The Newtown Pentacle

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langorously under

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Wednesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My long walk on March 14th continued along Newtown Creek, and I visited all of favorite places west of 48th street. Vainglorious thoughts cause me to refer to my circumlocutions of the Newtown Creek as a “patrol.” Irregular in schedule, it seems that about every six weeks or so, I walk the entire shoreline of the waterway, and have done so for nearly fifteen years now.

I really should have gotten into building model airplanes or something.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Dark and lonely is the way I like it. Sure, there are passing cars and trucks, but I’m the only pedestrian usually. It’s actually a bit surreal, truth be told. Moving about in the veritable geographic center of NYC, and more often than not – complete and utter solitude.

It’s been a panacea during the pandemic, I tell’s ya.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I grew up without siblings, so being alone is normal for me. Unfortunately, what’s going through my mind during these long walks is a non stop review of all of my failings. I really work myself over psychologically during these long walks. Why? Well, even if your Jewish mother is dead, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do to yourself what she used to do and rake yourself over the coals for every mistake you’ve ever made dating back to potty training.

A particular quirk of mine involves the way my memory works. I don’t remember anything good that I’ve done or said, instead the milestones in my psychological roadmap revolve around failure.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Sleights or arguments – those stick around. Complimentary relationships or personal victories are soon forgotten. I’ve gotten better about this stuff as I’ve gotten older, but in my late 20’s and early 30’s it was crippling to exist behind these eyes and between the ears. On this particular walk, I was processing painful memories retained from when I was in Junior High School. Pedantic, huh?

For the curious – I remember being embarrassed, and hoping that nobody who has ever met me as an adult would find out about that time in 7th grade when I decided to wear a pair of “Tale Lord” jeans to school and was roundly mocked for months about it.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Recently, I was reminded by a cousin of the great esteem one used to espouse for the band “U2,” in my senior year of high school. Given that I barely listen to that outfit anymore, but still stand behind the statement that the albums “Boy” and “War” were pretty great, I grew embarrassed about that too. Working myself over about all of the stupid things I’ve said and thought over the years…

Part of this thought process revolves around the aging process. We are all different people at different times in our lives, and the trick is to accept that as the years stack up that you’ve evolved – hopefully. That trick eludes me as – since mentioned – my focus and lattice of memories are built on a foundation of professional and personal mistakes, and saying exactly the wrong thing at exactly the right time. My internal Jewish Mother will never let me forget about failures.

You’re supposed to succeed, what do you want, a medal? Mr. Big Shot, remember the time you shit your pants when you were at cousin Nancy’s first wedding in Washington when you were 4? Your father was so embarrassed he had indigestion for the entire Carter administration. What about the time you…

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Saying all that, I positively feed upon all of this ennui. Wouldn’t do it to myself if it didn’t have some positive effect, right? Maybe it’s why I work so hard and so often. Why I strive to try and not be a Dick.

Tomorrow – something completely different, 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

May 11, 2022 at 11:00 am

consistency partook

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Monday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Scuttling, forever scuttling, camera in hand. Filthy black raincoat flapping about in the poison wind, dodging trucks and following railroad tracks down darkened alleys… sometimes you get lucky.

As mentioned last week, a particularly long walk found me in Long Island City’s Blissville section just after sunset, and one was nearby the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge just as a set of railroad signal arms began to chime and flash. It was the garbage train!

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That reddish gizmo you see above is colloquially referred to as a “critter,” I’m told, but it’s officially a Nordco Shuttlewagon model NVX6030. This particular ride can move between 38,000 and 85,000 pounds of rail car all on its own.

The crew operating it were moving rail cars with the green garbage boxes on them to and from a Waste Management facility found to the east of the LIRR’s Blissville Yard for temporary storage. The garbage train is built one rail car at a time, after all.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Waste Management handles transfer operations for the Department of Sanitation of New York. DSNY does curbside collection in their familiar white trucks all over Queens, and then bring their putrescent cargo over to WM’s waste transfer station in Blissville, along the fabulous Newtown Creek.

The black bag or “putrescent” garbage is then complied into those green boxes, which are then loaded onto the rail cars. After a full train of them is assembled, with the Shuttlewagon doing the assembly, a proper locomotive engine will arrive and shackle itself to the garbage train. You’ll notice the garbage train leaving Queens if you hang around the Hell Gate Bridge, where it crosses the East River and heads over to the Bronx. From the Bronx, it goes north and eventually crosses the Hudson River and then travels out onto the continent, leaving our archipelago behind.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

When the critter went into the Blissville Yard, the signal arms rose, and a humble narrator scuttled across the road – answering that age old question of “why does mitch cross the road” with “to see what it looks like from the other side.”

After a short wait, the signal arms began to chime and flash again and the Shuttlewagon returned from the darkened environ of the Blissville Yard.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The crew were hauling empty green cargo boxes back towards Waste Management. A couple of years ago, or maybe a couple of years before Covid (I have no sense of time anymore regarding the last few years), I was told that Waste Management’s Review Avenue Waste Transfer Station handles 950 tons of black bag garbage a day.

There’s another waste transfer station here along Railroad Avenue, a recycling outfit called SimsMetal, which I’ve often profiled here in the past. Just search for “SimsMetal” in the Newtown Pentacle search bar at top right. There’s literally dozens of instances you can read about them, going all the way back to 2009.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Exhausted by my efforts and overwhelmed with joy, one decided to lay down on the sidewalk after the train passed, where an interval of introspective sobbing was enjoyed. One crawled on his hands and knees back up to Greenpoint Avenue before righting himself and resuming a brachiated striding posture before continuing on.

This walk wasn’t over yet, and there was still plenty to run and hide from.


The Newtown Creekathon returns!

On April 10th, the all day death march around Newtown Creek awakens from its pandemic slumber.

DOOM! DOOM! Fully narrated by Mitch Waxman and Will Elkins of Newtown Creek Alliance, this one starts in LIC at the East River, heads through Blissville, the happy place of Industrial Maspeth, dips a toe in Ridgewood and then plunges desperately into Brooklyn. East Williamsburgh and then Greenpoint are visited and a desperate trek to the East River in Brooklyn commences. DOOM! Click here for more information and to reserve a spot – but seriously – what’s wrong with you that you’re actually considering doing this? DOOM!


“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle


Buy a book!


The Newtown Creekathon returns!

On April 10th, the all day death march around Newtown Creek awakens from its pandemic slumber.

DOOM! DOOM! Fully narrated by Mitch Waxman and Will Elkins of Newtown Creek Alliance, this one starts in LIC at the East River, heads through Blissville, the happy place of Industrial Maspeth, dips a toe in Ridgewood and then plunges desperately into Brooklyn. East Williamsburgh and then Greenpoint are visited and a desperate trek to the East River in Brooklyn commences. DOOM! Click here for more information and to reserve a spot – but seriously – what’s wrong with you that you’re actually considering doing this? DOOM!


“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.

public squares

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Friday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Scuttling, I’m always scuttling about on the darkened streets of Western Queens. Filthy black raincoat flapping about in the poison wind, shoes scraping through the piles of blood, scabs, and hair on the pavement. Camera in hand, friendless, like a leaf goeth I. Sometimes the weather is quite tolerable.

Yet again, my footsteps carried me to the Dutch Kills tributary of Newtown Creek, where a quick check in revealed that my beloved Tree of Paradise continues to defy the odds.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There was no particular destination on this mid February walk, which was sort of a long one. I had just sat through another intolerably long and frustrating Governmental Zoom meeting, and needed to blow off some creative steam.

Where you gonna go, huh?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

After visiting Dutch Kills, my path continued up Review Avenue from Borden towards Greenpoint Avenue.

I spotted this concrete pumper truck along the way, and since it caught my eye, I waved the camera at it.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I say it all the time – the Fire Department has the best gear. Seriously, there isn’t a kind of vehicle out there that they don’t have at least one iteration of. A nearby maintenance facility has recently been kitted out with electric vehicles and charging stations, all of which bear the familiar heraldry and branding elements of FDNY.

The FDNY has a huge maintenance facility on Review Avenue which seems to be dedicated to servicing the needs of its EMS Ambulance fleet. In fact, there’s several FDNY service facilities tucked away into discrete corners of the Newtown Creek uplands, all of which are dedicated to handling the various vehicular types they operate.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I wasn’t really planning on heading down to Railroad Avenue on this walk, but luckily for me, this wrecker Tow Truck caught my eye. There’s a gas station and mechanic business found at the corner of Greenpoint and Review Avenues whom this truck belongs to. Based on the iconography adorning it, and its particular paint job, my guess is that this particular business is owned by people from the Sikh culture.

That’s a surmise, though, can’t confirm as I haven’t interacted with anyone from the mechanic garage. Saying that, I’ve noticed medallions hanging off the mirror, and other little cues, that I’ve learned to associate with the Sikh.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It’s a pretty impressive truck, though.

As to why I’m so glad that this truck attracted me down to Railroad Avenue… you’re just going to wait till next week for that one, Lords and Ladies.


The Newtown Creekathon returns!

On April 10th, the all day death march around Newtown Creek awakens from its pandemic slumber.

DOOM! DOOM! Fully narrated by Mitch Waxman and Will Elkins of Newtown Creek Alliance, this one starts in LIC at the East River, heads through Blissville, the happy place of Industrial Maspeth, dips a toe in Ridgewood and then plunges desperately into Brooklyn. East Williamsburgh and then Greenpoint are visited and a desperate trek to the East River in Brooklyn commences. DOOM! Click here for more information and to reserve a spot – but seriously – what’s wrong with you that you’re actually considering doing this? DOOM!


“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

April 1, 2022 at 11:00 am

moon men

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Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One found his boots scraping along the concrete of Railroad Avenue, back in February. A long walk was underway, and the camera’s shutter was a-whirring.

Railroad Avenue was where my pathway led.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

More evidence of the Queens Cobbler was observed. A probable serial killer who leaves behind single shoes to mark their efforts, I’ve been writing about the Cobbler for years. The Cobbler has even left personal messages for me in front of my own domicile.

Chilling, no?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Just up the block from the Cobbler’s latest memento mori, yet another abandoned car was encountered. This one was electric, and tiny. Rumor has it that there’s a community of Homo Floresiensis who have recently moved into and taken up residence in Middle Village. Perhaps this was theirs? May I refer to Middle Village as the Shire now?

Really, the world I live in is so much more interesting than the real one.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I walked up a somewhat private road, past the former Van Iderstine rendering plant, and back out onto Review Avenue.

One wasn’t quite done with Dutch Kills, and since the burning thermonuclear eye of God itself was exiting the sky’s vault – that was what I was waiting for to complete my task.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The shots in today’s post date back to the 12th of February, incidentally. As mentioned in prior posts, the usual three image posts will be cast aside for a bit, in favor of six shot ones until I manage to get back into sync with the actual calendar.

Also, just in case you don’t scroll all the way down to the bottom – The Newtown Creekathon is happening on April 10th.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Having looped back to Review Avenue, a humble narrator pointed his toes back in the direction that he started from – Dutch Kills.

Trucks, trucks, trucks. For some reason, I’m fascinated with trucks at the moment. Don’t know why, they just catch my eye.


The Newtown Creekathon returns!

On April 10th, the all day death march around Newtown Creek awakens from its pandemic slumber.

DOOM! DOOM! Fully narrated by Mitch Waxman and Will Elkins of Newtown Creek Alliance, this one starts in LIC at the East River, heads through Blissville, the happy place of Industrial Maspeth, dips a toe in Ridgewood and then plunges desperately into Brooklyn. East Williamsburgh and then Greenpoint are visited and a desperate trek to the East River in Brooklyn commences. DOOM! Click here for more information and to reserve a spot – but seriously – what’s wrong with you that you’re actually considering doing this? DOOM!


“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.

<!– /wp:paragraph

Written by Mitch Waxman

March 29, 2022 at 11:00 am

parabolic contradiction

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Monday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Scuttling, always scuttling, from place to place with camera in hand. Filthy black raincoat flapping about in the poison wind. Sometimes, the light is absolutely glorious.

We pick up where last week left off, at the Dutch Kills tributary of Newtown Creek in Long Island City. One had set up the camera into its long exposure/landscape modality, with filter and tripod and the rest of the deal. Sunset was just getting underway.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

When leaving HQ, it had already been decided that this was going to be a long walk, and that a lot of ground would be covered. That’s the LIRR’S Cabin M railroad bridge, which was described in some detail in last Friday’s post.

Before you ask, this was a Sunday, and there’s virtually zero chance of getting in the way of freight rail operations along Newtown Creek on a Sunday.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There’s a not exactly secret pathway along the water down here, between the two rail bridges on Dutch Kills. I seldom walk it, as it’s pretty obscure and were I to find myself in trouble down here I’d have a hard time explaining to the 911 operator where I was.

Saying that, I do roll through here occasionally.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s DB Cabin, another LIRR rail bridge, but one whose tracks are normally pretty active. It connects two freight rail yards across the waters of Dutch Kills, and carries the LIRR’s Lower Montauk tracks.

Kills is “old Dutch” for Creek, I’m told.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A new player has emerged in the Blissville yard, which is a good thing. Not sure what they do, but it’s good to see freight rail being embraced by industry.

One continued scuttling along in an easterly direction, towards the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Pictured is DUGABO – Down under the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge Onramp. The surface street is called “Railroad Avenue.”

On my Amtrak travels last fall, I discovered that there’s a street called “Railroad Avenue” in nearly every City that I went looking for one in.

More tomorrow.


The Newtown Creekathon returns!

On April 10th, the all day death march around Newtown Creek awakens from its pandemic slumber.

DOOM! DOOM! Fully narrated by Mitch Waxman and Will Elkins of Newtown Creek Alliance, this one starts in LIC at the East River, heads through Blissville, the happy place of Industrial Maspeth, dips a toe in Ridgewood and then plunges desperately into Brooklyn. East Williamsburgh and then Greenpoint are visited and a desperate trek to the East River in Brooklyn commences. DOOM! Click here for more information and to reserve a spot – but seriously – what’s wrong with you that you’re actually considering doing this? DOOM!


“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.

<!– /wp:paragraph

Written by Mitch Waxman

March 28, 2022 at 11:00 am

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