The Newtown Pentacle

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Thursday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It’s all still there! Despite what the television said, the hot war between Antifa and the Boogaloos hasn’t actually burned the City away and left it looking like Dresden. Son of a gun! That’s the Helen Laraway Tug, spotted as it passed by an old fruit pier in lower Manhattan which has been converted over to a vehicle maintenance facility for the DSNY in modernity. That’s where the proverbial banana boat used to dock, that pier, and it’s the one that your grandmother would accuse new neighbors of having arrived into NYC via.

As mentioned yesterday, a long-standing resolution of mine has been to get the hell out of Queens for an afternoon and go ride on the ferries. This is the first year in more than a decade that I haven’t spent a good number of my summertime evenings riding around on boats and photographing the maritime world, so I had to do something about that before it turns cold and dark again.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Brooklyn Bridge – still there. Lower Manhattan too.

My plan for the day was to a) spend as little as possible and b) get as far away from Queens as was feasible. The Astoria line NYC Ferry travels south along the East River. Its new north terminal stop is at 90th st. in Manhattan, then there’s Astoria, Roosevelt Island, LIC North, 34th st., Brooklyn Navy Yard, and the southern terminal stop is at Pier 11 Wall Street in lower Manhattan. From there, the Staten Island Ferry is about a ten minute walk away.

The NYC Ferry Fair was $2.75, and the Staten Island Ferry is free. That’s “A.” Staten Island accomplished “B.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Upon debarking from the NYC Ferry, a dredging operation being committed by the DonJon company was noticed. This is just south of Pier 11, and I can make several presumptions as to who, when, what, where, and why. Thing is that I’d just be speculating that; the EDC, in some time prior to March, decided to expand Ferry operational capabilities here at the foot of Wall Street, to please their masters in the real estate industry. Speculation, however, so don’t take that to the bank.

Tomorrow – what I saw from onboard the big orange boat.

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, September 7th. 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.

Written by Mitch Waxman

September 10, 2020 at 1:00 pm

nerve specialist

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Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A humble narrator is taking this last week of summer off from narrating humbly, so single shots from past adventures are on offer. I’m out and about all week, if my plans work out, and will be back with fresh views of a City that doth not sleep after Labor Day.

That’s a United States Coast Guard ship pictured above, nosing into a pier on the Hudson River at some event I was attending a few years ago. A group of VIP’s were invited onboard.

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, August 31st. 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.

Written by Mitch Waxman

September 1, 2020 at 11:00 am

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Once more, the breach is a Monday, so unto it.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One week ago today did a humble narrator ride the subway for the first time in 140 days. An appointment for an inquisition about my homeostasis required a visit to the island of Manhattan, where a team of medical professionals awaited me with forms and needles. One was measured, weighed, scrutinized closely. At one point, a woman walked into the room and jabbed a barb into my left arm. Vials, she filled, with my blood. Test results were arrived at, and the Doctor intoned that one might just keep on living, for just a little while longer. One of the tests was for Covid, which confirmed my assertion that – so far – I’ve been lucky enough to avoid infection.

The subway ride was uneventful, but for the chin mask guy who alternated between grasping the subway pole and jamming his fingers into the various mucous membrane lined holes on his head.

Seriously, I’ve always wondered about the characters in Zombie movies who a) either pretend that what they’re seeing isn’t happening, b) hide the fact that they’ve been bitten and are infected, c) start fights over unrelated to the crisis issues which end up getting everybody killed. Then, along comes Covid, and…

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One wandered a short few blocks after being the subject of scientific scrutiny, and a decision to splurge a bit was arrived at. Instead of climbing back down into the sweating concrete bunkers of the MTA, with their piston driven clouds of disgust, one instead summoned a ride back to Astoria. Mask on, windows open, one rode back to Queens in the manner of a big fellow. The driver’s name was Mohammed, he hailed from Pakistan originally, and we had a long conversation about the relative virtues of several Halal Food Carts which we were both familiar with. I still recommend the guy in the food truck on Steinway and 34th for that particular fix.

I have not missed Manhattan at all, thought I.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As is my habit, since I try to take advantage of the fact that I’m actually paying for the ride, the camera was busy as we exited the island of Manhattan and crossed over the spectacular Queensboro Bridge. As you can see, last Monday was one of the hot hazy and humid days which have plagued the Megalopolis for the last week or so. At least here in Queens, nobody grasps my arm and pops holes in it to draw out my blood.

Tomorrow, some shots from the City bringing the show directly to my front door.

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 27th. 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.

