The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

scuttled across

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Wednesday, Montauk Cutoff.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As mentioned yesterday, recent adventure found me on the Montauk Cutoff tracks in Long Island City well after sunset. What drew me up there is the renewed effort on behalf of Newtown Creek Alliance to activate these abandoned rail road tracks as public green space. Imagine it, if we could add the roughly four acres of space up here to your portfolio of “places to go” in LIC?

Currently, visiting this spot is considered illegal trespass by the Governmental entity which owns it, specifically the MTA. Consider these photos my confession.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The Montauk Cutoff leads to an inactive railroad bridge called Cabin M, which crosses the Dutch Kills tributary of Newtown Creek near its intersection with the main stem of the waterway. Just to the south, and pictured above, is a very active rail road bridge called DB Cabin, which connects the Wheelspur and Blissville Yards of the Long Island Railroad’s Lower Montauk tracks over the water.

As I tell everyone, there’s stupid – risking arrest for trespass on inactive tracks – and then there’s stupid – risking getting squished by a freight train by walking on active tracks. The former falls under the “ya plays ya cards, ya takes ya chances” whereas the latter is just dumb.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Looking roughly northwards towards the Borden Avenue Bridge and the Long Island Expressway at Dutch Kills, that’s how I would describe this shot to an editor.

I ran a daylight version of this a couple of weeks ago, and made a point of mentioning the huge number of inactive yellow cabs being stored here. The pathway along the Borden Avenue Bridge is one I’ve been positively haunting throughout the pandemic. It feels like I’ve been in this area at least once a week since March.

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, December 14th. 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

December 16, 2020 at 11:00 am

One Response

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  1. If those tracks are indeed no longer used, you’d think the railroad or people that own it would sell the tracks for scrap metal and at least make some money off it that way–at least that’s what they do in these parts. So either it’s in some stalemate or maybe might be sold to someone else (a small line railroad), or something like that. Those type things move glacial slow, and of course, are always on a need to know basis–and the public never need to know that type thing. cough cough, that’s the gove’ment for ya


    December 22, 2020 at 12:30 pm

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