The Newtown Pentacle

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Nobody writes songs about Thursdays.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Single shots will greet you this week, as a humble narrator plays catch-up and also spends his time exploring and shooting rather than worrying about the weather and delivering posts. Regular posts will resume next week.

Pictured above is the Queensboro Bridge, as seen from LIC, at night.


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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 4, 2019 at 11:00 am

mental cast

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A few more odds and ends today.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One is still attempting to dig himself out of a self created content hole; wherein a combination of weather, personal ennui, and “busy doing other stuff” factors have seen me record a historic low number of images in the month of March. I’m working on a couple of follow up books to the “In the Shadows at Newtown Creek” volume, as well as trying to figure out a tour schedule for the summer months. I’m behind on every possible schedule you can name, as a note.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The shots in today’s post are actually from February, which were captured on a NYC Ferry ride. Today’s post is a placeholder, offered in place of a “regular” posting which would might offer some proverbial meat on the bone.

Hopefully, by next week I’ll be all current and caught up on my backlog. I currently have a few hundred raw file photos that I haven’t even looked at yet on my hard drive, so once I slog through that…

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There really isn’t enough coffee to drink these days…


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omni directional

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I don’t tell you what to do.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Everybody keeps on telling me to have a happy New Year, which I find rude. It’s not even up to me to decide what kind of year I’m going to have, and now I’ve got all this social pressure to be “happy”? Pfah. I’ll be the one standing in the shadows, with a camera, whom you try not to notice while driving past.


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Written by Mitch Waxman

January 1, 2019 at 1:00 pm

damn’d uncomfortable

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Another one down.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Metaphorical allusions notwithstanding, somebody literally crucified Minnie Mouse on a chain link fence for Christmas, over in Woodside. There’s some grandiose commentary one could offer about corporatism in the shot above, but I’ll leave that for the Neo Marxists to flesh out, as I ascribe to the Freudian aphorism that “sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.” Got this one yesterday, while taking an afternoon constitutional that saw me cutting over from Astoria to Sunnyside, and then tipping my lens into Woodside on the way back to HQ. It was colder out than the actual temperature would have indicated, for some reason, but that’s Queens for you. She’s mysterious, unpredictable, and always surprising.

I’ll remember 2018 for the weather, which was lousy all year, and often felt like it was raining for weeks at a time.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A couple of nights ago, one went out for a night time scuttle in the light industrial zone found alongside the Queensboro Bridge. File the shot above under “the things they didn’t tell Amazon,” which is part of a fairly large portfolio of existential issues which the residents of Queens just deal with during their daily rounds. There’s a long list of these issues with which the City government lets us know that they consider us “less than,” and it’s going to be quite interesting to see how they deal with them now that the “fancy people” whom they care about are coming to town.

You really don’t see this sort of thing in Manhattan, and if you do, you don’t see a dilapidated or dangerous condition persist for months or years. In Queens, you do.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

2019 is at hand, and I’m supposed to be making a list of resolutions – as your friendly neighborhood blogger – for the next interval. Announce a new set of plans, begin a new project, that sort of claptrap. How’s this sound?

Be nicer to people you don’t understand or like, instead of being “tolerant.” Shut up and listen when somebody who says things you don’t like is talking, instead of trying to shout them down before they finish their statement. Stop worrying about things that are “beyond your pay grade” and do something about issues which affect you on a local or personal level. Go to a community board meeting and voice up to the “powers that be.” Get to know the local Cops when you’re there. Stop littering. Embrace the concept of “having a little shame,” and remind people that they’re not “the One, like Neo from the Matrix,” and they’re just another schmuck who is no different or more special than anybody else. That life is a giant shit sandwich from which we all have to take a bite. That we all do better when we’re all doing better. Be kind.

Also, crucifying Minnie Mouse is just wrong, man.


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Written by Mitch Waxman

December 31, 2018 at 1:30 pm

intervening hours

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Friday has come at last, whew.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As I mentioned yesterday, my stated desire to get high in LIC received a few answers, and one of them presented an opportunity to access the roof decks at one of the titanic new residential towers in the Queens Plaza area. One was offered a fairly limited period of time in which to get busy with the clicking and whirring, as my friend’s generosity was limited by him having preexisting plans for later in the evening.

Pictured above is the zone found around and about the Court Square section, with the Sapphire Megalith at center.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Looking southeast towards Brooklyn, that’s the Kosciuszcko Bridge and the Brooklyn Queens Expressway at the top of the shot, and the dark mound just in front of it is Calvary Cemetery in the Blissville section. The bright line is the Long Island Expressway, and in the foreground is the Degnon Terminal nearby the Dutch Kills tributary of Newtown Creek.

