The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Archive for the ‘railroad’ Category

close correspondence

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Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As has often been asserted, illegal dumping is the unofficial art form of the Borough of Queens. Nowhere else, even in that runner-up section of Brooklyn which the children call Greenpoint, do you see the careful attention to arranging your junk so carefully. Composition is the difference between the amateur and professional leagues in most of the visual arts, and if one considers the sculptural qualities of these ad hoc installations… the mind boggles at the implication. One should spend a moment contemplating their navel – the omphalos of their very soul – right here.

Really, this is a growing problem, and 11 months into the Corona Pandemic a humble narrator can report that there’s observably a LOT more illegal dumping going on. Good news is that the art galleries of Manhattan haven’t figured out a way to charge you admission for this sort of thing yet, so get out there and look for a stack of tires.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’m quite fond of this Sunnyside Yards/Amtrak shot. I’m also fond of the official at Amtrak responsible for poking holes in the Yard’s fences just big enough for me to maneuver a camera lens next to. It’s also the first shot I made a 35mm lens I picked up that made me say “huh.” The new camera I’ve mentioned a few times in the last month has been quite busy as I’ve been teaching myself how to use it. There’s a few things – like the fold out touch screen, for instance – that I’ve had to keep on reminding myself to use and that “I can do now.” That touch screen is how I was able to shoot through a fence hole that was maybe 3/4 of an inch square, and in a spot I’ve never been able to get a composed shot through before. The 35mm also easily sees through the diamond shaped apertures of standard chain link fencing.

I’ve also solved an annoying photoshop problem which was plaguing me a month or two back – a distracting cross hatch pattern manifesting in low pixel density parts of photos, specifically skies and water. Turns out that modern adobe camera raw has a weird default which turns off a certain form of “luminance noise” suppression. Suppression of noise used to be a default, but somebody at adobe decided to give you granular control over it with three sliders and set the default state on all three to zero. Sigh.

Y’know, I literally installed photoshop off of 16 floppy disks onto a Mac at my first advertising gig as “Stat Boy.” It wasn’t Photoshop with any numbers or letters after that, just Photoshop. I’m old. Kids these days… changing things for no reason so they can tell their bosses that they fixed something.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Project Firebox. Remember when I used to do that, and there was a sixth post every week at Newtown Pentacle? Wow, those were the days, huh? Seriously, this project spun wildly out of control for me, and I found myself weeping while wandering through the City for miles and miles looking for fireboxes I hadn’t shot yet. Also, there’s only so many portrait shots you can do of fireboxes. Saying that…

Project Firebox is low key underway again, and we’ll be checking in on a few old friends to see how they’ve been weathering the storms of time.

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, February 1st. 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

February 2, 2021 at 11:00 am

copious seepage

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Wednesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Recent wanderings, as mentioned earlier in the week, have seen me sticking fairly close to HQ due to the cold. Luckily, I happen to live within walking distance of some visually interesting sections of Long Island City such as the Sunnyside Yards, a portion of which is pictured above. Those are Amtrak train sets, overnighting in Queens.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’m a big fan of whomsoever it is at Amtrak who is responsible for poking holes in their fences. I’m an even bigger fan of whomsoever it is at Canon who has been designing lens with a smaller than usual lens element which I can fit into those pokey holes.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Another thing I’ve become a fan of are the few remaining gas stations in Western Queens, islands of saturated color and cold light shining in the night.

More wandering, in tomorrow’s post, 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, January 25th. 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

January 27, 2021 at 2:00 pm

utmost anomalous

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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

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