The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

effect upon

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

My pal Val asked if I’d accompany her on a trip to the Montauk Cutoff in LIC recently, and I said “sure.” We timed our visit to coincide with sunset. Light is especially important to plan around during winter months in NYC, given the harsh shadows which the angle of the sun offers during mid day hours. You want to be up and out of bed before dark, or roaming around just as it turns dark, this time of year.

The Montauk Cutoff is an “abandoned” set of rail tracks owned by the Long Island Railroad/MTA that starts at Long Island City’s Skillman Avenue, crosses over several streets and an avenue as well as the Dutch Kills Tributary of Newtown Creek, and comes back to ground again at the Blissville Rail Yard along Railroad Avenue. It operationally connected the LIRR’S Lower Montauk tracks to their Main Line tracks at Sunnyside Yards.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My travels in September revealed that there’s a Railroad Avenue to be found in several cities, which is one of those intriguing “there’s a photo book in that” ideas which plague me. Sounds like a lot of expensive effort, but I might add it to my shot list for future travels.

Speaking of, I was away last week and weekend on another trip. Returned to Pittsburgh, as I was so incredibly intrigued by the place during my visit in September. Got a few nice shots, which you’ll be seeing in the new year, but which won’t be presented in the exhausting “deep dive” fashion that you saw in November.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

See what I mean about waiting for sunset during the winter? It’s the only time of day that the unremitting grayness of the dystopian shithole that is modern day NYC breaks open with a bit of colorful panache.

My pal Val’s interests in this location involved a triad of trees growing out of the abandoned rail tracks, and she was getting busy with the camera a-clicking and a-whirring while I roamed around with my rig trying to stay out of her shot. That’s the 1940 vintage Queens Midtown Expressway overflying the 1908 vintage Borden Avenue Bridge as shot from the “abandoned” 1920’s vintage Montauk Cutoff tracks.

Who says NYC’s best days are in the past?

“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 14, 2021 at 11:00 am

2 Responses

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  1. […] effect upon […]

  2. Pittsburgh, a lovely mini-city.


    December 14, 2021 at 11:56 am

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