The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

parabolic contradiction

with 5 comments


– photo by Mitch Waxman

Scuttling, always scuttling, from place to place with camera in hand. Filthy black raincoat flapping about in the poison wind. Sometimes, the light is absolutely glorious.

We pick up where last week left off, at the Dutch Kills tributary of Newtown Creek in Long Island City. One had set up the camera into its long exposure/landscape modality, with filter and tripod and the rest of the deal. Sunset was just getting underway.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

When leaving HQ, it had already been decided that this was going to be a long walk, and that a lot of ground would be covered. That’s the LIRR’S Cabin M railroad bridge, which was described in some detail in last Friday’s post.

Before you ask, this was a Sunday, and there’s virtually zero chance of getting in the way of freight rail operations along Newtown Creek on a Sunday.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There’s a not exactly secret pathway along the water down here, between the two rail bridges on Dutch Kills. I seldom walk it, as it’s pretty obscure and were I to find myself in trouble down here I’d have a hard time explaining to the 911 operator where I was.

Saying that, I do roll through here occasionally.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s DB Cabin, another LIRR rail bridge, but one whose tracks are normally pretty active. It connects two freight rail yards across the waters of Dutch Kills, and carries the LIRR’s Lower Montauk tracks.

Kills is “old Dutch” for Creek, I’m told.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A new player has emerged in the Blissville yard, which is a good thing. Not sure what they do, but it’s good to see freight rail being embraced by industry.

One continued scuttling along in an easterly direction, towards the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Pictured is DUGABO – Down under the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge Onramp. The surface street is called “Railroad Avenue.”

On my Amtrak travels last fall, I discovered that there’s a street called “Railroad Avenue” in nearly every City that I went looking for one in.

More tomorrow.

The Newtown Creekathon returns!

On April 10th, the all day death march around Newtown Creek awakens from its pandemic slumber.

DOOM! DOOM! Fully narrated by Mitch Waxman and Will Elkins of Newtown Creek Alliance, this one starts in LIC at the East River, heads through Blissville, the happy place of Industrial Maspeth, dips a toe in Ridgewood and then plunges desperately into Brooklyn. East Williamsburgh and then Greenpoint are visited and a desperate trek to the East River in Brooklyn commences. DOOM! Click here for more information and to reserve a spot – but seriously – what’s wrong with you that you’re actually considering doing this? DOOM!

“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.

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Written by Mitch Waxman

March 28, 2022 at 11:00 am

5 Responses

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  1. For unloading aggregate from railcar hopper bottoms into a truck;

    Those that lived or worked near grain farms often see something similar for unloading grain trucks into conveyor systems/silos.


    March 28, 2022 at 11:08 am

  2. The ‘what is this thing’ questions are a fun diversion..


    March 28, 2022 at 11:10 am

  3. Aha did the research and found the same thing as Lucienve – interesting! How to milk a cow without a barn. That Cabin M railroad bridge, one of those things that flash by as one rides the rails – one cannot worry about what’s underneath those rails otherwise one would not want to ride.


    March 28, 2022 at 8:27 pm

  4. “Industrial Maspeth” probably began with the placement of the “Cranes Incorporated” yards in the neighborhood that my grandparents lived in. They plopped that concern literally a block away from the homes where my folks and their families grew up back in 1940. Prior to that, the area was quite bucolic and “country-like”. Alas, soon after that, the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway came to effectively “gobble up” almost all the homes in that part of Maspeth that was then known by its residents as “Laurel Hill”…..


    March 28, 2022 at 10:32 pm

  5. […] parabolic contradiction — The Newtown Pentacle […]

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