The Newtown Pentacle

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I call Northern Blvd. “the Carridor.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

So, I’ve mentioned a few times that I distinguish between a “long walk” and a “short walk.” A long walk would be, say… from Astoria to East Williamsburg and back via Ridgewood and Maspeth – about 10-12 miles. A medium walk would involve heading from Astoria to the East River and Newtown Creek’s Dutch Kills tributary and back via Sunnyside – about 6-7 miles. A short walk involves a fairly rapid gait, and takes advantage of the hypotenuse like relationship that Northern Blvd. has with the street grid of Astoria – about 4-5 miles. Indefinite numeration for the amount of distance involves serendipity, noticing something that catches my eye, or just the sudden realization that “I never walked down that street before, wonder what’s there.”

Pictured above, and encountered whilst on a short walk is a type of truck called a Car Carrier. There are several large used and new car lot operations along Northern Blvd., and the car carriers which bring stock to these businesses are a regular sight. The semi tractor section of the equipment is manufactured by a company called Western Star. The trailer is a fairly intricate machine, with lots of hydraulic ramp plates that reconfigure for the loading and off loading of smaller vehicles – it’s a car carrier, after all.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Creepy late winter trees that haven’t started to bud leaves yet? The Standard Motor Products building somewhat softened and obfuscated by mist, and the streets are also wet? If it’s dark out, when you see all these things you’ll probably notice a weird old man in a filthy black raincoat furiously dialing settings into his camera. These are all things a creature like me loves, yearns for, and seeks out.

I’ve captured a shot very similar to this one in the past, but that was under normal circumstance when the Carridor was performing its design function as a local connector between the Queensboro Bridge to west and the nearby Brooklyn Queens Expressway to the east. No cars? Wow, this is Northern Blvd. at about 10:30 p.m. on a Monday.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The interval during which these three images were captured was defined by a lapse in precipitation, which had been constant all day and was scheduled to resume by about midnight. One began scuttling back towards HQ, where a cup of hot tea would be quaffed as a reward for the evening’s effort. This particular short walk also involved a few “getting things done” stops – bank atm, buying a piece of fruit or two from one of the few remaining open shops, that sort of thing.

On the plus side of all this, I’ve actually been eating a fairly healthy menu. One of the things we can all do to bolster the immune system right now is to eat the sort of food we should always be eating but normally don’t for the sake of convenience or just gluttony. I’ve had one slice of pizza in the last three weeks, for instance, and one hamburger. Everything else has been fresh vegetables, rice, lean meats and fish, and barely any cheese. I’ve eaten an entire field’s worth of Broccoli in the last few weeks, I’ll tell ya.

Back Monday with more reports from CoronAstoria.

Note: I’m writing this and several of the posts you’re going to see for the next week at the end of the week of Monday, March 30th. My plan is to continue doing my solo photo walks around LIC and the Newtown Creek in the dead of night as long as that’s feasible. If you continue to see regular updates as we move into April and beyond, that means everything is kosher as far as health and well being. If the blog stops updating, it means that things have gone badly for a humble narrator.


“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

April 10, 2020 at 11:00 am

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