The Newtown Pentacle

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It’s called Thursday, if you’re bold enough to speak its name.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It’s Gas Station day at Newtown Pentacle. The one above is the first thing you see when entering Long Island City after crossing Newtown Creek on the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge and it’s in the Blissville neighborhood. Remember the long gas lines after Hurricane Sandy back in 2012? They sure do at this gas station, as a 2012 customer lost their patience when the pumps got shut off, produced a firearm and proceeded to murder somebody who worked here. I think there’s different owners for the franchise location, and if memory serves – I don’t think it used to be a Gulf filling station. Might have been a Sunoco. Have to look in my archives.

Motherflowers. People walk around like they’re safe or something… what this City really needs is a good plague… oh… whoopsies

Wonder how many of the other things we used to say while milling about in front of CBGB’s will come true someday.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One hasn’t got a murder story to tell about this gas station, found at the corner of 49th and Greenpoint Avenues at the risible border of Blissville and Sunnyside, nearby the Long Island Expressway. A Mobil franchised filling station, this is a deucedly difficult setup to photograph. Something about the contrasty lighting and “red, white, and blue” neon brand colors necessitates a complicated and somewhat contradictory exposure triangle for the capture.

49th Avenue proceeds in a generally westerly direction, transversing from the altitudinal prominence of Laurel Hill, which Greenpoint Avenue rides along and Calvary Cemetery sits atop. 49th Avenue crosses Van Dam Street, and in doing so transmogrifies into Hunters Point Avenue shortly before crossing the Dutch Kills tributary of Newtown Creek, and then regains it’s numerical dub at 21st street nearby the 7 train station.

It’s all very complicated.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

When you start with homicide, that’s all people want to hear about. This Sunnyside/LIC gas station on Queens Boulevard also sports a car wash, but I don’t have any tales of death or dismemberment associated with it in my quiver.

Another one of the weighty questions I’ve got about Queens is “where does LIC stop and Sunnyside begin”? I kind of place “proper” Sunnyside at no farther west than 36th or 37th street along Queens Blvd. If you’re south of Queens Blvd., however, Sunnyside continues all the way to the LIE. The eastern border is definitely Woodside Avenue/58th street, and Northern Blvd. provides another hard border for the area. Saying that, I consider Northern Blvd. to be an “LIC corridor” just like Skillman Avenue west of 39th street is, all the way from 31st street to Broadway.

Of course, any neighborhood in Queens whose zip code starts with a “111” is part of the historic municipality of Long Island City, which actually includes all of Astoria and most of Sunnyside – or at least the 11104 part of it.

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, March 15th. 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

March 18, 2021 at 11:00 am

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