The Newtown Pentacle

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Archive for the ‘Dutch Kills’ Category

apparent sphere

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Friday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

We’ve covered a lot this week; how to dispose of a body, how to crime, explored a civil war between Brooklyn and Queens, and the intriguing technological possibilities offered by my newish camera. The shots in today’s post didn’t quite fit into the others but I like them anyway so…

This one is from Long Island City, nearby the Dutch Kills tributary of the loquacious Newtown Creek. It depicts the operational equipment utilized by an aggregates processing yard. What that means is that stones and soil go in, get fed into gizmos, and get sorted by particle size. Rock, gravel, sand. In the fullness of time, even the sand will face away. Nothing lasts.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Over in the happy place of Industrial Maspeth, there is a gargantuan NYC Department of Sanitation maintenance facility and garage. They have all kinds of cool stuff there, including this absolute specimen of kit. I don’t even know what to call this thing. A front loader? A bull dozer? A mobile oppression platform? It’s cool, it’s orange, and they left the door open so I was sorely tempted to take it for a joy ride because I’m from Brooklyn.

Freaking Queens.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

At the burned out Goodfella’s Diner in Maspeth, nearby the fabled Haberman rail siding of the Long Island Railroad – specifically in the Diner’s parking lot – I spotted this cool looking truck. What? It’s a truck. I like taking pictures or trucks. What do you do? Practice spitting?

On a side note, what the hell is up with all the spitting these days? If you’re a male under the age of 30 and live in Queens, it seems you produce copious amounts of saliva and need to bleed some out roughly about every three sidewalk boxes. This isn’t “hawking a loogie,” mind you, this is a little “psst” bead of snot and spit which gets expelled at regular intervals. Have any of you blokes heard about about public health, or the whole pandemic deal?

How much saliva do you generate, brü? See a doctor.


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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

May 14, 2021 at 11:00 am

remotely preceding

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Monday’s, amirite?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My dream for Dutch Kills, post superfund, involves carnivorous plants. Just imagine how cool it would to visit this Long Island City tributary of the fabulous Newtown Creek and look down on a quivering shoreline with thousands of tiny mouths snapping their flowery jaws at you. You’d carry a bit of meat there – jerky, raw, whatever – tossing it down towards the undulating banks of green, purple, and scarlet iridescence. Small birds and rats would become stuck in the vegetative glue and winding tendrils of this carpet of carnivores, and we certainly wouldn’t have to worry about mosquitoes or gnats anymore here in the Degnon Terminal. Speciation wise, I’m thinking pitcher plants, sundews, bladderworts, and or butterworts.

I’d also like to see all sorts of lizard living here. The little gecko looking buggers you see at the cemeteries in Woodside and Maspeth somehow survive the winters, so let’s get a bunch of whatever the hell they are are start up a colony here. Also, we could use more bats, so bats. Giant spiders too. You get enough bats and giant spiders, you might be able to seed in some dog sized monitor lizards.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Once we’ve established a sticky mat of flesh hungry plantings, populated every nook and cranny with eye licking lizards, web spurting Araneae, and every utility pole has a house designed for creepy bats – then we can begin a vetting process for mad scientists to take up residence in the ruins of some of these old factories. It’s been too long since somebody attempted to build their own race of atomic mutants back here in Long Island City. I’m wondering what a cross between a Coyote and a Baboon might look like. What could go wrong? We can tell everyone they’re artists.

Think of all the corollary industries which would prosper due to the super science sector basing itself here in LIC – clone tanks, giant electrodes, lightning gathering kites, steel restraining clamps – all of this could be made locally. I mean… weed and sodomy are now totally legal, we need to find a new frontier. I think “mad science” might be it.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Giant robot work, however, is something which would need to be suppressed for climate change related issues. Purely biological, or even partially cybernetic, abominations are probably ok but we need to remember what happened over in Maspeth during the 1950’s after the aluminum plant was abandoned. It took the Marines an entire summer to get that one under control, and the area around Haberman has never fully recovered.

If you want to work with robots, I’d suggest instead finding a way to first control ants and then improvising a method for aggrandizing them to the size of cargo vans (you’d want to do it in that particular order, btw). Giant robots tend to get busted up by the military and then end up in a landfill, whereas you can compost the corpses of giant insects. Think about the future.

Even mad scientists need to be ecologically conscious these days, lords and ladies.


“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

April 19, 2021 at 11:00 am

inverse geometry

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Monday is da shizzle.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

What a busy weekend! This vaccinated thing is going great so far. More on that in a subsequent post.

The first two shots in today’s post were gathered in Long Island City, specifically the stretch of Borden Avenue which the Queens Midtown Expressway truss has positively loomed over since 1940, in the beginning of March. I tell you, lords and ladies, that the normal problem here at Newtown Pentacle is not being able to generate images quickly enough. Since I haven’t had as much to do during the pandemic, one thing I’ve kept busy with is shooting photos. I’m a good month ahead of myself these days, which is neat, but as the world starts back up I plan to get a bit more in sync with the seasons and current events.

