The Newtown Pentacle

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Archive for the ‘Upper West Side’ Category

magic evening

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Nothing’s easy.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One hates going into the City, or Manhattan for those of you who didn’t grow up in Brooklyn or Queens, so very much that a tendency has developed in a humble narrator to cluster together errands and get them all done in a single go. Tax season is upon us all, so a trip to my “numbers guy” and his accountancy office was required. Additionally, a quick stop at “Beards and Hats” or the BH Photo store to purchase supplies for various endeavors was on the list.

When I left the neighborhood, I put the guy pictured above in charge, but I think a poor choice was made regarding my choice of deputy given that he was out cold before I even got on the R train.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A quick stop in Jackson Heights was executed first, wherein Our Lady of the Pentacle and myself indulged in a meal at one of the local curry shops. Our chosen dining location was of the buffet type, and while filling a plate with exotically spiced chicken and well cooked rice and vegetables, a humble narrator was approached by a strange woman.

She informed me that I was “going to purgatory” and walked away. Despite my questioning of her curious pronouncement, that was all she had to say. My theory is that she misread the Newtown Creek Alliance “NCA” hat I was wearing as NRA, but then again she was probably just another nutcase. I attract them flies to poop, after all.

After eating, Our Lady and myself climbed the stairs to the 7 line subway tracks and boarded a train heading towards the Shining City itself.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As is my habit, whilst on the 7, I found a relatively clean window and pointed the camera at various points of interest. Pictured above is the Sunnyside Yards, and the fleet of trains which LIRR, NJ Transit, and Amtrak store in Queens between peak demand periods – the so called “rush hours.”

To anyone reading this who works in Government, or the Transit sector, or in the Non Profit Industrial Complex – the old 9-5 concept only applies to you. Corporate America has long abandoned the “English week” of eight hour workdays. The rest of us are doing everything we can to keep our heads above water, and that involves staying late and coming in early as well as showing up sometimes on a Saturday to help out. Additionally, “rush hour” begins at about 5:30 a.m. and lasts till 10:30 a.m. due to staggered work shifts. In the afternoon, it actually starts around three and lasts till nine. Please staff accordingly.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

We arrived in Manhattan, and boarded the vertigo inducing escalators at the 7 line’s terminal stop at Hudson Yards.

“Beards and Hats” was – as always – a model of customer facing commercial efficiency, and even with a bit of browsing amongst the shelves we were out of there in about a half hour.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Being a relatively nice day, and knowing that lousy weather had been forecasted for the middle of the week, we opted to walk from BH photo at 34th street to our tax appointment with the Accountants nearby 72nd and Broadway.

Upon arrival at the office, however, we were told that our number cruncher was seriously behind schedule and we would have to cool our heels in the waiting room for at least an hour. Everybody else in the waiting room had “gone to the phones” as I descirbe it, including Our Lady of the Pentacle. I instructed her to text me if anything sped up, and that I’d be back in a little while if she didn’t mind waiting without me. She didn’t.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One didn’t want to wander too far afield, and I wasn’t fully equipped (or inspired) to do full on night shots, but – I did have a tiny little tripod with me. A couple of set ups followed, the one above is looking downtown along Broadway towards Columbus Circle.

Incidentally, has the Mayor considered the fact that if he pulls the statue of Columbus down and renames the roundabout at 59th and Broadway, he will be forced to then rename Columbus Avenue and compel Columbia University to change their name? Just saying…

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A long time ago, I used to live waaaaay north of “the Dorilton” building found at west 71st street. It’s a handsome beaux arts “block of flats,” built in 1902 and a landmark. It was originally called “the Weed” when it was built, after its developer Hamilton Weed. It’s architects were the firm of Janes and Leo.

For some reason, it’s always filled me with a sense of foreboding and seems to be pulsing with some latent occult potency. God only knows what goes in there, but who can guess what the moneyed classes do behind closed doors? There’s probably roasted baby being consumed in there. brrrr…

– photo by Mitch Waxman

After finally sitting down with the accountant, and working out exactly the financial tithe to war and waste which Our Lady and I owed to both the Federal and NYS political establishments, we decided that a quick trip back to Astoria was in order. Our little dog Zuzu had been alone all day waiting for us, and you don’t want to make an elderly dog angry. The plan was simple – get to 42nd street and then transfer to a Queens bound R.

