The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Posts Tagged ‘gull

fragrant memories

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It’s National Blueberry Popover Day, in these United States.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A few odd and end shots of critters encountered today. Low tide at Hells Gate will offer you a chance to observe a gaggle of gulls exploiting the exposed intertidal zone. Gulls evolved what turns out to be one of the most important adaptations for survival on a human dominated planet – inedibility. You can actually eat them, but reportedly they taste heavily of all things maritime and you have to worry about worms and accumulated toxins. In their world, Gulls are near the top of the food chain and their diet consists of critters which the environmental activist community would describe as “bio accumulators.” Apparently, there are people who eat gulls, but gussy them up with bacon and a whole pack of spice.

Bacon could make a turd taste nice, I believe, but it ain’t kosher.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Squirrels are regularly eaten by Americans, although this one from Astoria Park doesn’t have to worry too much about being consumed by a human. It’s main problem are Hawks and Falcons, Dogs and Cats, and Raccoons. I’m told that Opposums and even Rats will go after squirrel nests. There’s something about the phrase “squirrel nest” that just fills me with an indefatigable whimsy.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A culinary tradition from Europe continues in the United States, which states that swan meat is reserved for the tables of royalty, and it’s generally not on the menu for us common folk. Another water fowl near the top of its food chain, the Mute Swan pictured above probably has a liver full of mercury and PCB’s, and it’s flesh is likely riddled with parasitic worms picked up out of the sewage laden waters of New York Harbor – or in the case of the bird above, Luyster Creek in Astoria on the forbidden northern coast of Queens.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As you many have discerned, it’s time for a humble narrator to organize up his luncheon. Y’know, a blueberry popover sounds pretty good right now.

See you Monday, with something completely different at this – your Newtown Pentacle.


“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

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Written by Mitch Waxman

March 10, 2017 at 1:00 pm

heavy with shadow

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Flip ’em da boid, Mickey.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

All male gulls, were their language translatable, would tell you that their name is either Mickey or Lou. The Mickeys and the Lous would tell you that all female gulls are called either Maeve, Lorettta, or Jennifer. It’s a bird thing, at least in New York.

A bird thing which I don’t understand at all is that New York City itself doesn’t seem to have an official bird – although the State of New York does.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It was Governor Nelson Rockefeller who – on May 18, 1970 – signed a piece of paper in Albany which officially adopted the State of New York’s avian mascot. The Eastern Bluebird was selected, a bird whose very appearance instinctually conjures visions of “New York State” to its admirers… the Eastern… Bluebird… I don’t know if I’ve ever even seen one of these things. Ever.

If we’re stuck with the Bluebird for our State bird, I’d like to propose the Gull as our official NYC bird.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Strong argument can be made for the Pigeon, I hear you. Thing is, the Pigeon iconography is more closely associated with London than anywhere else, and NYC ain’t gonna be nobodies second best.

Hear me out – the Gulls have been with us every step of the way, historically. They scavenged from the garbage of Stuyvesant and Cornwallis, followed the trade routes north and west via the Hudson and Erie Canal to the Great Lakes, and they are absolutely thriving in the ruined modern environment of New York Harbor. That’s my kind of boid.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Upcoming Walking Tours-

Saturday, November 8th, Poison Cauldron
Walking Tour with Atlas Obscura, click here for tickets and more info.

Note: This is the last Newtown Creek walking tour of 2014, and probably the last time this tour will be presented in its current form due to the Kosciuszko Bridge construction project. 

Written by Mitch Waxman

November 4, 2014 at 11:00 am

retreat directly

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Lament, for fresh posts begin anew.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It’s my curse, I guess. Always an outsider, and asked to leave the room so that the grown ups can talk seriously. Not that another stodgy, labored, and somewhat boring conversation is actually something I’d like to participate in, mind you, but one grows tired of sitting in the cheap seats after awhile and the next person who tells me how shit I am is going to be very, very surprised at what I say back.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One does enjoy watching them gesture and display for each other, as they roil and rumble. Pack mentality rules both canine and primate behavior, presumptively, with both species weeding out their sick or weakened members. Nature of the beast, I guess.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Dispassionate is the way a humble narrator rolls, and my function is as an observer. Look at the lens, not at me, as I’m not here.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

November 18, 2013 at 9:31 am

sand stirring

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“follow” me on Twitter at @newtownpentacle

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Were one not as emotionally damaged and physically inadequate as your humble narrator, and were I not fearful of offending the unknowable gods, a statement might be offered that it has been very nice to be moving about the world in the relative comfort of warmer climes. The joys, horrors, and splendors of the megalopolis have all presented me with more than just a little entertainment in recent weeks.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Repeated nightmarishly, travels forth and back to the Shining City of Manhattan have caused me no end of grief. Luckily, a few opportunities to wave the camera around have presented themselves and accordingly- more than just a few interesting moments have been recorded and captured.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Despite the odd and photogenic sights which one encounters in this center of the human infestation called Manhattan, a yearning reigns within for another place which is not far away. This locale, this Shining City of towers holds little charm for me, as it has become staid and boring. Even these helicopter landings and departures are merely part of a crass tourist operation with preternaturally high prices. To me, little more than a subject to photograph, in a clinical manner. One desires to stride through a true place whose facade not so shiny.

Also: Upcoming Tours!

13 Steps around Dutch Kills Saturday, May 4, 2013
Newtown Creek walking tour with Mitch Waxman and Atlas Obscura, tickets now on sale.

Parks and Petroleum- Sunday, May 12, 2013
Newtown Creek walking tour with Mitch Waxman and Newtown Creek Alliance, tickets on sale soon.

The Insalubrious Valley- Saturday, May 25, 2013
Newtown Creek walking tour with Mitch Waxman and Atlas Obscura, tickets on sale soon.

Hidden Harbor: Newtown Creek tour with Mitch Waxman – Sunday, May 26,2013
Boat tour presented by the Working Harbor Committee,
Limited seating available, order advance tickets now. Group rates available.

Written by Mitch Waxman

April 22, 2013 at 7:30 am

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