The Newtown Pentacle

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Posts Tagged ‘Flushing Creek

somnolent stillness

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Thursday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Recent occasion found a humble narrator somewhat east of the study area, specifically I was at the “angle” between College Point and Flushing, on a rainy day. The entirety of this exercise was typified by futility and frustration. On my way there, riding in a cab, I got stuck in a “frozen zone” on the Grand Central Parkway when the President of the United States arrived at LaGuardia. That turned my $25 cab ride into a $130 one. When I arrived, an hour late, at my appointment it turned out that I was missing several pieces of the documentation required to complete my business. This meant that I had paid $130 for nothing, and thereby I found myself walking towards Flushing’s Main Street and it’s 7 Line Subway station in a defeated manner. $132.75 down, now.

At least I was able to crack out a few shots along the way, but this was also one of the “sometimes” when it rains.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It’s hard for me not to think “dystopian shit hole” these days.

Everything is broken. It’s not due to COVID either. The entire “system” is broken. I shouldn’t have to petition a member of Congress for help with local issues, and the fact that the City of New York is a-ok with what Flushing Bay looks like isn’t too cool either. Y’know what would improve things here? Luxury Condos… oh, don’t worry, they’ve already got plans drawn up for that.

Bah. It’s all so god damned depressing.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’ve since located and or replaced the missing documents I needed, which were required for my official business, and have since completed what I came out here to do on a subsequent trip. The good news is that on that second trip I didn’t end up getting banged out on an exploded and bloated cab fare due to the arrival of an American President at LaGuardia Airport.

Before you ask – Department of Motor Vehicles. I stupidly allowed my driver’s license to expire about ten years ago. This hasn’t been a problem, at all, for me. Thing is, one constant regret during the COVID period has been a lack of personal transportation. Lesson learned. Documents are being sorted out as you’re reading this, and the problem will be solved shortly. As the song says – “On the road again.”


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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

March 17, 2022 at 11:00 am

feebly leaped

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A few archive shots today.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Meetings, have to’s, places to be and toes to break – these things affect us all and no one more so than I. Accordingly, a few archive shots are on offer today whilst one awaits the Götterdämmerung thunderstorm on schedule for this afternoon.

Pictured above and below are Flushing Bay, as captured one very cold night back in January of this year. In all actuality, the shot above actually depicts the intersection of Flushing Bay with Flushing Creek, but why get all technical?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

All of this rain has caused an absolutely horrible consequence for the inland waterways of NYC, or so I’m led to believe by my friends who participate in the Citizen Science water testing program who have spoken of off the chart levels of sewage bacteria in their samples. The metric which is generally accepted by those in the know is that the Combined Sewer System can begin releasing untreated waste water into the harbor due to a tenth of an inch of rain falling on the City. A quarter inch of rain translates into a billion gallons of water entering the system, and virtually guarantees that the overage will start flowing into area waterways. Pictured above, you can see a containment boom surrounding one of the outfall pipes that empties into Flushing Bay.

Prior to today’s storm, the City has received 6.85 inches of rain just in July of 2019. Using the quarter inch equals a billion gallons equation, the City has had to deal with an extra 27.4 billion gallons of storm water just in the last month, which is on top of the normal wastewater flow coming from homes and businesses.

Bubble bubble, toil and trouble, indeed.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Way on the other side of Queens, nearby Queens Plaza in LIC, you’ll find the Queensboro Bridge and the elevated tracks of the 7 line. Neither one of these structures has a drainage system directly feeding into the sewer system, instead, multi story tall pipes carry storm water and whatever else might get washed off the tracks or roadway down to street level where the water is expected to find its way to a sewer grate.

They look pretty, at least.


