The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Archive for the ‘Astoria’ Category

feeble spirit

leave a comment »

Wednesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Umbrella? Yeah, better bring one. As mentioned in previous posts, one has been experiencing several annoying and somewhat painful conditions which have been getting in my way. One of them is a pulled muscle in the spinal region. This condition is certainly temporary, which is how my experience with similar injuries in the past have played out, but it’s made me question every single item in camera bag from the point of view of weight. Sticking the umbrella in there is a drag, even though it’s only a pound or two. Seriously, when you’re marching along with the gear, even a few ounces of weight make a real difference in how happy you might be.

That’s the view of Astoria’s Broadway from HQ, gathered as one of these recent crazy storms was just blowing in. I was hoping to catch some lightning, but no luck.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Somebody on Newtown Avenue, in another section of Astoria, purpled their firebox. I know for a fact that the guys and gals who ride on the noisy red trucks don’t like when the citizenry do this, but in recent years I’ve noticed that people are taking the painting of fireboxes into their own hands.

This one isn’t too far from The Saw Lady’s house. Maybe she knows who and why. Is there a massive Prince fan living nearby?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Another walk, another Tylenol for my aching back. As mentioned in the past, Sunnyside Yards is always in focus around these parts. That’s an Amtrak maintenance facility, as you may have guessed.

Lots of intentional stretching and not repeating the physical behavior which resulted in my back hurting is underway, so everything seems to be on the mend. I still need to sit down more often than normal, and I’ve figured out the exact spot between the shoulder blades to press my thumb into. That causes an audible “click” and allows the trapped muscle to degauss or disengage or whatever it is that’s going on in there.


“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 21, 2021 at 11:00 am

numberless domes

leave a comment »

Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It’s been a while since the cool cars spotted here in LIC have been offered, even though an eye has been kept peeled for vehicles of the “off the beaten track” variety. I’ve always wanted one of these military style trucks, mainly since it’s a diesel engine deal with a pipe snorkel that would allow the motor to keep running even when submerged. Imagine cruising a flooded Frannie Lou in that ride, Queens kids.

This was parked on the sidewalk nearby the Big Allis power plant in the Ravenswood section of Long Island City. Were I ever to become a Batman villain, Ravenswood is where I’d set up my lair, and my lackeys would drive what’s pictured above.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Not too far from HQ in Astoria, there’s a business which handles all of the mechanical and construction needs for food trucks and carts. I won’t decry the fact that they illegally park on and block the sidewalks. A recent addition to their “honey do” list is a classic Airstream trailer. Stainless steel skin and a galvanized chassis, the Airstream is a 1960’s dream.

This business, and several like it, are under threat of displacement by the Innovations Queens project, which proposes bringing thirty story luxury condo buildings to Astoria in the 35/36 Ave. zone between Steinway and Northern Blvd.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Back in Ravenswood, where there’s a thriving industrial sector devoted to vehicle maintenance, this collection of spare parts was observed. It was poised in front of the old silk thread factory, and seemed to be the property of a garage engaged in the repair of taxi cabs. It reminded me of the biblical Abraham, with his tent open to the four cardinal directions.

More tomorrow – 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

July 20, 2021 at 11:00 am

firmament alien

with one comment

Monday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

If you get caught out in a wild summertime thunderstorm, wouldn’t it super lucky if you were at a friendly bar with wide awnings that allowed you to be little more than a dry spectator to the cloudburst? What if that bar was an Irish bar, found at the Times Square of Astoria at 42nd and Broadway? Then you’d know how happy a humble narrator was when this exact scenario played out at my local.

The best thing that can happen when something dramatic is happening is to be ensconced in a place where you can observe, but not participate in, the misery others are experiencing.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Even by the standards of NYC’s legendarily harsh climate – with the blizzards and heat waves and hurricanes – the last few weeks have been “wack a doodle.” Oy. It’s so humid. I don’t even want to look at the electric bill.

I was absolutely enthralled by the reflected light pouring off that young lady’s mirror, it should be mentioned.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Firebox down! That was the subject of the message I sent over to the offices of my local City Council Member – Jimmy Van Bramer. This one is on Skillman Avenue and the “Mitch Waxman Early Warning System” let the powers that be, through the aforementioned power that is, know about it.


“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, 2021 at 11:00 am

baffling region

with one comment

Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

About a hundred and change years ago, roughly a hundred horses a day would die of exhaustion and overwork somewhere in the greater NYC area every single day. Common practice was to just abandon the corpse on the street, and an entire industrial sector operated around the collection and disposal of the beasts. Van Iderstine’s in Long Island City and other rendering operations happily accepted the bodies, and they’d melt them down into tallow. The hides, hooves, and bones had other destinations. Leather manufacturers, Neet Oil distilleries, and fertilizer mills took those parts.

