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Archive for the ‘Dutch Kills’ Category

especially after

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Wednesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

After capturing images of a super saturated sunset in Long Island City, one converted the camera back into its handheld mode and began scuttling towards the train at Hunters Point Avenue. Along the way, something caught my eye at the bridge house for the Borden Avenue Bridge.

There’s graffiti everywhere, but most of the extant paintings are “tags” left behind by “punks.” Every now and then, it’s something different.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

This particular monologue seemed to written in either chalk or grease pencil, and asked several pointed questions. This messaging stood out, and was intriguing.

I did a bit of looking around in response to the curious screed, which led to an internet rabbit hole.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There’s a small population of people out there who claim that they are being stalked by organized groups, and believe that the group has some sort of connection to shadowy intelligence world entities. Sometimes these groups are governmental, or part of a “globalist cabal,” or they’re connected to some corrupted local branch of law enforcement.

There’s more than one subreddit for “gangstalkingand it’s a “thing.” I watched a couple of videos offered by psychologists who have studied and attempted to treat what they described as a paranoid delusion, and the Docs reported problems with getting these patients to accept help because “the shrink is in on it, and working with the persecutors.” Gang Stalking is described by these medical professionals as a paranoid delusion which is built on top of other psychological pathologies. The bit about “the light” can refer to two things in this world view – one is the weaponry used by the cabal to torture the victim of the gang stalking (said “light” has a variety of effects, from burning the skin to triggering programmed behaviors to somehow surveilling the subject), to the “light of god” as offered by lay priests leading suspect storefront church organizations that offer protection and comfort to the “targeted.”

Disturbingly, several mass shooters (notably the fellow who shot up a Navy Base in Virginia a few years ago) have left behind manifestos that discussed gang stalking as being part of why they did why they did. Most of the people who describe themselves as being “targeted” seem to have a host of other intractable problems – drug addiction, homelessness, mental illnesses. Like I said, “Internet Rabbit Hole.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Spotted a cool car as well, while changing the subject.

A late model Ford F-150 pickup.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Looking north, along Dutch Kills, from the Borden Avenue Bridge towards the Hunters Point Avenue Bridge with the 106 feet over the water Long Island Expressway’s Queens Midtown Expressway Truss framing the shot.

My trick left foot was starting to sing it’s song again, so I started limping towards the train station and a ride back to Astoria.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

More tomorrow – at this, your Newtown Pentacle.


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Written by Mitch Waxman

September 7, 2022 at 11:00 am

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Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

After confirming that Dutch Kills was indeed still bubbling, one accomplished his usual shot list at the Hunters Point Avenue Bridge. All these years, one of my self appointed obligations has been to take the same photo from the same spot over and over and over again. Pedantic, yes, but I can show you the evolution of this area over the last 15 years. The skyline has changed, but somehow Dutch Kills never benefits.

What can I tell you? This entire section of my life is ending soon, and I’m deeply – deeply – caught up in sentiment and reflection at this moment. Every time I do something, it’s theoretically the last time.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The Tree of Heaven is thriving right now, is in full bloom, and remains an eidolon to me.

After accomplishing the usual shot list, I decided to walk with the camera mounted on the tripod and continue doing deep focus and longish exposure shots.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As you can see, the burning thermonuclear eye of God itself was descending behind Manhattan and into whatever fiery pit it spends its nights in, over in New Jersey.

There was quite a light show on this particular evening.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One was making his way over to Borden Avenue for this particular sunset. The overhanging clouds of humidity rising from the City were causing all sorts of lovely color to manifest up in the vault.

I kept on keeping on to the south.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Up on Borden Avenue, I couldn’t resist this shot, with the Empire State Building framed by a series of illegally parked moving trucks.

Well, they were “technically” legally parked as it was prior to 9 p.m., but you just know for a fact that they would still be there the next morning. Nothing matters, nobody cares.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s the one I was hoping to get, above. I also shot a few hundred individual exposures which I’m planning on turning into a time lapse, but that’s on the back burner right now. I’m still working out the production/capture/delivery system for time lapse videos.

Back tomorrow.


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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

September 6, 2022 at 11:00 am

always frightened

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Monday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

More shots from an August 10th walk greet you this morning. One was heading for Dutch Kills, ultimately, but a desire to approach “the zone” from a different angle guided my steps. Specific to my intentions was the need to confirm the latest degradation of the Dutch Kills waterway due to municipal indifference was ongoing.