Have I mentioned that the “A” in MTA is for “adventure?”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

After waiting for a period of time considerably in excess of my visit to “Beards and Hats” and which promised to approach that of my delayed appointment with the Accountant, we decided that the likelihood of an “R” showing up was slight. MTA hit us with a great fakeout when an N line train appeared using the rolling stock you normally see on the R line.

They have some sense of humor, I tell you, those guys and gals at the MTA.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Having resigned ourselves to walking from 31st street back to HQ, which is only two blocks from an R stop as a note, the N pulled into Queens Plaza and announced that the train was going to go express to the terminal stop at Ditmars and 31st. “Why do they do this” asked several of my fellow riders. Having zero barriers or inhibitions about talking to strangers, a humble narrator had to opine to my fellow commuters the probabile reason we were standing on a train platform in Queens Plaza at 8:30 p.m. after getting turfed off the one we were on.

Simply put, MTA rates its on time performance by measuring when a train leaves one terminal stop as compared to that of its arrival at the one on the other end of the line. Should a train set get delayed doing local stops, particularly common in Manhattan, MTA’s practice is to switch the train to express to make up the lost time. This is why you’ll periodically see the train you’ve been waiting for speed by the platform with no one on board. Their (MTA Bosses) job performance review is more important to them than yours, and you’ve been cited several times for showing up late to work because of their desire to be “on time.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

While we were waiting, one again waved the camera around at points of passing interest. Luckily, the 7 was sitting at the platform for a good ten minutes so I had something nice and static to photograph.

Were there a so called “walking transfer” available between Queens Plaza (upstairs) and Queensboro Plaza (downstairs) we would have tried our luck with catching an R or M back to our actual destination but c’est la vie. Unfortunately, MTA still operates the IRT and IND lines as if they the separate entities of the dual contract era, even when it comes to fare control.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

When a local stop N line train finally arrived, we boarded. A debate about which stations are currently under construction began, wherein Our Lady was forced to ask google about it. I know this is probably heresy, but if there was a single piece of signage explaining it to the ridership found in the cars…

Bah. I relieved the shopping cart guy from watch when I got home, and got back to my malingering amongst the rolling hills of almond eyed Astoria.

I did wonder a bit about that purgatory comment from the crazy lady back in Jackson Heights.


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Written by Mitch Waxman

March 9, 2018 at 11:00 am

many went

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My favorite place, when I was a kid.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

On Facebook the other day, I mentioned to my little collection of friends that I had signed up for one of those NYCID cards in pursuance of all the free stuff you get in return. There’s a collection of institutions which normally cost a larger than you’d expect fee at the front door, and the NYCID card gets you a free membership which negates any sort of payment for 12 months.

One of them is the American Museum of Natural History. You present your NYCID at the front desk, and you get a complimentary year of membership to the institution.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I was in the City anyway, and had a couple of hours to kill in between appointments, so I hopped on the B and went over to 81st and Central Park West and did the deed. Having a little time to kill, I strolled around the museum before it got too crowded. By about 12:30 p.m., I had discovered where every tourist visiting NYC with small kids in tow goes in the afternoon and given my lack of patience with crowds – well, it was time to head back to Queens and get back to work at HQ anyway after about an hour and fifteen minutes.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I did manage to visit a few exhibits. I’ve always been kind of partial to the ice age mammals, personally, but let’s face it – you don’t go to Natural History to see Mammoth bones. You go for the dinosaurs.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As mentioned above, when I was a kid this was my favorite place in the world. Last time I spent any length of time at the museum was back in the early 90’s when I lived not too far away at the corner of 100th street and Broadway. I had been hanging around that section of the Upper West Side for awhile, going back to the late 80’s when I worked a college job as a non Union doorman in a building I would later live in.

Mostly boring work, but good for studying, and I had to get physical a few times with crack heads who wanted to use the lobby to smoke up. The neighborhood gentrified quickly, and became both crack head free and banal, back in the late 90’s and by 2003 – Astoria beckoned. I’ve been back to the Natural History museum just once in the interval since then, accompanying a buddy who was drawing a comic for Marvel and needed to do some Pterodactyl and Archaeopteryx research.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The NYCID thing was actually kind of painless to handle. I made an appointment, at LaGuardia Community College of all places, and showed up with proof of address and a couple of other required documents. The whole thing took about 15 minutes and the card came in the mail about a week later. I’m signed up at Moving Image here in Astoria and at Natural History, so far.

The part I’m excited about is the free zoo membership, of course. Only problem with that is that I have to go to Bronx Zoo to do the signup, which is a great example of the macabre sense of humor which New York City exhibits. Expect many, many, copulating monkeys at this – your Newtown Pentacle – in 2016.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The crowds at American Museum of Natural History really begin to dense up in the early afternoon, and as I was leaving it was noticed that there was a good sized lineup of people out on the steps waiting their turn to stand on the lines inside. Have to say – one of the many things which has changed since a humble narrator was young is that back in the 80’s and 90’s you were pretty much alone in these museums on week days.

There’s no way you could just drop yourself down on the floor and throw open a sketch book with all the tourists clodding about these days. New York really isn’t for New Yorkers anymore, I guess.

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Written by Mitch Waxman

February 22, 2016 at 11:00 am

snorted heavily

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Mr. Waxman’s break continues.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Some kind of amphibious dog or bear, this critter finds itself imprisoned in Manhattan for the amusement of the children of that Shining City’s elites in Central Park at the zoo. As to the reasons for this presentation of archive material at this, your Newtown Pentacle, suffice to say that one such as myself is barely able to get the laundry done.

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Written by Mitch Waxman

December 26, 2013 at 7:30 am

great suddenness

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“follow” me on Twitter at @newtownpentacle

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The spectacle of the FDNY deployment on 59th behind me (as detailed in yesterday’s posting), while descending into the underground bunkers of concrete and steel which house the subway platforms, a commonly photographed view of Central Park was laid out before me.

It was decided, as part of my “doing a Costanza” experiment, to break one of my primal rules and go for the “easy meat.” This is where all of the night shooting that I’ve been engaging in all winter , accomplished in the preternatural darkness of Queens, begins to pay off.

from wikipedia

 George returns from the beach and decides that every decision that he has ever made has been wrong, and that his life is the exact opposite of what it should be. George tells this to Jerry in Monk’s Cafe, who convinces him that “if every instinct you have is wrong, then the opposite would have to be right”. George then resolves to start doing the complete opposite of what he would do normally. He orders the opposite of his normal lunch, and he introduces himself to a beautiful woman (played by Dedee Pfeiffer) who happens to order exactly the same lunch, saying, “My name is George. I’m unemployed and I live with my parents.” To his surprise, she is impressed and agrees to date him.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It sounds simple, really.

Open your aperture and increase the iso speed, drop the exposure time.

Hand held shots in the dark, however, are not just how the camera is set. There’s a whole series of things to remember, such as breathing out while depressing the shutter, and shooting in short bursts- which are actually military sniper techniques. I’ve even found that a different hand posture is required to hold the camera as well. The great thing about photography is that there is always some new mountain to climb.

Mine happens to be in NYC, and it is badly lit.

from howto.wired.com

The first thing pros will suggest is to ratchet up your camera’s ISO or “light sensitivity” setting. Traditionally, high speed film (ISO 800 and higher) was better suited for low light photography. Unfortunately, where high speed film produced enlarged grain, which could often be used for artist effect, higher ISOs on digital cameras tend to just produce color noise — little specks of red green and blue scattered across your image.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Were I to have the opportunity to do this shot “right,” a tripod would certainly be employed. There would also be around 10-15 flashes on radio triggers at various points around the scene- especially a few up in the trees. I’d have my lens set to a small aperture to control the flares around the street lights, and my iso speed would be at 100. This would be a fifteen to 20 second exposure under such conditions. Unfortunately, all I own are two flashes and no radio trigger, so this is a purely intellectual exercise.

I keep wondering about that guy in the shot above, what’s he doing in Central Park all by himself in the dark?

People walk around like they’re safe or something these days…

from ghosttheory.com

An assistant-manager at a certain hotel that overlooks the park, Barry told me that on the day in question – which was a sunny weekday in either June or July 1997 – he was strolling through the park, while on his lunch-break from his then-job as a store-worker.

All was utterly normal until, as he approached one particularly tree- and bush-shrouded area, he was shocked to the core when, out of nowhere, an unknown animal burst wildly through the foliage.

