The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Archive for November 11th, 2020

darkly probable

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

One last shot of that Eagle Electric building in Queens Plaza which was described in yesterday’s post, with an IRT Flushing line 7 train navigating the trackways of the elevated steel high above the street behind it. As a note, if you want to receive a series of puzzled or worried looks from passerby, set up a tripod in Queens Plaza at night.

It really grabs people’s attention, the camera and tripod. Passing citizenry didn’t seem to focus on the guy taking a poop in the plantings alongside the bridge just down the block, but me they notice. “What are you taking pictures of” I get asked regularly. I point in the direction of whatever the camera is pointed at and say “that.” “Why” is usually the next question. I ask myself this all the time.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Cannot explain the process, even to myself. Sometimes there’s a plan – get a shot of this or that from here or from there. Try to tell the story with a single static image. Try to get that image “accurate” to what it looked like with the naked eye, or just outside of naked eye range with entering the “uncanny valley.”

There’s so many things to worry about, beyond the dozen or so intricate camera settings and using the right gear. Look over your shoulder constantly, keep an eye out for fast moving cars, trucks, bicycles. Watch out for the focused attentions of malign members of the street community as well. Get your shot, move out. It’s not just point and shoot at night, there’s a whole deal you have to sweat and worry about.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s the landmarked Bank of Manhattan building, at Queens Plaza, in the foreground of the shot above. Formerly the tallest building in Queens, these days it’s a dwarf compared to its neighbors. Directly behind it is the still under construction Durst Organization’s new residential tower, a 755 foot tall building they call Queens Plaza Park or “SVEN,” which is a product of the 2001 rezoning of LIC. Gargantuan, I’m told the new building will have an infinity pool on its roof. “I would love to be able to swim in Queens Plaza,” nobody has ever said.

The Bank of Manhattan building, alternatively, is a 1927 11 story building with a 3 story clock tower at its apex. The Bank of Manhattan later rebranded itself as Chase, and the building was occupied by that company until 1984 when the building was sold.

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.

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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 11, 2020 at 11:00 am

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