The Newtown Pentacle

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Archive for the ‘railroad’ Category

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.

unplumbed voids

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Nobody ever says “Thank God, it’s Wednesday.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Three archive shots greet you today, all of which are rail based. Pictured above is the New York & Atlantic engine 400, which I got to ride on last year. The tracks it rides on are part of the Bushwick Branch, which is itself a part of the larger Long Island Railroad system.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A few miles west of the first shot, which depicts a freight train, is the LIRR’S Blissville Yard in Long Island City. Oddly enough, there was a defunct passenger train being stored at this freight yard on the Lower Montauk tracks.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A different kind of train, those are IRT Flushing line subways sitting on the tracks in Roosevelt/Corona – I’m never sure where one starts and the other ends – in between rush hours.

Back tomorrow.

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, August 24th. 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.

spiritual rapport

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Tuesday affects us all.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As mentioned yesterday, a trip to Randalls Wards Island was recently enacted, during which I saw a bird – pictured above. The history of these islands are – at best – a long and convoluted tale during which they changed names several times over many hundreds of years. Great Barent Island, anyone? Suffice to say that the most important thing in the history of these East River Islands was the day that Robert Moses decided to make them his base of operations. A tributary of the East River – Little Hell Gate it was called – separated the two islands and it was filled in at his command in the early 1960’s to create a single land mass. Moses’ Triborough Bridge operation was based here as of 1936, making this the actual “House of Moses.”

There’s an amazing number of playing fields and pedestrian paths on the island, and the whole scene is framed in by the Hell Gate and Triborough Bridges.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Looking across a small waterway called Bronx Kill found on the northern side of the place, which is where that bird was noticed, that’s a CSX engine moving a garbage train around. The tracks lead westwards towards a Waste Management Facility, then eastwards and north towards to some unknown destination. That side of the water is an unknown country which local children call “Bronx.”

Seriously, what I know about the Bronx wouldn’t fill a thimble. I’ve been saving it for my old age. I can tell you a lot about the other four boroughs, but the Bronx? I can tell you where it is, basically. Ok, it’s Port Morris, but it’s nice not knowing everything about something for once.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Looking more or less westwards along the Bronx Kill from a small pedestrian span called the Randalls Island Connector, in the distance that’s a part of mighty Triborough. Specifically, I’m fairly sure that’s it’s the Truss Bridge section of the Triborough Bridge complex. The visible arch is part of the Hell Gate bridge trackage. I wonder if it’s still called the NY Connecting Railroad on this side of the river, as it is on the Queens side?

More tomorrow.

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, July 20th. 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

July 21, 2020 at 11:00 am

roved abroad

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Days in, nights out.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Although you’d think that yesterday and today’s posts were shot in the same session, the photo captures are actually separated from each other by about 45 days. Just goes to show you how a humble narrator has been inhabiting the same nocturnal spaces for the last several months, and how many new holes in the fence at the Sunnyside Yards have appeared. One is absolutely desperate for novelty, distraction, and stimuli which does not cause me to reel in horror or disgust at the moment.

Those are Amtrak Northeast Corridor trains, overnighting at Sunnyside Yards. The building they sit next to is a bit of mystery to me, one which I’ve never actually bothered finding out the function of. I know too much about everything, and when I know nothing about something an effort is maintained to protect my ignorance thereof. It’s easier to know everything about something than to know nothing about something. Have I ever mentioned the “Lady Gaga Challenge”?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One purposefully ignores media saturated events like the Superbowl, and annually I try not to know which millionaires will be playing sports ball in the game. If I can make it till two or three days after the game before finding out teams/winners/losers, I’ve won the Super Bowl Challenge. The same goes for the TV series “Scrubs” which was apparently quite popular, but which I’ve excluded all knowledge of the production from entering my brain. The same for Lady Gaga, whom I know is a pop music star, but that’s it. I wouldn’t recognize her music, or even look at a photo and say “that’s Lady Gaga,” but I do know that her dad runs a restaurant at Grand Central Terminal because it’s virtually impossible to escape news cycles which causally mention celebrities.

Pictured above is a maintenance barn operated by the Amtrak people, which has suddenly become visible because of one of those new holes that has appeared in the fencelines at Sunnyside Yards. Again, thanks are offered to whoever it is at Amtrak that’s in charge of holes. Your efforts have made the Coronavirus interval bearable for me, holemaster.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A parting shot from another of the new holes, one which several photographic iterations of have been offered in recent months. I’ve been working on getting this shot right. Ideally, there will be a foggy night sometime, at which point I will check it off my list and say “got it.”

Back next week with some fresh stuff, hopefully, don’t know where or what yet. My plan is to wander around Queens this weekend, or perhaps ride a ferry. I don’t have ambitions anymore, it seems.

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, June 8th. 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 as we move into April and beyond, 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

June 12, 2020 at 1:30 pm

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