The Newtown Pentacle

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So, what have we learned?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s a view of the Montauk Cutoff above, one which took me a bit of time to line up and shoot, so there it is. While I was carefully manipulating the camera, so too was a humble narrator being closely observed by the local gendarmes, who subtly drove back and forth past me a few times. Same cops, before you ask. They didn’t stop, but wanted me to notice that they had noticed me. Meh.

One thing which I had to reconcile early on in my life was that people notice me. Old ladies clutch their purse, children whimper, men curl their fists when I near. The monster I see in silvered glass reflections hints at why.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There’s some sort of art installation under the Long Island Expressway, where the 19th street footbridge leads to, and it’s found on a short walkway which connects to 21st street on the north. The artwork is motion activated and involves the use of LED lights which cycle through several primary colors. For what used to be a dark and fairly scary choice, night time walking path wise, all that bright light is nice and welcome.

It’s the furnace light of the gentrification engine though… and it’s coming to Borden and Hunters Point Avenue’s next. Mark my words, the process has already started on what the City Planning crowd calls the “Borden Avenue Corridor.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The shot above was actually handheld, rather than using a tripod for camera support as I did in the first two photos. Stay nimble, say I.

Another set of scenes from a quarantine, next week, at this – your Newtown Pentacle.

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.

Written by Mitch Waxman

May 29, 2020 at 11:00 am

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DUPBO.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Avoiding population centers as I’ve been, it’s been a while since I’ve been to the DUPBO (Down Under the Pulaski Bridge Onramp) area in Long Island City’s Hunters Point section, preferring the more industrial quarters further east… Blissville, Industrial Maspeth… all of my happy places. Yes, the illegally docked boats are now observed three and sometimes four deep here in DUPBO, bobbing around in Newtown Creek and tied off to trees and fence posts. This activity has largely undone the positive influence of the HarborLab operation on the shoreline, but the only laws which matter are those which are enforced and the powers that be have incongruously looked the other way at this behavior, so…

Live and let live, right? Nothing really matters, ultimately. It’s all just a fiction.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One of the things which drew me down here was a rumor of a tent colony having been set up under the Pulaski Bridge, which turned out to be spurious. There are a couple of people living in RV’s down here, one of whom has a particularly enthusiastic dog, but nothing that could qualify as a tent city. Last guy I met living in a tent down here was a veteran, and I helped hook him up with shelter via my pals in the liberal/progressive/socialist conspiratorial gobernemental cabal. They’re so evil, I tell ya.

I often consider starting a blog aimed at the Fox News crowd. Headlines like “Amphibian Genderfluid found in vaccines” or “Evidence of Devil worship in China revealed” are probably too high brow, though. Is “Trans Toad VAX horror” more like it?

Hey, check me out! Hangs out under bridges, starts to troll. Hah!

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The Long Island Railroad usually has an engine sitting nearby and ready to roll with its works active for some reason, and a particularly long in the tooth one greeted me the other night. A maintenance of way tool, EMD MP15AC is what it’s manufacturer (General Motors) would have described it as during the production years of 1974 and 1985. I’m told it’s a “diesel switcher/road-switcher locomotive” which delivers 1,502 HP.

I took a picture of it. There you go.

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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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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Dutch Kills.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It’s become a fairly rare thing for a humble narrator to be out and about whilst the burning thermonuclear eye of god itself is still wobbling about in the sky, but just the other day this was the case. The light was purple in coloration, given that the aforementioned ocular fireball was descending in the west behind New Jersey.

The air smelled uncharacteristically nice at Dutch Kills, which is a tributary of the fabulous Newtown Creek. Dutch Kills diverges from the larger waterbody some .7 of a mile from Newtown Creek’s intersection with the East River, and proceeds into Long Island City roughly 3/4 of a mile. It’s crossed by multiple bridges, and since maritime industrial usage of the bulkheads is zero, self seeded vegetation lines Dutch Kills’ banks.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

If you could see through time like me, you’d observe a swampy marshland here in the pre industrial Dutch Kills watershed. Islands forming around Juniper and Cypress roots covered in cosmopolitan plant colonies – mixed speciations of salt resistant shoreline vegetation. Critters would abound – the Dutch settlers in this area often commented on the vast numbers of deer and birds in this area. So many deer, in fact, that the north side of Newtown Creek reportedly had a wolf problem and Government entities offered a paid bounty for wolf pelts all the way up to the Civil War in the 1860’s.

Upland streams and wetlands were eradicated between the Civil War and the opening of the Queensboro Bridge in 1909, and the subsequent creation of the Sunnyside Yards and the Degnon Terminal in the 1910’s and 20’s finished the job of isolating Dutch Kills from the land surrounding it. The waterway became an industrial canal, with railroad tracks crisscrossing the reclaimed land around it.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It turns out that some of the trees pictured above, the ones with the purple flowers, are called Empress or Princess or Foxglove Trees (Paulownia tomentosa) and their presence is directly linked to the presence of those rail tracks. To start, Empress Trees are quite opportunistic, and can root themselves into cracks in the concrete, or even in the mortar between bricks. They are also an “invasive specie” native to central and western China. Ecologically speaking, they are amazing organisms to encounter, as their leaves “fix” nitrogen in a very efficient fashion and enrich the soil they grow in as dead leaves decay on the ground. Empress trees also drink up a lot of CO2, sequestering 103 metric tons per square acre of the greenhouse gas into their wood. They also look cool, and as mentioned, the flowers are pleasant smelling.

It seems that during the 19th century, Chinese porcelain manufacturers would use the pillowy seeds of Empress Trees for the same purpose that a modern day counterpart would use styrofoam packing peanuts. Cargo traveling by boat and rail spread the seeds along their courses, which is theoretically why you see so many of this type of tree growing wild in areas like Dutch Kills. Perhaps, in a century or so, there will be styrofoam trees found here.

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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Still rolling, yo.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

For those of you ideologically opposed to acknowledging the circumstance of the world surrounding you, a humble narrator recommends that you find the like minded and gather together in large groups. Please pass the doobies about from mouth to mouth, share drinking vessels, and remember to cough on each other as that will really show the snowflakes and liberals what’s for. That’s my public service announcement for the day. Messaging was forwarded from and paid for by Socialism Central.

Pictured above is a Caterpillar 450F, a backhoe loader which weighs about 25,000 lbs. or maybe – it’s just photoshop – part of a Demonrat/International Bankers Cabal conspiracy designed to make you believe that construction equipment is real and subvert your freedoms. You caught me out, spreading the sort of ideas that George Soros and Bill Gates want you to think.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, and sometimes it isn’t. That abandoned umbrella in the shot above, encountered while wandering around Long Island City one recent evening? Clearly placed there to aid me in producing an image which Alexandria Oh Castro Cortex secretly monetized by diverting tax dollars away from first responders and all of the other noble soldiers of the State. Did you know that a small number of Americans die every year of impalement by cast off umbrellas? They would have died anyway, so what’s the big deal about COVID?

One of my neighbors reminded me just yesterday morning that the only people dying from the virus are “the weak.” A good American point of view, that, and the sort of rousing rhetoric you might associate with Captain America or Superman. The strong survive and the weak or the sick can just go fuck themselves. Buying tombstones stimulates the economy, right?

Ever hear the one about Ayn Rand, Paul Ryan, and Rand Paul going into a bar? They order their drinks and then die from drinking tainted booze because there are no regulations governing what bars can serve in a glass. Lol.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As you may have guessed, I’m gobsmacked at the colossal lack of empathy and compassion on display at the moment. Just like the asshole parked across the street from my house, while I’m writing this, who is playing his shitty auto tune music at top volume, can we find it in ourselves to think of others for just a moment? Is that too much to ask for? Walk a mile in another man’s shoes? Do unto others?

