The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Posts Tagged ‘Greenpoint

rapid onset

leave a comment »

Broken and battered.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’m so fatigued at the moment that I’ve become plain old mean. A single shot today, go enjoy your weekend. If you see me coming, just go the other way, as it won’t end well. Back Monday with a more optimistic and or positive attitude.


Upcoming Tours and Events

June 9th – Exploring Long Island City – with NY Adventure Club.

Long Island City is a tale of two cities; one filled with glittering water-front skyscrapers and manicured parks, and the other, a highly active ground transportation & distribution zone vital to the New York economy — which will prevail?

Tickets and more details
here.


“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Advertisements

Written by Mitch Waxman

May 18, 2018 at 1:34 pm

mephitic flood

with one comment

Enduring mystery, thy name is Newtown.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As mentioned yesterday, one attended several shoreline cleanup gatherings along the infamous Newtown Creek on Saturday, and the last one found me at the Meeker Avenue Street End in Greenpoint at the site of the former Penny Bridge crossing. There was lots of shoveling and digging going on as there’s about 80-90 years of illegal dumping and junk to be explored and excavated thereabouts.

Something curious was found in one of the middens of garbage.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A fragment of an animal skull came out on the end of some fellow’s shovel. Unfamiliar to me, as I’m a city boy, the general consensus at the site was that this very well might be the upper jaw of a goat. It was definitely an herbivore, whatever this critter was, as evinced by the molar dentition’s setup for grinding.

The problem with the goat thing is that goats are only supposed to have six molars, and this one has seven. Also, North Brooklyn ain’t exactly lousy with feral goats.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Additionally, there were sockets for front teeth in the fragment, which goats aren’t meant to have either. Anybody reading this who might be of the Veterinarian bent who might want to jump in and identify this critter?

If so, use the comments panel below to share your smarts with the rest of us. If not, I’ll add it to the list of anomalous Newtown Creek factoids maintained back here at HQ.


Upcoming Tours and Events

May 12th – Exploring Long Island City – with NY Adventure Club.

Long Island City is a tale of two cities; one filled with glittering water-front skyscrapers and manicured parks, and the other, a highly active ground transportation & distribution zone vital to the New York economy — which will prevail?

Tickets and more details
here.

May 17th – Port Newark Boat Tour – with Working Harbor Committee.

For an exciting adventure, go behind the scenes of the bustling Port of NY & NJ on our Hidden Harbor Tour® of Port Newark! Get an insider’s view of the 3rd largest port in the nation, where container ships dock and unload their goods from around the world. See how the working harbor really works and learn about what all those ships and tugs do. See giant container terminals, oil docks, dry dock repair, and more! Tickets and more details here.


“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

May 8, 2018 at 11:00 am

daylight around

with 2 comments

The 2018 Riverkeeper Sweep on Newtown Creek.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Last Saturday, everybody’s friends at Riverkeeper organized an estuary wide shoreline cleanup event in which groups from all of the bays, harbors, rivers, lakes, ponds, and especially the Creeks brought their volunteers together to remove garbage and junk from the shorelines. Along Newtown Creek, there were multiple efforts underway. Pictured above is the group that HarborLab, based at the Vernon Avenue Street End in Long Island City, brought together.

HarborLab worked on the area of Newtown Creek between the East River and Pulaski Bridge, and removed hundreds of pounds of garbage from the shoreline.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

HarborLab worked out of canoes, and from the water. I was on foot, personally, and had a couple of friends walking along with me. After getting shots of HarborLab gearing up for the day, we shlepped eastwards to the next gathering.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s Gil Lopez and DNA from Smiling Hogshead Ranch with a few of their volunteers in the shot above, who were cleaning up the shore surrounding the Borden Avenue Bridge in LIC. There were others further down towards the water, and they also removed a significant amount of junk from the water. Metallic items, plastics, even a few empty suitcases.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The scuttling resumed, and my little group headed over the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge to attend the next event, which was organized by Newtown Creek Alliance and LaGuardia Community College.

The NCA motto is “Reveal, Restore, Revitalize.” I always say that I’m happy I’m on the first “R” side of the operation since the other “R’s” involve a lot of manual labor.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The NCA section of the sweep was at the Meeker Avenue street end, and the group there also removed hundreds of pounds of junk and debris which had either been illegally dumped or just ended up getting swept in by hydrological action during heavy rains. The kids from LaGuardia really pulled out the stops, I was told.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It’s a very, very cool thing – seeing the citizenry taking agency for our waterfront.

The government people who work for us should be doing this, of course, but they’re generally pretty busy finding new ways to either screw things up or completely ignore the problems they’ve created. Recent developments in this arena involve using tax dollars to fund places for junkies to shoot drugs, decking the Sunnyside Yards, and so on.


Upcoming Tours and Events

May 12th – Exploring Long Island City – with NY Adventure Club.

Long Island City is a tale of two cities; one filled with glittering water-front skyscrapers and manicured parks, and the other, a highly active ground transportation & distribution zone vital to the New York economy — which will prevail?

Tickets and more details
here.

