The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Archive for the ‘Long Island City’ Category

oppression waned

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Monday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Whew, what a couple of weeks. One has walked or ridden a boat into 4 of the 5 Boroughs, including… Staten Island… in the last 14 days. I’ve been in Astoria, Long Island City, Bushwick, Greenpoint, East Williamsburg, Sunset Park, Red Hook, Manhattan’s Financial District and Lower East Side, and St. George. This whole spate of activity got started a couple of weeks ago in LIC when I had to meet up with a couple of Newtown Creek Alliance interns to teach them a couple of things about my beloved Creek. Good news is that most of this travel has occurred on boats, specifically on ferry boats.

The shot above is from the sidewalk of Borden Avenue, alongside the Long Island Railroad’s moderately ancient Hunters Point Rail Yard. The current facility is the ninth iteration of a rail yard on this spot. Once, there was a gigantic glass and steel train shed here, and there were turntables that allowed rail engines to reorient themselves from one track to another.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Some of my travels have involved hopping on the subway. A humble narrator found himself at Queens Plaza just as a 7 line train was entering the Manhattan bound lower level tracks at the elevated MTA complex.

Just in the name of decrying how bad the management is at the redoubtable MTA… so, they had 16 months where basically nobody was riding the trains. During that interval, which you’d imagine as being a golden opportunity to perform upgrades and maintenance, they complained about declining fare revenues and an uptick in crime. Give us more money, they said, and the Feds bailed them out. Now, with the City reopening and everybody trying to get back to normal, just this last weekend they started doing signal upgrades to the Culver line. The F was running on the D, the D on the F, and R service was completely turned off in Astoria. Instruction was to take the 7 to Jackson Heights, and then transfer to the E, which was stopping in seemingly random places – none of which were where I was going.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The shot above was gathered by shooting through the dirty window of a N train bound for Queens Plaza. One day it will happen – I’ll be on an N train which doesn’t look it was parked under a flock of seagulls and it will have clean windows offering a crystal clear view of the scene above.

Frustrating, the MTA is. That’s also a good sign of some sort of return to normalcy. How do you bring people together in our politically divided culture? Answer is: our common hatred of MTA management.

Speaking of getting back to normal… what are you doing on August 7th? I’ll be conducting a WALKING TOUR OF LONG ISLAND CITY with my pal Geoff Cobb. Details and ticketing available here. Come with?


“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

July 26, 2021 at 11:00 am

unrent before

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Thursday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Recent endeavor found one photographing the proceedings of a Newtown Creek Alliance workday nearby Dutch Kills. It was a decent enough effort, one which involved the planting of environmentally beneficial plants and a general cleanup of the omnipresent illegal dumping one encounters around the troubled Long Island City waterway, and one which resulted in a humble narrator sitting painfully alongside the road while waiting for a cab to pick him up. As mentioned, my back and the left foot have been giving me trouble in recent weeks. This too shall pass, but why not avoid further exacerbation of injury when you can?

It was a fiendishly humid and warm evening, and low flying clouds were touching the rooftops of tower town. You couldn’t help but shvitz.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Often do I wonder whether or not a garment with pockets of pressurized helium contained within would lighten the load. Maybe I can order a camera bag from the Zeppelin people over in Deutschland, and just float my gear along. In many ways, I miss the old days when I carried a Canon G10 and could fit everything I needed to have with me in a pocket.

Saying that, all the gear I carry these days makes me a dangerous man. I’m ready for just about any circumstance. Any circumstance except one which requires a flash. I never carry a flash anymore. Writing this, it just occurred to me that I still haven’t tested out my flashes on the new camera, seven months after acquiring it. Guess I know what I’m doing tonight, now.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Newtown Creek Alliance is a non profit organization dedicated to “reveal, restore, revitalize” Newtown Creek. We have offices and employees, and I’ve been working with the group for about 15 years now. I’m the historian guy, lead a bunch of walking and boat tours centered around the “reveal” part of the mission, and more recently have joined the Board of Directors. NCA works on both sides of the Creek, in Brooklyn and Queens, and we are heavily involved in the whole Superfund thing.

If you want to get a closer look at the NCA operation, and meet us in person, on July 31st the “Kingsland Wildflower Festival” will be on offer at 520 Kingsland Avenue between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. I’m just meant to hang out, wisecrack at hipsters, and take photos for the event, but there’s going to be tours of the green roof which offer spectacular views of the Newtown Creek and surrounding Metropolis. Also, there’s supposed to be music and food.


“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

July 22, 2021 at 11:00 am

numberless domes

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Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It’s been a while since the cool cars spotted here in LIC have been offered, even though an eye has been kept peeled for vehicles of the “off the beaten track” variety. I’ve always wanted one of these military style trucks, mainly since it’s a diesel engine deal with a pipe snorkel that would allow the motor to keep running even when submerged. Imagine cruising a flooded Frannie Lou in that ride, Queens kids.

