The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Archive for the ‘Queens Plaza’ Category

favouring sign

with one comment

Friday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

On October 3rd, it had been raining for days and would continue to do so for a couple more. One was climbing the walls at HQ, so an umbrella was deployed and to augment its function – I thought out a route wherein the built environment would aid me in my quest to not get soaked. 31st street in Astoria has an elevated subway track, and large warehouse and residential buildings which provide rain shadows.

Rain shadows, you ask?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I spend a lot of my time out of doors, wandering through inclement weather. The build environment has specific effects upon meteorological phenomena, at ground level. The rain shadow of a building is often visible, in that yard or two of sidewalk where the wall meets the pavement which will be drier than the rest. You still get rained on, but not as much as in the middle of the sidewalk.

I’ve got all kinds of NYC tips. My best one is “just keep moving.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There are still a few spots where you can see the sky in LIC, but those are mainly because the undeveloped property where the lapse occurs is owned by the Government and either the politicians haven’t decided which one of their sponsors to sell it to for $1, or there’s some horrible need that one agency or another has for the parcel.

Hey, we need a place to burn truck tires in your neighborhood. Do it for the City, Queens. Same thing with homeless shelters and waste transfer stations and power plants and sewer plants and railroads and bridges and highways and airports and…

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The new Queens Plaza is a dystopia.

Mirror box rhombuses thrust rudely at the stolen sky.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The noise levels in this part of Queens, which is now zoned for the densest form of residential, would be considered an environmental crime in Europe. Multiple subway lines, above and below, scream through the liminal spaces of the elevated tracks.

On the street, traffic of every sort and description.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Thanks to the residential conversion of this former industrial zone, pedestrian traffic volume here is now considerable. Said pedestrians, like a humble narrator did, must weave their steps between traffic islands set into the flow of automotive and bicycle traffic pulsing from the Queensboro Bridge.

More next week, 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

November 4, 2022 at 11:00 am

distant baying

with one comment

Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

May 8th found one in need of a short walk, and in tune with my recent habits, one left HQ shortly before sunset. Here I am at “hole reliable” over the Harold Interlocking again, shooting yet another west bound Long Island Railroad train.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My goal for the evening was to definitively stay away from Newtown Creek and its tributaries, and just stick to the mean streets of along Island City. The sky lit up, and as seems to be the case these days, while shooting somebody walked up to me and wanted to discuss cameras he has owned, plans to buy, and also ones used by his dad.

I excused myself after a few excruciating minutes, professing that I was losing the light. Grrrr…

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Skillman Avenue led me to Thomson Avenue, where I got this shot. It’s actually a damned difficult proposition getting this shot with zero automobiles in the frame, as a note.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Thomson Avenue led me back down to Jackson Avenue, where I experienced another one of those moments of sudden existential horror you tend to feel in LIC these days. Ten years ago, the Citigroup Megalith was the only large scale building here. Today, it’s actually somewhat middling in size as compared to what’s been built around it.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Swinging through Queens Plaza, I noticed the 7 train perched above several of those automobiles in the travel lanes below it. I didn’t see any of the vampires though.

One continued his lonely scuttle towards Astoria, using Jackson Avenue to eventually get to Northern Blvd.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One headed back towards home, walked past a bar which I don’t seem to hang out at anymore that’s filled with people whom I’m increasingly disenchanted with. Ribald invitations to join their nightly bacchanal were rejected, and a humble narrator retreated to the nearby cloister of HQ.

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

June 21, 2022 at 11:00 am

yet inchoate

with 4 comments

Monday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Finally – that’s the last shot from February above, the 28th specifically, and part of the abundance of images which a humble narrator gathered during the late winter. Out for a Friday night walk, my footsteps somehow carried me to where I was standing at the end of a Long Island Railroad platform in LIC.

