The Newtown Pentacle

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Archive for November 6th, 2020

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It’s avoiding the topic Friday.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

You always have to be wary about Vampires in Western Queens. What, you think that the legendary diversity of the Borough of Queens only relates to wholesome or salubrious types? For every twenty hard working immigrants, there’s likely some abyssal and atavist abomination that followed them here from their aboriginal origins. I’ve warned you in the past about what might exist in the high rafters of the elevated subway system around Queens Plaza, the mischief goblins of Cretan lore called the Kalikantzaros, the presence of the Yugoslavian Strigoi, and those unnameable things rumored to be living in the turgid waters of Hells Gate.

Ever notice that most churches are built like fortresses? If you were to start up a mega church and base it in a former industrial laundry alongside a rail yard, wouldn’t you surround it with cruciforms and hire 24 hour security too? Can’t be too careful. Devils.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As mentioned earlier in the week, I like a good demolition photo. According to my understanding of the existing buildings down on the deck at Sunnyside Yards, and I very well might be 100% incorrect here so grain of salt, this building used to serve as the NYC training facility for the Pennsylvania Railroad’s Pullman Sleeping Car Porters and restaurant/bar train staff. This staff, known for a) wearing red hats and b) being almost exclusively African American, were the progenitors of the 20th century population movement from the American South referred to as the Southern Migration. Founders of what’s referred to as “The Black Middle Class” in the northeast is how the members of the (union) Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters are often portrayed. I’m not an expert by any means on this subject, so I’d ask you to google up someone who is, as it’s a great story. You could always start with wikipedia.

At least I got to tell you about these fellows, even if I might be wrong about which building was which on a couple of hundred year old maps I often refer to.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Sunnyside Yards is a Railroad coach yard that occupies about 183 square acres in Long Island City. Opened in 1910, it was part of a regional build out by the Pennsylvania Railroad that saw the creation of a passenger rail station in New Jersey, the creation of rail tunnels under the Hudson River and into Manhattan where they entered the original Penn Station, the tunnels under Manhattan and across the East River to Queens, and Sunnyside Yards was the final piece required for the linking up of the regional rail of Long Island (LIRR) with that of the continent. The Pennsylvania Railroad’s main competitor was the Grand Central Railroad Company, which erected the Hell Gate Bridge for the same purpose – connecting to Long Island. Sunnyside Yards was federalized in the 1970’s, which is how Amtrak ended up owning most of it, but large chunks of the property are held by MTA and by the General Motors Corporation.

103 square acres, and you can’t catch a train there. On the western side, you can catch a serious case of vampirism though, so watch out.

Note: I’m writing this and several of the posts you’re going to see for the next week at the beginning of the week of Monday, November 2nd. 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 here, 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 for $30.

Written by Mitch Waxman

November 6, 2020 at 1:00 pm

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