This was parked on the sidewalk nearby the Big Allis power plant in the Ravenswood section of Long Island City. Were I ever to become a Batman villain, Ravenswood is where I’d set up my lair, and my lackeys would drive what’s pictured above.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Not too far from HQ in Astoria, there’s a business which handles all of the mechanical and construction needs for food trucks and carts. I won’t decry the fact that they illegally park on and block the sidewalks. A recent addition to their “honey do” list is a classic Airstream trailer. Stainless steel skin and a galvanized chassis, the Airstream is a 1960’s dream.

This business, and several like it, are under threat of displacement by the Innovations Queens project, which proposes bringing thirty story luxury condo buildings to Astoria in the 35/36 Ave. zone between Steinway and Northern Blvd.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Back in Ravenswood, where there’s a thriving industrial sector devoted to vehicle maintenance, this collection of spare parts was observed. It was poised in front of the old silk thread factory, and seemed to be the property of a garage engaged in the repair of taxi cabs. It reminded me of the biblical Abraham, with his tent open to the four cardinal directions.

More tomorrow – 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

July 20, 2021 at 11:00 am

small lands

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Friday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Given my new proclivity towards antiviral immunity, recent scuttles have been routed with a formerly insane ideation in mind – taking the subway home. I’m sorry to say that more often than not in the last couple of months, either weather condition or the annoying problems I’m experiencing with this malfunctioning body of mine have actually necessitated transportation be used. The sort of summer heat we’ve been experiencing – the high temperature plus high dew point and then thunderstorm kind – shuts me right down. One refers to this interval as a “reverse blizzard.” The malfunction that’s mostly getting in my way involves the left foot, which seems to have been the favored location for several injuries I’ve suffered over the decades. That crushed big toe dealie from a couple of years back seems to have set off a whole Megillah of stuff down there. Either I’m going to fire the foot and hire a new one or finally be forced into mentioning the issue to a Doctor.

The left foot does, after all, represent 50% of my roadway interface.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Whilst limping about and preparing to board a 7 train back to Jackson Heights in pursuit of transferring to an R or M line subway which stops close to HQ in Astoria, however, an Amtrak train was witnessed as it approached the tunnels leading into Manhattan. Simultaneously, a 7 Line subway train was climbing out of the Hunters Point Avenue stop on its way to the Court Square station. Now you’re talking!

One limped down the stairs and slumped into the hard plastic seat of one of those 7 line trains. Uneventfully, a humble narrator proceeded with the plan and made it home. Our Lady of the Pentacle described me as looking like a sweaty mess and pointed at the shower.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

While you’ve been reading these posts for the last week, I’ve been kind of busy with a series of meetings and planning calls related to my beloved Newtown Creek. Had a bit of Astoria business to handle as well. Believe it or not, next week I’m going to be encouraging you to purchase tickets for a walking tour of LIC which I’m going to be co-conducting with my pal Geoff Cobb in early August.

Imagine – seeing me limp around in person and hearing the dulcet tones of my doomsaying live!


“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

July 16, 2021 at 2:30 pm

ineffably majestic

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Thursday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Broiling down Skillman Avenue in Queens’ Long Island City section, one spotted an aperture in the fences surrounding the Sunnyside Yards. Purchase was gained and a quick shot of a passing IRT Flushing train climbing out of the Hunters Point Avenue station towards the elevated section of track leading to the Court Square Station was achieved.

I say “broiling” rather than scuttling intentionally, as every time a step occurred my footfall on the sidewalk caused a “pssssst” sound reminiscent of dropping a hamburger onto a skillet to occur. It was hot, I tell you, hot.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Nearby, these three predators were getting their plans ready for the night. Murder happy characters, street cats are. If they were tigers you’d be more concerned. Since their attentions will mainly involve rodents and small birds, you think they’re cute and useful. If they were larger, and had a taste for dog or human meat… pass the ammo.

Really, tigers are examples of an ultimate predator machine which mammalian evolution has conjured. Tigers fight and win against crocodiles, elephants… I once saw a video of a tiger walking on the beach who pulled a shark out of the water and ate it. Humanity must preserve the Tigers – if for no other reason – the planet ever gets invaded by an extra terrestrial civilization. In their hearts, these three little LIC street cats are Tigers.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A different sort of predator, the probable serial killer called the Queens Cobbler has returned to the zone. Their ghastly trophies have been turning up again for the last few weeks. Look for the singular shoes, and you will find a tiger of the two legged variety. Word.


“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

July 15, 2021 at 1:00 pm

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