The Newtown Pentacle

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Archive for the ‘Queens Plaza’ Category

darkly probable

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Wednesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One last shot of that Eagle Electric building in Queens Plaza which was described in yesterday’s post, with an IRT Flushing line 7 train navigating the trackways of the elevated steel high above the street behind it. As a note, if you want to receive a series of puzzled or worried looks from passerby, set up a tripod in Queens Plaza at night.

It really grabs people’s attention, the camera and tripod. Passing citizenry didn’t seem to focus on the guy taking a poop in the plantings alongside the bridge just down the block, but me they notice. “What are you taking pictures of” I get asked regularly. I point in the direction of whatever the camera is pointed at and say “that.” “Why” is usually the next question. I ask myself this all the time.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Cannot explain the process, even to myself. Sometimes there’s a plan – get a shot of this or that from here or from there. Try to tell the story with a single static image. Try to get that image “accurate” to what it looked like with the naked eye, or just outside of naked eye range with entering the “uncanny valley.”

There’s so many things to worry about, beyond the dozen or so intricate camera settings and using the right gear. Look over your shoulder constantly, keep an eye out for fast moving cars, trucks, bicycles. Watch out for the focused attentions of malign members of the street community as well. Get your shot, move out. It’s not just point and shoot at night, there’s a whole deal you have to sweat and worry about.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s the landmarked Bank of Manhattan building, at Queens Plaza, in the foreground of the shot above. Formerly the tallest building in Queens, these days it’s a dwarf compared to its neighbors. Directly behind it is the still under construction Durst Organization’s new residential tower, a 755 foot tall building they call Queens Plaza Park or “SVEN,” which is a product of the 2001 rezoning of LIC. Gargantuan, I’m told the new building will have an infinity pool on its roof. “I would love to be able to swim in Queens Plaza,” nobody has ever said.

The Bank of Manhattan building, alternatively, is a 1927 11 story building with a 3 story clock tower at its apex. The Bank of Manhattan later rebranded itself as Chase, and the building was occupied by that company until 1984 when the building was sold.

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, November 9th. 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

November 11, 2020 at 11:00 am

drowsily discussed

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Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Another night, another walk around Western Queens, in this case – the western side of Queens Plaza. Recently announced, a new real estate development project will see the old Eagle Electric factory on 23rd street demolished and replaced by what promises to be another uninspiring glass rhombus. The plan is for this to be office space. Read the room, guys. Pandemic, much?

Regardless of the avarice and intent of the carpetbaggers, one nevertheless decided to visit the spot and record the scene for posterity or whatever.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I got lucky, inasmuch as having just set up the tripod for a longish exposure, the journey of two 7 line IRT Flushing subway trains coincided on the elevated steel which carries them to and from Queens Plaza. I wonder what kind of sound proofing that new office building they’re going to replace the Eagle Electric factory with is going to require. This passage was and is LOUD. Like hear it through your headphones while you’re listening to the Ramones LOUD. Like completely drowning out the Ramones kind of loud. Loud.

Eagle Electric, btw, was founded in 1920 by two brothers from the Ludwig family (Louis and Phillip) and their kids inherited and held the business for much of the 20th century. Eagle manufactured switches, sockets, and other electrical ephemera in Long Island City until the 1980’s. Eagle began vacating and selling off its LIC premises in 1980, and in the year 2000 the company was sold off to a conglomerate called Cooper Wiring Devices. In 2012, Cooper Wiring was purchased by another outfit called the Eaton Corporation and the Eagle line of products and patents is now marketed under their branding. Eagle Electric was famous for a huge neon sign adorning the roof of this building, which is also found right alongside the Queensboro Bridge.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A crew of street artist/graffiti writers penetrated into the building in the last year or two, and adorned nearly every window pane with colorful tags. Directly across the street is the former Silvercup bakery, whose own neon signage still persists. The old bakery is now a movie studio and production offices complex.

I’ve long been fascinated with the garish illumination of this corner, with colorful light scattering about from a thousand different sources.

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, November 9th. 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

November 10, 2020 at 11:00 am

rational position

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Avoiding the topic Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One likes a good materials handler, and there one was at the Sunnyside Yards on a recent evening. The Amtrak people are mid way through tearing down a century old building nearby the Honeywell Street truss bridge, which is the sort of thing that draws me to it the manner that a fly is drawn to shit.

Again, many kudos advanced towards whomsoever it is at Amtrak that’s in charge of fence holes just large enough to stick a camera lens through. You’re a hero.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My scuttling on this particular night was abbreviated, involving a short walk from Astoria to Queens Plaza and back. My feet carried me along the dark section of Jackson Avenue, under the elevated trackage of the Brighton line Subway.

What fun.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Y’know, it’s not that easy picking a visually interesting pathway through one of the most densely populated sections of these United States, during a pandemic, which ensures that you encounter virtually no other humans. Somehow, I’ve managed, but these corridors of mine have been visited time and again and I never get tired of actuating the camera shutter here in Western Queens.

It may be crowded, but it really is something to see, this place called Long Island City.

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, November 2nd. 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

November 3, 2020 at 2:15 pm

residual echoes

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Friday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A humble narrator is taking a break this week, as his anxiety and or stress levels have become absolutely maxed out. Also, I’m working on something rather time consuming that requires 100% of my attention this week since learning the nuances of a new software package is involved. Thusly, you’ll be seeing single shots and regular postings will resume next week.

Pictured above is the intersection of Skillman Avenue and Queens Plaza South nearby the tumult and chaos of Queens Plaza. Those elevated structures carry the 7 line subways over the Sunnyside Yards and towards Queens Blvd.

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, October 26th. 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

October 30, 2020 at 11:00 am

twilight amorphousness

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Friday, all.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A few Friday odds and ends are on offer today. I had an event to attend in Hunters Point recently, and on the walk there I found myself frozen in Queens Plaza by the palpable spectacle of it all. What an incredible spot, thought I, and with all the new residential towers – how reminiscent of Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis” or the cinematic Gotham City from the Batman franchise Queens Plaza is.

Seriously, the notion that people “want” to live here in Queens Plaza still mystifies me, but there you go.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Construction of the waterfront complex of luxury towers in Long Island City’s Hunters Point section continues apace. Phase 2 of this buildout is nearly complete. I know what’s coming next for phase 3, and it’s going to make the current waterfront seem like a small village in context.

There’s a whole group of people in LIC who deceive others, eat shit, and describe themselves as “YIMBY’s” as in “Yes, in my back yard.” Unsurprisingly, most of them make their money as cogs or wheels in the Real Estate Industrial Complex. Shit flies like lots of shit, as they feed on shit.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

“Not in my back Yards” is my motto. We’ve driven several nails into the coffin of this plan prior to COVID here in Western Queens, with the virus delivering what’s likely the final one required. Oddly, NYC no longer has $22 billion to drop on this crazed ideation of the Dope from Park Slope.

When I’m talking to all the characters from City Hall “behind the scenes” instead of in front of the cameras, I like to remind them that the history of NYC teaches that bubbles burst. You get 15-20 year long stretches of time where the municipality is solvent, followed by 30-40 year long stretches where belt tightening and shrinking budgets are the order of the day. Luckily, the current political establishment embraced residential luxury tower development during this last one, rather than building infrastructure or funding the modernization of our 1950’s era electrical and telecommunications systems.

Good work, Economic Development Corporation, good work. I look forward to the RICO investigations, hopefully sometime soon.

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, October 5th. 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

October 9, 2020 at 11:00 am

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