The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Archive for the ‘Subway’ Category

commencing to

leave a comment »

Thursday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One can never resist grabbing shots of the high steel of the Long Island Expressway when I’m moving through the “empty corridor.”

“Blighting Long Island City since 1939” – they should put that on a sign.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There’s a reason I call this area the “empty corridor.”

Who cares anymore? I keep on saying that to myself these days. I’m in the process of “checking out” right now. Severing ties seems to be the order of the day, as I prepare to separate from NYC. I see fire shooting out of a manhole cover, I do nothing and…

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Well, unfortunately, I’m still me and I’m still here.

On the day that this post was written in mid August, for instance, a downed signal light on Northern Blvd. and a looming sewer backup issue were reported to relevant local authorities. I have a sense, however, that beginning in 2023 – Western Queens is going to be consumed by a series of easily fixable problems without me being able to reach out into agency land to get them to notice things spotted “in the field.” If Astoria ends up falling into the river, you’ll say “man, wish Mitch was still here.”

Saying that, I really don’t care anymore. Somebody else’s problem.

Hey, look at that – an Amtrak train set heading into Manhattan from LIC’s Sunnyside Yards! Neato.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

During the entire walk on August 10th, which started out quite comfortable, the atmospheric humidity was rising at a precipitous rate. Having arrived at the Hunters Point Avenue station, one nevertheless masked up and headed down into the sweating concrete bunker below.

My habit in recent months has been to use the 7 Line to go from subterranean to elevated and land on high at Queensboro Plaza. A transfer over to the N or W Astoria Line keeps me elevated and up high all the way to Astoria’s Broadway, and then I scuttle about ten blocks back to HQ. Yeah, I could transfer at Court Square for the M…

Part of my “Doctor Nerdlington” persona is extremely satisfied by executing a series of transfers when using the subways.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The 7 service is pretty good these days, in my experience. Every ten minutes or so, you’ve got one arriving.

I was planning on hanging around Queensboro Plaza for a spell, given the relative infrequency of the Astoria line trains, but the MTA’s ways are wild, and many,

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Arriving at the platform, an Astoria bound train was sitting there, so that funny train rapid dash that we New Yorkers execute occurred, the one followed by the realization that the train would going nowhere for a few minutes and you standing there feeling foolish for having rushed.

Off to Broadway went I, heading eastwards back to HQ and the sweet embrace of Our Lady of the Pentacle.


“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

September 8, 2022 at 11:00 am

judging from

leave a comment »

Thursday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The weather forecast on August 1st wasn’t promising anything pleasant for the days immediately following it, and there was a lot of fog and mist in the air…

How can a humble narrator be expected to ignore atmospheric diffusion? Pfah. One shlepped over to the N train, and away I went.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

At Queens Plaza, I transferred my allegiances from the N to the 7, and took that line two stops to Hunters Point Avenue.

I had a plan in mind for the foggy afternoon, one which would find me over in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint section.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

DUPBO – Down Under the Pulaski Bridge Onramp – was part of my plan. In the late afternoons during weekdays, the Long Island Railroad people deploy a train set about every half hour from the Hunters Point Yard. The trains move under the Pulaski Bridge, cross Borden Avenue, and then go off to parts that are unknown but fairly guessable.

My plan involved crossing the Pulaski Bridge on foot, of course, but I wouldn’t be “me” if I didn’t crack out a few shots of a passing locomotive.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Y’know, I know – intellectually – that they’re going to blow the train horn when they approach a grade crossing. Doesn’t change the fact that I’m startled by the sound each and every time they do it.

It’s what’s known as an autonomic reaction to environmental stimuli.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

After getting my LIRR shots, and then inspecting the waterside area under the bridge, I headed over to the steep and well traveled stairs of the Pulaski Bridge.

I guess that about 20 minutes had elapsed while I was wandering around down there.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Just as I got to the top of the stairs, a second train was released into the wild by the LIRR an I was lucky enough to get another shot.

Pedantic? Maybe? Fun? Yes.


“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.

retinue of

leave a comment »

Wednesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Saturday the 18th of June, my trick left foot was singing a song. Baleful and rich with lament, this arthritic melody informed my night’s journey and thereby I decided that it would be a fantastic evening to “ride the train.” Accordingly, my toes were painfully oriented in the direction of Queens Boulevard from Astoria.

That’s the Standard Motor Products building, whose frontage is on Northern Boulevard at Steinway Street. There’s an urban farm up on the roof, which is just plain old cool.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Steinway Street becomes 39th Street when it crosses Northern Boulevard and passes over the Sunnyside Yards, but to members of the cult of historical specificity here in Western Queens – this section of 39th street will always be known as the “Harold Avenue Truss Bridge.”

Nerd.

The sunset was setting up nicely, and it seemed like I had actually timed things right for once.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

At Queens Boulevard, a Manhattan bound 7 line subway was coursing along its tracks. My plan was simple, and it involved hopping on and off of the 7 line between Queensboro Plaza and somewhere east of there. At some convenient point, I’d transfer down onto one of the underground lines which move through the 46th street stop nearby HQ in Astoria.

It was a warm night, and somewhat humid in Long Island City. My name is Waxman, I live here and I carry a camera. Dum de dum, dum.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

At Queensboro Plaza, there are two iconic shots always available for the passing photography enthusiast to gather. One revolves on variations of the shot above, depicting a Manhattan bound 7 line train entering the lower level of the station.

