The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Posts Tagged ‘photowalk

palsied denials

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Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

July 16th was City of Water Day, which is a regional harbor festival curated by the Waterfront Alliance. I, and Newtown Creek Alliance, have been participating in City of Water Day for about a decade now. This year, NCA partnered up with North Brooklyn Boat Club and the Montauk Cutoff Coalition to do a shoreline cleanup, and offer boat rides to the public on the Dutch Kills tributary of Newtown Creek. It was a nice day.

Until the thunderstorm arrived, it was a nice day, that is.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

If you don’t recall, this was the day that about an inch of rain fell in about a half hour and generated a lot of flooding and damage in Queens. We were out in the open, but luckily the public side of things had ended. Everybody found a bit of shelter, under the Long Island Expressway or in some of the shipping containers found along the shoreline.

It felt like a real Götterdämmerung, I tell you.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Blasting waves of rain pounded down, and heavy wind caused the rain to go absolutely horizontal. Dutch Kills was boiling with sky juices.

When the front moved on, we found ourselves standing in its wake. All of the NCA people grabbed their cameras and phones, since we knew what would be coming next – sewer outflows!

– photo by Mitch Waxman

NYC has a combined sewer system, meaning that sanitary and storm water move through the same pipes. Dry weather, which typified roughly an entire month prior to the 16th, sees this flow go to sewer plants. A quarter inch of rain – citywide – translates to a billion gallons suddenly entering the system, and the City’s protocol is to release the excess flow into area waterways as a prophylactic against street flooding.

You can count it out – 5, 4, 3, 2, 1… blast off.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Submerged sewer pipes began to excrete into the waters of Dutch Kills. The surface was boiling, and the tumult carried human waste as well as whatever happened to end up in the sewers – trash, motor oil, goo – into Dutch Kills.

Everywhere you looked, filthy water was shooting out of otherwise hidden pipes all over Dutch Kills. In a couple of spots, notably nearby the Hunters Point Avenue Bridge, there were actual geysers of sewerage shooting around.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Pictured above is a storm sewer, one which drains the Long Island Expressway high above. Thousands of gallons erupted from it.

Exciting, no?


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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

August 16, 2022 at 11:00 am

locks waving

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Monday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One last set of shots from the 15th of July, depicting the transit of a Tug called “Daisy Mae” through the raised bascules of the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge, spanning the fabulous Newtown Creek.

Coeymans Marine towing operates the tug.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Once upon a time, a humble narrator spent a lot of hours focusing in on NY Harbor and the many vessels which navigate its gelatinous waters.

In recent years, not so much.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Most of my pals whom I used to chase shipping with have either passed away or have retired to greener pastures.

Also, I’ve become jaded.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’ll miss these sort of sights in the coming years, I’m sure.

Saying that, one of the inviolable prerequisites for where I live “next” has involved the statement “there has to be a waterfront.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My beloved Creek.

Everybody I know keeps on saying to me that I can’t leave NYC since I love Newtown Creek so much. It’s time, though. Time for someone else to discover the place and scry its wonders.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Continuity is important to me. It’s one of the few parts of my Jewish upbringing that really “stuck.” If you learn something, write it down for somebody else to use as a starting point.

All in all, it’s all just bricks in the wall.


“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

August 15, 2022 at 11:00 am

scintillant semicircle

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Friday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

What you’re looking at above took place on 29th street in Long Island City on the 15th of July, at the Dutch Kills tributary of the Newtown Creek. It’s not the end of the story, it’s just the latest chapter in a tale that I began telling you all about in September of 2018.

For two and change years, the shorelines of the Dutch Kills tributary of Newtown Creek have been actively crumbling, dissecting, and collapsing. The situation has caused 29th street itself to become undermined, and subsequent bulkhead collapse continues.

2020’s Unaltered Bone,” 2022’swide scattering,” “expiring orb,” “harmless stupidity,” “plumbed descent,” “yellow rays,” “crawl proudly,” “nemesis mirror,” “ugly trifles,” “torture of,” “verdant valleys,” “budding branches,” “crystal coldness” all tracked and followed the collapse.

The theme offered in all of these posts was “nothing matters and nobody cares.” I also offered that in the end I would make “them” care. Luckily, my pal Will Elkins – Newtown Creek Alliance’s Executive Director and the guy with the megaphone – managed to marshal the political world around 29th street. The moment in time in this post is his doing.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Newtown Creek Alliance cares, and as it turns out – so do City Council Member Julie Won, the presumptive next NYS Assemblyman for LIC Juan Ardila, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, Democratic District Leaders Emilia Decaudin and Nick Berkowitz, the executive committee of Queens Community Board 2, the President of LaGuardia Community College, and about fifty to sixty of the local business stakeholders.

This matters, and now everybody cares. I felt like this. Told y’all we’d ultimately make them all care.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

29th street is my last dragon to slay on Newtown Creek. After this, it’s all about moving out of New York City, and rebooting into a different life elsewhere. For the first time, I’m feeling like everything I’ve been working on and for in the last fifteen years is in good hands, and that there’s another generation ready and willing to take the wheel.