May 17th – Port Newark Boat Tour – with Working Harbor Committee.

For an exciting adventure, go behind the scenes of the bustling Port of NY & NJ on our Hidden Harbor Tour® of Port Newark! Get an insider’s view of the 3rd largest port in the nation, where container ships dock and unload their goods from around the world. See how the working harbor really works and learn about what all those ships and tugs do. See giant container terminals, oil docks, dry dock repair, and more! Tickets and more details here.


“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

May 7, 2018 at 11:00 am

plainly audible

leave a comment »

Back and forth, back and forth, it never ends.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Meeting season seems to be upon us all, wherein the various affiliations, causes, and organizations which I’m involved with want to get together in a room somewhere and discuss policy, plans, and or problems related to the issues of the day. Somehow this almost always involves me having to scuttle to Long Island City or Greenpoint at an inconvenient time, but it does allow for intervals on the journey to do a little shooting. Pictured above, a Long Island Railroad Mainline train set on its way from the City to points east, and crossing through the Sunnyside Yards.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Intrigued as I’ve been with long exposure shooting for the last several months, an endeavor which is usually carried out at night, whenever I’ve got a spot I can do a long exposure during daylight hours, I take it. That’s about two seconds of accumulated time from Queens Plaza in the shot above. I found a nicely positioned steel bracket which braces the construction scaffolding at one of the tower apartment construction sites on which to brace the camera, lock in the focus, and hold down the shutter button while watching the Fords roll by.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

An even longer exposure from the other night on Kingsland Avenue in Greenpoint, alongside the Unnamed Canal sub tributary of the fabulous Newtown Creek. It depicts a somewhat abandoned Department of Sanitation Marine Transfer Station which sits on the shoreline street end of North Henry Street (whose north/south path is interrupted by the sewer plant). The fences were locked up about a year or so ago, and you used to be able to go in there and explore. I think they’re using it to warehouse “stuff” now, but can’t really say for sure. At the very least, they’ve fixed the lights inside the thing.


Upcoming Tours and Events

April 29 – Bushwick-Ridgewood borderline Walking Tour – with Newtown Historical Society.

Join Kevin Walsh and Mitch Waxman as they take us along the border of Brooklyn and Queens, Bushwick and Ridgewood, with stops at English Kills, an historic colonial Dutch home, and all kinds of fun and quirky locations. End with an optional dinner on Myrtle Avenue before heading back to the Myrtle-Wyckoff subway station. Tix are only $5 so reserve your space today!
Tickets and more details here.


“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

terrible difference

with one comment

Minimalist Thursday? I dunno, mebbe.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The shot above is from Greenpoint, showing some of the curbside slime and garbage which distinguishes the neighborhood, and I captured it on Earth Day Sunday. Dichotomous, yes. Sarcastically offered, probably. All too commonly observed, absolutely. Doesn’t anyone else just carry their litter with them until reaching a receptacle like I do? Seriously, how far do you have to walk to find a dumpster in the age of gentrification?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Looks like someone was prying into one of the electrical hatches on the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge again, and observationally causing a small fire while likely trying to harvest the copper wires held therein. Happens all the time, I’m told, in the age of cash on delivery metal recycling. The Crows, which is my pet name for the metal collectors, will sweep in and grab up anything shiny on the pavement. Sometimes that includes manhole covers and the screw caps for fire hydrants.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One was waiting for a sandwich recently at the little bodega across the street from HQ back here in Astoria, and while a gentleman named Carlos was expertly manipulating the grill a humble narrator wandered about the shop with the camera in hand and snapped out a few shots for future usage. That time is now, in the case of the flowers pictured above.


Upcoming Tours and Events

April 29 – Bushwick-Ridgewood borderline Walking Tour – with Newtown Historical Society.

Join Kevin Walsh and Mitch Waxman as they take us along the border of Brooklyn and Queens, Bushwick and Ridgewood, with stops at English Kills, an historic colonial Dutch home, and all kinds of fun and quirky locations. End with an optional dinner on Myrtle Avenue before heading back to the Myrtle-Wyckoff subway station. Tix are only $5 so reserve your space today!
Tickets and more details here.


“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

April 26, 2018 at 11:00 am

haggard aspect

with 7 comments

I’m an idiot, but it’s kind of fun inside my head.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

So, last week I was going to some “thing” in Greenpoint, and found myself walking along Meserole Avenue. At 128 Meserole, you’ll notice the 1880’s era church building which was once occupied by the Faith Gospel Church but which, since the 1950’s, has been the HQ of the Pentecostal congregation of the “Church of God.” (as a note, thanks to my pal and Greenpoint historian Geoff Cobb, who filled me in on the identity of the original tenants of 128 Meserole) What caught my eye, in truth, was the lettering on the side of the church van, which I initially read not as “Church of God of Greenpoint” but instead as “Church of, God of Greenpoint.”

