The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

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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.

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

hesitated perceptibly

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Archives.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

For one reason or another, when I originally set this post up back during the last week of April, I never ended up running it. Don’t remember why. Also don’t remember whether or not any of these shots ended up in other posts, but there you are. As I’ve mentioned a few times in the last few months, there’s a bit of organized labor happening at the Sunnyside Yards and some of my old “go-to” fence holes have disappeared. Luckily, a few new ones have appeared, and just in time for Covid.

Thanks is offered to whomever it is at Amtrak that’s in charge of holes. Sunnyside Yards is a coach yard, which means that this is where trains hang out and enjoy maintenance and cleaning in between trips. You’ve always been able to hear them idling, and you could certainly smell their exhaust, but until recently – no hole through which to see or photograph them.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The particular set of holes hereabouts that have recently appeared are on Honeywell Street, which is one of the truss bridges overflying the rail yard.

Honeywell is an archaism, a retention of the name of a street which dates back to the days of an independent Long Island City which didn’t live and breathe under the mercy of Manhattan’s City Hall.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One did manage to drag himself out of the quarantine last night, and scratch along the sidewalk to several visually interesting destinations, but the reason you’re seeing a set of photos from late April in today’s post is entirely due to last week’s curfew.

Back tomorrow with something else – at this – your Newtown Pentacle.

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 11, 2020 at 11:00 am

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