Written by Mitch Waxman

July 27, 2020 at 1:00 pm

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Ughhh… Manhattan.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One has experienced a trying few days. To start, I had to go to Manhattan over the weekend to attend a lecture involving maps and Newtown Creek, so… had to go into the City. For those of you reading this new to the area, most of us who grew up in NYC will refer to Manhattan as “The City.” Secondly, I made my way over to Sunnyside on Sunday to photograph the St. Pat’s Day for All parade, since I had many acquaintances and friends who march in it. Lastly, while developing Sunday’s parade shots, and Saturday’s City photos, my computer up and died on me mid edit.

Not sure yet if the device is recoverable, as it’s about ten years out of manufacture date. This began a significantly annoying process for me.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Freelancing out of the office here at HQ, one has seldom encountered problems with the Mac, but they have happened on occasion. Accordingly, a humble narrator is fairly adept at solving and fixing both the bugbears and the kernel panics when they appear. Unfortunately, what’s going on at the moment seems to be a hardware issue, and as mentioned, this is a fairly old computer. It’s in tip top shape, otherwise, and has been working like a champ for years and years.

Luckily, a fairly modern laptop is available to me most of the day, and a quickly arrived at install of the Adobe Creative Cloud software is now on it. I’m trying to recreate the highly specific photo developing environment found on my Mac tower, but this hasn’t been the easiest task so far. My old tower ran a comparatively archaic form of Photoshop, so the new app offers a bit of a learning curve, and the work flow can resume albeit a bit slower. The only good news in all this is I’ve finally got an updated series of lens correction profiles in photoshop.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

If things look a bit odd for the next couple of days, it’s because I’m moving these images through unfamiliar digital terrain. This entire situation is categorically one I did not need, and is akin to an auto accident. Ideally, I’d love to get the old machine up and running again, and I’m going to try a few other fairly esoteric methods to access and repair it. Thing is, if it’s hardware – as in a failed component…

I’d have to bring the damn thing into the City to get it fixed, which is a “maybe.”


“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

March 4, 2020 at 11:00 am

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What’s expected?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s the first phase of the Hudson Yards project pictured above. What’s expected of one such as myself would be to condemn, criticize, or condemn the place. Yes? Ok then.

Here’s my three “C’s.” I personally find the design of Hudson Yards to be quite off, given its total embrace of 75 years old urban planning chestnuts like “superblocks” and “towers in a park.” Hudson Yards ignores its surrounding neighborhoods contextually, offers a harsh and unfriendly pedestrian space, and is guilty of architectural banality. No thought seems to have been given on the subject of its relationship to the position of the burning thermonuclear eye of god itself’s journey through the sky, as the reflective tower facades cause harsh light to broadcast and strobe about from on high. Even sunglasses won’t help when walking westwards on 32nd or 33rd streets in the morning, or eastwards from the Hudson coast of Manhattan in the afternoon/evening.

Walking through the “zone,” I was keenly aware of how unwelcoming the place seemed, displaying emotional sterility while trying too hard to be “artsy.” Every design attempt at being “playful or whimsical” reminded me of a crass and cheaply rendered version of Disneyworld. Rust, peeling paint, and cracked cement is already visible on and around the “Bloomberg Building” for instance.

Homogeneity is what the City Planners like, and in Hudson Yards their vision is writ large. These folks hate the heterogenous chaos of cities, preferring the neat appearance of shopping mall gallerias. Long story short, I’m not a fan.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

On the other hand, gazing upon these shots, which were gathered up on the High Line, I have to remind myself what used to be here – which was a whole lot of stuff nobody wants. Long corridors of graffiti covered concrete walls vouchsafing the rail yards below, open air drug dealing, and more prostitutes than you could shake a stick at (pun intended). This was a “dead” section in busy midtown Manhattan, incongruously sandwiched in by neighborhoods that didn’t end two to three blocks short of the Hudson. The long eastward trek from the Javitz Center for convention goers back to the subways and Penn Station, the automobile commuter focused street design… the west side in the 30’s was never a destination you’d want to tell your mom you were heading towards.

Is this incarnation better? Worse? Only time will tell.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

What I can tell you, after walking the camera through and reviewing the photos gathered, is that every single minute I’ve spent opposing the Sunnyside Yards proposals here in Queens has been time well spent. The fancy pants crowd which is in favor of the gargantuan endeavor of decking the Sunnyside Yards doesn’t really understand what it would entail. They haven’t fully digested the reality of the construction or come to the understanding that to justify the colossal $22 billion estimated cost of the deck, you cannot build small or even medium – you have to build big. That’s an economic reality.

Look at that shot above, and imagine you’re standing in Queens Plaza. Now you’re starting to realize what’s what and why we have to keep this from happening in Queens.


“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 2, 2020 at 1:00 pm

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