Fed-Ex, like the other “last mile shipping” companies including Amazon and UPS, have been extremely busy for the last year. They’re also massively expanding their footprint around Newtown Creek. Newtown Creek Alliance recently worked with a graduate student named Geoff Storr on a policy brief about this expansion – which you can check out by clicking here.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Wandering around LIC, one of the things that jumps at me is the absolute sin of the wasted space under the Queens Midtown Expressway section of the Long Island Expressway. Specifically, this is the zone between Van Dam Street and the Queens Midtown Tunnel. Empty, used for illegal parking, illegal dumping, ugly.

There’s gotta be a better way!

A humble narrator is in the early stages of annoying an entirely different branch of the Government than the usual ones about this subject. In this case, the agency of record is the New York State Department of Transportation. I figure that since they’re all done with the Kosciuszcko Bridge project they must be looking for something new to do.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

On my way back to HQ on a particularly pleasant evening, this chunk of construction equipment was noticed. This is part of the same operation which I’ve talked about before, who are working out a contract to bring the crosswalks and corners into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. This involves “rekajiggering” the curb, pouring new concrete for the corner, and installing a “rumble strip” pad to provide tactile feedback to sight compromised or wheelchair users.

It provides me with something to take pictures of, so “win.”

Back tomorrow with more.


“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

April 12, 2021 at 1:00 pm

shifting hints

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Wednesday… sigh.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My weekly walk to Dutch Kills, or the “happy hunting grounds” as I call them, allowed for another shot of that tenacious little tree I’m obsessed with. Dutch Kills is a tributary of the larger Newtown Creek, which itself is a tributary of the East River, which is in turn an estuarial tributary where the Hudson River and Long Island Sound combine. Dutch Kills is contained entirely within Long Island City’s Degnon Terminal section, here in Queens.

This area has been my “go-to” for many years, and never so much as during the Pandemic year.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

If my intentions play out this week as planned, I won’t be visiting Dutch Kills, rather I’m out wandering around the City as I’m supposedly fully vaxxed by now – some 14-15 days after the second Pfizer shot made me start to think about X-Boxes all the time.

That little mud flat is part of a NYC DEP experiment in creating wetland environmental plantings here. There’s a few spots on Dutch Kills in which a staggering amount of money was spent in pursuance of planting native speciations, with the hope that it would provide environmental anchoring for shellfish and other critters.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

At the far end of the canal, you find a turning basin, which introduces a “T” shape to the northern extent of Dutch Kills. A turning basin is an area where a ship or tug and barge combination has an opportunity to reverse course by turning their bow to the direction they’re going in, which is a lot more efficient than reversing course.

Back tomorrow.


“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

April 7, 2021 at 11:00 am

disconcertingly adumbrated

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How ghastly, it’s Tuesday.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As you’re reading this, a humble narrator is either on his way to Manhattan for his second vaccine shot, or returning from that accursed island all juiced up with the stuff. Other than a bizarre desire to stand in front of an operating microwave oven while browsing Amazon for the latest model of X-Box, I didn’t have any side effects from the first shot. I’m told that the second shot is a different circumstance, but life is all about the little surprises and unexpected moments, ain’t it?

A big box store of some kind is meant to be occurring fairly soon nearby the Dutch Kills tributary of Newtown Creek here in Long Island City, so the demolition crews have rolled through recently. This has luckily opened up a point of view for the venerable Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant across the water in Greenpoint, so hooray.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Vaccinated Mitch, I would suggest, is going to be behaving like the proverbial bat let out of hell. I’ve got plans, I tell you! To start, I will be switching my schedule around and leaving HQ while the burning thermonuclear eye of god itself is bobbing about in the vault above. Never thought I’d look forward to riding the subway, but there’s that too. I want to do some of the tourist things before they all start to reappear this summer – the Empire State Building and Hudson Yards observation decks, CircleLine, even ride on one of those goofy double decker buses. A Pentagenarian Superman invulnerable to the plague, armed with a camera, me.

First thing I’m doing is actually going to involve trying to burn off these pandemic pounds I’ve accumulated. Fat as a house, I am, which is dangerous. First, I’m going to walk all of the East River Bridges back and forth to the City, then work my way out to the edges of the City – Arthur Kill, Jamaica Bay, maybe even visit that legendary mystery called the Bronx. My ignorance of the Bronx has been carefully cultivated, and I’ve gone out of my way over the last fifteen years to pay no attention whatsoever when it was discussed in my presence.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One has an odd habit of saving things for some future infirmity or other unfortunate circumstance. There’s a couple of books Our Lady of the Pentacle has been recommending to me for the entire span of our relationship, which I’m saving for a broken leg or similar interval. Same thing goes for the “Battlestar Galactica” remake from a few years ago, and the entire Borough of the Bronx.

What I’m really, really, looking forward to is pointing the camera at different things which aren’t strictly within walking distance of Astoria. I’m proud of the fact that I kept on shooting, and managed to keep y’all somewhat entertained during this interval. Saying that, the depths of my boredom and desire to see new or novel things have seldom been deeper.

Once more unto the breech…

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, March 22nd. 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

March 23, 2021 at 11:30 am

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