The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

cacodaemonical ghastliness

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

May 21st and I was out for a short/long walk which ended up being fairly productive. I was heading towards Newtown Creek’s Dutch Kills tributary, and along the way I stopped off at “Hole Reliable,” which is found along the fencelines of the Sunnyside Yards.

The reason this hole is so reliable is that it overlooks the Harold Interlocking, a rail junction used by both Long Island Railroad and Amtrak which is the busiest such bit of infrastructure in the entire country. You don’t have to hang around Long before something rolls by.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The powers that be have been busy spending your taxes on improving the Harold Interlocking, which is part of the larger “East Side Access” project that will be bringing LIRR service to Grand Central Station, and there’s a couple of new sidings which have recently been completed and brought into usage – like the one pictured above.

Y’know, I’ve spent something like 15 years watching them do all the construction on this, and it’s kind of cool to see it being used.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Nothing new to report from Dutch Kills. Nobody cares, nothing matters, and 29th street continues to subside and sag into the collapsing bulkhead at the water’s edge. Turns out that the reason there’s always a puddle there is that the undermined street has broken a water line pipe. That’s great, as now it’s also a DEP problem – in addition to being an EPA, DEC, DOT, and MTA problem. Eventually, the entire alphabet will be involved.


– photo by Mitch Waxman

My tree of paradise seems to be embracing the warmer weather, and at the time this photo was taken, had just become clothed in foliage.

I didn’t plan on walking directly home on this particular evening, as I was desirous of getting a few low light shots of the 7 train. Accordingly, over to the Hunters Point Avenue stop did I scuttle.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My 7 line plan was to take advantage of how frequently the service arrives – usually in about ten minute intervals – to hop on and hop off at the various stations that I don’t frequent.

As a note, I’m a fan of that new OMNY fare control scheme of theirs. Here’s a tip – the OMNY system lets you use your phone to pay for your fare. The credit card you thereby designate for transit use (I’m on an iPhone, can’t speak to how Google Pay works on Android) should therefore be one where you receive some sort of benefit for using it. Some cards have cash back rewards, others have airline miles that accrue with use, others send a few cents to a charity you support – you get the idea. I’ve tied all of my transit charges into a single card account – LYFT/Uber, Amtrak, Subway and Bus, Ferry. This also makes talking to my accountant about transit spending rather simple.

I have a friend who has all his monthly bills flow through benefits/rewards cards. This way he’s never late with a payment, and manages to get some benefit out of his outlandishly high electric bills.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I traveled on the 7 for a bit, following my plan to hop on and hop off. The shot above is from the 33rd Rawson stop, and it’s a Manhattan bound train rounding the elevated curve nearby the former Swingline Stapler building on Queens Boulevard. One night soon I’m going to doing this sort of night time excursion on every stop of the 7 all the way out to Flushing and back.

Keeps me out of the bars. Back next week with more, at this – your Newtown Pentacle.

“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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  1. […] got started with an LIC post that visited Dutch Kills and then took a ride on the 7 line in “cacodaemonical ghastliness.” An artist friend of mine turned me on to a spot along Jackson Avenue in LIC’s Court Square in […]

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