The Newtown Pentacle

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Archive for the ‘Dutch Kills’ Category

demoniac dexterity

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Thursday, which meant hope for the weekend once.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Yup, Montauk Cutoff, Long Island City. This particular area has been referred to many times, here at Newtown Pentacle, as the “Empty Corridor.” Boy, oh boy was it empty on the night I was shooting these images. Weirdly enough, I had multiple encounters with people on the street on this particular evening. There were two young blokes who were likely considering jumping me at one point, and then a few minutes later a super expensive looking sports car with black tinted windows pulled up next to me. The window rolled down a few inches and a deep basso voice from inside began querying me about whether or not a nearby strip club was open or not.

Have I ever mentioned that I hate strip clubs? Not the idea of them, mind you, but I mark some of the most uncomfortable moments of my life as being ones where social obligation carried me into “the club.” Guys go ga gah over strippers, but in my experience they’re the female equivalent of those guys you see in a 711 parking lot with their shirts off at three in the morning in Nassau County. Hey, different strokes for different folks, who am I to judge?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Regardless of perceived vulnerability and paranoid wonderings, I continued doing my thing. The Montauk Cutoff was my particular mission on this particular evening, as it will be tonight. There’s a growing awareness of this set of abandoned railroad tracks in the body politic of Queens, and the opportunity they represent for creating a bit of public space where you can socially distance to your heart’s content.

In fact, if my plans work out, I’ll be up on the tracks tonight.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Sorry for the late post today, there’s been a bit of HQ tumult today that I had to deal with. All good, everything positive, but tumult. Back tomorrow.

Also, sorry strippers, not judging on you or what you do to feed the kids. I don’t enjoy watching professional Basketball, or Football, either.

Note: I’m writing this and several of the posts you’re going to see for the next week at the beginning of the week of Monday, November 30th. My plan is to continue doing my solo photo walks around LIC and the Newtown Creek in the dead of night as long as that’s feasible. If you continue to see regular updates here, that means everything is kosher as far as health and well being. If the blog stops updating, it means that things have gone badly for a humble narrator.


“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

December 3, 2020 at 1:30 pm

twisted about

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Wednesday, it just kind of lies there, like some sort of thing.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Continuing the inaugural run with my new camera rig, a visit to the Dutch Kills tributary of the fabulous Newtown Creek found in the heart of Long Island City, was a bit of a no brainer. Of course I’m going to go to one of the spots I know best to test the new gizmo out. Duh. For those of you who missed out on me rattling on about this subject on Monday and Tuesday, it’s a Canon R6, a full frame mirrorless and modern DSLR camera. 90% of the shots offered here at Newtown Pentacle over the last 8 or 9 years were captured using an older model camera – the Canon 7D – which uses a mirror system and a “crop” sensor. I won’t bore you with the technical stuff, if you’re interested in the differences between the two, there’s literally hundreds of sites which delve into the details about sensor size, mirrorless vs. mirror systems, and the benefits or negatives associated with each.

In my case, I simply outgrew the 7D. Pushed the thing to its limits, did everything with it I could, and was nearly always happy with the results. The R6 offers a different set of limits, albeit ones that are far distant from those of the 7D. I’m holding on to the older camera, for which a couple of people have asked me “why”? Answer: two is better than one.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s the Montauk Cutoff, specifically the section found on Hunters Point/49th Avenue in LIC. I’m going to be talking a lot about this set of abandoned railroad tracks in the next few months, and I’m making a serious commitment – photographically speaking – to recording its splendors in the coming months. At the same time, all of us at Newtown Creek Alliance are working on the Montauk Cutoff project at the moment, which is a major anchor property in what we call the Dutch Kills Loop. Check out this site which my pals at NCA have set up discussing the DKL concept and vision.

Saying all that, this is the sort of thing I’m doing on Friday nights these days, as the brief summer interval during which pandemic concerns were lowered is over, and you’re not going to see me inhabiting an outdoor table at a bar anytime soon. I seriously miss seeing my gang of Astorian idiots and drinking the Guinness right about now, but what are you going to do? Can’t argue with a logarithmic curve on the infection numbers. When you see a hockey stick shape on a graph that doesn’t show your bank account balance, you should run away from it.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One spent a bit of that particular Friday night in direct proximity to the Montauk Cutoff. I’ve written about this elevated trackage before, as a note, notably in this 2015 post. I’m planning on heading back up there in the dark sometime this week, so stay tuned for some new views captured with my new camera rig.

Also, these are some seriously lonely streets with an odd and increasing number of street denizens roaming around. I recently had a weird encounter with a couple of young fellows down here in what I call the “Empty Corridor.” Stay frosty, my friends.

