The Newtown Pentacle

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Archive for the ‘Degnon Terminal’ Category

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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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 5, 2022 at 11:00 am

quickly anyhow

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Monday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The 30th of July offered a brief climatological break from the bake of mid summer in NYC, a season which is affectionately referred to as “swamp ass” by we aficionados of the local milieu. Accordingly, one set out for a walk to take advantage of the pleasant atmospherics.

Shortly after leaving HQ, one encountered a fairly traffic free Broadway here in Astoria, which is actually noteworthy in its own right, and the maneuvering of an MTA Q104 line bus. Couldn’t resist.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My destination for the evening was Newtown Creek’s Dutch Kills tributary, and the area surrounding it. This was a Saturday evening, and since I desired solitude and an extended period of time during which I was not involved in conversation with anyone about anything, I went to where no one else would be.

To get from “here” to “there,” the pathway leads through an area known as the Degnon Terminal. The large brick building on the left side of the shot is a prison (different units inside offer varying levels of security, but it’s classified as a minimum security facility by Corrections Dept.) known as the Queensboro Correctional Facility. It opened in 1975, is designed to house 424 inmates, and is found on the corner of Van Dam Street and 47th Avenue. It’s an “intake and processing” center, I’m told, wherein convicted inmates are classified and categorized on the way to whatever upstate hellhole they’re permanently headed to for the duration of their sentences. Except for the barbed wire and constantly swiveling security cameras, you’d barely notice the place as being a jailhouse.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The Degnon Terminal was constructed in more or less the same time period as the nearby Sunnyside Yards. It offered rail connections, and barge to rail connections at Dutch Kills, and to Pennsylvania Rail Road/Long Island Railroad trackage infrastructure at Sunnyside Yards. Built by a company headed by Michael Degnon, the terminal had its own railroad system – the Degnon Terminal Railway. Said railway ended up being folded into the MTA property portfolio when that agency was created.

I’m told that rail companies seldom allow their unused tracks to be dug out of the ground as they’d never be able to reacquire the precious “right of way.” Even if the tracks haven’t been used in 50 years, they still pay tax on it to the Federal rail authorities to maintain the right of way. You see these relict tracks everywhere in this area.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The buildings which composed the Degnon Terminal, despite long 20th century decades of degeneracy, have been coming back to life in recent years. The elimination of hundreds of square acres of industrial space in the name of “affordable housing” in recent decades has reversed a trend that began shortly after the Second World War which saw heavy industrial or “M1” zoned space devalued because there was so much of it laying fallow and empty. Rezonings in East New York, South Brooklyn, Greenpoint, and even here in Long Island City have allowed for the razing of the old factories and for their replacement with tower apartment buildings.

The operative period for the creation of Sunnsyide Yards and the Degnon Terminal developments is during the first 20-30 years of the 20th century. That’s also when the United States Army Corps of Engineers oversaw the canalization of Newtown Creek’s tributaries, and land reclamation efforts that eliminated their wetlands, into what we see today.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Speaking of Dutch Kills, here I am at 29th street again. The red, white, and blue self storage warehouse – and the television studio next door – used to be the factory HQ of an outfit that called itself “U.S. Cranes.” You can guess what their line of business was, I imagine.

Both the TV Studio and the Storage warehouse are situated on a pier, which sits on stout concrete and steel columns driven down into the Newtown Creek mud. Tracks of the Degnon Terminal Railway are visible on 29th street, which is technically classified as a “railroad access road” and MTA property – which is why MTA is holding the modern bag for the collapsing bulkhead along Dutch Kills.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Like a vampire, I need to be invited in before I do my work. This is the standard line I offer if I’m ever accused of illegal trespassing. After that press conference I told you about a couple of weeks backs, I’ve actually got a handshake agreement regarding one of those invitations I require.

I mention this in advance of what I’m going to show you over the next couple of posts, so stay tuned.


“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 22, 2022 at 11:00 am

good test

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Friday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

While scuttling home from my beloved Newtown Creek one fine evening, I noticed this industrious fellow doing industrial things in Long Island City. That piece of equipment is called a Bobcat, and I’ve always wanted one – in case of zombies. The Bobcat has a safety cage to protect the operator from construction mishaps, which would prove a fine barrier to the living dead. The scoop currently installed on the Bobcat pictured above can be changed out, and you commonly see a snow plow installed on these units during winter months. Imagine outfitting an industrial meat grinder on the front. That’ll come in handy for Zombie plague COVID OMEGA – the last Covid you’ll ever need.

I always thought Zombie movies were unrealistic. People don’t act like that in a crisis, thought I. One also opined that after the shock of the Zombie plague ameliorated a bit, America would sort that shit out quick using our usual cocktail of explosives and engineering. Imagine it – six or seven Bobcats outfitted with meat grinders moving down Fifth Avenue and behind them FDNY using fire hoses to pulse the gore into the sewers.