I should mention, a recent update of the software on my camera introduced a “vehicle tracking” feature for autofocus into my tool kit, and I’m currently working out the nuances of the new feature.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The other “iconic” subway shot at Queensboro Plaza is found at the extreme end of the platform, where the Flushing bound trains make their turn into the station on the high elevated steel of Queens Plaza, with the old Silvercup Bakeries signage in the background.

Figured I’d do a portrait format one for a change. I’ve been trying to remind myself to do this more often these days – turn the camera 90 degrees.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I began hopping on and off at various stations and popping out train photos for about an hour. On the 7, at least, ridership seems to be back to pre Covid levels.

Tomorrow- something different at this – your Newtown Pentacle.


“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 20, 2022 at 11:00 am

disturbed by

leave a comment »

Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

June 3rd, as mentioned yesterday, found me at the Hell Gate section of the East River nearby Astoria Park and the Triborough Bridge. After hanging around the joint for about 90 minutes during what turned out to be a light show of a sunset, I packed away my zoom lenses and tripod and converted the camera over to handheld mode and attached my “night kit” lenses.

This was one of my short walks, as I call them, but ultimately I was out and about on my feet for about five hours and had walked about six miles by the time I got back to HQ.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

You can have and use all the kit you can carry, and after an hour and half of futzing around with tripod and filters and fancy shooting techniques, my favorite shot of the effort are the two in today’s post – handheld and high ISO.

What are you gonna do?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

June 5th saw me hanging around HQ waiting for it to get dark and for a delivery to arrive. While I was waiting, a pack of birds descended on the forever puddle found on my next door neighbor’s roof. Next to this stagnant waterbody is my outdoor porch area, here in Astoria, so I outfitted the camera with a telephoto lens and got busy waiting for a bird to fly onto one of my wires.

Every time I try to say what kind of a bird a bird is, I get it wrong, so I just make up names for them myself. Accordingly – that’s a Peruvian Pepper Hen drying its feathers. It’s call sounded like this – GRAKKLE – which should let you know that I actually do know what kind of bird this bird is, but am smart enough not to venture any analysis of speciation.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My back was sore, and my feet hurt, but I still wanted to get out and do “something.” Drinking at a bar just isn’t exciting to me anymore, in fact it’s become kind of a sad thing these days. Most of the “Astoria Commentariat” at my “local” really doubled down on the substance abuse thing during the pandemic, and shooting the shit with folks in downward spirals is just depressing. Hope they can catch themselves.

I decided thereby, that it would be a “ride the trains” night. Only $2.75.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The N was caught in Astoria, which carried me to the Queensboro Plaza IRT station, and the most photogenic of NYC’s subways – the 7. I hung around on the platform for the arrival and departure of several train sets, and struck up conversation with a young guy who was a bit of a railfan. “I could stand here and watch this all night,” he told me.

For me, that wasn’t the case.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I shot a few frames of the 7’s entering the station, and then hopped on an express which took me to Woodside. I waved the camera around a bit at a few other stops, mainly the ones along Queens Boulevard. Then I debarked from the system at 40th Lowery Street and walked back to HQ in Astoria, whereupon I downloaded the captured images and began the processing/developing process.

To recap – I showed up. I did the work. I went home.


“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 12, 2022 at 11:30 am

cavern eyed

with one comment

Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

On the 1st of June, two things were annoying me. Well… lots of things were annoying me, but leading the parade were an ominous weather forecast and a bit of lower back pain. I had stupidly deleted an entire folder of photos by accident the day before, and lost several nice shots so I was also really annoyed at myself. I decided on a pathway for the day’s effort which would involve constant access to areas that could offer me shelter from the prophesied thunderstorms and rain when they arrived.

Luckily, half of Western Queens is located underneath a highway overpass or an elevated subway line. Off to 31st street did I scuttle.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A quick walk to the N line at 31st street saw me boarding a train and heading towards Queensboro Plaza. The N is an IND train, like the R and M, but it operates out of the IRT station at Queensboro Plaza.

Queensboro Plaza (IRT) is the one “upstairs,” whereas Queens Plaza (IND) is the one “downstairs.” How dysfunctional is the MTA? They still maintain an inter operational distinction between the two systems after nearly six decades of operating them.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Moving through the transit system and seamlessly transferring from line to line is what makes you a New Yorker. My “don’t get wet” plan involved – as stated – staying close to areas of cover for when the sky broke open and rain started pissing down. Yeah, I could’ve just stayed home, but after accidentally deleting an entire “roll” of shots I had a fire in my belly to do some work.

Exultant, that’s how I felt when the 7 line arrived. One boarded the train and set off for my next destination.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The Hunters Point Avenue 7 Station was where I debarked, and where the plan for my day continued. I got a couple of shots of a Flushing bound 7 on the other side of the station heading towards Court Square before scuttling up the stairs to the street.

I love the esthetics of this particular station, and will reiterate my statement that the 7 is the most photogenic of all the subway lines.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Up on the sidewalk, there’s a hole in the fence I like to use when passing by, and luckily for me – the 7 line service is so frequent after its painfully long to install CBTC upgrades – another Manhattan bound train was already on its way into the Hunters Point Avenue station on the truss bridge over Sunnyside Yards which connects to the Court Square Station after traveling over Davis Street.

Yes. Nerd. Me.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My next stop was a few blocks away, in DUPBO – Down Under the Pulaski Bridge Onramp. There’s a Long Island Railroad siding hereabouts. If you’re in the neighborhood – usually weekdays between 4 and 6 – there’s a very, very good chance you’ll get to see something like the shot above playing out.

More tomorrow.


“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 5, 2022 at 11:00 am

%d bloggers like this: