The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Archive for the ‘Steinway Street’ Category

nearby where

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This one just makes me angry.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

So, the other day I’m walking up Steinway Street towards the Museum of the Moving Image to go shoot some party for my Brownstoner column. It’s not the sort of thing I’d EVER cover for your Newtown Pentacle, of course, but there you go. As I’m walking along, what seemed at first to be some sort of weird statuette in a store window began to move, and that’s when I noticed that this particular shop had a live and quite exotic bird living in its front window.

An extremely ill one, at that.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Awww, hell. Cue the Sarah McLachlan music.

This poor thing had pecked and scratched itself bald. Our Lady of the Pentacle, upon examining these rather ugly photographs, offered that the bird likely has untreated mites or some other parasitic infection. It chest was quivering, and the beating of the heart and action of respiration was quite visible.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

When I see a bloodied drunk laying face down in the street, I know what to do. Same thing with a fire, or car accident, or even who to complain to about excessive noise emanating from a commercial business. Smell the sewer? Spilt some oil? Yup, I can tell you whom to call and what to tell them. A sick bird?

Is it even my business, this? Who do you call? Sure doesn’t seem to be Police business. Am I meant to storm into the store and demand to speak to their Vet?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Let’s just presume that this particular blog post is merely intended to point out that there seems to be a pretty sick bird, in a shop window on the west side of Steinway Street in Astoria, between 35th and 36th avenues. That bird… well, there might be certain signs that someone versed in handling this sort of situation could observe to find and help it.

I’m truly ignorant on the subject of avian veterinary health, perhaps that shivering miserable looking creature isn’t as bad off as it looked to me, and I’m simply over reacting.

Just saying.

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Upcoming Tours –

May 3, 2015 –
DUBPO, Down Under the Pulaski Bridge Onramp
with Newtown Creek Alliance Historian Mitch Waxman, a free tour offered as part of Janeswalk 2015, click here for tickets.

May 31, 2015 –
Newtown Creek Boat Tour
with Working Harbor Committee and Newtown Creek Alliance Historian Mitch Waxman, click here for tickets.

Written by Mitch Waxman

April 8, 2015 at 11:00 am

canopic jars

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A short one today

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As mentioned yesterday, I’m a bit buried at the moment in work.

Accordingly, a single image greets you today, depicting my favorite Halal Meats food cart here in almond eyed Astoria. These cats, and their thriving enterprise, are found at 34th avenue and Steinway Street. As you can see, even well into the evening – there’s always a lineup of people waiting for chow. If you’re in the neighborhood – I recommend their two kabab hero sandwich, which is stuffed with eggplant, onions, and drowned in both yogurt and hot sauce.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

April 2, 2015 at 12:09 pm

leers down

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A short one today, from the frozen zone.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Spotted this bicycle frozen to its pole mount on Steinway Street the other day, the presence of the Ambulance was coincidental. The FDNY personnel were headed down into the Subway station with their bags of kit – the oxygen bottles and all that other gear. Didn’t stick around long enough to find out what was doing, as a humble narrator had places to go.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

This shot was also captured in Astoria, on Broadway, at one of the heaviest moments of precipitant snowfall last week. Ughhh. I’ll be back next week with some hopefully sunnier shots at this, your Newtown Pentacle.

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Written by Mitch Waxman

February 6, 2015 at 11:00 am

once noble

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An archive shot from 2007.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

We call them “Shwarma Joe” but that’s not their name. This food cart has been operating at the corner of 34th Avenue and Steinway Street in Astoria for as long as I’ve lived here. They do a Halal menu, and offer one of the more affordable lunch options in the neighborhood. I favor the Chicken Kabob wrap myself, sans white sauce. This is an archive shot, as mentioned, captured during the heady days of the second Bush administration. Shwarma Joe never called their offerings “freedom fries,” however.