“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

July 31, 2019 at 2:00 pm

unholy ways

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Returning to Flushing Creek.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

First off, I’m beginning to figure this place out after having developed an interest in it earlier this year. Secondly, I wish that there were parts of my particular highly industrialized and polluted waterway that looked this good. This is an intertidal zone, with a sandy beach that leads into a marsh. There’s all sorts of evidence of filter feeding shellfish, lots of birds doing bird stuff, and expansive mats of algae everywhere you look. I imagine that if you were to shovel down a few feet, the ground would be teeming with all sorts of invertebrates and creepy crawlies. In many ways, this shoreline reminds me of the Jamaica Bay waterfront which I used to explore when I was a kid in South East Brooklyn.

I have got to find somebody willing to let me get into a rowboat with them on Flushing Creek this summer. If you’re that someone, get in touch.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Moving away from the water, and over into the parlor of the House of Moses, those highway ramps you see are (I think) the Northern Blvd. offramp of and the main stem of the Whitestone Expressway or “678.” The higher one on the right with the blue paint should be 678, but as I’m ignorant of exactly where the Van Wyck ends and the Whitestone starts, take that with a grain of salt. As mentioned, I’m still figuring this area out. If a google maps link helps, this shot was gathered right about here.

Apparently, this spot is often utilized by folks who want to smoke the weed, drink the drinks, or just do anything they want to without prying eyes. There’s lots of interesting graffiti on the pylons holding up the highway ramps, but otherwise it’s kind of a muddy no man’s land here in the House of Moses.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s all for this week, lords and ladies. This weekend, I’ll be conducting the Newtown Creekathon with my pal Will on Sunday, so a humble narrator will likely be fairly crippled afterwards.

There’s a few NYC anniversaries happening next week for those of you who like to “nerd out” about such things – on Monday the 29th, the Bronx Whitestone Bridge will turn 90, and on April 30 of 1921 The Port of Authority of New York and New Jersey officially opened for business. Additionally, on the 1st of May in 1931, the Empire State Building opened its doors.


“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.


Events!

The Third Annual, All Day, 100% Toxic, Newtown Creekathon. April 28th.

The Creekathon will start at Hunter’s Point South in LIC, and end at the Kingsland Wildflowers rooftop in Greenpoint. It will swing through the neighborhoods of LIC, Blissville, Maspeth, Ridgewood, East Williamsburg, Bushwick, and Greenpoint, visiting the numerous bridges that traverse the Creek. While we encourage folks to join us for the full adventure, attendees are welcome to join and depart as they wish. A full route map and logistics are forthcoming.This is an all day event. Your guides on this 12+ mile trek will be Mitch Waxman and Will Elkins of the Newtown Creek Alliance, and some of their amazing friends will likely show up along the way.

Click here to attend.

Written by Mitch Waxman

April 26, 2019 at 2:00 pm

schoolboys swapping

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Iron Triangle behind, Flushing Creek ahead.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The shots presented this week at this – your Newtown Pentacle – we’re gathered whilst attending a walk presented by the NYC H2O outfit. We started on Roosevelt Avenue, proceeded through what remains of the Iron Triangle at Willets Point, and then looped down and around towards Flushing Creek. This entire area is what I’d define as the “House of Moses,” as in Robert Moses. Pedestrian unfriendly, few if any points of access to the waterfront, and the needs of high speed roads and automotive “flow” given prominence over all other considerations.

The group negotiated the various on and off ramps of the surrounding highways and we headed towards Northern Blvd. where there’s an opportunity to get down to the waterfront.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Along the way, we encountered this late model fire engine which had an RV motor home hitched up to it. Signage adorning both fire engine and motor home indicated that it was the property of the “Ministry of Abraham,” which a humble narrator surmised as being a Korean church of some kind (a no shit sherlock level deduction offered there, the signage had Korean lettering alongside the english).

Before I got to know anybody who was ethnically Korean (when I was a kid), I always figured that Buddhism or some other “asian” faith was dominant in that part of the world. Turns out that there’s a pretty significant Protestant and Evangelical Christian population amongst those folks. Assumptions like that one is something I try to avoid as an adult. It’s where that part of me which gregariously sidles up to strangers and starts chatting with them has evolved out of.

