The Newtown Pentacle

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Archive for April 19th, 2022

curious ears

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

A bit of personal business found a humble narrator at the zone in Queens where Flushing and College Point wash over each other again. There’s a Department of Motor Vehicles outpost here – which is fairly inaccessible by mass transit (well played DMV) – and I had some paperwork to deal with.

A couple of transfers on the subway and soon was a humble narrator scuttling down the street, heading for the greatest Kafkaesque bureaucracy ever created by anyone other than the crew who used to run the Soviet Union.

What? I’m not going to take pictures along the way?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s a concrete mixing factory and distribution center, based right along the waterfront at Flushing Bay. The street I was walking along leads to the on and off ramps of the Whitestone Expressway.

Not exactly pedestrian friendly, this area. And that’s coming from the Newtown Creek guy.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One is not terribly familiar with this section of Queens. My expertise revolves around the industrial corridors surrounding Newtown Creek, which I refer to as “the study area.” I can speak pretty intelligently about the zone between Woodside Avenue/58th street and the East River (and a similar section of Brooklyn) from Newtown Creek to Bowery Bay, but Flushing and the College Point area are very much their own thing. Broad stroke stuff would be all I can offer and I’d refer you to the Queens Historical Society for a detailed POV on the subject.

It bears mentioning that I find the historical community in Queens increasingly toxic these days, and will actually recoil when I see any of them coming. A lot of this toxicity is due to infighting, and a lack of funding for the various groups interested in the subject. For the one or two of you who are reading this and thinking “is he talking about me?” – go fuck yourself. Show up, do the work, stop being an asshole.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Having accomplished the filing and whatnot that I had come to the DMV to handle, it was decided to take a little walk on my way back to Astoria. My pathway to Flushing saw me depart the 7 train at its Main Street terminal stop, but I was a half hour walk away from the Mets/Citifield stop and it was a really nice early spring day, so…

Why not wave the camera around a bit? I didn’t go all fancy with these, and just cracked out shots of whatever happened to cross in front of me. I had a big “operation” happening a few days after this and didn’t want to go to nuts. This was March 4, btw.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It really is a shame, the way that the Borough of Queens treats the waterfront in areas where it hasn’t gentrified yet. Zero access here, there’s illegal dumping everywhere, and garbage is floating around in the water. I get so annoyed at the government types about this sort of thing, who “yada yada” about environmental issues but do nothing to fix them until the luxury condos projects are announced.

New York City’s government is a lot like your loser sibling who proclaims “this next year I’m going to get my shit together” at Christmas dinner before calling their dealer to deliver “las drogas” to your parent’s house, and who then crashes your dad’s car and tells your Mom that everything they just did is her fault because she served the wrong cranberry sauce.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Something I tell people these days is “that there is no threshold moment in your life when you will declare your shit as being together.” There is only now, so just do it. Whatever it is, just do it. If you’re fucking up, then maybe today you can try to fuck up a little less. Do the laundry.


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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

April 19, 2022 at 11:00 am

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