The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

were well

with 2 comments


– photo by Mitch Waxman

April 26th brought one of those “I told you so” moments to Astoria. For literally ten years, I’ve been sounding the alarms about the ridiculous amount of dead wiring overhead – and the horrendous condition of often century old utility poles which carry them. Assemblymember Brian Barnwell heard my cry and his office tried shaking the tree at the NYS Utility commission, but just like every other part of New York State – that patronage mill called “Albany” saw no political gain in even conducting an inspection of the situation here in Queens.

A line of thunderstorms crashed through Astoria earlier in the evening, and shortly after the wind and rain stopped, the FDNY arrived on Astoria’s Broadway and began arranging caution tape.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

To no one’s surprise, the storm had caused a series of live wires to crack down onto the puddle choked street and yet another Astoria hullabaloo was underway. The 46th street Subway Station was right in the middle of this municipal chaos, as a note.

You ever get the sense that the people who run this City and State would make terrible roommates?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

On the 27th, after having completed all of my “have to’s” it was decided to take a fairly short walk. Recent habit has seen me circumnavigating the 183 square acres of the Sunnyside Yards on these short walks. I’ll leave Astoria and walk over to Skillman Avenue, which will be followed to its terminus at Hunters Point Avenue and 21st street, whereupon I’ll head over to Jackson Avenue and then follow it through Queens Plaza where it transmogrifies into Northern Blvd. at 31st street and scuttle back to HQ.

Along the way, there’s lots and lots of fence holes to poke the camera lens into, and observe what wonders there might be hidden within the colossal rairlroad coach yard. That’s the IRT Flushing 7 line train exiting Queens Plaza heading for points east.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

All winter and spring, I’ve been seeing the Long Island Railroad’s newest acquisitions being put through their paces. I don’t know if these trains have entered “revenue service” yet or if they’re still being tested out.

I’ve had a horrible realization recently… good lord, have I been rail fanning? Has it really come to this?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The 7 line exits Court Square Station on an elevated track, and this right of way descends down into the Hunters Point Station. Occasionally, on this particular route, I’ll actually hop on the 7 and take it back to Sunnyside or Woodside and walk home from there.

I stand on the assertion that the 7 is the most photogenic of all the subway lines.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

At Hunters Point Avenue, you’ve got an absolutely incredible eastward looking view of the Sunnyside Yards. That Long Island Railroad train was heading into Manhattan, and the entrance to the East River Tunnels is nearby.

Wonders, I tell you, wonders.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

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2 Responses

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  1. Railfanning an and of itself isn’t too bad if kept under control. I’d suggest remaining a taphophile but these days it could be mistaken for something on the sexual offender registry. The dirty, black raincoat does give off a bit of a flasher vibe.

    But as long as one doesn’t find oneself in heated debates over whether GE or EMD had better locomotives or if the R-1 was a better car than the BMT Standard D triplex, the situation will remain in control. Otherwise one must take hold of themselves with haste.

    If this continues unchecked, the denied nerdling will transcend beneath the very depths of geekdom into the nameless chasm of gibbering foamer madness spoken of among the better railfans only in hushed, fearful whispers.

    For serious deterioration and utter ruin follows when one starts filling out a membership application for the Electric Railway Association. And then our Humble Narrator performs his usual scuttles wearing third rail shoes and emitting a wailing, piping cry of tekeli-li at grade crossings. And what whatever dignity you had is now in tatters and even otaku will shake their heads in pity at such an odious display. So just have a care, sirrah.

    Donald Cavaioli


    June 14, 2022 at 7:43 pm

  2. I too loved watching all that went on in Sunnyside Yards, but back in the 1960’s. Love the photo of the IRT Flushing 7 line train on its trestle, makes me wonder what is being carried on those cables. They’re spaced apart like high voltage lines.


    June 18, 2022 at 5:58 pm

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