The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Archive for the ‘Long Island City’ Category

died reverberantly

with one comment

Thursday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Another day, another scuttle. This time, I was out for a long walk. One headed out at a conspicuously earlier time than normal, hoping for a colorful sunset. High clouds are favorable, conditions wise, for colorful sunrises and sunsets to set up. That’s my official photographer advice.

Pictured is a section of Long Island City’s Sunnyside Yards, with Amtrak train sets lined up in the foreground. As always, a tip of the hat to whoever is in charge of poking holes in the fences at the Federal Rail operation.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

These shots were gathered at the end of November, when I was preparing to go on another trip using Amtrak in early December, so I was wondering if any of these trains would be the one I got to ride on. Honestly, the day that I shot these feels like a hundred years ago right now. It’s funny the way that the mind works, ain’t it?

On this particular night, I was heading towards the Dutch Kills tributary of Newtown Creek, where I would end discovering that a big chunk of the shoreline had collapsed over Thanksgiving weekend.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

This was a particularly weird night, as a note, with way too many encounters with the denizens of the streets. One in particular was just freaky, but I don’t want to get into the trading of war stories.

Sirens punctured my reveries, and I noticed an FDNY ambulance screaming it’s way along the Honeywell Avenue truss bridge over the railyard.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Due to all the street weirdness I’ve encountered and observed, I’ve fallen out of the habit of listening to audiobooks while walking around, preferring instead to have all of my sensory antennae fully deployed. I want to be able to hear the running footsteps slapping the pavement coming my way, before they’re too close for comfort.

Given my predilection for lonely places, the last thing I want to encounter or be surprised by are other people.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Every person you see coming at you is a possible threat these days. There’s a small army of lunatics and street level criminals that have recently been installed all around Long Island City, lawless and sly, who’ll look you up and down deciding whether or not it would be worth it to boil you down for elements to sell. It hasn’t been like this for a long time, here in the big city.

This is not exactly a politically correct thing to say, but the people who decide what’s correct or not have apparently never been punched in the nose or had a gun pulled on them by a mugger.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

People walk around like they’re safe or something. If they only knew.

Bah.


“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

January 13, 2022 at 11:00 am

ceaseless poring

leave a comment »

Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Another day, another walk. As mentioned, one is increasing the frequency of his exercises in the name of reducing his body weight. Thereby, a lot of “not too far from home” scuttles are underway.

That’s a section of the Sunnyside Yards in Long Island City pictured above, as seen from a fence hole along Thomson Avenue.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Before the recent spike in Covid numbers, one had been enjoying the option of using mass transit again, but c’est la vie.

That’s an M line subway entering the Court Square station, heading into Queens from Manhattan.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I laugh a bit whenever I encounter this particular food truck, which proclaims itself as being “The Boss of The Tacos.” I wonder if there’s any consensus between the food trucks as to who’s boss. Are there Taco factions, rivals, or breakaway Birria enthusiasts? Tacos are artisanal by their nature, since you’ve got to touch all of the components with your hand to assemble them.

Los Tacos, soy el Jefe!

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’ve mentioned my recent fascination with photographing gas stations. It’s a damned difficult shot to get the exposure right, and also a real task to handle the photoshop/RAW processing on them. Bright lights, contrasting, saturated colors that want to go all comic book on you.

This one’s on Northern Blvd. and Newtown Road, nearby the Woodside Houses NYCHA campus.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A similar set of issues occur with car washes. This operation is a couple of blocks east of the gas station pictured above. The difficulty encountered with this shot is that I was standing across Northern Blvd. on the opposite sidewalk, and finding a fractional shutter interval without a vehicle moving into frame takes a while.

As you may have guessed, this particular evening’s walk was headed east rather than west. I like to mix things up occasionally.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There’s a small industrial zone found at the border of Astoria/Woodside/Sunnyside which I like to wander through. It’s a little too “populated” for my taste, surrounded as it is by a residentially zoned area. Check out that graffiti van though. That’ll teach this guy not to park here anymore, huh?