Streams of forced air bubbles are occurring now. Here’s a brief video of the phenomena. This is alongside the Hunters Point Avenue Bridge, nearby the southwest pier of the structure. Relevant authorities have been informed about the condition, including City and State level agencies.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Part of the reason I chose this particular path involved the avoidance of walking in direct sunlight and growing overheated. Additionally, I didn’t fancy having the sun bobbing around directly in front of me and blowing out my eyesight. I stick to shadows when I can.

Shadows are where I belong.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There’s a fairly serious change in altitude you’ll encounter on Hunters Point Avenue as it leads to Dutch Kills. East of Van Dam Street and leading back up to Greenpoint Avenue is built onto a hill, versus the relatively flat flood plain surrounding the water. There’s an industrial zoned series of buildings in this corridor, which includes a fantastic FDNY Fleet Services building. You’ve also got a bunch of fairly intriguing truck based businesses like Wanrong Trading Corp. – pictured above.

Traffic intensifies as you near Van Dam, which is a primary corridor between Queens Plaza/Queens Boulevard and the Long Island Expressway/Borden Avenue or the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge’s crossing into Brooklyn.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Once you cross Van Dam Street, you’re in the Degnon Terminal. A focal point for private investment capital at the start of the 20th century, the Degnon Terminal used to be full of blue chip national level corporations until the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. In recent years, the industrial park has been rebounding.

You can still see the sky there, which has become something of a rarity in Western Queens over the last 20 years.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Were I not moving out of NYC at the end of this year, I would have received my twenty year award for living in Astoria in the spring of 2023. I can tell tales of blackouts and exploding transformers, and the various waves of bad actors who suddenly appear and disappear on the streets. The homeless guys who come and go – Johnny Rottenfoot, “The Hat,” Raggedy Andy, the self replenishing corps of “Los Burrachos,” Pineapple Face, Big Head, Junkie Johnny, Homeless Melissa and her boyfriend Juan who lived in the bank’s ATM room – there have been so many who suddenly appear and then are just gone. Many have died on the street, which just sucks.

One stands out to me, an older devotee of drink, who died during the winter and was frozen to the sidewalk and wall he was sleeping on. The FDNY had to defrost him so that the morgue could remove the body.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’ve seen Deliverista justice administered, learned that I can sleep through an old west style shootout that occurred directly beneath my bedroom window, and learned that Astoria is one loose screw away from sliding into the East River at any given moment. We had a Cop who thought it would be a good idea to drive to work in a facsimile of the “Dukes of Hazard” General Lee car – with a confederate flag on the roof. We also had “Rape Cop” for a while, a fellow whose penalty for sexually assaulting an inebriated woman was to wear an aviation unit jumpsuit on duty. When he got out of the car, all the neighborhood kids would start chattering “yo, it’s rape cop.”

Sigh. Astoria, Queens. Long Island City, Queens. Home sweet hell.


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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

September 5, 2022 at 11:00 am

inside information

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Wednesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Whenever I try to say what kind of a bird a bird is, I get it wrong, so I just make up names for them. Thereby, that’s an Old Republic Throat Chewer in the shot above.

As described yesterday, I spent a bit of time at Newtown Creek’s Dutch Kills tributary on Saturday the 30th of July right about sunset.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The vertical tide of Dutch Kills was rising while I was shooting these. The design of the canal, coupled with its distance from the East River and lack of water flowing in from its banks, negates horizontal flow of the water. The water here goes up and down, rather than exhibiting a laminar pattern like a natural waterway.

The material spilling into the water from the collapsing bulkhead seems to forming spirals, which is fascinating.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There’s some of the timber structure I described to you yesterday, which forms the underpin framework of what we perceive as being the land of Queens.

The light began to decline as the burning thermonuclear eye of god itself descended behind New Jersey. I packed up the kit and moved on.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One stopped at his various “stations of the cross” at Dutch Kills.

My favorite tree is doing pretty well this year, have to say.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There were a bunch of big white birds, which I’d call “Non Striped Juvenile Uncle chasers” but which were likely Snowy Egrets, in position over the water waiting for some slimy dinner to appear in the water under them.

