the World Fair Marina is notoriously and reliably smelly. The creation of these engineered wetlands is an attempt to harness the curative powers and mechanisms of nature in pursuance of fixing a manmade problem.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

This is the section of the north shore of Queens which isn’t forbidden, as a note. There’s a NYC Parks property which sits between the water and the Grand Central Parkway called the Flushing Bay Promenade. It’s 1.4 miles long, starts at the equivalent of 27th avenue, and is a modern addition to the Flushing Meadows Corona Park facility whose creation was funded by the NYC DEP in return for Parks allowing them to build a sewer retention tank in the main park.

When it warms up a bit, I plan on bringing the camera back out here to the promenade and do some exploring.


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Written by Mitch Waxman

January 14, 2019 at 11:00 am

without warning

with 6 comments

A fairly novel spot found in north western Queens, in today’s post.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As mentioned last week, one enacted a “bat out of hell” protocol when Our Lady of the Pentacle allowed me a brief furlough from a kitchen renovation project here at HQ. My perambulation was committed in an easterly direction along Northern Blvd., which ceases to be pedestrian friendly at 114th street. A northerly turn found me at the intersection of Astoria Blvd. and Ditmars, and since it was a warm afternoon, tree lined Ditmars was the route I elected to take back towards the rolling hills of almond eyed Astoria.

When you say “North Western Queens,” one thinks of jails and airports and power plants and stadiums, and as pictured above – the barrier parkway known as the Grand Central.

There is, however, something else found hereabouts.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Along Ditmars Blvd., this inviting pedestrian path beckons. Signage found at its intersection informs that this is NYC Parks Department property, and a part of the Flushing Meadows Corona complex.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The Worlds Fair Marina is noticed first, a boat basin servicing a fleet of privately owned pleasure craft.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Then, looking to the west and LaGuardia Airport, you observe a part of the Flushing Bay Promenade. Asking around at my local bar, none of the native Astorian lifers even knew this park existed.

Perhaps it’s better known in East Elmhurst, which is the community that hosts it, but my Astoria peeps professed complete ignorance on the subject.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

To the east, something that every Queensican is intimately aware of will be found, the home of our lamentable Mets baseball team at Citifield. Just beyond the stadium are the main sections of Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

To the west is LaGuardia Airport, and this spot along Flushing Bay was a great location from which to observe the goings on thereabouts.

The NYC Parks Dept. makes this page available at their website, describing the history and rather recent creation of the Flushing Bay Promenade, which is connected to the presence of a large NYC DEP “Combined Sewer Outfall” gray infrastructure project nearby.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

At the western edge of the park was a somewhat natural shoreline, and lots of birds were observed flitting about. Luckily it was high tide when I was visiting, as anyone who has driven along the Grand Central Parkway can describe the sickening rotten egg smell which out gasses from the mud flats here at low tide.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A smallish homeless camp was observed right along the walls of LaGuardia Airport, and there were makeshift shanties and fabric tents arrayed amongst the tree line. I didn’t venture into the area any further than as indicated in the shot above, however, as I avoid taking shots of residences no matter what their status is.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The high speed road known as the Grand Central Parkway, pictured above as seen from within the Flushing Bay Promenade, was constructed in the 1930’s. Part of the Triborough Bridge build out, the Grand Central was widened in the post WW2 period to its current dimensions. Another project from the House of Moses.

Robert Moses was a very clever man who mastered the bureacracy of State, City, and Federal highway systems – earning himself the appellations of both “Master Builder” and “Power Broker.” Moses held near absolute power over highway and bridge building, as well as public housing and parks, for nearly forty years before Governor Nelson Rockefeller ousted him from government in 1974.

The NYC we all know is the City that Moses built.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As with all things government, specificity is key to understanding a thing. The reason that it’s the Grand Central “Parkway,” instead of highway or expressway, are the grassy and wooded medians that run alongside it. Since these medians are titular “parklands,” Moses had broader powers of eminent domain when claiming and remodeling the area to drive a high speed road through it.

Moses also built LaGuardia Airport, incidentally.

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Upcoming Tours –

August 2nd, 2015
The Insalubrious Valley of the Newtown Creek – Bushwick & Mapeth Walking Tour
with Newtown Creek Alliance, click here for details and tickets.

August 8th, 2015
13 Steps Around Dutch Kills – LIC Walking Tour
with Atlas Obscura, click here for details and tickets

 

Written by Mitch Waxman

July 28, 2015 at 12:06 pm

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