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

January 11, 2022 at 11:00 am

haggard watcher

leave a comment »

Monday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A humble narrator has really been hitting the bricks recently. Physical fitness has been a casualty of the pandemic for me, and I’ve passed through “overweight” and into “fat.” No doubt is held in my mind that the problems I’ve been experiencing, regarding my trick left foot, can be ameliorated by shedding body weight. Of course, the recursive side of this is that I’ve got to walk those pounds off, further aggravating the orthopedic situation in the affected foot, but as my grandmother used to say: suffering is why you were put here.

As mentioned last week, my exercise regime involves frequent short walks most days, with long walks occurring about every three to four days. A short walk for me starts at HQ in Astoria, nearby the 46th street stop on the R/M lines. I’ll scuttle in one direction or another, and in the case of today’s shots, that direction was towards the Hunters Point section of Long Island City.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

On a short walk I try not have a specific destination or “shot list” in mind. Rather, I follow my toes, and go wherever they happen to be pointing. This is 29th street nearby the corner of 39th Avenue, looking southwards towards Queens Plaza and the looming glassine dormitories recently installed in the area.

There’s a narrative at work in this zone, wherein local residents who once stridently identified themselves as proponents of large scale hotel construction in the Dutch Kills neighborhood just north of Queens Plaza have suddenly realized the error of doing the Manhattan people’s bidding. The former Mayor decided that these hotels would make excellent homeless shelters during the pandemic.

There are so many homeless shelters here now that the people who supported the hotel build out are somewhat outnumbered in their own neighborhood by the transient population. Said transients are accused of misdeeds, offenses, and outright criminal behavior. The former Mayor didn’t want the Police involved in disciplinary applications for the transients, preferring that the shelter operators use private security. Of course, the City didn’t check to see if these operators actually hired anybody to perform that security function, but that’s kind of the De Blasio story – ain’t it?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Avoiding concentrations of the human infestation is always at the top of my list, but this becomes increasingly difficult due to the aforementioned installation of those glass walled dormitories in Long Island City. I really have to scuttle far afield for this pursuit, but no matter where you go, there they are.

Why dormitories, you ask? When a developer is erecting a building that participates in the “affordable housing” scam, ask them how many of those apartments aren’t studios or one bedrooms. The statistics on this are critical, since the “affordable” aspect is over and done with once the original tenant moves out and the apartment begins to move towards “market” price with every new lease signed. Two and three bedroom apartments attract families, who will predictably occupy the space continually while their kids journey through 13-14 school years. One bedroom, and studios, flip on average once every couple/three years.

Get it? See the way that works?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The last iteration of the City Council, in those mad last sixty days which those three termed rapscallions treated us to – after they were insulated from electoral consequence after Election Day – saw a plan for a skyscraper on the upper east side which will house facilities for the NY Blood Center approved by the body. Mention of the Blood Center’s presence here in LIC, in a two story warehouse building with a half block sized footprint, never came up. One wonders what will happen to the property in LIC. A hospital, school, or perhaps a modern precinct house for the 108? Bwahhh. You kidding?

They now call it “deeply affordable housing.” My favorite 9/11 era messaging involved the usage of the term “Now, more than ever” to sell laundry soap and Ford automobiles. Be alarmed, all the time, and your patriotic duty is to buy things. How can you be against “deeply” affordable housing… are you a systemically racist remnant of transphobic capitalism or what?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Things haven’t been the same in LIC since the thing in the cupola of the sapphire megalith departed. An inhuman intelligence which could not possibly exist, it stared down on low lying LIC and Astoria with its three lobed burning eye, coveting. A couple of years ago, it left the building in the manner of Elvis, leaving behind a mostly empty sapphire shell. The cupola used to be the highest point on Long Island, the tallest perch outside of Manhattan, but today it’s become a medium sized anachronism of earlier times.

