The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Archive for the ‘Long Island Rail Road’ Category

night watch

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Borden Avenue Bridge, #LIC.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One is in the process of a quarterly exercise, visiting all of the corners of the Newtown Creek watershed. I’ve been doing this for awhile now, quarterly, and certain areas in the Borough of Queens which host the Newtown Creek’s tributaries have been positively haunted by my nocturnal inspections during the recent tribulations we have all been enjoying. Oft repeated, Dutch Kills is a tributary of the nefarious Newtown Creek which branches off of the main trunk of that waterway some .7 of a mile from the East River and proceeds roughly 3/4 of a mile into the Long Island City section of Queens. The Borden Avenue Bridge is one of several retractile spans across Dutch Kills, retractile meaning that the roadway retreats for maritime access, and was built in 1908. It is owned and operated by the NYC Department of Transportation.

It’s my second favorite Newtown Creek Bridge, after the Grand Street Bridge.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One often comes here and scans the shorelines with a powerful flashlight. The eye shine of feral cats reflects back, but that’s not what one searches the rocky shores for. One is hesitant to describe the rumor which led to the activation of that pocket flashlight. You would think me credulous, or superstitious at best.

Suffice to say that some stories need to develop, and that still water may indeed run deep. I did take advantage of the fact that the local strip club remains closed, as the shot above was captured on their entryway steps.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Post facto gathering these shots of Dutch Kills, one has since been entertaining himself with walks heading both eastwards and southwards into Blissville and Greenpoint, with the product of said effort is being prepared for your consumption later this week.

As a note, today is the 130th 116th anniversary of the General Slocum disaster in 1890, 1904 for the historically minded amongst you. Thanks to George the Atheist for the fact checking on the date, not sure where I came up with 1890.

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 15th. 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.

recent notes

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Still no rat hordes, but I’m a-hoping.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As described yesterday, a recent walk found one on the western end of Railroad Avenue in the Blissville section of Long Island City. Some people ignore the 10,000 or so industrial jobs and the businesses which employ them along the bulkheads of the Newtown Creek. That’s where I come in, My name’s Waxman, I carry a camera. The weather in NYC was cool, and I was working out of Newtown Creek Alliance’s Queens Division. Reports from Federal Authorities have warned about hordes of ravenous and cannibalistic rats of unusual size, so I was patrolling the tracks of the Long Island Railroad Lower Montauk Line in search of them. The garbage train parks here.

Thankfully, things were uneventful, and I moved on. This is based on a true story.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

On my way home to the rolling hills of almond eyed Astoria, one eschewed the normal path back and instead proceeded northwards from Blissville through the “Crane District” of industrial Maspeth. Neither the Dept. of NYC Planning nor Google Maps have caught up with my daring nomenclature quite yet, still referring to the “Crane District” as “West Maspeth” or “Laurel Hill,” and only a few esthetes and scholars use the archaic “Berlin.” Savages.

Why do I call it the “Crane District”?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A heady mix of socialism and an indignant vendetta against societal norms have infected me with the need to tear away at the foundations of society, and rename places according to whatever whim strikes me. There are no cranes here, that’s fake news.

In all seriousness, though, people still live hereabouts, in the Crane District. There’s private homes all over the place.

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 8th. 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.

dark spectacled

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Hello, Sweetie.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Railroad Avenue is found along the fabulous Newtown Creek in the Blissville section of Long Island City. The name of the street belies it’s function and what it travels along, which are the trackways of the Long Island Railroad’s Blissville Yard, which itself is a part of the LIRR’S Lower Montauk line. Pictured above is a modern day movie studio, which used to be known as the Tidewater Building, or as the Lukoil/Getty dock more recently. I wasn’t focusing on history when shooting this series of shots, however, rather it was the subject of monsters that plagued me.

