The Newtown Pentacle

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Wednesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Another night, another scary walk through the dangerously deserted and scarily dark streets of the Kaufman Astoria Arts District, with its inhuman and out of scale streetscape. Since nightlife has ended, the life of the night has taken over around here. You’ve got your four legged and two legged variants of rats crawling around here, and the oligarchs who remotely administer this area from their Manhattan penthouses simply don’t care about the people of Astoria. Street lighting is sparse, the blocks are defined by long and featureless cinder block walls, and were you to find yourself in trouble you’d soon find yourself yelling and screaming into a depopulated void. At least the ubiquitous security cameras of these oligarchs, maintained to protect their buildings, might provide the Police with some evidence of what happened to you.

These are the self same oligarchs who have proposed to expand their zone of control and dominion over this land, and to create new financial siphons to feed their overseas accounts, in partnership with REBNY President Larry Silverstein (self described as “Donald Trump’s best friend”). This development project of theirs would raze away multiple acres of small businesses and homes here at the southern edge of Astoria – making way for a residential tower development styled as Innovation Queens. This project would be yet another place for the powers that be over in Manhattan to wet their beaks on the blood of the masses, and slake their thirst for more. More. More. More.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My fascination with photographing gas stations continues unabated. I should say “successfully photographing” as the new camera is far more capable of capturing the fuller dynamic range of light and color offered by these spots than my older model was.

I’m told that the vast majority of gas station owners in NYC are franchisees, although there are a handful of independents in each Borough. At the moment, there 7 major franchise brands represented in the City, with the Hess people transitioning their business model away from retail at the moment. As mentioned the other day, there are an estimated 800 gas stations found within NYC.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

In order for me to get to one of the spots which I’m typically heading to along Newtown Creek, I generally have to cross the Sunnyside Yards. Accordingly, I have a catalog of “fence holes” which I’ve discovered over the years. The good folks at Amtrak will give – add a new hole for some reason or another – and they will take away. At the moment, the lovely view seen above is available for inspection by the wandering photographer.

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, December 28th. 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

December 30, 2020 at 11:00 am

antique disintegration

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Monday

– 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 aptly named Railroad Avenue in the Blissville section of Long Island City, where a “critter” was assembling the garbage train.

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 26, 2020 at 1:00 pm

bleak emptiness

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Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Luckily, one of the things which NYC still has money for is to employ a vast crew of laborers to demolish the concrete of Astoria’s Broadway corners and then replace them with new concretetized corners. Random and unannounced arrivals of demolition crews at 7:15 in the morning during a pandemic, using jack hammers mounted on the arms of backhoes that shake the foundations of the century old building you’re sleeping within… this far exceeds the value of hot cup of coffee for waking you right the hell up.

This has been a classic Queens operation. First, back in August – they milled and repaired the street. In September they showed up and painted in the street markings and so on. Then in October, a crew comes through and tears the whole operation back up again. Now, I get to moan to 311 and the Community Board people about all the asphalt and concrete which found their way into the sewers until DEP sends out a team to free up the grates.

Flooding is nice. Who doesn’t want to live by the water?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

For most of the last week, time has been somewhat limited and my walks around LIC have been primarily about “cardio” and exercise. Saying that, I’ve always got the camera with me and am ready to record the cool stuff encountered along my path. My new favorite fence hole at Sunnyside Yards continues to shine.

Those are Amtrak trains, if you’re curious. In between duty shifts, the coach yard side of Sunnyside Yards handles the needs of this rolling stock. I’ve seen workers doing custodial work on the trains, others monkeying around with various exterior features and devices, and there’s all sorts of mechanical tasks that get attended to while the trains are overnighting in Queens.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Another one of the hydraulic work lifts, which I fantasize about turning into my personal vehicle, was encountered on Skillman Avenue when looping back towards home recently. The one I showed you yesterday was green and small, this one is orange and bigger. Variety is the spice of life, huh?

This is a fairly busy week for old Mitch – tonight, Queens Community Board 1 will be virtually gathered for our monthly meeting. On Wednesday, the Newtown Creek Community Advisory Group will also be meeting virtually. For information on how to attend these public meetings – click here for Queens CB1 and here for the Newtown Creek CAG.

Also coming up – Tonight is the fund raiser Gala for the Working Harbor Committee, and October 29th is the Tidal Toast fundraiser for Newtown Creek Alliance.

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 19th. 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 20, 2020 at 11:00 am

mixed effulgences

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Tuesdays are inevitable

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Over in Blissville, along Railroad Avenue, there’s quite a situation. It seems that there’s a plugged up street drain or two which has resulted in the DSNY crews who handle the recycling pickups here in Queens having to drive through a couple/three feet of standing water. This water is carrying a lot of fairly poisonous soil suspended in it, given that it’s the southern most street in Western Queens and the last block before Newtown Creek. A lot of the mud and soil is also migrating out of the Blissville Rail Yard (where the garbage train is found), which means it’s just chock full of garbage juice and insulating oils.

Somehow, the fellows driving this particular truck knew who I was and then petitioned “Hey Mitch, can you help us out with this?” Who am I to say no to New York’s strongest? I’m on it fellas. Phone calls have been made, and DM’s to the well connected and politically important have been sent, there’s also an email chain working its way through the hallways of the Newtown Creek Alliance and the local Community Board has been made aware of the problem.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That same night, on my way back to Astoria, I set up my tripod in hopes of capturing the tribute in lights with the Freedom Tower framed in by them, but this year there was no display on September 12. Luckily, the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge opened up so it was worth standing there alongside the fenceline of Calvary Cemetery for about a half hour waiting for it to get dark.

As I was standing by the cemetery in Blissville, a voice from inside the gates let me know someone would be climbing over the fence and they didn’t want to startle me. I let them know that whatever their intention, the startling mission had already been accomplished. A small film crew had been trespassing within, and were vaulting the fence. I broke down my rig and moved on, not wanting to get clipped as a part of their party in case the bulls showed up.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

By the time I walked almost all the way home to Astoria it was quite dark out, and a stop was made at one of the new holes in the fence at the Sunnyside Yards to see what was doing down there in Amtrak land. Luckily, for me, a train set was moving around and I cracked out a few exposures.

That building? My understanding of certain old maps suggests that this is the facility where the Pullman Red Hats were trained for duty “back in the day.”

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, September 21st. 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.

little polyhedron

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Thursday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The shot above was gathered from the Koscisuzcko Bridge pedestrian/bike path sometime in the last couple of weeks, and depicts the central section of the fabulous Newtown Creek at sunset. By “central,” I mean that the POV is 2.1 miles in on a 3.8 mile long network of industrial canals, so quite literally centered.

One is always seeking solitude, but this new pedestrian and bicycle path over Newtown Creek has proven quite popular with neighborhood folk from both sides of the Creek. Disappointing, seeing people in my happy place.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Pornhub, for those of you unaware of the megalithic entity that it is, is the YouTube or Amazon of pornography. They have been attempting to buy the naming rights to a football stadium in recent years, which should indicate how large their corporate structure has become. For some reason, a graffiti writer here in LIC decided to perform some ad hoc advertising for the corporate skin merchants.

The illegally dumped auto tires just seemed to compliment the graffiti.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Exploitation of a different sort, the new or recently discovered holes in the fence at the Sunnyside Yards which a humble narrator visits regularly continue to yield interesting views of a federally owned railroad yard here in Long Island City.

Those are idling Amtrak trains waiting for a call to duty.

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, September 14th. 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.

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