Barry claimed to me that the creature was man-like in shape and covered in hair of a distinctly rusty color – but, unlike the towering Bigfoot of the west-coast, was little more than three-feet in height. Little-Foot might have been a far better term to use, I mused, as I listened to the very odd tale.

Barry could only watch with a mixture of shock and awe as the diminutive man-beast charged across the path in front of him at a distance of no more than about twenty feet, came to a screeching halt for a couple of seconds to stare intently into his eyes, and then headed off at high speed again, before finally vanishing: beneath a small bridge inside the perimeter of the park, no less.

Written by Mitch Waxman

April 4, 2013 at 12:15 am

breathing body

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

Before leaving Manhattan to transit back to the blessed soils of ancient Astoria, while walking down West 59th street (or Central Park South, as the well off would prefer) the other night, one was was suddenly confronted with a corruption of the ordinary scene when the FDNY showed up in no small numbers.

From what I could surmise, one of the many hotels along the edge of Central Park was in the midst of an emergency which demanded their presence.

from wikipedia

Central Park South is the portion of 59th Street that forms the southern border of Central Park in the borough of Manhattan in New York City. It runs from Columbus Circle at Eighth Avenue on the west to Grand Army Plaza at Fifth Avenue on the east. Entry into Central Park is provided at Scholars Gate at Fifth Avenue, Artists Gate at Sixth, Artisans Gate at Seventh, and Merchants Gate at Eighth Avenue.

Central Park South contains four famous upscale hotels: the Plaza Hotel, the Ritz-Carlton (Central Park), which is the flagship of the Ritz-Carlton chain, the Park Lane, and JW Marriott Essex House. Central Park South is one of the most cosmopolitan streets in the world, and is located steps away from Fifth Avenue and Madison Avenue shopping, the Time Warner Center, and Carnegie Hall. Some of the most expensive apartments in the United States are found here.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

No concern whatsoever possessed me for the actual emergency, of course. Normal human empathy is an under developed organ in my emotional quiver, and the fate of Manhattan’s upper class visitors is well beyond any threshold at which my meager talents and abilities would be measurably effective. Like one of the anonymous ghouls that populate popular cinematic fiction, flesh eating and mindless, I was attracted by the tumult of flashing lights and sirens and stumbled forward.

from wikipedia

The flesh-hungry undead have been a fixture of world mythology dating at least since The Epic of Gilgamesh, in which the goddess Ishtar promises:

I will knock down the Gates of the Netherworld, I will smash the door posts, and leave the doors flat down, and will let the dead go up to eat the living! And the dead will outnumber the living!

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The whole event was very exciting, with strangely attired people carrying esoteric equipment about. A great sense of urgency, along with an omnipresent flow of vehicular traffic which snaked along the street negotiating the narrows formed by the gargantuan service trucks employed by fire fighting personnel. Multiple vehicles all were flashing their lights, and I counted at least one ladder and two other units as well as a couple of Ambulances. That’s a lot of light on a fairly dark street.

The German tourists were positively agog.

from wikipedia

Most of the engines in FDNY’s fleet are Seagrave Commander II’s and Seagrave Marauder II’s and include 500 gallon water tanks and either 1000 or 2000 gallon per minute pumps. The 2000gpm pumps are primarily located in the high-rise districts and are considered high pressure pumpers. With the loss of apparatus which occurred as a result of the September 11 attacks, FDNY began to use engines made by other companies including Ferrara and E-One. The FDNY is making the move from a fixed cab to a “Split-Tilt” cab, so the Seagrave Marauder II Pumper will fill the FDNY’s new order for 69 new pumpers.

Truck companies are generally equipped with Seagrave aerials. Ladder length varies and often depends on the geographic area to which the unit is assigned. Those in the older sections of the city often use tiller trucks to allow for greater maneuverability. Before Seagrave was the predominant builder, Mack CF’s built with Baker tower ladders were popular. Most FDNY aerials are built with 75’, 95′ or 100′ ladders. Tiller ladders, rear mount ladders and mid-mount tower ladders are the types of trucks used. In 2010, a new contract was issued for 10–100′ rear-mount ladder trucks to Ferrara Fire Apparatus, using a chassis and stainless steel cab custom-designed to FDNY specifications. Delivery of the first of these new trucks is anticipated in the 1st quarter of 2011.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Then the cops showed up.

I’ve always obeyed a singular rule in the Shining City of Manhattan, which is to depart and quit any location currently occupied once the cops show up. Following this dictum has kept your humble narrator from experiencing several unpleasant moments over the years, and kept my relations with the Police at an absolute minimum.

Accordingly, one spun upon his well worn heels and headed east toward the subway, which would carry me away from the Shining City towards the rolling hills of raven haired Astoria via its deeply buried tunnels.

from wikipedia

The FDNY, the largest municipal fire department in the United States, and the second largest in the world after the Tokyo Fire Department, has approximately 11,080 uniformed officers and firefighters and over 3,300 uniformed EMTs and paramedics. It faces extraordinarily varied firefighting challenges in many ways unique to New York. In addition to responding to building types that range from wood-frame single family homes to high-rise structures, there are many secluded bridges and tunnels, as well as large parks and wooded areas that can give rise to major brush fires. New York is also home to one of the largest subway systems in the world, consisting of hundreds of miles of tunnel with electrified track. The multifaceted challenges they face add yet another level of firefighting complexity and have led to the FDNY’s motto, New York’s Bravest.

Written by Mitch Waxman

April 3, 2013 at 12:15 am

what manner

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

Hideous memory recalls an age whereupon your humble narrator dwelt within the Shining City of Manhattan.

The Upper West Side, as I knew it (I lived upper upper west side, just a few blocks shy of Harlem), was a bit seedier in those days than it is today. The neighborhood has gone strictly upper crust in the last decade and has in the process lost an idiosyncratic charm which once possessed it.

Atavist professional relationships from that period of my life persist, which have drawn me uptown on a semi regular basis over the last few weeks.

from wikipedia

The Upper West Side is bounded on the south by 58th Street, Central Park to the east, and the Hudson River to the west. Its northern boundary is somewhat less obvious. Although it has historically been cited as 110th Street, which fixes the neighborhood alongside Central Park, it is now sometimes considered to be 125th Street, encompassing Morningside Heights. This reflects demographic shifts in Morningside Heights, as well as the tendency of real estate brokers to co-opt the tony Upper West Side name when listing Morningside Heights and Harlem apartments. The area north of West 96th Street and east of Broadway is also identified as Manhattan Valley. The overlapping area west of Amsterdam Avenue to Riverside Park was once known as the Bloomingdale District.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

An Accountant and an Optometrist are my only ties to this place, for like me, most of my friends have long vacated. The latter relationship, the one with my Optometrist, has been developing into a bit of an ongoing and somewhat endless saga but I won’t bore you with tales of incompetence today. A few old acquaintances still inhabit here, but most of the restaurants and bars frequented during a long tenancy are either lost or have transformed beyond all recognition due to the influences of the Real Estate Industrial Complex.

Big Nick’s is still open, thank christ.

Regarding the legendary Sal and Carmines Pizza… “Hank the Elevator Guy” texted me the other day with this exact quote:

“Ah, even with sal now making pizza for god this place still got it, carmine is still there looking like he always did, pissed off. But the pizza is just the way it always is. Pretty fucking good.”

from businessweek.com

…thousands of homebuilders, real estate agents, civil-rights leaders, and bankers who aim to deliver a similar message to Congress: Preserve government support for housing. Together, these groups represent what one might call, with apologies to President Dwight D. Eisenhower, a real estate-industrial complex that transcends partisan politics, geography, and socio-economic divides.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One could simply take the Astoria to Manhattan bound train to midtown and transfer from the Broadway local to… a Broadway local… but instead the path one elects to follow is defined by walking from 5th and 59th up to Broadway in the 70’s. Interesting Architecture on the way, well cared for, Upper West Side is the poster child for gentrification.

Not for me anymore, but not some blasted hell hole. Me, I like blasted hell holes.

The only part of the walk I mind is when the carriage horses, whose tenders await customers along Central Park South, gaze at me. I fully understand the role and reality of working animals, attempt not to project an anthropomorphized soul upon them, but it is impossible to not feel empathy for pack animals who spend their days around automobile traffic.