You saw that warning from the Center for Disease Control about the hordes of hungry rats? Christ almighty, if that’s going to happen anywhere and to anyone, if would here and it would be me.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

At the titular western end of Railroad Avenue, you’ll find the gates leading to SimsMetal, a private company which handles the processing of the plastics, paper, and metals that are collected curbside by the NYC Department of Sanitation on “recycling day.” On the subject of seeing other people, who are not wearing hard hats and safety vests at least, in these places which have formerly been inhabited by only me – it happened again. A few people wandered past me heading this way and didn’t come back, and I ran into a nice guy naked Steve who had come back here to capture shots of graffiti for his website. Saying that – seriously – people on Railroad Avenue on a Saturday night? The world really must be ending, yo.

I was back here for the graffiti too.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’ve been trying to get shots of this particular Long Island Railroad trainset for a while, but it’s been parked in a different spot which is decidedly more difficult – and far more “trespassy” – to get near it for the past few months. I’m told that what you’re looking at is either a giant pile of soon to be recycled metal, or the future foundation of a reef in some faraway patch of water.

The crazy lighting was generated by the weird emanations and the otherworldly spectrum of light which flows off of the Koscisuzcko Bridge, overflying the Newtown Creek about a mile east of this spot adjoining the Blissville Rail Yard on Railroad Avenue. It’s no ordinary or earthly color, that, instead…

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 8th. 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.

be shunned

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Another day, another 20,000 steps.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One found himself scuttling down Skillman Avenue recently, marveling at the ludicrous size of Durst Organization’s latest project on the other side of the Sunnyside Yards in Queens Plaza. Skillman has become rather populated in recent weeks, as the residents of both Sunnyside and Hunters Point have begun exploiting it for exercise and recreational walks.

I look forward to all of you returning to swallowing your alcohol drinks, or sitting in movie theaters, or watching your sports ball again, and getting the hell out of my personal Idaho.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

At the corner of Skillman and Thomson Avenues, the photo above was observed. I have several theories about this scene – postulates, causalities, and so on.

1) Covid. The virus ate away at some unfortunate person from their feet up and all that was left behind was the scalp and hair. 2) Those ravenous rats which the CDC warned the country about the other day, entirely consumed somebody but left their hair behind. 3) Somebody actually heard back from NYS Unemployment and they flipped their wig. 4) Fake news. There is no wig, instead it’s the Democrats, specifically Nancy Pelosi and AOC planting conflict actor hairpieces around Long Island City.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My reveries about the hair piece were interrupted when one of those sterilized Long Island Railroad trains came rolling by. Oh boy! My obsessive desires to photograph LIRR rolling stock now satisfied, so one pointed his toes towards that fabulous ribbon of municipal neglect known as the Newtown Creek. Again.

It really feels like I’m walking the stations of some highly industrialized cross at this point, btw. One occasionally feels a sharp sticking pain in the back, and exclaims “Ow, my country.”

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 1st. 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.

might startle

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It’s only been June for 3 days!

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Recent occasion found one at his favorite hole in the fences at Sunnyside Yards, which occurred coincidentally with a flurry of track repair and maintenance activity. Just east of my favorite hole, crews of hard hats were making busy, and under it I spotted these two LIRR engines rolling about.

Maintenance of Way is a new name of game I’ve recently learned, and that’s what these two engines were involved with. Low light photography is the name of my game, and the shot above represents a new physical achievement for me, which is holding the camera steady for 1/6th of a second. That should be impossible.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Realizing at the time that I had gotten lucky with the 1/6th shutter speed, I cracked out a “just in case” shot – above – at a more reliable 1/80th.

My near constant desire to photograph LIRR rolling stock temporarily sated, the camera was allowed a short interval of inactivity, and one continued his endless perambulations. On this particular evening, I was on one of my short walks, an exercising constitutional you might want to call it.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

While crossing Queens Blvd., one took notice of this midden surrounding a DSNY bin under the elevated tracks of the 7 line. My intention when clicking the shutter revolved around the comic level of household trash dumping and litter surrounding it, but when reviewing the photo a few things occurred to me. The typography on the signage is fairly relict, and the bin itself is definitively an older model.

I began wondering how long ago this particular bin was placed here on the corner of 39th street and Queens Blvd. and whether or not I could determine its age based on model and design. Came up empty on both fronts. Any ideas?

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 1st. 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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