This filled me with a sarcastic glee, as I began to contemplate what worship of the God of Greenpoint – or GOG – might entail. I’m sure yoga would be a part of the ceremonial liturgy, and that the priestesses would be devastatingly beautiful hipster women with full sleeve tattoos.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Mr. Cobb informed me that the original 19th century congregation housed here were evangelicals who pursued missionary activities. As mentioned above, the current occupants are Pentecostals. The building sits just outside the Greenpoint Historic District, and the reason that I had to ask Mr. Cobb for his help was that any attempt at discovering the story of the structure quickly resulted in hundreds and hundreds of Real Estate Industrial Complex web pages which reduced 128 Meserole down to mere equity valuations. From the REIC’s POV, the actual worth of any historic cultural institution’s domicile is reduced to mere money, and everything is just a commodity to be bought or sold.

The God of Greenpoint might just be Mammon. Maybe Asmodeus.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There very well might be some pagan deity who could claim the title of “God of Greenpoint,” an elder devil reviled by the Keskachauge who wanders the subterrene caverns beneath the neighborhood seeking a pathway to the surface. The ancestral Lenape culture, which the Keskachauge were a part of, acknowledged spirits both dark and light. The God of Greenpoint… could it be slithering around in deep set tidal and hydrological voids, where centuried petroleum products sit atop the water table, beneath the thick crystalline crust and elluvial underpinnings which support our concretized modernity? If GOG dwells below North Brooklyn, then where is MAGOG?

Who can guess, all there is, that could be buried down there?


“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

April 17, 2018 at 11:00 am

village elders

with 3 comments

It’s hard to wake up sometimes.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One had a bizarre dream last night, wherein a sentence of death by poisoning was handed out to me by a tribunal of masked judges who were wearing powdered wigs. The specific toxin was Belladonna, which was administered via a wound opened up in my right thumb. I have no idea if this is how Belladonna would be administered, but dream logic is what it is. In the dream, after having the poison introduced by a Rastafarian wearing a Corrections Dept. uniform, I was told that I had three hours to live and I was released “back into the wild” as it were to die on the streets of the City. I spent my time visiting old friends and haunts, eventually making it to a bridge over Newtown Creek, where everything began to grow dim and a humble narrator exited the narrative.

In this somnambulist fantasy, a wild hallucination which occurred after finding myself suddenly unconscious last night, my travels in the city were accompanied by a growing numbness in the right arm, whose thumb was the point of inoculation. Waking this morning, which temporally concurred with that moment in the dream when death was arriving, I discovered that I had my arm wrapped around my head in a quite uncomfortable position which impeded the normal circulation of the vital fluids and that the limb was quite numb.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Sleep is an odd thing, I’ve always thought. Medical professionals assure me that it’s entirely normal, but ever since I’ve been a child, one has been suspicious of the entire phenomena. Sudden fatigue, a clouding over of the mental faculty, a loss of consiousness followed by intervals of nearly a third of a day spent wildly hallucinating? It just ain’t right. There has to be a cure.

Often, I’ve wondered which world is true – the waking one or the hallucinatory one. Given the nature of my dreams, with their wild implications and Freudian suggestions, I’d rather take the horrible reality of the two thirds of the day when I’m “woke” to the phantasmagoric and demon filled interval experienced during the other portion. One has never dreamt of puppies and green fields, nor playing the role of some sexual or heroic eidolon, rather it’s about stumbling into some colossal bit of industrial machinery and being passively filleted by wires and gears, or experiencing an even greater level of personal or professional humiliation than I normally have to endure.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One is not sure about the “why and what” which the tribunal of masked judges condemned me for, due to the way that my dreams fade away soon after waking. One has friends who can relate their dreams as if they were describing a movie they had recently seen, whereas for me it’s a series of pressurized blasts of imagery and experience exploding forward in the manner of ocean waves. It’s not unknown for me to rise up from sleep screaming in terror at the horrors conjured, nor for Our Lady of the Pentacle to report that I had been mumbling in my sleep. One usually doesn’t talk about such things, but for some reason the one last night was both disturbing and persistent into the wakeful daylight. It’s probably because the physical effects of “sleeping funny” had left me with a numb arm, which needed a good “shaking out” to accommodate the return of normal blood flow and normal nervous function, but still. Last night I died alone in the cold on the Pulaski Bridge, after being sentenced by an anonymous tribunal for an unknown heresy.

What can I tell you, I’m all ‘effed up.


Upcoming Tours and Events

April 14 – Exploring Long Island City – with NY Adventure Club.

Long Island City is a tale of two cities; one filled with glittering water-front skyscrapers and manicured parks, and the other, a highly active ground transportation & distribution zone vital to the New York economy — which will prevail?
Tickets and more details here.

April 15- Newtown Creekathon – with Newtown Creek Alliance.

That grueling 13 and change mile death march through the bowels of New York City known as the “Newtown Creekathon” will be held on that day, and I’ll be leading the charge as we hit every little corner and section of the waterway. This will be quite an undertaking, last year half the crowd tagged out before we hit the half way point. Have you got what it takes the walk the enitre Newtown Creek?
Click here to reserve a spot on the Creekathon.


“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

April 12, 2018 at 11:00 am

%d bloggers like this: