The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

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Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Another night, another walk around Western Queens, in this case – the western side of Queens Plaza. Recently announced, a new real estate development project will see the old Eagle Electric factory on 23rd street demolished and replaced by what promises to be another uninspiring glass rhombus. The plan is for this to be office space. Read the room, guys. Pandemic, much?

Regardless of the avarice and intent of the carpetbaggers, one nevertheless decided to visit the spot and record the scene for posterity or whatever.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I got lucky, inasmuch as having just set up the tripod for a longish exposure, the journey of two 7 line IRT Flushing subway trains coincided on the elevated steel which carries them to and from Queens Plaza. I wonder what kind of sound proofing that new office building they’re going to replace the Eagle Electric factory with is going to require. This passage was and is LOUD. Like hear it through your headphones while you’re listening to the Ramones LOUD. Like completely drowning out the Ramones kind of loud. Loud.

Eagle Electric, btw, was founded in 1920 by two brothers from the Ludwig family (Louis and Phillip) and their kids inherited and held the business for much of the 20th century. Eagle manufactured switches, sockets, and other electrical ephemera in Long Island City until the 1980’s. Eagle began vacating and selling off its LIC premises in 1980, and in the year 2000 the company was sold off to a conglomerate called Cooper Wiring Devices. In 2012, Cooper Wiring was purchased by another outfit called the Eaton Corporation and the Eagle line of products and patents is now marketed under their branding. Eagle Electric was famous for a huge neon sign adorning the roof of this building, which is also found right alongside the Queensboro Bridge.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A crew of street artist/graffiti writers penetrated into the building in the last year or two, and adorned nearly every window pane with colorful tags. Directly across the street is the former Silvercup bakery, whose own neon signage still persists. The old bakery is now a movie studio and production offices complex.

I’ve long been fascinated with the garish illumination of this corner, with colorful light scattering about from a thousand different sources.

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 9th. 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 blurb.com for $30.

Written by Mitch Waxman

November 10, 2020 at 11:00 am

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