The water was teeming with tiny fishies called “Mumichaugs” which are colloquially referred to as “Killie Fish.” There’s also predator fishies in there, Bunkers and the like.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The tripod section of my evening’s excursion was at an end after capturing this shot along the Borden Avenue Bridge. A quick walk would take me to the Jackson Avenue stop on the 7 line in Hunters Point, which would in turn carry me to Queens Plaza and an assignation with an Astoria bound N train.

Something somewhat different tomorrow.


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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

August 24, 2022 at 11:00 am

so inquisitive

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Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

So… I was in a quasi “ok” place for these, after a handshake with the property manager who handles this particular location on Dutch Kills. Nothing in writing, mind you, but a handshake. Still, I felt like I was doing something naughty. It was a Saturday night, after all. Wasn’t exactly the “naughty” of illegal street racing for pink slips on Fountain Avenue during the 1980’s, but there you are.

This one looks towards the Hunters Point Avenue Bridge, and a different view of that Tree of Paradise growing up from under a factory eave which has been the focus of so many shots over the years.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

When Newtown Creek’s Dutch Kills tributary was canalized at the start of the 20th century, a “T” shape was built into its terminus which is meant to act as a “turning basin” for maritime traffic. This created a stagnant dead end, which has had horrific effects on the environment. Somebody abandoned two oil barges here sometime in the dim past. They’ve been here since I showed up around fifteen years ago, and my buddy Bernie Ente told me that the two barges had been in this spot for twenty years before that. So, approximately 35 years… leave your car double parked for 5 minutes and you get a ticket, but abandon oil barges in an industrial canal? Nada.

I showed up at Dutch Kills on the 30th with a light kit bag, and then got busy with the camera with an ND filter and the tripod.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One arrived at this spot about twenty minutes prior to sunset. By “light kit,” I mean that I was carrying the two lenses – a 35mm and an 85mm – which I usually use for night photography. Full kit involves a second bag with a couple of longer reach zoom lenses in it. Sometimes I like to travel light, especially when it’s warm out.

I made it a point of really taking my time with these.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The point of the ND filter, which is basically a sunglass for the camera, is to “slow” the shot down and allow for longer exposures in daylight condition. I use this sort of filter a lot for these kind of shots. It’s why the water attains that mirror surface, as all of the distracting ripples and movement get smoothed out over the 15-30 seconds of an individual exposure.

The technical issues introduced by the filter include the color cast of the filter glass itself. You can spend a thousand bucks on one of these filters and you still get a color cast, so instead I spent about fifty bucks on one and then I figured out a set of settings for the development process in photoshop which neutralize it.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s the collapsing bulkhead associated with Long Island City’s 29th street which all of the recent hullabaloo is about. When the canal was created a hundred years ago, state of the art for “land reclamation” involved building a latticework of timber boxes whose structure was formed by dock piles driven into the saturated soil and mud of wetlands. Once you had the wooden framing done, you filled the “box” with rock and soil.

At the start of the 20th century, massive amounts of money and labor filtered through Western Queens in pursuit of this sort of land reclamation. More than one Queens Borough President was convicted on corruption charges because of these efforts, and much of the land we walk on today – which is between six and ten feet higher than the tidal zone – was created using the reclamation technique described above. One of Dutch Kills’ tendrils used to snake all the way to 31st street at Northern Blvd. for instance.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The term I’ve encountered time and again in late 19th and early 20th century reports and literature about this section of Long Island City is “waste meadows.” This refers to grassy tidal lowlands which would flood with the East River tidal cycle. Depending on where you’re talking about, these waste meadows were either swamps or marshes or even Juniper tree lined waterways. Every account I’ve read speaks about lots and lots of deer, waterfowl, shellfish, and the sort of critters who make their living in this sort of environment. In fact, when the Dutch arrived in the 1640’s, they talked about problems arising from an abundance of wolves.

That’s pretty interesting, actually. According to the “wolf people,” an adult wolf of breeding age needs a minimum of nearly 4 pounds of meat a day to survive. That’s a minimum, and whereas Wolves don’t necessarily eat everyday, a breeding age wolf prefers about 10 pounds of meat a day. If you’ve got a “wolf problem,” which indicates a large population of these top predators, you’ve got to do the math on this, regarding the prey animals that fed them. Ten wolves – 100 pounds of meat, 100 wolves – 1,000 pounds, etc. Wolf problem? That’s a whole lot of meat.

This used to be a highly productive ecosystem, these waste meadows.


“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

August 23, 2022 at 11:00 am

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