What about the horse poop, you ask? If you’ve got a predictable bunch of dead horses turning up every day, imagine how many living ones there were spraying fecal matter onto the streets? Well, the Long Island Railroad had a manure dock at Newtown Creek where the collected “stuff” would be piled up, but there were lots of takers for the brown gold. Fertilizer mills, remember? I’ll bet our grandfathers and great grandfathers would have killed for a piece of construction equipment like the one pictured above, spotted on Astoria’s Broadway, back then.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Sunnyside Yards is always in focus here at the Newtown Pentacle. HQ is just a few blocks away from the 183 square acre 1909 vintage property, and I’ve got an inventory of holes in the fences through which I can focus the camera. Given that I end up crossing this area at least once every couple of days, I use those fence holes a lot.

That’s an Amtrak train which is coming off of the turnaround track at the eastern edge of the rail complex. That eastern edge is along 43rd street, and this shot was gathered on the Harold Avenue Truss Bridge, or 39th street as the dross commoners of Queens might call it.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I happen to quite enjoy the company of those dross commoners, as a note. If you’re involved with all the high fallutin crap I am, one of the things that’s easy to lose is perspective. You forget that the things you’re fighting for and about are barely on anyone else’s radar. You spend your time battling with people who are flying some activist flag, or want to demolish your neighborhood in the name of “insert today’s cause here,” and that have long lost any track of a reality beyond their own. As I like to remind myself, these are people who eat pizza with a knife and fork, who have never been punched in the nose. You end up becoming as alienated as they are from reality when arguing with them. What’s the quote – when you fight monsters, be wary of becoming one your self – or something? I dunno, think that was in a book or whatever.

The shot above is from Queens Blvd. in Sunnyside. It was an unbelievably hot and humid evening when this was captured, and I was taking advantage of the shade offered by the elevated tracks of the 7 line to try and cool off. Seriously, my fingers were sweating and I had to keep on wiping my hands on my shorts to handle the camera. Yuck.


“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 13, 2021 at 11:30 am

nigh unendurable

with one comment

Monday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

So yeah, I get a bit depressed occasionally. Part of being mentally healthy – most of the time – is realizing when you’ve got a psychic cold and acknowledging the fact. Americans don’t talk about this, we should. Regardless of all that, a humble narrator is back on duty and raring to go – the Newtown Pentacle, thereby, is back in session.

On the 4th of July, one scuttled over to Blissville in pursuance of climbing up the Kosciuszcko Bridge and shooting the fireworks with my beloved Newtown Creek in frame. Denied this happy juncture, one instead set up the camera alongside the fencelines of First Calvary cemetery and prepared to photograph the fireworks show from that location instead. Hence, the shot above was captured.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The pedestrian and bike path on the Kosciuszcko was closed, and guarded by a caper of those irrepressible scamps, whom you meet occasionally, that dress for work in NYPD uniforms. I didn’t even recognize the unit these particular assassins of joy were assigned to Blissville from (IUB or something) so talking my way onto the bridge wasn’t possible as they didn’t know me from a hole in the wall. If they were 108 pct., there’s a pretty good chance I could have charmed my way up there, but there you are. Everybody has a job to do, and this bunch of Cops were assigned the “deny Mitch his picture” duty.

There were – literally – about a thousand people along the fences of Review Avenue. This is the highest density of lookie loos I’ve ever seen arrayed along the Blissville/Long Island City border, about 2.1 miles back from the East River, btw.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It’s been a pretty crappy couple of weeks for me, actually. Climate has not been on my side, what with the extreme heat and all the rain. If you think the stuff I was publishing here was scary, be glad that you didn’t encounter me at the neighborhood bar I was drinking my troubles away at. A couple of “hard cases” here in Astoria had never encountered the unfiltered version of the “Mitch Waxman Experience.” Apparently, when I decide to drop the act and just be myself, it’s rather terrifying. Also, my back hurts, and that left foot of mine is still causing a lot of trouble. Couple that with being in a mood, and Oy… it’s so humid… it’s like a sauna out there.

As mentioned though, the psychic glacier has calved, and one has resumed pretending not to be murderously angry all the time. Everything is fantastic, all the time, again. I’m a mother flowering ray of sunshine, yo, in love with a great city on the edge of a dark and cruel ocean. Hey… did you know that concrete is radioactive?


“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, 2021 at 11:00 am

%d bloggers like this: