The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

physician whispered

with 4 comments

Pedestrian unfriendly, I tell you.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The “angles’ between neighborhoods, which is the term I use for those “neither here nor there” spots you encounter around Queens, are seldom friendly to pedestrian pursuits. The corner of Northern Blvd. and 31st street, where Northern also transmogrifies into its ancestral name of Jackson Avenue, forms the angle between the Dutch Kills and Astoria zones. Y’know what? I’m not going to fall into the trap of describing the exact borders of Astoria, Woodside, Ravenswood, Dutch Kills, or Astoria.

If I did, somebody or group of bodies would excoriate and ridicule, scold or dismiss. One such as myself is too delicate of constitution to chance recrimination.

Fascination with the trails of light offered by automotive traffic continues. Additionally, given how dark and forbidding this section of Jackson Avenue normally is – due to a lack of street lighting at night and those overhead subway tracks during the day – the only time you get to visualize and marvel at the high flying structural steel is at night, due to those vehicle lights strobing about the utilitarian landscape.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Pictured is the corner of Jackson Avenue and 29th street, where the head waters of Newtown Creek’s tributary Dutch Kills were once found, and the waterway lent its name to this section of Long Island City. That was before LIC separated itself from Newtown, and NYC consolidation, or the Queensboro Bridge, or Sunnyside Yards, or the Dual Contracts era of subway construction, or the highways – forever reshaped this fairly ancient part of Queens. There’s still a low point in the pavement where the waterway once collected into a pond, but in the deeps below all you’ll find are electrical cables, sewers, and the cut and cover tunnel which carries the tracks of the IND subways below. The tracks above, for those unfamiliar, carry rolling stock of the Astoria line subway emanating from the Queensboro Bridge towards a terminal stop at Ditmars Blvd.

In the distance is Queens Plaza, which is in the process of being converted over to high density residential usage from its former commercial and industrial zoning of the 20th century.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Realizing that I had missed a shot desired, one reversed course for a block to catch the illuminated passage of one of those Astoria line subways exiting the 31st street corridor and turning onto Jackson Avenue. Formerly, the Taxi Leasing company at the right of the shot enjoyed a gigantic parking lot for its fleet, but that lot has been developed into some new gargantua of a building. Might be rentals, or a hotel – I’m not sure. I met the fire safety director of a different hotel, while shooting this. He was out getting coffee, apparently. Nice guy.

More on Monday, 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

January 17, 2020 at 1:00 pm

Posted in newtown creek

4 Responses

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  1. What is with all these cock-eyed horizon line photos lately? You’re making the readers sea-sick.

    georgetheatheist . . . barf bags

    January 17, 2020 at 1:05 pm

    • My hat was too tight

      Mitch Waxman

      January 17, 2020 at 1:08 pm

      • That was then. This is now. How about using the straightening tool in your editing program before posting?

        georgetheatheist . . . barf bags

        January 17, 2020 at 1:35 pm

  2. I’m surprised you haven’t figured out the cursed corners act as mana trap, welling the potent powers which naturally spring forth from far beneath the earth into the glass towers which act as ready made reservoirs for certain unnamed parties…

    Tommy Efreeti

    January 21, 2020 at 12:48 pm


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