Always figured that’s how we’d handle a plague, no matter how grim, in the American way – with guns, industrial engineering, and municipal union labor operating on overtime.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Instead; we got Jewish Space Lasers, Murder Hornets, Nanobots, something about Nancy Pelosi eating babies to stay young, and drinking bleach. Also, Liquor can now be ordered off the internet and delivered to your house.

I had to show my face at a political event last night, and what I noticed is that everybody who works for the Government was tightly masked up, and not once did they pull it down – even during “picture time.” “They know something they’re not telling us and crossing their fingers right now” went through my mind. Despite the fact that I was booster vaxxed, and that the organizers and establishment were literally and conspicuously checking vax status at the door, I did not feel at all comfortable in the room. Split early, after getting in a brief ass kissing session with a term limited “Lord of this World.” If you say a term limited and now retired politician’s name, they return like Voldemort, so I won’t.

I’ve also found out, as I’ve been making my holiday calls to glad hand and commiserate with allies and opponents, that the recent spike in Covid numbers isn’t a myth. Neither are the tales of breakthrough infections.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

On my way to the political “room” where I executed my ass kissing, I walked past my local bar and was informed by a friend that “tonight, it’s the Christmas party, and the owner of the bar was asking where you are.” Now, this particular fellow is the one who had potentially infected me with Covid back in September, which was thankfully a false alarm for all involved but especially him since he’s an anti-vaxx. His version of the conspiracy theory revolves around Bitcoin, Bill Gates, and Biden. He’ll end all of his explanations about the incredibly complex and perfectly actuated plot to attenuate your freedoms by exclaiming “NINE-ELEVEN” at the end of his messaging. Another friend of mine recently opined that Jan. 6th was a Civil Rights March.

I spent the rest of Thursday night wandering around Long Island City’s industrial sections, all by myself.

Bobcats with meat grinders. Trucks with meat grinders. Trucks made of guns, that shoot smaller guns instead of bullets. Guns that shoot pickup trucks out of their barrels. That’s the American way.

Maybe if we started describing the vaccines as ammo? Say that there’s a shortage of vaccine ammo because Nancy Pelosi wants China to dress your kids up for church in girl’s clothing and make them listen to woke comedy so the frogs turn gay? The only way to defeat Pelosi’s agenda is to annoy her by getting ammo’d? Own the libs by getting ammo’d and showing them what snowflakes they are?

I just don’t understand anything anymore.


“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 17, 2021 at 1:00 pm

cloudy throne

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Monday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’m not joking when I say that I’m obsessed with that little tree which is growing out from under a factory building in Long Island City, along the banks of Newtown Creek’s Dutch Kills tributary. One feared, during a post deluge walk, that it might have become unrooted due to the heavy rain but there it was. It’s passed from being a tree to being a metaphor for me. Nature wins, ultimately, no matter how hard we try – nature wins.

Hope, basically. It represents hope to me.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It’s why we should be striving to enslave the insects to do our bidding. Imagine commanding armies of ants or termites. It’s just a matter of figuring out their pheromone language and changing their marching orders. Ants can move mountains, one particle of sand at a time. Give me enough indentured ants and I’ll change the course of the Hudson.

To get started – we’ll just need a bag of sugar, a laptop, and a couple of lengths of copper speaker wire. Yeah, eventually we’ll need an AI to act as the Queen, but one thing at a time – huh?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I don’t know why I automatically go to “mad science” as my solution for intractable problems. I have a friend who’s the kind of scientist who does horrible things to monkeys at work (for good reasons, as he’s trying to cure blindness, but it’s still a pretty grim laboratory setup). I’ve asked him if the “science industry” has any sort of safeguards against he or his colleagues going rogue. If you notice your co worker has a human hand wired to a computer, for instance, is there an 800 number to call?

The answer, after he finished laughing about the term “science industry,” was no. There are no restrictive or societal rules against mad science. Order your Tesla coils, lords and ladies, the sky’s the limit.


“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

September 13, 2021 at 11:00 am

subtler properties

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Thursday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

During a moon lit night at Dutch Kills, one found himself feeling kind of minimalist. This isn’t so easy in an environment as visually complicated as the Newtown Creek watershed. One found himself fascinated by ambient lighting, cast colors, and vibe.

The shot above is looking eastwards along the Borden Avenue Bridge, towards Review Avenue, with the eye of Hecate sitting swollen and glowing in the spring sky. This was a supermoon, by the way, one of several we will be experiencing between now and autumn.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The Montauk Cutoff is pictured above, drenched in automotive brake light. One of the reasons behind my upgrade of camera equipment in the last six months revolves around being able to capture this sort of scene minus the usage of tripods or other camera support.

This shot is also from Borden Avenue in Long Island City, for the curious.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s also the Montauk Cutoff in the shot above, with the point of view changed to the “Empty Corridor” under the Long Island Expressway.

Back tomorrow with more 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

May 20, 2021 at 1:00 pm

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