The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Archive for February 24th, 2021

dark polarity

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

The Arch Street Yard is a locomotive maintenance facility in Long Island City, found at the westernmost edge of the rail complex called Sunnyside Yards. There always seems to be a couple of decrepit Long Island Railroad trains stored here. Maybe they use them for parts, who knows? Luckily there’s a hole in the fence big enough for my camera lenses. Of course, that’s presuming that I’m not imagining or dreaming this circumstance and scene, which is a presumption that my quarantine addled thought process might not still be reliable and that the fence hole is not some wild hallucination. I’ve got a photo, so it’s likely real, but who knows…

Fence holes – dey’s is me bread-n-buttah, presumptively.

The setup on this particular evening involved me using my Canon R6 with the 35mm f 1.8 lens. This one is now part of the permanent carry, in terms of what goes in my camera bag. This lens has image stabilization at f1.8! Between the IBIS (In Body Image Stabilization) and the lens’s stabilizer – that’s 8 stops of light! That can’t be real, can it? I mean… physics…

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One of my practices is to walk a new tool around to familiar places and spaces, and given that the walk I took it on – which included a few times when I sat down for few minutes here and there to rest a sore ankle – moved through an area extensively explored and photographed in the before time.

There used to be a diner on 49th Avenue in LIC, then it became a fancy pants restaurant, and it’s sat empty like this for years now. This isn’t because of COVID, instead it’s the old Queens trope about a landlord discovering that their tenant is doing well so they jack up the rent hoping to cash in and then put them out of business. That is a fresh layer of pandemic graffiti, however, and one finds those compositions pleasing to the eye.

Of course, at this stage of the pandemic, I find a dripping faucet endlessly fascinating. Is the faucet even real? Am I? Is any of this? How could things have fallen apart so completely and so fast, in not just the United States but in New York City? Why is toast better than bread?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

On this particular scuttle around LIC, I abstained from my pandemic habit of not having headphones plugged into my ear holes. I was listening to an audiobook describing the last decades of the Roman Republic according to Plutarch, and let me tell you this friends – history does, indeed, repeat itself. My assertion that we haven’t arrived at the time of Caesar – yet – remains in place, but we have clearly skipped past the Gracchi Brothers and entered into a political era analogous to that occupied by Marius and Sulla.

Was Rome even real? Did Romans fight about reallocating the horse parking spaces on the public Via in favor of creating protected Chariot lanes? Did you know that the City of Rome had no Police Force, nor a Fire Dept.? Rich guys like Croesus maintained the fire fighting crews, and he’d sell you back all the stuff they rescued from the burning building. If you couldn’t afford to pay, he’d sell it to someone else. There’s a reason that the phrase “richer than Croesus” is still used 2,000 years after he died.

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, February 22nd. 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

February 24, 2021 at 11:00 am

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