The Newtown Pentacle

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Things to do!

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July 28th, 2012- Working Harbor Committee Kill Van Kull walk- This Saturday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The Kill Van Kull, or tugboat alley as its known to we harbor rats, is a tidal strait that defines the border of Staten Island and New Jersey. A busy and highly industrialized waterfront, Working Harbor’s popular “Hidden Harbor – Newark Bay” boat tours provide water access to the Kill, but what is it like on the landward side?

Starting at the St. George Staten Island Ferry terminal, join WHC Steering Committee member Mitch Waxman for a walk up the Kill Van Kull via Staten Islands Richmond Terrace. You’ll encounter unrivaled views of the maritime traffic on the Kill itself, as well as the hidden past of the maritime communities which line it’s shores. Surprising and historic neighborhoods, an abandoned railway, and tales of prohibition era bootleggers await.

The tour will start at 11, sharp, and you must be on (at least) the 10:30 AM Staten Island Ferry to meet the group at St. George. Again, plan for transportation changes and unexpected weirdness to be revealed to you at

for July 28th tickets, click here for the Working Harbor Committee ticketing page

August 5th, 2012- Newtown Creek Alliance Walking Tour- The Insalubrious Valley

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Newtown Creek Alliance historian Mitch Waxman will be leading a walk through the industrial heartlands of New York City, exploring the insalubrious valley of the Newtown Creek.

The currently undefended border of Brooklyn and Queens, and the place where the Industrial Revolution actually happened, provides a dramatic and picturesque setting for this exploration. We’ll be visiting two movable bridges, the still standing remains of an early 19th century highway, and a forgotten tributary of the larger waterway. As we walk along the Newtown Creek and explore the “wrong side of the tracks” – you’ll hear tales of the early chemical industry, “Dead Animal and Night Soil Wharfs”, colonial era heretics and witches and the coming of the railroad. The tour concludes at the famed Clinton Diner in Maspeth- where scenes from the Martin Scorcese movie “Goodfellas” were shot.

Lunch at Clinton Diner is included with the ticket.

Details/special instructions.

Meetup at the corner of Grand Street and Morgan Avenue in Brooklyn at 11 a.m. on August 5, 2012. The L train serves a station at Bushwick Avenue and Grand Street, and the Q54 and Q59 bus lines stop nearby as well. Check as ongoing weekend construction often causes delays and interruptions. Drivers, it would be wise to leave your vehicle in the vicinity of the Clinton Diner in Maspeth, Queens or near the start of the walk at Grand St. and Morgan Avenue (you can pick up the bus to Brooklyn nearby the Clinton Diner).

Be prepared: We’ll be encountering broken pavement, sometimes heavy truck traffic as we move through a virtual urban desert. Dress and pack appropriately for hiking, closed-toe shoes are highly recommended.

Clinton Diner Menu:

  • Cheese burger deluxe
  • Grilled chicken over garden salad
  • Turkey BLT triple decker sandwich with fries
  • Spaghetti with tomato sauce or butter
  • Greek salad medium
  • Greek Salad wrap with French fries
  • Can of soda or 16oz bottle of Poland Spring

for August 5th tickets, click here for the Newtown Creek Alliance ticketing page

quivering through

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

Just a short one today, a few unconnected images, and hints of what is to come. For the last couple of days, I’ve been out on the harbor, photographing Op Sail. I’ll have some shots for you to see in a day or two, lords and ladies, as a colossal amount of editing and digital darkroom work is underway here at HQ. Initial passes at the images are quite promising, as I shot the whole shebang from the water and the atmospherics were dramatic, to say the least.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There’s also a couple of announcements coming shortly regarding walking tours in June, at the Creek and elsewhere, and the Working Harbor Committee “Hidden Harbor” tours are about to kick into gear again so there will lots of fun things to do next month (and beyond). July is shaping up as well, and I hope to be able to offer a Newtown Creek boat tour mid month, but this is still forming up.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The last week or so is kind of a blur, you see- as I’ve been in four of the five boroughs, five if you count the harbor as the sixth- in the last few days. Must have shot something like three thousand photos since last Thursday, in fact. Sorry for the short post today, will be back tomorrow with something a bit more substantial for you at this, your Newtown Pentacle.

Written by Mitch Waxman

May 24, 2012 at 2:54 am

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