The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

sinking moon

with 3 comments


– photo by Mitch Waxman

To start – I am very nearly caught up, in terms of calendrical verisimilitude, between these posts and the backlog of photos which necessitated the six image posts you’ve been seeing for the last few months. To wit – the shots in todays post were captured on a short scuttle betwixt Brooklyn’s Greenpoint section and the rolling hills of almond eyed Astoria on the 26th of July.

Depicted above, the scene observed on the Long Island City side of Newtown Creek’s DUPBO – Down Under the Pulaski Bridge Onramp – wherein the ever reliable afternoon machinations of the Long Island Railroad were observed.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I had just conducted a walking tour for a group of academic fellows who are going to be working with the estimable Newtown Creek Alliance during a coming interval. We started on the Queens side of things, at 43rd street and Queens Blvd., and then looped over the Kosciuszcko Bridge into Brooklyn. We walked through “oil country” and then concluded our “walk and talk” at NCA HQ. Afterwards, a humble narrator scuttled forth over the Pulaski Bridge and paid the MTA its due for a ride on the 7 Line.

Have I mentioned that I’m loving the new OHNY fare control system? Not having to worry about “how much” I am carrying on a Metrocard anymore is awesome. Additionally, the credit instrument I’ve assigned to transit use on my phone pays “benefit” points into the account for frequent use, and have thereby managed to recapture some valuation out of the process.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The 7 Line connects across the platform to the N/W lines at Queens Plaza (that’s the “upstairs” one) where you can accomplish a transfer between the two lines. In my capacity as Transportation Chair of the local community board, I’ve been actively advocating for MTA to enact a “walking transfer” between the upstairs “Queens Plaza” station and the downstairs “Queensboro Plaza” one. It’s actually quite in tune for the hidebound transit authority to have not instituted this in the past, here in Queens, but there’s prior art for them to follow in Manhattan and in Brooklyn. The OHNY system makes it simple. ERRATA: It’s the inverse, sorry, screwed up – Queens Plaza is upstairs, Queensboro Plaza is downstairs.

A walking transfer is when you leave a station and then enter a nearby one that serves a different line within a certain timed interval, all on the one fare. They do this on the Lexington Line (4/5/6) and the Broadway Line R/N etc. nearby Bloomingdale’s. There’s another one nearby the Barclay Center in Brooklyn.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

For me, this walking transfer would have meant not have to walk about ten blocks down Broadway in Astoria to get back to HQ, and I could have instead transferred to the downstairs R/M service instead of taking the N or W upstairs.

Of course, downstairs would have meant I couldn’t take yet another stab at the impossible photo.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It’s a bit of bother, and rushed effort, to get myself ready to try and get the impossible shot. I have to get that homemade foam collar affixed to the lens, and find a window that isn’t graffiti clad or just plain filthy.

I set the lens to a small aperture – f8 or so – and twist the ISO sensitivity up high so that I can have a shutter speed of at least 1/400th of a second to freeze the scene. All of this has to happen in less than 30 seconds. I literally do this everytime I ride the N or W out of Queens Plaza.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s a not so great version of the “impossible shot” above, overlooking Queens Plaza from the high steel of the N as it twists out over Jackson Avenue on its way to the 31st street corridor in Astoria.

Back next week with more folderol.

“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

August 19, 2022 at 11:00 am

Posted in newtown creek

3 Responses

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  1. “upstairs “Queens Plaza” station and the downstairs “Queensboro Plaza” one.”
    Queens Plaza is downstairs. Queensboro Plaza is upstairs.


    August 19, 2022 at 4:48 pm

    • Y’know, I noticed that i ‘effed that up too and haven’t had a chance to correct the egg on my face yet. Sorry

      Mitch Waxman

      August 19, 2022 at 4:50 pm

  2. I love the last photo. The mighty 100 year old Queensboro bridge with pedestrians on the walkway and the Queensboro Plaza station platform full of riders awaiting their train. Very cool.


    August 21, 2022 at 8:00 pm

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