The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

nature and position

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

Shenanigans continue on the weekends, here in the heart of the perennial “next big thing” known to most as Long island City. When the “next big thing” term originally applied, in 1909, it actually was true and a vast industrial city sprang forth from amongst scattered mills and swamps overlaid with rail tracks. That whole thing lasted around twenty or thirty years, whereupon the neighborhood began a long and slow decline. In the late 1980’s, LIC became the “next soho” and then in the late 90’s the “next DUMBO”, and of late the “next Williamsburg”. Problem is that these days, it’s just kind of difficult to get around the place without a car, which is ironic, as this is where all the trains are headed.

from mta.info

Work Completed

Court Sq Station was closed for ten weeks between January and April. During the time the station was closed, we replaced the Manhattan-bound and Flushing-bound platforms and windscreens (platform walls), installed ADA accessible boarding areas, tactile warning strips, and signage. In addition, new track and platform to mezzanine stairways were installed and the station’s mezzanine and columns on station platforms were painted.

At Hunters Point Av, during an 11-month construction project we installed new column and wall tiles, a floor in the mezzanine, new railings and stainless steel handrails and light fixtures above stairs. In addition, we refurbished the street and platform stairs, painted the mezzanine, platform and track ceilings and repaired structural steel above the platforms and tracks. Also, water leaks were sealed and the public address system was modified.

A six-month station improvement project at Vernon Blvd-Jackson Av resulted in repairing/replacing station column and wall tiles; repairing platform surfaces and platform edge concrete; and repairing and painting platform and track ceilings. Station lighting and platform drainage was upgraded, and tactile ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) warning strips and new rubbing boards (edge of platform) were installed.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

They just love to mess around with us on the weekends, don’t they? Turn off entire subway lines while running the buses on weekend schedules. Just a few weeks ago, signal problems on the R and N tracks also shut down the G, F, and E- all this on the same day that 7 service was closed for maintenance. This put western Queens in quite a pickle, except for those who ride bicycles or drive cars.

from wikipedia

Long Island City is served by the elevated BMT Astoria Line (N Q trains) and IRT Flushing Line (7 ; trains) of the New York City Subway. It is also served by the underground IND 63rd Street Line (F train), IND Queens Boulevard Line (E F M R trains) and IND Crosstown Line (G train). The Long Island City and Hunterspoint Avenue stations of the Long Island Rail Road are here, and a commuter ferry service operated by NY Waterway at the East River Wharf. Cars enter by way of the Queensboro Bridge, the Queens Midtown Tunnel and the Pulaski Bridge. The Roosevelt Island Bridge also connects Long Island City to Roosevelt Island. Queens Boulevard, Northern Boulevard (New York 25A) and the Long Island Expressway all pass through the area.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The “next big thing”, you have to understand, is the concentrating point of transportation infrastructure on western Long Island. The Long Island Expressway terminates at the Midtown Tunnel, and the various rail tunnels peppered about this ancient city are the choke point for subway, LIRR, and Amtrak service into and out of Manhattan. Losing any one piece of the system is massively disruptive, especially when it becomes a multi month affair as it was in the first quarter of 2012. Luckily, we are about to enjoy another protracted period of transit outages in 2013, and your humble narrator has grown quite used to walking.

from wikipedia

The Steinway Tunnel carries the 7 ; trains of the New York City Subway under the East River between 42nd Street in Manhattan and 51st Avenue in Long Island City, Queens, in New York City. It was originally designed and built as an interurban trolley tunnel (hence the narrow loading gauge and height), with stations near the 7 ; trains’ current Hunters Point Avenue and Grand Central stations. It is named for William Steinway, who was a major promoter of its construction, although he died in 1896 before it was completed.

Also- Upcoming Newtown Creek tours and events:

for more information on the October 27th Newtown Creek Boat Tour, click here

for more information on the November 9th Newtown Creek Magic Lantern Show, click here

for an expanded description of the November 11th Newtown Creek tour, please click here

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