The Newtown Pentacle

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Archive for the ‘Queens Boulevard’ Category

about evocations

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Tuesday, or “Tiwesdæg” in Old English, is named for the German god Tyr.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Why the debate? There’s a respiratory plague going around, and the doctors are telling us to wear surgical or cloth masks when out in public and congregating. You have an opinion? Did your own research? Think supernatural sky god/father will protect you because you like your version of his many books or scrolls? Is your first name “Doctor”?

Wear the damn mask. If you don’t want to…

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There are dozens and dozens of new interments at Calvary Cemetery, and thousands more spread out all over the country. Want to listen to a guy who went bankrupt owning a casino, went bankrupt with an airline, a tie company, a steaks company, and a real estate company who is telling you to take malaria drugs? Ok.

I’ve got a great investment opportunity for you, which is a bridge in Brooklyn…

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Wear the mask, for your kids. Wear the mask, for our country. Wear the mask, so we can get back to some semblance of normal life and put this interval behind us.

Or don’t. It’s not like the Antonine Plague was the actual event which began the decline of the Roman Empire, or that the Justinian Plague caused the end of the Byzantine Period. They didn’t know about the germ theory of disease, like we do, but because of the Justinian Plague, the Constantinopolitan armies were unable to keep the Turk at bay. The Turks then set up Sharia Law…

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 3rd. 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

August 4, 2020 at 11:00 am

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.

veneer of

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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

dominant figure

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What can I complain about next?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One wishes that the Mayor would hang “suggestion boxes” around the City. A new division of the municipal hive called the “Complaint Department” could be formed. This would be the thing that caused me to actually work for the City, as I’d want to be the Commissioner of Complaining. In many ways, this would be a dream come true, and everything my Mother warned me against being like would finally pay some dividends. My pal, Special Ed, once opined that he’d like to start a consulting business offering “freelance unsolicited criticism.” His business model would involve walking into a bank, for instance, and letting the manager know that the velvet ropes were arranged incorrectly, for which Ed would submit a bill.

What makes Ed so “special”? Once he moved into the wrong apartment building, and he still stores his clothing in the refrigerator. We used to live in the same building on the upper west side of Manhattan and he was my “Kramer.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Recent endeavor found one scuttling towards the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge on an evening constitutional. A few times along the way one was overcome by ennui, and found himself crying while down on his knees and shaking his fist in the general direction of Lower Manhattan. I’m fairly happy, actually, about the complete overreaction by the Dept. of Buildings regarding that poor woman who was struck by a chunk of falling masonry over in Manhattan which has taken the form of erecting scaffolding around City owned structures to vouchsafe against liability, since I like taking pictures of scaffolded corridors. Also, they provide me with shelter from rain, sun, and a variety of sky based biblical plagues (the falling frogs, in particular). I get involved with a lot of biblical plagues during my rounds.

I didn’t have a particular path in mind for this walk, incidentally, other than trying to avoid using any of my normal “routes.” It’s very simple for a creature of habit like me to find himself continually using the same pathway, but since everybody secretly or not so secretly hates me, I need to worry about assassins exploiting my predictability.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Look at that will ya? The deserted streets, the loneliness, vulnerability… nepenthe.

I for one welcome the Corona Virus, since it means that there will be fewer humans hereabouts. For decades one has opined that what this City needs is a good plague to force everyone to straighten up and fly right. I’ve also advocated for armed conflict with New Jersey, an internecine war of attrition between Brooklyn and Queens, and that the best solution for Heroin Addiction is to give addicts as much Heroin as they want since it would get them to the obvious conclusion of their hobby quicker.

One is not a terribly nice man. I pretend and aspire to be better than my nature, but there’s only so much subterfuge I can offer. Recently, I realized that I dress like Emperor Palpatine from Star Wars. If only I could shoot that purple lightning from my fingertips…


“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 10, 2020 at 11:00 am

possible significance

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Freaking fantastic, it’s Friday!

– photo by Mitch Waxman

On one of my nocturnal jaunts across the concretized realities of Western Queens, it began to drizzle. Luckily, one happened to be hauling his carcass about in the vicinity of Queens Boulevard – the proverbial Boulevard of Death itself – and advantage was taken of the shelter which a path under the vaults of the IRT Flushing (or 7) elevated subway line would and did offer. One had his hood up, which seemingly made several of the people whom I passed by suspicious and or apprehensive of me. Humpf! No one at the Creek ever complains about my sartorial elegances.

Seriously though, this has been a thing my whole life. Sans traveling with armed guards, the safest you are ever going to be is when I’m around, but old ladies have been clutching their handbags and pearls in my presence since I was a kid. Sometimes, good guys don’t wear white.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I don’t like the act that modern day old ladies put on, actually. If you’re an old lady in 2020, odds are you were rolling around in the mud at Woodstock with some bloke and didn’t used to be the innocent and easily shocked type which you pretend to be now. The classic “old lady from Pasadena” who somehow made it to their golden years without ever experiencing the coarser side of life has always been a stereotype to reject. Of course, in general I reject any sort of stereotyping so I’m never surprised when folks turn out to be quirky and odd. This seems to be an anomalous position, especially when chatting with friends in their 20’s and 30’s who often tell me what I’m feeling or thinking based on my status as an “old white cisgender male.” When I point out that this is actually a prejudice based point of view that dehumanizes and reduces my individuality down to some identity politics check mark, and represents an inherently racist point of view, they get angry with me.

Discourse during my entire trip on this planet has been built around the attempt to not see or judge people based on their tribal/religious affiliation, skin coloration, or accent. If you think in this way, you’re actually very much in tune with the Nazis, despite your claim that this “oppressed group” or that “shunned clique” are automatically morally superior based on their prior experience of institutional or societal discrimination.

Individuals. We are all individuals, lone sailors lost on a heaving sea. Identity politics is going to be the death of this republic, as the entire ideation plays directly into the hands of actual racists. Me and you are “Us,” so stop focusing on “them.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

This is amongst the many reasons why I absolutely love wandering around in the dead of night during the winter, in a filthy black raincoat with my voluminous sweatshirt hood pulled up in a manner that scares old ladies, by myself. Solitude, and not having to deal with other people’s depressing views of the world, is nepenthe. I get enough of the derision and virtue signaling at all the governmental meetings I have to attend, and where I have to be somewhat polite towards the mindset. Thing is, where I belong is out here on the street, alone.

Every minute during which I’m not engaged in the operation of my camera, I’m basically wasting my time.


“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

February 14, 2020 at 11:00 am

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