The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Archive for the ‘Queens Plaza’ Category

furious delirium

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Your music sucks, why do you play it so loud?

- photo by Mitch Waxman

In the midst of everything else, a humble narrator has to worry about getting the laundry done, which is not always as easy a proposition as it sounds like. More often than not, indecision about the logical process by which one arrives at some sort of conclusion about whether a soiled garment should be considered for the “colors” or “darks” bags reduces one to gibbering madness. Crouched in the corner of the room, wild eyed and slaked with cold perspiration, I often find myself impaled on the horns of dilemma. That navy blue shirt… where does it belong? Does it belong? Where do any of us belong? This is why I largely dress in black.

All ‘effed up, me.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Dire portent abounds. A general tension is palpable, and even the normally laconic army of bicycle delivery guys seem tense, here amongst the raven tressed hillocks of Western Queens. As one sorts his socks and towels, preparing them for drop off at the local laundry shepherd, a distinct sensation of dread permeates the atmosphere hereabouts. Even my little dog Zuzu seems to sense approaching calamity, as she drums her claws across the worn floorboards. At least the humidity seems to have broken.

I fear the polar vortex itself might return, carrying with it certain things which Esquimaux legend only hints at, and am quite unsure if I should send certain articles of Our Lady of the Pentacle’s wardrobe to the laundromat or segregate them out for dry cleaning.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Were this the 21st century that a humble narrator was promised, when still an innocent moppet – the one which had jet packs and moving sidewalks and flying cars – we’d all be dressed in self cleaning space age fabrics which would obviate little need for the services of the laundry shepherds. These were supposed to be “onesies,” or speed suits as Dr. Venture would refer to them, whose coloration would be indicative of social rank. Unfortunately, the world we’ve got is neither “Brave” nor “New.”

Oh no… what do you do with a sock that has red, white, and black stripes? Oh dear lord… the horror of it all…

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to fade

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The Stygian depths, in today’s post.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

After a glorious day, enjoying the emanations offered by the burning thermonuclear eye of god itself whilst wandering about the heart of the human infestation, one was forced into entering the underworld to return home. Neither heroic journey, nor some Campbellian metaphorical archetype, your humble narrator entered the vast network of verminous tunnels that underlie the metropolis with the intention of riding within those contrivances which ply them. Unfortunately, as one of those periodic service interruptions which plague the weekend was underway, the trains were crowded… and with families. Large families with hundreds of kids.

As a note, were I to have behaved in this manner in public – with or without my parents present – as soon as word of it reached them, they would have murdered me where I stood. A homicide – and I’m not kidding – and it would have been my mother who ended me.

Statements like this are how I know that I’m getting old.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Upon arriving at Queens Plaza, where my personal radar or “Spidey Sense” always tingles, I discovered three things.

The first was this rather bold graffito, whose meaning or intent is something unknown and that I can only speculate about. There are organized crime elements, of fearsome reputation, who use the number 13 as part of their “trade dress” or “branding” at work in western Queens – this might be them. As an old and solitary fellow, I really have no clue about such matters, although one suspects that more than a few could identify the tag and provide a back story.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

The second thing encountered was what seemed to be a broken arrow, or perhaps the snapped wooden stick of a flag. It was arranged nearby the graffiti, so I like to think that some clandestine drama had played itself out here on the local side of the platform. All sorts of urban scenarios could have occurred, many of which might have ended with the above scene.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

The third thing I found was a neighbor that was also returning home after a day spent out and about. The fellow greeted me and asked how I was doing. Tersely spoken, my reply was “that this city could use a good plague.” I could have offered “people walk around like they’re safe or something,” or one of the other favorite mottoes of youthful times. He seemed disturbed by my answer, and queried if I really meant that.

The human infestation can be a bit overwhelming sometimes, for a creature like myself.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

There’s a Newtown Creek walking tour, and a Magic Lantern show, coming up.

Wednesday, June 11th, Newtown Creek Magic Lantern Show with Brooklyn Brainery.
Click here for tickets and more info.

Sunday, June 15th, DUPBO – Down Under the Pulaski Bridge Onramp
A FREE tour, courtesy of Green Shores NYC, click here for rsvp info

Written by Mitch Waxman

June 9, 2014 at 11:00 am

likewise thought

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From Dutch Kills, the neighborhood.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Marching home one recent afternoon, a humble narrator was confronted with a scene that beggared description. A taxi pulled over to the side of the road, 39th avenue actually, and the driver jumped out and went into a bodega. He left his car door wide open, and the engine running. “Steal me” was the first thing that came to mind, but bear in mind that I grew up in Brooklyn, so I think “Steal Me” a lot.

Please, steal me, is what this scene says.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Lucifer lays little Easter Eggs like this in front of me all the time. Temptation, temptation. I’m certain that I would be sitting in the back seat of an NYPD crusader shortly after jumping in the front seat of this cab, but… man alive… this is two blocks from Queens Plaza, and you leave your door not only open… but the engine running as well? The taxi should have been stolen just to teach the guy a lesson.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

The driver eventually sauntered out of the bodega – emerging with a cup of coffee. The fellow resumed his station behind the wheel, and turned back into traffic. A humble narrator blurted out, using my best Brookleiner accent, “Hey, dis is New York City, Yo. Da fuck were’s you tinking?”.

He replied that since nothing happened, I was crazy, and inquired whether or not I needed a ride somewhere.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

There are two Newtown Creek walking tours, and a Magic Lantern show, coming up.

Saturday, May 31st, Plank Road with Newtown Creek Alliance.
Click here for tickets and more info.

Saturday, June 7th, 13 Steps around Dutch Kills with Atlas Obscura.
Click here for tickets and more info.

Wednesday, June 11th, Newtown Creek Magic Lantern Show with Brooklyn Brainery.
Click here for tickets and more info.

Written by Mitch Waxman

May 27, 2014 at 11:00 am

crystal dais

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Everybody has someplace to go.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

New York City marathon day offers one the opportunity to wander around a largely traffic free Queens Plaza. An event I used to photograph regularly, I avoided it this year in the wake of the Boston bombings. Didn’t want to get all tangled up in the security web of the terror warriors.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

December 29, 2013 at 7:30 am

moist verdure

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A life well lived is a series of dull events.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

My annual pilgrimage to the MTA Holiday Nostalgia “Shoppers Special” Subway event carried me to Queens Plaza one recent Sunday. It’s a fun and wholesome thing to do.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Luckily, I have more than just a few acquaintances and friends who also enact this yearly journey, wherein legacy subway cars are run on the M line in a circuit between Queens Plaza and 2nd avenue in Manhattan.

It’s always nice to see someone you know.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

The weird thing, for me, is that it involves willingly heading down into the rat infested tunnels- an activity which normally fills me with a malign dread.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

These are all retired subway cars, once typical, that represent various eras of design. At the time of their original deployment, each of these legacy units were state of the art.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

The legacy cars performed well, although they are quite rickety in comparison to modern subways units. There was a brief interval wherein a door got stuck in the open position, but the MTA guys sorted that out in no time.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

An odd mix of folks were observed onboard. Some were ordinary commuters and customers of the M line, while many were hardcore rail fans. More than one photographer was spotted shooting models in period dress.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

The rail guys, they’re mostly guys, are the quiet ones on the train who watch every little detail and are listening to the machine. These cats can tell you the part number for individual screws on these trains, and you ignore their knowledge at your own peril. Foamers indeed.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

This show will be running every Sunday on the M line in December, operating between Manhattan’s 2nd Avenue and Queens Plaza. Check out the MTA Holiday Train page for schedule info.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

December 13, 2013 at 7:30 am

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