I feel guilty when these critters look me directly in my eye, how about you?

from aspca.org

The ASPCA believes that carriage horses were never meant to live and work in today’s urban setting. In addition to the dangers of working in congested areas, these horses spend their days directly behind cars, trucks and buses, inhaling their fumes. Given the constraints and challenges that New York City presents, and as the primary enforcer of New York City’s carriage horse laws, the ASPCA does not believe New York City can meet the needs of its horses. Neither the New York City environment nor the current law can provide horses with the fundamental necessities to ensure their safety and well being.

Written by Mitch Waxman

April 2, 2013 at 12:15 am

fainting and gasping

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

Hot Dog!

New York City sure is full of them.

Food carts are everywhere in the City these days, selling everything that’s bad for you. Sugary Soda Pop, high salt pretzels, even fatty waffles and doughnuts. Makes you wonder sometimes. Out here in Queens, our food carts do grilled chicken on a stick or shaved ice flavored with fresh squeezed. Only places I reliably see actual Hot Dog food carts seem to be around the places that Manhattan folks go- Shea Stadium Citifield or that big mall in Elmhurst.

from shopqueenscenter.com

You take Manhattan, we’ll take Queens Center – with hundreds of top retail names, a delectable food court and an easy-to-shop, easy-to-love vibe. If you want it, it’s probably here, from A to Z. Stores like American Eagle and Aldo to Baker’s Shoes, Bath and Body Works, Charlotte Russe, Club Monaco, Coach, The Disney Store all the way up the alphabet to Urban Outfitters, Victoria’s Secret and White House/Black Market. Factor in a huge H&M, Modell’s Sporting Goods, Macy’s, JCPenney and more, and the Queens Center experience truly delivers.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A principle of design which has been in vogue for much of my “career” in advertising and publishing has been “less is more.”

A somewhat decadent notion which was no doubt invented by Czech or German socialist tea drinkers, the theory dictates that graphic communication is best accomplished with as few elements and in as simple a manner and design as possible. Notice the violations of this in the shot above, wherein the words “Hot Dog” appear no less than seven distinct times.

from wikipedia

The term “dog” has been used as a synonym for sausage since 1884 and accusations that sausage makers used dog meat date to at least 1845. In the early 20th century, consumption of dog meat in Germany was common. The suspicion that sausages contained dog meat was “occasionally justified”.

According to a myth, the use of the complete phrase “hot dog” in reference to sausage was coined by the newspaper cartoonist Thomas Aloysius “TAD” Dorgan around 1900 in a cartoon recording the sale of hot dogs during a New York Giants baseball game at the Polo Grounds. However, TAD’s earliest usage of “hot dog” was not in reference to a baseball game at the Polo Grounds, but to a bicycle race at Madison Square Garden, in The New York Evening Journal December 12, 1906, by which time the term “hot dog” in reference to sausage was already in use. In addition, no copy of the apocryphal cartoon has ever been found.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Hot Dog carts spend their days in Manhattan, of course, where they earn.

Just like the rest of us.

What most of the folks who partake in the salty cylinders of fat which are fired out of these weapons of commerce, and what they really don’t want to know, is where the carts are at night. Some stay in town, traveling uptown and toward the Hudson. Most head to Brooklyn and Queens. Many make a bee line to grimy warehouses along Northern Blvd., or Court Square in LIC, or to factory workshops and open air yards which adjoin that infamous exemplar of municipal neglect known simply and everlastingly as the Newtown Creek.

from wikipedia

The first food carts probably came into being at the time of the early Greek and Roman civilisations, with traders converting old hand-carts and smaller animal drawn carts into mobile trading units. Carts have the distinct advantage of being able to be moved should a location not be productive in sales, as well as transporting goods to/from storage to the place chosen from which to trade.

However, the use of carts exploded with the coming of the railways. Firstly, highly mobile customers required food and drink to keep them warm within the early open carriages. Secondly locomotives needed to stop regularly to take on coal and water, and hence allow their passengers use the toilets, eat and drink. Thirdly, few early trains had any form of buffet or dining car. Finally, when passengers did arrive at their destination, or at a point when they needed to switch trains or modes of transport, some refresehment was required, particularly for poorer passengers who could not afford to stay in the railway-owned hotels. This expansion lead to a mutually successful relationship, with some of the first concession stands and laws developing from mobile traders operating from restricted railway property. This form of concession based operation can be seen still in may countries, but at its most original in the under developed stations and infrastructure of Africa and South East Asia

Written by Mitch Waxman

March 26, 2013 at 12:15 am

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