Sarcasm, it drips, like venom.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Chickens come home to roost, most consequence is unintended, and housing is only “affordable” if someone can afford to pay the rent. Right now that’s the case, and landlords are somehow finding tenants that can drop 30-50 grand a year into their pockets. A lot of dirty laundry is going to start appearing soon, I think, as the twelve year long incumbents are out of office and the new seat fillers are going to have to start distracting the electorate away from their own machinations. The process of “throwing the last guy under the bus” is already underway. Thankfully we have a new Mayor.

Adams is going to be the best Mayor in New York City’s – or in fact the world’s – history – just ask him – he’ll tell you so.


“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

January 10, 2022 at 11:00 am

invasive specie

leave a comment »

Monday

– photo by Valerie DeeBee

I’ve mentioned “My Pal Val” more than once here at Newtown Pentacle, and after discussing our recent visit to the Montauk Cutoff in Queens’ Long Island City Section, I invited her to guest blog about it today. The photos are hers, and after this – so are the words. Lords and ladies, meet Valerie DeeBee.

The Montauk Cutoff is truly fascinating to me, but never more so than in autumn, and at Mitch’s suggestion, we journeyed there as sunset was drawing near. An outstanding combination.

The silhouette of the water tanks was actually captured just before we began our ascent. It spoke to me of the time of day we were about to photograph, and seeing those shapes against the lowering sun in the sky made me feel that a wonderful adventure was at hand. It turned out that I would not be disappointed.

– photo by Valerie DeeBee

As we walked the Cutoff, the contrast of the overgrown, abandoned rail with the vibrant skyscrapers in the background caught my eye. Looking as though they occupy almost the same space, they are at the same time worlds away from each other.

– photo by Valerie DeeBee

A little further walk, we arrived at the object of my photographic desire: the flora, and especially the burnished gold trees growing in between and out of the deserted rails. This was what I had come to see and capture, and in so doing, take hold of another contrast: the “dead” rails and the dying trees. The contrast of these objects, their diverse colors, the innate beauty of the multiple layers made the trip a success for me.

– photo by Valerie DeeBee

As darkness would soon be upon us, we didn’t have the opportunity to shoot the various trains that pass nearby. Maybe another time … ?

Sometimes going out camera in hand can yield few – if any – worthwhile images, and upon viewing the day’s work at home, deletions can rule the day. Not so after this trip. The images taken were what I had hoped for and 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

December 27, 2021 at 1:00 pm

dully exhibited

with 2 comments

Thursday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Endeavor found me wandering around Long Island City again recently. For several reasons, mainly climatology related ones, I’ve been keeping the walks a bit shorter in recent weeks and staying a bit closer to HQ. Luckily, Queens never disappoints. HQ’s positioning on the southern border of Astoria allows strategic access to a number of visually interesting locations, like the Sunnyside Yards pictured above.

That’s one of Amtrak’s “high speed” Acela train sets heading towards its maintenance bay. Instinctually, I refer to the large blue building they service the trains at as a “barn,” but I’m sure that isn’t the correct etymology. Regardless, a Festivus greeting is offered to whomsoever it is at Amtrak that is responsible for all of the holes in the fences of the yards which allow me to get these shots.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Did you know that the cops have ambulances of their very own? The NYPD’s Emergency Services Unit operates their cop ambulances out of a former firehouse on Northern Blvd. nearby Steinway Street. Spotted this one just strobing its flashers into the night recently.

NYPD and FDNY have all the best municipal gear. They both have cool marine units, and every possible form of motor vehicle you can think of, but I don’t think that FDNY has helicopters or surveillance drones. They sure don’t have a tank whose main gun has been replaced with a battering ram, armored personnel carriers, or those cool ass K9 trucks that are full of excellent dogs.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

On my way back to HQ, this puzzling scene was encountered. Not the Queens Cobbler, this, since there’s two shoes. The cobbler only leaves behind one. These children sized rain boots were just sitting there next to a parking meter. I have theories, with my primary one listed below.

Obviously – a condor or other large bird of prey snatched a toddler away so efficiently that the kid was yanked right out of their shoes.


“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 23, 2021 at 1:00 pm

%d bloggers like this: