The Newtown Pentacle

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Posts Tagged ‘Graffiti

frightful guide

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Thursday, uggh.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A human sized Raccoon would be able to decimate any ten men in paw to hand combat. Should these rather fetching cohabitators of the urban space suddenly reach an evolutionary juncture that saw them grow in size… well… we are screwed. Imagine it, a stray container of nuclear waste finds its way into a dumpster of yummy left over McDonald’s waste, six months later there’s six foot tall raccoon boars hanging out on Queens Blvd. knocking old men’s hats off for kicks. The average weight of a regular male Raccoon is about 16-18 pounds and their nose to butt length is between 24 and 38 inches, depending on the individual. Using nuclear waste to mutate one to human size would form up a 100 plus pound six foot tall forty toothed monster, with thumbs.

Giga-Raccoons are scary, but a human sized Rat would be terrifying and virtually unstoppable. Raccoons at least follow a body plan we are somewhat familiar with, a six feet tall at the shoulder Rat would be the size of a small car and weigh a literal ton. Fighting one would be like going up against a super intelligent cow equipped with grasping hands and sharpened shovel blades for a mouth.

This is why we must strive to keep McDonald’s garbage free of nuclear waste contamination. We shouldn’t put radioisotopes in contact with vermin in the name of a) affordable housing, b) bike lanes, c) freedom or any other hot button issue. Just don’t do it. Giant rats bad.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Wandering along one night, a discarded midden of paper caught my eye. It seemed to contain a manual for either abusing a child or for spotting signs of such abuse. Recently, one was required to expose himself to some training materials offered by the City of Greater New York regarding similar ugly topics which adjured against several behavioral practices considered either illegal or immoral by the powers that be.

Now, as is the case when an adolescent strides across the room at 3 in the morning and says “don’t worry, the fire got put out, good night,” the City’s series of admonitions and offered examples of bad behavior raised more questions in me than they answered. Since nearly everything in the “official” communications and practices of NYC has some footing in the past, specifically a legal precedent involving a trial judge determining that the defined sin had in fact occurred and that the City had to ensure that the sin was on the “Do Not Do” list, I want to know a lot more about what led to me being told that “physical or verbal threats, stalking, implied or overt violence” will not be tolerated. What goes on in Lower Manhattan?

I personally advocate for vouchsafing the dumpsters at City Hall as being free of radioisotopes, particle emitting liquids… any example of the mutagens, really. Imagine if the Mayor somehow gained superpowers. Bill and Chirlane begin dressing up in spandex and capes… we could call them the Flying Wilhelms. Term limits notwithstanding, we’d never be rid of these two if they attained super powers.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The pandemic has to have been a great time to be a mad scientist, I believe. Lots of empty industrial properties you could rent for a tiny percentile of normal cost, fewer prying eyes from curious passerby. There has never been a better time to perfect your own race of Atomic Supermen, Mutant Raccoons, Super Mayors, or really any form of mad science enhanced biota, really. I always wonder about mad science.

Theoretically speaking you get your degree accreditation together while still sane, since attaining a PHD is a rather stressful and draining endeavor. There have to be warning signs of the subtle descent into Mad Science. Your first private gene sequencer arrives from Amazon, or Science Depot finally delivers the cloning tank you need. Friends mention that they’re concerned over how many volatile chemicals you’re stockpiling, the way you’re storing bricks of uranium in the garage, the crematorium in your back yard. Madness must be a consequence of sciencing since you never hear anyone refer to someone as a “sane scientist.”

I bet that the NY Post will be running banner headlines by August that NYC has the worst Frankenstein problem we’ve experienced since the 1970’s.


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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

April 22, 2021 at 11:30 am

negative impact

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Credos, declarations, statements on the street – in Today’s Post.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Whilst wandering about, your humble narrator likes to take note of the various missives and graffitos encountered. Most of the graffiti you see are “tags” left behind by “writers” which indicate mainly that they have been there before you. There’s also the “art” types who do renderings and or complex paintings. You’ve also got the gang stuff, which is meant as either provocation or an announcement of territorial preeminence. My favorites are the credos, seeming attempts to liberate the minds of those who read them. Often, these credos are placed in highly visible locations, what the graffiti community would refer to as “a good wall.”

