The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Archive for the ‘Queens Boulevard’ Category

unmistakable style

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Thursday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As mentioned yesterday, a bit of gear which allows me to place the camera in positions that would normally require lying prone on the sidewalk to capture has recently been added to my camera bag.

When shooting these, I had in mind a narrative I was going to talk about them with which would describe how I’ve given up walking in favor of crawling.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Believe me, after you’ve been walking for 8-9 hours straight, crawling actually sounds pretty good. Thing is, it’s a bit of a reach. I’m intrigued by the change in perspective, however. It’s what you’d refer to in a comic book script as a “bug’s perspective.” Maybe it’s that of a Cat’s.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

This device isn’t a tripod, rather it’s called a “platypod,” and it’s their “max” model. I’ve had their smaller “ultra” version for a while and decided to go with the larger and more stable version recently.

Glad I did.


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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

December 9, 2021 at 11:00 am

blazed dangerously

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Wednesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Another shlep across Western Queens in the dark, that’s all I wanted to do. While on this particular scuttle, I discovered that I had fully burned through yet another pair of Merrel hiking boots over the prior six months and that it was time to order another pair. Concrete devours the treads of my shoes, and after noticing that my trick left foot was causing me all sorts of trouble and pain in recent weeks, I inspected my shoes only to discover that the treads had been ground away and all that remained of them was a light pattern on an otherwise bald sole.

You didn’t skimp on shoes, I always say. Foundation garments either. Cheap shoes and socks buy you expensive blisters and cause trouble.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As previously mentioned, I’ve been trying to stick to an every other day schedule for walks long and short. This was a short one, by my standards. Walk over to LIC, swing the turn at Queens Plaza, head back to Astoria. Roughly two hours, with occasional stops at interesting if familiar points of view like the one above at Sunnyside Yards.

From HQ in Astoria to Queens Plaza, as the crow flies, is three subway stops or about a mile and a small bit of change. Peregrinations along the route add in some distance, and all told – there and back again is about three miles.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

At one point I decided to lie down in the sidewalk and crawl around for awhile in the manner of a pilgrim. Just kidding there.

A bit of gear I recently acquired allows for a stable placement of the camera on the sidewalk, and a few other uncommon “POV’s.” It also encourages one to engage in what I call “photographer calisthenics,” which includes deep knee bends and that sort of motion.


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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

December 8, 2021 at 11:00 am

baffling region

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Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

About a hundred and change years ago, roughly a hundred horses a day would die of exhaustion and overwork somewhere in the greater NYC area every single day. Common practice was to just abandon the corpse on the street, and an entire industrial sector operated around the collection and disposal of the beasts. Van Iderstine’s in Long Island City and other rendering operations happily accepted the bodies, and they’d melt them down into tallow. The hides, hooves, and bones had other destinations. Leather manufacturers, Neet Oil distilleries, and fertilizer mills took those parts.

What about the horse poop, you ask? If you’ve got a predictable bunch of dead horses turning up every day, imagine how many living ones there were spraying fecal matter onto the streets? Well, the Long Island Railroad had a manure dock at Newtown Creek where the collected “stuff” would be piled up, but there were lots of takers for the brown gold. Fertilizer mills, remember? I’ll bet our grandfathers and great grandfathers would have killed for a piece of construction equipment like the one pictured above, spotted on Astoria’s Broadway, back then.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Sunnyside Yards is always in focus here at the Newtown Pentacle. HQ is just a few blocks away from the 183 square acre 1909 vintage property, and I’ve got an inventory of holes in the fences through which I can focus the camera. Given that I end up crossing this area at least once every couple of days, I use those fence holes a lot.

That’s an Amtrak train which is coming off of the turnaround track at the eastern edge of the rail complex. That eastern edge is along 43rd street, and this shot was gathered on the Harold Avenue Truss Bridge, or 39th street as the dross commoners of Queens might call it.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I happen to quite enjoy the company of those dross commoners, as a note. If you’re involved with all the high fallutin crap I am, one of the things that’s easy to lose is perspective. You forget that the things you’re fighting for and about are barely on anyone else’s radar. You spend your time battling with people who are flying some activist flag, or want to demolish your neighborhood in the name of “insert today’s cause here,” and that have long lost any track of a reality beyond their own. As I like to remind myself, these are people who eat pizza with a knife and fork, who have never been punched in the nose. You end up becoming as alienated as they are from reality when arguing with them. What’s the quote – when you fight monsters, be wary of becoming one your self – or something? I dunno, think that was in a book or whatever.

