The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Archive for the ‘Queens Plaza’ Category

distant baying

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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.


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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

June 21, 2022 at 11:00 am

yet inchoate

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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

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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.

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Written by Mitch Waxman

March 31, 2022 at 11:00 am

simpering inanities

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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

retreating figure

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Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Five thousand four hundred seventy nine days ago a humble narrator was having a pretty bad morning (that’s about one hundred thirty one thousand and four hundred ninety six hours, if you want to get granular). When you learn to think about your life in terms of days rather than rounding up to years, it changes the perspective. My bad morning knocked me off the self chosen path I used to be on and set me on the current one. Ultimately, that bad morning resulted in the shots you see in today’s post being gathered on a cold November night in Queens Plaza by a wandering mendicant cloaked in a filthy black raincoat.

As a note, there are vampires residing in the steel rafters of the elevated tracks in Queens Plaza. You’ll be walking along minding your own business when a bluish white arm suddenly thrusts down at you, snapping its hand open and closed in a desperate attempt at clutching on and pulling you up to feed its need. It’s best to carry a garland of garlic in your camera bag when scuttling through at night, lest you get got. Because of buried streams all around Queens Plaza and the nearby Sunnyside Yards, the Vampires get stuck in this area, as they’re unable to cross over running water. That’s something I’ve learned in the last 5,479 days.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’ve learned to notice everything around me in this interval. Up, down, all around. Not to take things or people for granted, how not to be cruel or cowardly, and to always be curious. Amazing individuals have entered my life, including several exemplars whom I refer to as “the real thing.” I’ve found myself walking amongst princes and potentates, over bridges and through tunnels, and have seen things which only a handful of other people even know about. It’s been an exhausting 5,479 days, during which I’ve captured and published some 87,186 photographs of what I refer to as “the study area.” What you’re reading right now is the 3,390th posting of the Newtown Pentacle.

Nothing in Queens Plaza is real. The entire place is a built environment, and even the ground you’re walking or driving on is the roof of a structure. Tunnels shoot through the loam, allowing shiny metal boxes to move about below. There’s running water, streams and creeks which only the Lenape had names for, somewhere at the bottom of it all. That’s the flowing water which precludes the Queens Plaza vampires from invading the dense residential communities of nearby Sunnyside or Astoria. There’s also the Mafia, of course, who had long been at war with the undead back in Sicily. The Ottomans brought the Nosferatu plague to them, which then spread out into Eastern Europe on Turkish trade routes. When both vampire and mafioso came to North America in the 19th century, a new front in an old war opened up.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

131,496 hours ago – which translates to some seven million, eight hundred eighty nine thousand and 760 minutes – my very bad morning occurred. There’s multiple timelines which can branch out of that moment, and someday while attending a trans dimensional Council of Mitch’s meeting I hope to explore what happened to all of the other versions of me that walked out of the moment. I’m hoping that one of us pursued mad science and there’s a reality where a “me” has his own army of Atomic Supermen and has taken over the world. I imagine I’d be a real Dick if I had absolute power. I can’t picture myself going “full Hitler” but that’s the thing about me – the second France stepped out of line, I’d likely send the Atomic Supermen in to teach them a lesson. Next thing you know, death camps and I’m attacking Russia during the winter. It’s inevitable, really.

For the curious, the Council of Mitch’s meets once every three years. We all go to a hotel in Puerto Rico, where there’s a ball room that hosts a dimensional nexus. I missed the 2020 one because of COVID, since I live in the reality where that genie got out of the bottle and the other Mitch’s have been spared the experience. We Mitch’s normally get together and explain obvious things to each other, complain a lot, and then compare bits of NYC historical trivia that we’ve uncovered in our individual timelines. It’s all quite pedantic. We all claim to be “Mitch Prime” but acknowledge that we might be wrong about that. We’re all also a bit jealous of each other, but pretend that we’re happy about each other’s achievements and sarcastically passive aggressive about them. All of us agree that it’s been an odd and interesting 5,749 days.


“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

December 21, 2021 at 1:00 pm

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