My beloved Creek is going to be just fine without me, with stewards like Will Elkins and the amazing staff he’s surrounded himself with at Newtown Creek Alliance fighting the good fight.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My Pal Val attended the presser, and after the event was done, she wanted to check out the Gaseteria/NYS Marshalls impound lot which was described to you at the beginning of this week.

We jumped in her car and went over to Greenpoint, and the English Kills tributary of Newtown Creek.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There’s a scrap metal operation located on English Kills, but their entrance is on Grand Street. All that material is brought in by truck, but shipped out via maritime barge. Just one of those barges carries the equivalent cargo of 38 heavy trucks.

It’s insane how little used this sort of hauling is utilized in the archipelago City of Greater New York.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Back next week with something different at this – your Newtown Pentacle.


“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

August 12, 2022 at 11:00 am

thronged through

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Thursday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

July 9th saw me briefly escaping the hell of zoom meetings and other obligations which had consumed a couple of my days after the the whole rented car adventure described earlier this week.

I took a “stretch my legs” walk around the neighborhood. As always, Sunnyside Yards never disappoints.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Part of my path carried me through the devastated industrial zone found along Northern Blvd. and 35th and 36th avenues.

What devastated it, you ask? Innovation Queens did. The proposed “Big Real Estate” mega project’s owners have been buying up the properties here and not renewing the leases of the businesses housed therein for about ten years. This allows them to claim that it’s a blighted area, without mentioning that they’re the ones who created the blight.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Headed up by a three headed serpent, Innovation Queens would demolish a triangular section at the southern edge of Astoria which currently provides employment to hundreds, who work at jobs that pay taxes. The replacement is a series of 20 plus story luxury apartment towers, hosting about 3,000 units, which would be tax free to their owners for about 20 years due to having the bare minimum of “affordable” units within them.

The three headed serpent is: Larry Silverstein – self described best friend of Donald Trump and Governor of the Real Estate Board of New York, Bedrock Properties – an entity, whom one of the principals of recently bragged to me, wrote the affordable housing laws in the State of Connecticut (in other news, a fox recently wrote the Connecticut rules governing hen houses), and the Kaufman Astoria Group – who used to be in the movie and TV production business. Grrr.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

They’ve been allowing the properties they’ve acquired to decline, putting out tenants, and looking the other way at illegal dumping in the area. They also have neglected to clean their streets, remove graffiti, or do any of the other things property owners normally do.

The Three Headed Serpent claims that the area is “dark, dangerous, and forbidding.” This section didn’t used to be any of those things, before the three headed serpent slithered into the neighborhood.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

These shots were the last ones captured before I fell into the grip of a three day long adventure involving gastro intestinal distress, and a concurrent pinched nerve in my neck which that was the result of too much bad sleep. What made it bad was the GI issues. I had one of those weird 72 hours when you’re sleeping a lot, but never more than two hours at a time.

As always is the case with such matters, you just need to wait it out.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Luckily, by mid week, I was back in fine fettle and moving around the world again. Cannot tell you how many people’s days I’ve ruined since with my presence.

Back tomorrow, with something that matters and proof that somebody cares.


“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

August 11, 2022 at 11:00 am

breathing sleep

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Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The plan for July 6th ultimately involved visiting some family whom I haven’t laid eyes on in at least a decade. This branch of the tree is found on the south shore of Long Island, at roughly the middle point of the land form. As is always the case when Our Lady of the Pentacle and I invest in renting a car and or traveling, we left far earlier than we needed to and tried to make “good use” of the vehicle.

We followed the north shore of Queens, and found ourselves in College Point and then Whitestone. I had pegged a few destinations in where there might be something worth taking a picture of.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

This is a section of the Borough of Queens which I’m entirely unfamiliar with. It’s “car country” after all. Observationally, the further east we went, the wealthier the community seemed to get.

That’s the Throgs Neck Bridge, I’m told.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There were several cul de sacs and street ends which offered interesting points of view on this peninsular section of the World’s Borough.

Funnily enough, most of my experience – limited at best – with this area comes from observing it from the Bronx side.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The House of Moses, as in Robert Moses, is a term I often use to describe sights like the one above. During the era when Moses ruled the roost, they really seemed to make an effort to add in design flourishes and architectural nicety for inherently ugly infrastructure like highway on ramps.

We would drive for a bit, then I’d jump out of the car and grab a few shots, then move on. This is why I always describe Our Lady of the Pentacle as “long suffering.” In actuality, she was noodling around on her phone and dealing with work stuff.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

We made it all the way to Fort Totten’s parking lot before we needed to start motoring towards our familial destination.

Y’know, I’ve never been here before.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Wonder if I can fit in a day of “explore” at Fort Totten before my expiry in NYC comes up?

Tomorrow, something fairly different, at this – your Newtown Pentacle.


“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

August 9, 2022 at 11:00 am

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