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Written by Mitch Waxman

November 7, 2013 at 9:43 am

known gods

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It certainly has been quite an interesting life.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

No man is a failure who’s got friends, or so they told George Bailey in “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Homespun aphorism and Capraesque cliche notwithstanding, I would argue that having the wrong friends is a wholly different sort of failure which far outweighs the dollars and cents of conventional success. A loner, malcontent, and altogether difficult and argumentative know it all- your humble narrator’s few acquaintances tolerate my presence, but only in small doses.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

You’ve got to use it or lose it, but what if you never had “it” in the first place? One such as myself, bereft of natural advantages such as speed, grace, strength, or athletic prowess on any level knows full well the shame of fumbling, stumbling, and or striking out. The only advantage possessed by me is a rat like cunning, although given my standing amongst the humans it would be logical to presume that I would make a poor specimen of Rattus rattus.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Like some ancient mariner lost upon the storm tossed waves go I, lashed to the frozen deck of a broken life. My wants and desires are nonexistent beyond the purely existential issues of food and shelter, as I have long ago given up pursuit of material success. There is no plan, things just happen, and the daily round is just a series of dull events. Your humble narrator is not at all driven by avarice, vainglory, or ambition in the ways that most are. Just think of me solely as the battered, the disabused, the disenfranchised, and always an outsider- if you feel the strong urge to categorize or quantize me.

Upcoming Tours

Saturday – October 19, 2013
The Insalubrious Valley of the Newtown Creek with Atlas Obscura- tickets on sale soon.

Sunday- October 20th, 2013
The Poison Cauldron of the Newtown Creek with Brooklyn Brainery- tickets on sale now

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inexplicably weaker

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Today’s posting comes direct to you from Astoria, Queens.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Just a short posting today, a couple of scenes recently recorded here amongst the blessed slopes of raven tressed Astoria. The couple shown in the shot above were observed on Steinway Street, taking an afternoon nap on one of the many new benches recently installed. Scenes reminiscent of the one above are the reason that the Koch administration removed this form of street furniture around the City in the first place, back in the 1980’s, as I recall.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Strongly contrasting with the first shot is this amazing hot rod Corvette parked just a few blocks away nearby Northern Blvd. Upon observation of this well appointed automobile, a humble narrator began to gibber and jump with acrimony over the fact that it is not his. It is high time that I have a midlife crisis, and this car would fit the bill for my last grasping attempts at youthful abandon. I would call it the Mitchmobile, and would be heard loudly and atonally singing “na na na Na Na, Wax-man” whilst touring the Newtown Creek at a thousand miles per hour.

Want to see something cool? Summer 2013 Walking Tours-

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

Modern Corridor- Saturday, July 13, 2013
Newtown Creek walking tour with Mitch Waxman and Atlas Obscura, tickets on sale soon.

inexorably crawling

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

One is fascinated by the automotive corridor through western Queens that is known as Northern Blvd. It is literally an “automotive corridor” as in the sense of it being a busy vehicular roadway, but it is also an industrial corridor which speaks of a forgotten moment in NY history when automobiles were manufactured in the five boroughs. This is largely a start of the twentieth century sort of thing, of course, but it was a pretty big deal back in the 1920’s.

That’s before the American auto industry consolidated itself around the City of Detroit, of course.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Standard Motor Products is still located at the corner of Steinway/39th street and Northern, of course, but they don’t make anything here anymore- it’s just offices. At that, SMP only uses a small section of their former factory, which famously carries a modern day rooftop farm at its crown. This “history of the automobile industry in Queens” thing is a topic which has been gathering steam and certain interest for your humble narrator of late, but my research has only just begun and intelligent presentation of fact is still far off in the future.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There is still a significant amount of auto related commerce going on around these parts, but it’s all about sales these days, not manufacture. An incalculable number of used… sorry… industry parlance is “pre owned”… cars are available along that stretch of Northern Blvd. which sits happily between Queens Plaza and the Grand Central Parkway. Something I’m working on, one of many background tasks and research projects performed and underway here at Newtown Pentacle HQ.

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