This is how City Planners see things, I suspect. Neat little blocks and distanced “zones” devoid of the complications or existential realities of humanity. Personally, I spend so much time scratching around in the filthy substrate and granular truths of these places, this point of view is like an alien reality to me. Saying that, even all the way up here, there are construction cranes visible.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Looking west and slightly northwards towards Manhattan and the Queensboro Bridge, the Queensbridge NYCHA houses are filling the right hand side of the image and looking for all the world like charcoal briquettes on a BBQ.

Have a nice holiday weekend, lords and ladies, and I’ll be back Monday with something completely different at this – your Newtown Pentacle.


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momentus talk

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Thanks…

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Happy Thanksgiving to all, and to all an indigestion free night.

Shocking news arrived last night, when news of the death of State Senator Jose Peralta at age 47 arrived in my inbox. Sen. Peralta was a really nice guy, and 47 is way too young for anyone to check out. Condolences are offered to his family.

Pictured above is the view that the Amazon folks will be enjoying as they work late into the night in LIC. More on that next week.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My clarion cry to “get high in LIC” was answered by my pal Joe, who lives in one of the tower buildings that have recently risen in the Queens Plaza area. Pictured above is a birds eye view of the same Queensboro Bridge pictured in the first shot, and the intertwining arterial roadways that feed into the span. Unfortunately, the Newtown Creek aerial POV I’m hungry for wasn’t available from this vantage point, but there you are.

A couple of others who live a bit further to the south have responded to my request, and I’m hoping to get the shots I want this weekend. Cross your fingers.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Same point of view, which is close to sixty stories above Queens, but is a bit more zoomed in. Tomorrow, I’ll show you some more of what I saw from up on high.

Happy Thanksgiving, lords and ladies.


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Written by Mitch Waxman

November 22, 2018 at 1:00 pm

terror withheld

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PSA: August 23 is the “Night of the Living Dead.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

On 45th street, here in Astoria, a water main replacement project has been playing out. That’s the Tully company at work above, contractors for the NYC DEP, doing the work of trenching and replacing old pipe. There’s been a LOT of roadwork and utility construction work happening in the neighborhood for the last couple of years – replacing gas mains leading to either LaGuardia Airport or Astoria Energy on the forbidden northern shore, Vision Zero oriented work on street corners along 31st street, sewer line repairs along several of the avenues.

It’s never quiet for long around these parts, I tell’s ya.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There’s been an unusual amount of Police activity as well, here in the 114 pct. Just a couple of weeks ago, the neighborhood along Broadway in the 40’s and 30’s was all abuzz about the Machete Man Bandit, for instance. There there was the Peeping Tomás near by 36th street, and that crazy murder suicide near Hallets Cove which was all over the news.

Even Los Burrachos, the railroad bums that gather nearby the paint shop on 42nd street, have been startled by the sudden appearance of dozens of new homeless inebriates – whom even they look down on. Many have been given nicknames like “Shit his Pants, and American Flag shirt, guy” (which distinguishes this particular fellow from “shit his pants guy”) or “Krustie McGee” and “Surprisingly fat for a homeless guy Guy.” We’ve also suddenly amassed a group of retirement age junkies who have decided to base themselves around the Broadway Branch of the Queens Library and are charismatic but ultimately tragic characters.

Before you ask, these folks are generally what the pros would call “services resistant,” and I reached out to Jimmy Van Bramer about them, and the councilman sent out a DHS counseling crew whom they pretty much ignored. They’re not homeless because of a run of bad luck. Drunks, junkies, bums, street urchins – this is their life and they’re the ones living it, not you. Best you can do by them is to call 911 when you find them passed out on the sidewalk, so they can go sleep it off in a supervised bed, get a shower, and eat a meal on the City at Elmhurst Hospital.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Omnipresent is the thing in the sapphire megalith of Long Island City, gazing down upon the world of men through its unblinking and three lobed burning eye. This thing, which cannot possibly exist, covets. Through its global armies of often unsuspecting acolytes, this thing which does not nor cannot breathe or feel gnaws into the flesh of the world and feeds passively. From the cupola of that sapphire dagger, dug deeply into the heart of Queens, the thing watches men and their folly. It enjoys itself, and plans to someday reveal to mankind new ways for us to revel, and feed, and enjoy ourselves in its manner. 

That last paragraph was just for me, as a note. It’s my birthday, and I’ll cry if I want to.


Tours and Events


Canal to Coast: Reuniting the Waters Boat Tour. Only $5!
Thurs, August 30, 2018, 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM with Waterfront Alliance

Learn about the origins of Brooklyn’s Erie Basin as the Erie Canal’s ultimate destination, and its current role as a vital resource for maritime industry on this guided tour of Red Hook’s Erie Basin and the Brooklyn working waterfront, departing from and returning to New York Water Taxi’s Red Hook Dock. Tickets here.


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