The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Archive for July 7th, 2022

frequent fumbling

with 3 comments


– photo by Mitch Waxman

After exiting the Court Square subway stop in Long Island City and crossing Jackson Avenue, the Manhattan bound 7 train runs on an elevated truss bridge which follows Davis Street. Davis Street is where the Neptune Water Meter company used to be found, which is the factory building that became 5ptz – the graffiti and street art gallery. These days, there are tower apartments sitting on the site, and their owners call them 5ptz. Grrr.

Davis Street is where Batman’s parents were murdered by gunman Joe Chill in at least two cinematic iterations of the crime, and I think Highlander once had a sword fight there too. These days, there ain’t too much to see on Davis, other than the soundproofed walls of luxury condominium towers. Soul? None.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’m Facebook friends with a lot of people I’ve never met in “meatspace.” One of them is an artist who carries his sketchbook to a lot of the same places that I bring the camera. Monte Antrim. Look him up, great stuff. Anyway, Monte had posted a drawing of a derelict car he found at the end of Davis Street which intrigued me, and since I was in the neighborhood…

Why not?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

This is a very, very late model car and something I can tell you for certain is that it was dumped here in the last couple of years. That’s odd. How certain am I? Very. I have been haunting this area for 15 years.

I’m told it used to be a Mercedes.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I whipped out the tripod for this series of shots, as my desire was to reduce the distraction offered the water’s texture. The tripod allowed me to do a longish exposure, and the wind driven ripples were thereby smoothed out into a mirror finish.

There’s another condo building that’s opening down at the end of Davis Street, found under the screaming steel wheels of the Subway. The looks I was getting from them… on a street once renowned – globally – for attracting artists… Maybe if I had set myself up to do some investment banking it would have seemed normal to them.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A sign adorning the new building promised studio apartments starting at “just $660,500” were available for immediate occupancy. This is what their frontage looks like.

It’s a scam, you’ve been had. You been took. There’s a state superfund site on the other side of that railyard fence and there’s a federal superfund site 3/4 of a mile away. You’re living on top of what used to be a chemical factory. Every ten minutes a subway train goes past your window generating 100+ decibels of ear damage. The elevated tracks are dripping with dielectric oils and PCB’s. You’ve got the off ramps of the Queensboro Bridge a quarter mile away, and traffic is always heavy, as is auto exhaust. If you’ve got that kind of money, you could be living in a house rather than a noisy and polluted box. It’s also not a good investment, no matter what the broker told you. You’ll be lucky to get your original capital back when you sell.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Sigh… what’s the point anymore.

The good news is that I continued to not get wet as the rain began to really come down. My umbrella was deployed and I continued scuttling towards Queens Plaza and the subway ride back to Astoria.

“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

July 7, 2022 at 11:00 am

%d bloggers like this: