The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

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impious amulets

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Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

June 15th found me taking a walk with an artist from Brooklyn, a fellow named Monte Antrim, who has been bitten by the Newtown Creek bug in recent years. I offered to take him on a “seeing tour” and introduce a few of the less obvious points of view for his consideration.

We started off in Long Island City, and ended our excursion at a bar in Bushwick – long after sunset.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Personally, it was kind of a “snap shot” day for me. I didn’t want to get busy with the camera in the normal sense, and was mainly in tour guide mode for most of the walk.

From LIC, we headed eastwards along the Queens side, through Blissville and then into Maspeth.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

When we got to Maspeth, the sound of FDNY sirens were echoing down from the Kosciuszcko Bridge, and there was a plume of smoke rising out of Greenpoint.

I speculated at the time that it was probably a truck or car fire, but as it turns out a furniture manufacturer on Van Dam had suffered a two alarm fire.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Over at Maspeth Creek, these feathered dicks were loitering on the sidewalk. Newtown Creek and its tributaries are overrun these days by Canada Geese. So much so that I’ve learned to speak a little goose.

NAAAAAG.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

At the Maspeth Avenue Plank Road, even more of these dicks were encountered, including a bunch of youngsters.

NAAAAAAG.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

We crossed Newtown Creek into Brooklyn at the Grand Street Bridge, just as the burning thermonuclear eye of God itself descended behind New Jersey.

My trick left foot was singing opera for the second half of this walk, I must say. Ow.


“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 blurb.com for $30.

Written by Mitch Waxman

July 19, 2022 at 11:00 am

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Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

June 3rd, as mentioned yesterday, found me at the Hell Gate section of the East River nearby Astoria Park and the Triborough Bridge. After hanging around the joint for about 90 minutes during what turned out to be a light show of a sunset, I packed away my zoom lenses and tripod and converted the camera over to handheld mode and attached my “night kit” lenses.

This was one of my short walks, as I call them, but ultimately I was out and about on my feet for about five hours and had walked about six miles by the time I got back to HQ.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

You can have and use all the kit you can carry, and after an hour and half of futzing around with tripod and filters and fancy shooting techniques, my favorite shot of the effort are the two in today’s post – handheld and high ISO.

What are you gonna do?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

June 5th saw me hanging around HQ waiting for it to get dark and for a delivery to arrive. While I was waiting, a pack of birds descended on the forever puddle found on my next door neighbor’s roof. Next to this stagnant waterbody is my outdoor porch area, here in Astoria, so I outfitted the camera with a telephoto lens and got busy waiting for a bird to fly onto one of my wires.

Every time I try to say what kind of a bird a bird is, I get it wrong, so I just make up names for them myself. Accordingly – that’s a Peruvian Pepper Hen drying its feathers. It’s call sounded like this – GRAKKLE – which should let you know that I actually do know what kind of bird this bird is, but am smart enough not to venture any analysis of speciation.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My back was sore, and my feet hurt, but I still wanted to get out and do “something.” Drinking at a bar just isn’t exciting to me anymore, in fact it’s become kind of a sad thing these days. Most of the “Astoria Commentariat” at my “local” really doubled down on the substance abuse thing during the pandemic, and shooting the shit with folks in downward spirals is just depressing. Hope they can catch themselves.

I decided thereby, that it would be a “ride the trains” night. Only $2.75.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The N was caught in Astoria, which carried me to the Queensboro Plaza IRT station, and the most photogenic of NYC’s subways – the 7. I hung around on the platform for the arrival and departure of several train sets, and struck up conversation with a young guy who was a bit of a railfan. “I could stand here and watch this all night,” he told me.

For me, that wasn’t the case.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I shot a few frames of the 7’s entering the station, and then hopped on an express which took me to Woodside. I waved the camera around a bit at a few other stops, mainly the ones along Queens Boulevard. Then I debarked from the system at 40th Lowery Street and walked back to HQ in Astoria, whereupon I downloaded the captured images and began the processing/developing process.

To recap – I showed up. I did the work. I went home.


“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 blurb.com for $30.

Written by Mitch Waxman

July 12, 2022 at 11:30 am

thither shouldst

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Friday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

April 24th, and a longish walk around the eastern side of Newtown Creek continued on as I crossed out of Industrial Maspeth and into an area called “East Williamsburgh” in Brooklyn. 30 years ago, you would have just said Bushwick.

Kitty.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I followed my toes, and headed over to Vandervoort where a right turn was undertaken. Along the way, a screaming ambulance rolled past.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Nearby the toxic acreage known as the “National Grid site” one encountered another street cat chilling away the afternoon.

Kitty.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Another right hand turn and I was walking through an area which looks like the Ukrainian and Russian militaries were duking it out there, and a large contingent of adolescents were spotted. A wide berth was instituted.

Teenagers… no impulse control…

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A neat graffiti truck was spotted on Bridgewater/Norman Avenue nearby Apollo Street in Greenpoint.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Pictured above is an explanation as to why your allergies were so bad at the end of April. Visual dichotomy always pulls me in.

More next week 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 blurb.com for $30.

Written by Mitch Waxman

June 10, 2022 at 11:00 am

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Thursday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

April 24th saw me taking a very long walk indeed. Truth be told, I ended up having to stamp out a small fire in the afternoon, and decided to get the time back by taking a cab to an opportune jumping off point in Industrial Maspeth – or as I call it “The Happy Place.”

I just couldn’t stand the thought of spending an interminable hour and change walking through residential neighborhoods and losing the light accordingly. It was worth the $20.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

MTA has a maintenance facility hereabouts, and they were in the process of decommissioning several Long Island Railroad passenger cars. One scuttled on and on.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

At Maspeth Creek, I noticed a Canada Goose on a nest. She said “NAAAG” and stuck her tongue out at me, which I’ve since learned is goose for “go away.” I’ve since said “NAAAG” to other Canada Geese, and they seemed shocked that I’ve learned some of their language.

NAAAG. I speak a little goose now.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A few blocks away, a Momma and a Poppa Canada Gooses were guarding their progeny, pictured above.

They’re so cute when young, and such assholes when mature, the Canada Gooses. Just like people. NAAAG.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

What they were guarding the chicks against is pictured above, a nearly spherical floop of a cat. The kitty seemed surprised that I noticed it, and had probably convinced itself that it was a stealthy predator rather than an adorable fur balloon.

Floop.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A broken water main in front of a NYC DEP building flows freely in Industrial Maspeth, which is… just…

Anyway, the broken water main is accomplishing the goal of hydraulically removing litter and garbage from the streets of Industrial Maspeth. Unfortunately, that sewer grate above doesn’t lead to a sewer plant, rather it empties directly into Newtown Creek.

“DEP” stands for “Department of Environmental Protection.”


“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 blurb.com for $30.

expiring orb

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Friday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One really hopes that this critter was playing possum, but given that this shot comes from the corner of Queens Blvd. – I don’t think it was pretending to be dead. Shame, it seemed nice.

Despite the blistering cold, one felt an obligation to migrate over to the Dutch Kills tributary of Newtown Creek in Long Island City’s Degnon Terminal section and check in on the collapsing shoreline situation along 29th street.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Yup, still collapsing. You probably wouldn’t be surprised at how difficult it is to build up a sense of urgency in officialdom regarding this dangerous situation. They have lots of budgetary options available to them once the street collapses and somebody gets hurt, but very few dollars to spend prior to that happening. Let’s hope that whomsoever gets mortally wounded here is a really sympathetic victim. Homeless mother of three? New immigrant supporting a family by working nights driving a truck? BIPOC Trans bicyclist recently recovered from Covid and interment in a North Korean death camp for distributing condoms and bibles? That Opossum from the first picture?

I really, really hate the world right now. Everyone is focused on what can happen rather than what is happening and that causes bad things to happen.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The Dutch Kills canal has been more or less frozen over for the last few weeks of January and half of February, with a stout plate of inch thick ice croaking and creaking against the bulkheads and shorelines. When it warms up, and the frost heaves begging to melt away, I’m pretty sure something bad is going to occur on 29th street.

Thing is, nothing matters and nobody cares.


“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 blurb.com for $30.

Written by Mitch Waxman

March 4, 2022 at 11:00 am

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