Note: I’m writing this and several of the posts you’re going to see for the next week at the beginning of the week of Monday, November 30th. My plan is to continue doing my solo photo walks around LIC and the Newtown Creek in the dead of night as long as that’s feasible. If you continue to see regular updates here, that means everything is kosher as far as health and well being. If the blog stops updating, it means that things have gone badly for a humble narrator.


“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

December 2, 2020 at 1:00 pm

altogether superhuman

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Tuesday, here again.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Recent endeavor found me marching the new camera around to all the old familiar places in Long Island City. It was a comfortable night in industrial LIC, with temperatures in the high 50’s and clear skies.

Y’know, when I was composing this particular image, I was thinking “man, this is going to piss off George the Atheist.” George doesn’t like me messing around with angles like this, and I’ve received a few other “meh” statements on doing this sort of thing, but what the hell. I really wanted to get most of that tree in frame, and didn’t want to walk a block away to do so. Sorry, George.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Dynamic range is a term describing the width and depth of contrast and color which a camera sensor is capable of recording, and one of several factors that governed my choice in purchasing the Canon R6 as the new “master cylinder” which would accompany me wherever I go. Pandemic spawned supply chain issues have created a situation in which even the staggeringly efficient operation that is BH Photo couldn’t fill my entire order in one go, and even at this writing I’m still waiting on various essential add-on’s and gear to arrive at HQ. Batteries, L-Bracket, an adapter which will allow my collection of older lenses to work with the new camera (there’s a new lens mount on the R series) – all have been arriving piecemeal at HQ.

One of the things I consider when buying on with a computer or camera system is the ecosystem surrounding it. Consider the iPhone, which is nearly always the category leader in the smartphone category, but only proprietary Apple branded peripherals can plug into the thing. When Apple bangs you out for $50 on a USB cable, the only USB cable you can charge the gizmo with – that’s ecosystem. On a grander scale, Volkswagen and Porsche use specialized screws in their cars, and you have to buy the screwdrivers and ratchet heads from them – expensively – if you want to repair the things yourself. Ecosystem. It’s the part of the price of things which doesn’t turn up on the sticker, and is one of the ways which modern day corporatists feed upon their customers long after the initial purchase has cleared.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Testing the capabilities of the new camera has been all consuming, so I haven’t had much time to worry about when the rest of my gear will turn up. Luckily, when my new toy was ordered, a native RF mount lens was part of the package. These shots were captured with a 24-105mm f4 L series zoom lens, for the edification of you curious pixel peepers out there.

Initial reaction? So far, I’m amazed by what the combination of lens and in body image stabilization offers me as far as hand held and low light shots – as much as 8 stops of stabilization. I’m also loving what tripod shots like the one above are rendering as, and that flip out screen is an early game changer. More to come…

Note: I’m writing this and several of the posts you’re going to see for the next week at the beginning of the week of Monday, November 30th. My plan is to continue doing my solo photo walks around LIC and the Newtown Creek in the dead of night as long as that’s feasible. If you continue to see regular updates here, that means everything is kosher as far as health and well being. If the blog stops updating, it means that things have gone badly for a humble narrator.


“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

December 1, 2020 at 1:00 pm

sharpened hearing

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Thursday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Happy Thanksgiving week, which I’m taking off. Single image posts will greet you between now and Monday the 30th of November. I’ll be out taking pictures, in between dodging microbiotal clouds of expirant and looking over my shoulders for other sources of existential danger.

Today’s photo depicts a wooded section of the elevated Montauk Cutoff Railroad tracks, found in the Degnon Terminal section of the Borough of Queens’ Long Island City subdivision.

Note: I’m writing this and several of the posts you’re going to see for the next week at the beginning of the week of Monday, November 23rd. My plan is to continue doing my solo photo walks around LIC and the Newtown Creek in the dead of night as long as that’s feasible. If you continue to see regular updates here, that means everything is kosher as far as health and well being. If the blog stops updating, it means that things have gone badly for a humble narrator.


“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

November 26, 2020 at 11:00 am

cut classes

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Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Happy Thanksgiving week, which I’m taking off. Single image posts will greet you between now and Monday the 30th of November. I’ll be out taking pictures, in between dodging microbiotal clouds of expirant and looking over my shoulders for other sources of existential danger.

Today’s photo displays what’s happened to some of the yellow cabs during this pandemic season of ours. Notice that the cars are stripped of both medallions and placed advertising materials. That water is the Dutch Kills tributary of Newtown Creek, in the Long Island City section of Queens.

Note: I’m writing this and several of the posts you’re going to see for the next week at the beginning of the week of Monday, November 23rd. My plan is to continue doing my solo photo walks around LIC and the Newtown Creek in the dead of night as long as that’s feasible. If you continue to see regular updates here, that means everything is kosher as far as health and well being. If the blog stops updating, it means that things have gone badly for a humble narrator.


“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

November 24, 2020 at 11:00 am

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