Pictured at the right side of the shot is what was originally called the Subway Building. It was also Queens Borough Hall for about a decade during the early 20th century, and later on during the WW2 era it became known as the Paragon Oil building. In recent years, the structure has been given a makeover by new owners and the 7 story, 130,000 sq ft. structure is now called “The Point, LIC.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A few days later, on March 2nd, another walk around the darkened streets of LIC was underway. It has been a while since I checked out the series of streets that intersect with Jackson Avenue and dead end at the Sunnyside Yards, so off I went.

This section, of course, is densely populated due to all of the new residential construction. I’ve been avoiding it like the plague, during the plague, just every other crowded “zone” in NYC.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

This particularly cool car was spotted. Didn’t see any plates or registration stickers on it, so I can’t tell you anything other than late model Ford Mustang. This was, I believe, on the aptly named “Queens Street.”

As mentioned a few weeks back, one has been unusually prolific – for reasons – so far this year, and until I manage to burn through some of the backlog of photos from late winter and early spring, will be offering posts here at Newtown Pentacle that carry six images.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’m always fascinated by the sort of parking structure pictured above. It’s a pretty efficient use of space and cantilever engineering, but there has to be so much weight focused down through that thing… I mean, yeah, engineering but…

In recent years, I’ve been seeing a lot of new building construction using cantilevers to maximize space. There’s an enormous residential tower rising in Greenpoint along Newtown Creek’s intersection with East River that uses this technique.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

This was one of my short walks, and my “turn around point” was at the Court Square station, nearby the sapphire megalith. I’ve shot this particular gas station dozens of times during the pandemic. About three years ago, I missed out on selling a stock photo to one of the agencies when I didn’t have a nocturnal image of a BP gas station. Ever since, I’ve been making it a point of gathering images of such infrastructure so as to not miss out on a future opportunity.

Also, this is the section of Northern Blvd. where those weird Subway grate covers that do double duty as street benches can be found, so it’s a convenient spot to sit down for a few minutes. I’ll take it.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Upon hauling my self back to an upright posture and getting back into motion, a former car dealership’s interior empty space called me to shoot through the dirty windows. I’m really into the concept of liminal space right now.

Liminal space is an area which is a transition between other spaces, an area which is normally full of “something” or “someone’s” but is currently empty except for you. The emptiness of liminal space is disconcerting to many people, and it’s kind of a “thing” at the moment.

If you haven’t experienced any of the interesting “Back Rooms” videos which use the liminal space concept as a setting for a mysterious sci-fi/horror narrative, click here.


“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 18, 2022 at 11:00 am

all observant

with 2 comments

Thursday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It’s all so depressing… shortly after cataloguing the dissection of the Dutch Kills shoreline, and other features in the immediate vicinity thereof, one hopped on the 7 train at the elevated Court Square station.

It was time to head home, and after spending a full early February day out and about, my energy was ebbing low.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The plan I had hatched involved taking the 7 to Queens Plaza, and then hopping aboard an N or W train to Astoria, whereupon a short walk to a local pizzeria would result in me walking into HQ and greeting Our Lady of the Pentacle – with a triumphant couple of slices in hand.

The MTA, though… their game is strong.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The frequency of the 7 line is pretty fantastic these days, since they’ve completed the decades long CBTC signals replacement project. It really does come every 5-10 minutes, the 7.

Unfortunately, the gold badged Broadway line trains – R, N, W – never received an upgrade to their signals, and especially so in midtown Manhattan, where it is desperately needed.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The signals upgrade allows for precise control of train set positioning and line wide coordination. This allows the trains to be run much closer together than using the old 1920’s style system, and allows for better “transit saturation.”

Over in the Shining City, there are several choke points for Queens bound trains – notably at the tracks leading into 34th/Herald Square and 42nd Times Square, and at the approaches to the Steinway and 63rd st. tunnels under Columbus Circle. If ANYTHING goes wrong at any single one of those points, EVERYTHING goes wrong with all three lines – as well as affecting the M, and the E, and the F lines. This triggers a meltdown in the system that can ripple from Manhattan all the way back to Brooklyn and Queens within minutes.