The shot above is from 48th street in Sunnyside, along the LIRR overhead tracks. This particular writer has been quite busy in the recent past.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A similar typographic style and brand of rhetoric has been appearing all over the study area which I call the Newtown Pentacle in recent months. The messaging above is found in Queens Plaza, and my presumption of its authorship is that it’s the same as the missive in the first shot.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Probably not the same graffiti enthusiast, but this less than monumental declaration was recently witnessed on Jackson Avenue nearby the Court Square subway station.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

In Astoria, nearby Steinway Street’s intersection with Broadway, this messaging appeared one morning in the late autumn. Again, I believe, it’s the work of the person(s) featured in shots 1&2.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Over at Socrates Sculpture Garden, this polemic was observed on a lamp post during the summer, but you’ll always find a whole lot of “artsy fartsy” graffiti near the institution.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Back in Sunnyside, on 48th street near Skillman, a more permanent sort of scrawl was observed which mirrors the sentiment of the block printed missives found along the LIRR tracks, in Astoria, and Queens Plaza.

It’s not quite as eloquent, but there you are.

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Written by Mitch Waxman

February 3, 2016 at 11:00 am

obsequious jackanape

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A quick one today.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Spotted the other day on Vernon Blvd. in Hunters Point’s tower town. I’m a bit ragged from this weekend’s back to back tours with Atlas Obscura and Brooklyn Brainery, so forgive a humble narrator’s inability to supply a meaningful post today. Back tomorrow.

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Written by Mitch Waxman

May 19, 2014 at 11:00 am

carnivorous organisms

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Today’s post visits DUKBO, Down Under the Kosciuszko Bridge Onramp.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

An angle between neighborhoods, this spot is in Maspeth and Sunnyside and Blissville and Laurel Hill all at the same time. It’s alongside the Brooklyn Queens Expressway and the Queens leg of the 1.1 mile long Kosciuszko Bridge Complex and the Long Island Expressway. To the west lies Calvary Cemetery and its tomb legions, and it is known to all simply and aptly as Laurel Hill Blvd.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One of the spots where Europeans originally settled in Queens, as early as the 1680’s there were farms and houses here, it is nevertheless a forgotten and desolate place seldom traveled to but rather through. In actuality, if you were to count all the humans who travelled by on any given day, the number would suggest one of the most crowded spots on the planet.

Luckily, local artisans have inscribed the spot.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Vast graffiti has been installed, decrying the clarion call of the outer boroughs upon the titan masonry of the bridge’s approach ramp. Epic wit emblazoned with such panache surely indicates the presence of a latter day bard here in this angle between neighborhoods.

Pithy expression, and the freedom to pursue it, indeed.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Happily, everything in Queens faces Manhattan these days, and on a clear day one might be able to discern this delicate missive from the Shining City if atmospheric and lighting conditions are just right. Also, the thought paid by the artist to those visiting the interred at Calvary must be heeded.

Imagine the joy of describing to your grandchild what the word “Scumbag” means as he stands in front of a loved ones grave.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Want to see something cool? June 2013 Walking Tours-

The Poison Cauldron Saturday, June 15, 2013
Newtown Creek walking tour with Mitch Waxman and Atlas Obscura, tickets now on sale.

Kill Van Kull– Saturday, June 22, 2013
Staten Island walking tour with Mitch Waxman and Working Harbor Committee, tickets now on sale.

The Insalubrious Valley Saturday, June 29, 2013
Newtown Creek walking tour with Mitch Waxman and Newtown Creek Alliance, tickets now on sale.

tarnished plate

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“follow” me on Twitter at @newtownpentacle

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Queens Plaza is that which greets visitors to our fair borough, the home to a great machine called Queensboro. This machine, utilitarian, is the backbone which carries vehicular and light rail traffic from the western tip of a long island to the eastern shore of the great human hive’s focal point in Manhattan. Grotesque, the area has been the focus of quite a bit of municipal thought and spending over the last few years.

Mayan Apocalypse Countdown: just 8 days left until the 13th b’ak’tun ends, initiating the Mayan Apocalypse on December 21st. Tick, tock.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

An amenity, called Dutch Kills Green, has been installed as a city park. Controversy over its design and the opinions of area wags notwithstanding, your humble narrator has observed that the place is being well used. A nearby school offers daily crowds of scalawag teenagers, and the place seems popular with both indigent and office worker alike. Several interesting madmen cross the place regularly, including myself.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Annoying, artless graffito has appeared of late in the place. This post is offered in the hope that those of you, lords and ladies, who find themselves in the employ of those powers and potentates who enjoy official stewardship over the community might like to know the phone number of one of these “street artists”. It is realized that so much of the graffiti which turns up is anonymous, and that some minor satisfaction might arrive from being able to ring the person up.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Phone conversation is something generationally aberrant to those under a certain age, with SMS text or twitter replacing verbal communication, so you might wish to tweet the artist instead. Alternatively, Facebook might be your bag.

Written by Mitch Waxman

December 13, 2012 at 12:15 am

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