The shot above is from Queens Blvd. in Sunnyside. It was an unbelievably hot and humid evening when this was captured, and I was taking advantage of the shade offered by the elevated tracks of the 7 line to try and cool off. Seriously, my fingers were sweating and I had to keep on wiping my hands on my shorts to handle the camera. Yuck.


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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 13, 2021 at 11:30 am

recalled dreams

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Friday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A recent scuttle found me soiling the sidewalks outside of Aviation High School, painting the sidewalks with the corruption permanently stuck to the soles of my shoes. One is so incredibly aberrant that area grocery stores have established rules about allowing me near the Fresh Produce or Dairy aisles, as any occupation of such spaces on my part causes spoilage. Old ladies clutch at their purses, children begin to cry, birds flock into the sky, and cats hiss when I approach. It would not surprise one if the sidewalk spot I was standing upon while shooting the plane pictured above needs to be replaced. My presence causes concrete to rot, steel to rust, and lumber gets reduced down to a corrupted pulp. I once wilted a flower by staring at it. Ask anyone, I’m horrible.

The damning realization that I actually enjoyed the solitude of the Pandemic is currently messing with me. I always said that what this City needs is a good plague, and my wish came true. Thereby, COVID is all my fault.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’m tired. Tired of arguing. Tired of listening to paranoid conspiracy theories. I’m tired of virtue signaling, tired of public rhetoric that is abandoned in private, and tired of those who project the “shiny happy people” trope. I’m also tired of the perennially angry, the unfocused, those who cannot forecast the consequences of their actions. I’m tired of the ground permanently shifting around under my feet, and tired of reacting to other people’s bad decisions. Tired.

I’m especially tired of everyone wanting something from me that they did nothing to earn. Duplicitous status whores, false potentates, graven idols – that’s what I see everywhere I look. Gah.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The only solace for me is when I’m alone and behind the camera. This is the latest iteration of a certain shot I’ve been chasing, depicting the 7 entering the Queens Plaza station on the elevated tracks. This one counts as “almost” and I won’t be satisfied until I manage to get the crimson and orange sky shot I’m yearning for. I keep on missing that one, which in the last week alone I was denied from chasing it by a series of evening meetings which kept me here at HQ in front of the computer.

It’s all dissolution and death ahead of me, nothing matters anymore.

Back next week, hopefully with a better mood and outlook, and lots of swell pix 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

June 18, 2021 at 1:00 pm

deadly sweetness

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Wednesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I really cannot believe how much I missed this sort of sight over the last year and a half. I also cannot believe my luck in not contracting COVID, as so many people I know did, before the vaccinations became available. Luckily, most of the people in my inner circle who did become infected with the bug recovered, but there’s also a few people I know who didn’t survive the experience or who are suffering from the “long Covid” suite of symptoms. Plague is no fun, huh?

That’s the Manhattan bound IRT Flushing line 7 train entering Queens Plaza’s lower level tracks. On this particular day, one was feeling a bit tired and sore from a long walk the day before, so I opted to “ride the trains” since I had nowhere else to be or go.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Still working on it.

Did you know that the purpose of the different colors painted on the steel structures of the transit infrastructure around Queens Plaza and the Queensboro Bridge is to clearly indicate which structure is which? This way some badly informed construction worker doesn’t accidentally torch their way through a support column for one of the bridge’s vehicle ramps while they’re intending to perform maintenance on the elevated subway tracks instead. Queens trivia!

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My “ride the trains” shot list involves getting on and off the train at various stops and cracking out a few exposures. The one above was gathered after I had left the system and was walking down Queens Boulevard on my way back to HQ in Astoria.

I can’t resist most shots with the Empire State Building in a dominant position. Add in a sunset and a 7 train? Pfah.


“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 26, 2021 at 11:00 am

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