The Q, which formerly was part of the Astoria line, is now Manhattan only and running on the Second Avenue Subway tracks.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

After about twenty minutes of standing on the platform at Queens Plaza, I got bored and started waving the camera around.

What is it with the new people in the luxury condos and their lack of drapery, window coverings, or Venetian Blinds?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

After about a half hour, during which I was dreaming of pizza, the N finally arrived.

It was long day, and there were lots of photos that needed developing when I got back to HQ.

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 31, 2022 at 11:00 am

simpering inanities

with 2 comments

Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A brief stop over in Pennsylvania’s Harrisburg saw Amtrak change out the crew on my Pittsburgh to NYC journey. Pennsylvania’s Capitol, Harrisburg, offered a 15 minute or so “leg stretch” and “smoke ‘em if you’ve got ‘em” interval, and half the train staggered out into the daylight to do one thing or the other and sometimes both. We had collectively boarded the train at 7:15 in the morning, after all.

After the bells rang and we all filed back onboard, an announcement that the cafe car was reopened occurred, and a humble narrator purchased a range of comestibles for luncheon and settled back into the seat I had been assigned. After quaffing some coffee and eating an Amtrak Hot Dog, I got back to pondering my fate and staring out the window while watching America roll past. The camera was gathered out of its sack, and I got back to looking for interesting sights.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The landscape in Pennsylvania fascinates me. The Appalachian Mountain range and plateau is incredibly ancient, is a geologic feature which Pennsylvania is situated on the northern reaches of, and it dates back some 480 million years to the Ordovician Period – which is when ocean critters first started exploring dry land. Formed by the action of tectonic plate compression when the super continent Pangaea begin to split up, the Appalachia once rose as high as the Alps or Rockies do today. They’re referred to as “folded mountains” and the reason that all that coal is buried in them is due to their presence during the highly forested Carboniferous era (that’s when the giant dragonflies were around, and you had centipedes the size of school buses sliding around in the swamps). An absolutely staggering amount of effort and expenditure in the 19th and 20th century saw Americans burrowing and mining into, blasting rights of way through, and building upon and around the Appalachia Range.

Fascinating. Really. Mountains older than the dinosaurs.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

At 30th street Station in Philadelphia the now familiar dance of changing out the locomotive engine from the diesel powered model to the electrified “coGen” unit used for the Northeast Corridor was enacted by the Amtrak people. They did their thing, and waved lanterns at each other, and then it was time to get back onboard again and head back to “home sweet hell.” This was another “stretch your legs” break and a good number of people onboard took advantage of it.

A humble narrator settled back into the assigned seat, and picked up the camera. I affixed the foam collar to my lens and began passing the time by shooting through the windows again.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s Philadelphia, America’s consolation prize, pictured above.

After spending an entire day on the train, and eating two Amtrak meals along the way, I was quite ready to return to the grinding existential nightmare of a dystopian shithole which I call “home.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Upon my return to Penn Station, I ducked outside onto 8th avenue to breathe a bit of what passes for fresh air in Midtown before heading back to Astoria on the subway. It was rush hour, and despite Covid, the subways were quite busy. Unlike the last time I exited from that door pictured above, this time I didn’t see anyone masturbating into a street grate. There was a guy who offered to sell me something, but I’m not sure what he was offering. Could have been a gold chain, or crack, or sex. Wasn’t interested, me.

A quick ride on the E line got me out of Dodge, and soon I was at Queens Plaza. As is usually the case with me, as soon as the train entered Queens, I felt a rush of energy.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The final leg of my long journey arrived at Queens Plaza just as I did, a local R line which would carry me to Astoria.

Our Lady of the Pentacle had arrived home the night before, and had graciously obtained food stuffs which were waiting for me back at HQ. I tore into a bagel like it had done something to my mom, and began downloading all of the photos you’ve been looking at for the last two weeks onto the computer for processing.

I felt a need, and a desire, to listen to this song while setting myself up for the labor of developing them.


“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 1, 2022 at 11:00 am

%d bloggers like this: