The Newtown Pentacle

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Thursday, in LIC.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Frustrated by yet another unsuccessful expedition and attempt to photograph “it,” one decided that since midnight had been arrived at it was time to begin plying a course back to HQ in Astoria. The night was hot and humid, and despite the absence of the burning thermonuclear eye of god itself bobbing about in the sky, sweat was running freely from my skinvelope. It had rained heavily earlier in the day, and olfactory observation indicated that NYC’s Combined Sewer system had contributed some meaningful amount of untreated sewage into the Dutch Kills tributary of Newtown Creek, here in the Long Island City section of Queens.

Also, I’d been on my feet for hours at this point.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The latter statement proved my undoing. Knowing this area as well as I do, places where one can take the proverbial load off for a few minutes are a part of my list of features and attractions. In the shot directly below, you’ll notice a picnic table and umbrella in front of the surprisingly excellent delicatessen “Sparks.”

I did mention the heavy rain? Did I mention that before I sat down at the picnic table I didn’t check to see if the seat was concave in shape and hosting an absolutely terrific amount of rain water? Well, I hadn’t, and so didst one sit down. As I felt the liquid penetrating up through my pants, and underpants, it occurred to me that I should have – in fact – checked to see if it was wet. I didn’t, and now I was.

At least it is was quite cooling.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

This incident prompted one to summon a cab, which is something I’ve only done twice in the pandemic period. Not having wet skivvies, as far as “twice” goes. I mean taking a cab. Nothing is more miserable than walking multiple miles in wet clothing during a heat wave. Chafing, it affects us all, and some more than others. Masked up, a car was summoned for my trip home via the miracle of cellular telephony.

Everything mundane is scary now, in the age of the killer cooties, even calling a Lyft.

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, July 13th. 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.

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Monday photos from the before time.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One has been a dirty rotten stay at home for the last few days, which I can blame on a number of factors, but I’ve mainly been lazy. It’s been hot, damnit! Accordingly, a few shots – from 2020 – are on offer today. These are from the before times, when the calendar’s opinion still applied to what day it might be. I’m of the opinion that today’s date very well might be March 128th. Just last night, as the neighborhood gathered around a roaring hearth of fireworks, we told tales of the old days to all the children.

That was before Antifa stole the ocean, of course. Those ubiquitous rascals do make for intriguing right wind bogey men, don’t they? Wasn’t it the Mexicans before them, or the Arabs, or… some woman who wore a turtle neck sweater? Or was it some guy with glasses… I’m sorry it’s all become quite a blur.

I used to have the story straight, in the before times.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

When I told the neighborhood kids about how we used to ride around in metal boxes on tracks, they didn’t believe me. The limited grunting and chirping language, which is the only speech now allowed after the leftist hordes came through the neighborhood and re-educated us all, made it hard to describe the dual contracts era but I did my best. Then Karen showed up, and well… Karen.

In all seriousness, I really am having trouble keeping track of the “outrage of the day” and the post-truth environment we’re living in.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One makes fun of the rightists all the time, so some turnaround fair play for my leftie pals is offered on the subject of the ubiquitous and colossal amount of fireworks in recent weeks. Now you want the cops? Can’t have a police state clamping down on laws you want enforced while ignoring the ones you don’t like. Change the laws. You could theoretically force the cops to wear hot pink short sets if you write the law correctly. Cops are automatons when it comes to the law, and have virtually zero ability to interpret justice creatively on the street due to the sort of judicial legislation passed during the drug war, or terror war, or whatever else the politicians have declared war on. Be careful with what you ask Cops to do. For the last forty years you’ve been looking to them to solve every problem we’ve actually got or even the ones we’ve imagined, and those of us warning against worshipping at the pulpit that the Reverend in Blue preaches at have been told to shut up because “child molestors,” “terrorists,” or whatever other bogeyman you fear takes precedence over liberty.

The whole “redefinition of what political terms mean” thing is summed up, for me, by the fact that the fellow who built that bridge pictured above was a Progressive Republican. Can you imagine anybody describing themselves that way today, the way they would in the before times?

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, July 6th. 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 as we move into April and beyond, 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.

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Looking for it, Tuesday.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Trying to get a shot of “it” has proven more difficult than I thought it would be. One is being purposely vague about “it,” since it cannot possibly exist. A different sort of “it” used to reside in the cupola of the Sapphire Megalith of Long Island City at 1 Court Square – a formless and immaterial monstrosity identified via a three lobed and unblinking eye that didst stare down at the world of men with disdain – but that “it” moved out shortly after the whole Amazon thing fell apart and headed back over to Manhattan. This new “it,” which might actually be a very old “it” if these unverified rumors I’m receiving carry any veracity at all, is something else entirely . It’s all quite intriguing, really.

After possibly sighting “it” in the waters of Dutch Kills, just north of here alongside the Hunters Point Avenue Bridge, one positively boogied over to Borden Avenue to see if “it” might just be hanging about the maritime basin found nearby the 1908 vintage Borden Avenue Bridge.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The shape with what appears to be three glowing red eyes isn’t “it.” That’s just a reflection of a tree mixed in with three lights mounted on the high flying Long Island Expressway. “It” was definitely in the basin, however, evinced by the enormous ripples on the water’s surface and the panicked reactions of those smaller fishies who were schooling about in the dark fathoms there.

As a note, a fathom resolves down to about 1.8 meters or exactly six feet. In the center of the Dutch Kills channel, and it varies, you’re looking at probably 2-2.5 fathoms. At the sides, where shoaling is a serious issue, there are spots where the bottom sediments are exposed at low tide and the depth of the water is in negative fathoms. I’ve never heard anyone else use the term “negative fathoms” so it’s likely I just added something to the English Language again.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One changed locations again, this time picking a spot with some brush cover, thinking that “it” very well might be aware of my silhouette against the night sky, with the sky dome all under lit by the street lamps and automotive traffic. Additionally, some fellow who was walking up Borden Avenue just stopped dead in his tracks about four feet away from me and was staring intently, at both me and his phone, and I got weirded out.

In the end, I didn’t get a shot of “it.” I’m trying though. If your journey carries you to Newtown Creek or its tributaries at night anytime soon, keep an eye out on the water near the shorelines and let me know what you see. It’s out there.

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, June 29th. 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 as we move into April and beyond, 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.

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Empty Corridor.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Were it not for political maneuvering and the inertia for which a certain NYS authority whose mandate involves metropolitan transit is famous for, you’d have some open space in Long Island City to visit during this interminable quarantine, namely the Montauk Cutoff. The cyclopean wall on the left hand side of the shot above supports a set of abandoned railroad tracks which several of my chums and I have been trying to turn into a public space for years at this point. Ennui abounds.

One found his way down here last week, to an area of LIC which I often refer to as “the empty corridor.” When the Long Island Expressway and the Queens Midtown Tunnel were installed here, eight decades of blight began. Devil’s advocate, though, says that the chemical and pharmaceutical factories, as well as the lead foundry and varnish plant which the LIE displaced weren’t exactly “not blight” but at least there were a lot of people with jobs hereabouts as opposed to a lot of people driving back and forth to office jobs in Manhattan.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The Empty Corridor is pure and utilitarian. Not a single thought was given to anything natural or “normal.” Anything green growing here is due to shrinking maintenance budgets on behalf of City and State authorities. It’s been decades since they sprayed herbicide, or sent in teams of arborists to clear cut the self seeded trees. Rodents walk around freely here, much to the joy of the residents of a nearby feral cat colony.

Illegal dumping is art. The streets are broken pavement, shattered automotive glass collects along the crushed curbs like rainwater, the air smells of burning wire insulation and automotive exhaust. The buzzing sound of failing electrical transformers echoes out from the manholes, infrequent local traffic rockets past at incredible speed, and half of the street lights are burned out.

I love it so.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

When this whole “social distancing” thing started up, I thought of this particular scene and place.

The immense street level loneliness of places like the Empty Corridor belie their actuality. Whereas in my mind, I was totally alone with my personal biome, in reality I was surrounded by crowds of people. The Long Island Expressway is descending into the Queens Midtown Tunnel at the left of the shot, and just beyond the tunnel is the population center of Long Island City at Hunters Point. On the right is the New York City Housing Authority Warehouse, and most of the street parking is occupied by their fleet of trucks. Biome wise, therefore, there’s probably a couple million people’s worth of cooties floating around in the air down here, or they’re stuck to some greasy smear.

I’m going to get the Montauk Cutoff done, as we need some more open space. Or, at least I’m going to reduce the number of streets in Western Queens without sidewalks. There’s no sidewalk on the left side of the street in the shot above, for instance.

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, May 25th. 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 as we move into April and beyond, 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.

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Borden Avenue.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I got scared the other night, thinking I had spotted a pride of teenagers roaming about LIC, so I hid behind one of the structural legs of the Long Island Expressway and pondered a few things. Yes, teenagers travel in a “pride.” Busy body white ladies, the “Karen’s” you see all over the internet trying to boss people around, form up a “privilege” when they gather, as in a “Privilege of Karen’s.” A band of teenagers is less than five individuals, whereas a pride is a large group comprised of a lead Alpha team commanding several Master Betas who in turn lead individual bands. Dominance behaviors familiar to any primatologist are displayed. Deep and turbulent currents occur when a Pride encounters a Privilege, with both sides threatening to summon a Cadre of Cops while recording each other with cell phones. Invariably, someone shouts “world star” or “welcome to YouTube.”

As a note, Cops usually come in pairs. Six or more Cops form a Cadre, whereas a full precinct wide deployment is a “fuck ton” as in “Holy Shit, there’s a Fuck Ton of Cops out there.” Any wonder why I choose to just hide behind and beside the structural elements of the built environment?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

“Mitch, there’s no such thing as salt and shade resistant plant species which could survive around the outfall pipes of NYC’s elevated highways,” I’ve been told that by botanist, parks personnel, and everybody else in positions of City or State authority over NYC’s elevated highways. As you can see from the self seeded vegetation in the shot above, whose speciation is cosmopolitan, they are right and I am as always wrong.

Looking out of your narrow windows at a world which you despise, and comparing your world view to mine, it is quite easy to describe me as naive, badly informed, or as some sort of agenda pushing hack. Call me names, abuse my statements, say whatever you wish as it is your absolute right. The fact is… life finds a way. Abandon orthodoxy, see what is and what grows, be organic in your logic. You’ll be happier working towards creating the world you wish we lived in than the dross corner which pain and shattered hope has painted you into. Go take a walk, and watch the world. It can be beautiful. You don’t have to pronounce everything as false and perverse to protect your heart. You just have to embrace the fact that green things can and do crack through the concrete.

Watch out for Prides of Teenagers though, they have zero impulse control.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It’s funny, actually, that I never seem to grow tired of shooting around this outlandish steel traffic viaduct in LIC. The thing arches over Newtown Creek’s Dutch Kills tributary, where it rises 108 feet up, with the Queens Midtown Tunnel and Greenpoint Avenue at either end. The utilitarian esthetics embraced by the engineers of the House of Robert Moses have always spoken to me, design wise, but I like a good onramp.

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, May 18th. 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 as we move into April and beyond, 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.

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