The more you know, amirite?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One of the nice things about attending somebody else’s tour of somebody else’s highly polluted industrial waterway is that I get to interact with people who came on one of my walking tours, and reconnect with others whom I haven’t seen in a while. At Flushing Creek, I suddenly noticed that a friend I haven’t seen in maybe eight years was there, and a few people I’d walked around Newtown Creek came over and reintroduced themselves.

Tomorrow, more from Flushing Creek.


“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.


Events!

The Third Annual, All Day, 100% Toxic, Newtown Creekathon. April 28th.

The Creekathon will start at Hunter’s Point South in LIC, and end at the Kingsland Wildflowers rooftop in Greenpoint. It will swing through the neighborhoods of LIC, Blissville, Maspeth, Ridgewood, East Williamsburg, Bushwick, and Greenpoint, visiting the numerous bridges that traverse the Creek. While we encourage folks to join us for the full adventure, attendees are welcome to join and depart as they wish. A full route map and logistics are forthcoming.This is an all day event. Your guides on this 12+ mile trek will be Mitch Waxman and Will Elkins of the Newtown Creek Alliance, and some of their amazing friends will likely show up along the way.

Click here to attend.

Written by Mitch Waxman

April 25, 2019 at 2:15 pm

radical profundity

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Wrapping up at Flushing Creek.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Ignorance is bliss.

As described in prior posts, one found his way down onto the sand at Flushing Creek, which was a fairly intriguing spot. I’ve already made inquiries with one of my paddler buddies about who I have to talk to in order to get on the water in a rowboat or something back here, so stay tuned as the weather gets warmer and the plants start turning green again.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As also mentioned, I’m trying to stay a bit ignorant about conditions and history back here for the moment, but at first flush there are a very different set of environmental issues hereabouts when compared with my beloved Newtown Creek. Everywhere I looked, there were shellfish clinging to this and that all along the intertidal or littoral zone. My ignorance is willful, as I just want to wander around and take pictures.

Of course, I’m entirely ignorant… about… kinds… of… shellfish… speciation… of… No!

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A lot of the talk centering around the Superfund Rememdiation process on my beloved Creek has discussed the creation of wetland habitat not dissimilar to what’s pictured above. Hopefully, the illegal dumping and wind blown trash won’t be part of the final equation in Long Island City or Greenpoint.

I wonder how long that truss bridge is… how high… average daily traffic… about who built… NO! My ignorance will not be pierced… I refuse!

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Personally speaking, it was actually quite a bit of fun for a humble narrator to see new things, given how much time I devote to chronicling the western end of the Newtown Pentacle. Yes, Flushing has always been on my map, but there’s always been something else to do which is closer to home.

Akkk… is that the Van Wyck… Grand Central… something that ends in a “78”… IGNORANCE!

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My pal Val and I left the beach and proceeded up onto the Northern Blvd. truss bridge leading to downtown Flushing and what, by this point, would be a well deserved and very affordable luncheon meal at a Chinese restaurant in the downtown area.

Even on a weekday winter afternoon, throngs of shoppers were marching about, and the streets of downtown Flushing were quite crowded. The neighborhood BIDS and the Chambers of Commerce of Western Queens could learn a thing or two at the end of the 7 Line, I think. Managers and promoters of dying or moribund commercial strips like Steinway Street – for instance – should study Roosevelt Avenue, and Prince or Main Street. In terms of street level retail activity and abundant small businesses, Flushing is popping. What do I know? I’m largely ignorant.

Down by the water though, it’s the usual story.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Government owned shorelines with fenced off industrial facilities, too few businesses taking advantage of those precious maritime bulkheads. Has to be all kinds of yuck in the water… Flushing Creek itself is situated at a locus of high speed roads, the 7 line… Arrggggghhhh… I almost just looked up Flushing Creek… NO!

I shall maintain my ignorance… I will not… I…

Back tomorrow with something completely different at this, your Newtown Pentacle.


“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

February 21, 2019 at 12:30 pm

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