What am I saying. Go to orphanages and tell the kids that Santa Claus is a deception, designed by the deep state to sell toys.

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.

Written by Mitch Waxman

May 25, 2020 at 11:00 am

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Northern Blvd.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It’s actually amazing how many times I’ve walked the exact same route, in the last two months, given that I’m still finding interesting things to point the camera at. Last weekend was warm and the weather generally beautiful here in Astoria and Western Queens. Restaurants and bars reopened for “to go” service, but large groups of quarantineros were everywhere you looked. If we don’t end up with large sections of the neighborhood in the hospital or dead by the first week of June, it’s entirely possible that the worst part of the first wave is behind us.

Saying that, don’t be a maskhole, and cover up. The less of us who wear a mask, the longer all of us will end up having to. I don’t want to be wearing a mask during August, when it’s hot.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The “hum” began ticking up again last weekend. That’s what I call the constant background level of noise here in Western Queens generated by automotive and mass transit action. Starting in mid March and then through April, I could hear my footsteps echoing back at me due to the quiet.

Traffic volume has definitely increased, as has sidewalk activity. Word has it that the encounter with the wackadoodle I mentioned on Monday is now a commonplace experience, and has a likely connection with the NYC Dept. of Homeless Services using the many hotels around Queens Plaza as shelters. It seems that the Homeless Veterans of the Borden Avenue shelter down in LIC are now living in the Howard Johnson’s on 12th street, and the hotels in the Dutch Kills neighborhood just north of Queens Plaza are filling up with similar guests.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’ve managed to reschedule a Doctor’s appointment for next week to which I was obligated towards the end of June, as the very last thing that a humble narrator wants to do is hop onto the subway. It’s funny, I actually miss it.

Just last night, I was wandering up 21st street in LIC, and the sidewalk grates that overfly the underground 7 line Hunters Point Avenue stop were to my left. The train entered the station, and then played its “beep bop, watch for the closing doors” recording. I couldn’t help but smile. It sounded normal.

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.

Written by Mitch Waxman

May 22, 2020 at 12:00 pm

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Degnon Terminal.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I don’t know about the rest of you, but for me at least, this is the most well rested I’ve been in years. I’ve been sleeping a solid eight to nine hours a day, and soundly at that. There’s no competition for sleep, of course, with all the bars and other centers of night life fun closed. Days (or nights, actually) when I’m out for a long walk, as on the evening when these shots were gathered, find me sleeping especially soundly given the physical exercise associated with the endeavor. Given that I fundamentally have no paying work or job at the moment, and there’s no particular reason for me to be up and about at a specific time, I’ve barely even been setting or using an alarm clock.

Hey, I’m broke, but at least I’m still breathing.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The section of Long Island City these shots were gathered in is called the Degnon Terminal, an industrial park created in the first and second decades of the 20th century by a real estate developer and construction magnate named Michael Degnon. This area, bounded by Skillman and Thomson Avenues on the northwest and Newtown Creek and its Dutch Kills tributary to the south, rose whole cloth from a former swampy wetland known in the 19th century as “The Waste Meadows.”

Like other industrial properties in NYC that lost their anchor tenants during the 1960’s and 70’s, the monumental factory buildings of the Degnon Terminal have had their purposes reimagined for the modern era. CUNY’s LaGuardia Community College occupies several of the former factories, whereas others have become office or warehouse space or handle small scale manufacturing such as commercial printing.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One may be sleeping well, but that offers perchance for dream. Nocturnal hallucination has never been something one has particularly enjoyed, and I’m particularly interested in waking up from the fever dream in which I’m currently trapped. This one is a whopper.

It’s one where America becomes a failed state due to a fairly avoidable pandemic.

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.

Written by Mitch Waxman

May 21, 2020 at 11:00 am

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