The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

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hadn’t reckoned

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Thunderation, its Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One wore sunglasses. This is an increasingly rare statement for one such as myself, who has been scuttling about in the dark night for so long. Friday last, a humble narrator woke up in one of his dark moods, soon realizing that it was time to eschew the company of the humans and seek the succor of the Newtown Creek. Camera batteries were charged up, lenses polished, and my shoe laces were tied tightly. HQ was vacated, a course decided, and approximately 17,000 steps and six hours later one returned to Astoria with his desire to “do something” sated.

Before you might ask, the face mask is worn while in a center of habitation, such as Astoria or Sunnyside. Once I’ve passed through and into the deserted industrial zones of Newtown Creek, the obvious solitude encountered allows one to put the thing away and store it in a pocket. This is not offered as any sort of guidance or advice, incidentally, it’s what I’m doing. You do you, snowflake.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One still refuses to climb onboard a Subway, but I did hire a ride from a ride share taxi last week. The driver had created a plastic bubble for himself, and I insisted on opening all the windows in my compartment, while wearing a mask. The latest medical malady which I’m enjoying includes a bit of arthritic pain in my left ankle and foot – which is the same extremity that hosted that shattered big toe at the end of last year – and after several miles of loping about the ankle pain really began to speak up and demand attention. Discretion and valor calculations were made and I decided to slice off two miles of getting back home by dropping a $10 bill for the ride.

I am possessed with a notoriously high level of tolerance for pain, incidentally, something which various Doctors have commented on over the years when they were presented with whatever bleeding stump I’ve brought them to fix. I’m fairly sure that what I’m experiencing in the ankle would cripple most, but a humble narrator is made of sterner stuff. About once a day I like to let my mental discipline slip and allow all of the various aches and pains a voice. That’s when I drop to the floor and whimper like a wounded seal. My dog thinks it’s a game, and she lies next to me and also howls.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One was racing the descent of the burning thermonuclear eye of God itself as it slid behind New Jersey, in the name of getting to a certain spot along the Brooklyn shoreline of Newtown Creek for a dusk picture. Actually, for a series of dusk pictures. Pictured above, that’s the Metro Oil campus in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint section with the Empire State Building peeking out behind it.

Noteworthy for a relative lack of atmospheric humidity, last Friday the gamey ankle wasn’t offering me any trouble. One strode the earth with vast and rapid movements, carrying his putrescent carcass mile after mile across the concretized devastations.

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 15th. 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 16, 2020 at 12:00 pm

roved abroad

with one comment

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

be shunned

with 2 comments

Another day, another 20,000 steps.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One found himself scuttling down Skillman Avenue recently, marveling at the ludicrous size of Durst Organization’s latest project on the other side of the Sunnyside Yards in Queens Plaza. Skillman has become rather populated in recent weeks, as the residents of both Sunnyside and Hunters Point have begun exploiting it for exercise and recreational walks.

I look forward to all of you returning to swallowing your alcohol drinks, or sitting in movie theaters, or watching your sports ball again, and getting the hell out of my personal Idaho.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

At the corner of Skillman and Thomson Avenues, the photo above was observed. I have several theories about this scene – postulates, causalities, and so on.

1) Covid. The virus ate away at some unfortunate person from their feet up and all that was left behind was the scalp and hair. 2) Those ravenous rats which the CDC warned the country about the other day, entirely consumed somebody but left their hair behind. 3) Somebody actually heard back from NYS Unemployment and they flipped their wig. 4) Fake news. There is no wig, instead it’s the Democrats, specifically Nancy Pelosi and AOC planting conflict actor hairpieces around Long Island City.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My reveries about the hair piece were interrupted when one of those sterilized Long Island Railroad trains came rolling by. Oh boy! My obsessive desires to photograph LIRR rolling stock now satisfied, so one pointed his toes towards that fabulous ribbon of municipal neglect known as the Newtown Creek. Again.

It really feels like I’m walking the stations of some highly industrialized cross at this point, btw. One occasionally feels a sharp sticking pain in the back, and exclaims “Ow, my country.”

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 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 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.

might startle

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It’s only been June for 3 days!

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Recent occasion found one at his favorite hole in the fences at Sunnyside Yards, which occurred coincidentally with a flurry of track repair and maintenance activity. Just east of my favorite hole, crews of hard hats were making busy, and under it I spotted these two LIRR engines rolling about.

Maintenance of Way is a new name of game I’ve recently learned, and that’s what these two engines were involved with. Low light photography is the name of my game, and the shot above represents a new physical achievement for me, which is holding the camera steady for 1/6th of a second. That should be impossible.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Realizing at the time that I had gotten lucky with the 1/6th shutter speed, I cracked out a “just in case” shot – above – at a more reliable 1/80th.

My near constant desire to photograph LIRR rolling stock temporarily sated, the camera was allowed a short interval of inactivity, and one continued his endless perambulations. On this particular evening, I was on one of my short walks, an exercising constitutional you might want to call it.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

While crossing Queens Blvd., one took notice of this midden surrounding a DSNY bin under the elevated tracks of the 7 line. My intention when clicking the shutter revolved around the comic level of household trash dumping and litter surrounding it, but when reviewing the photo a few things occurred to me. The typography on the signage is fairly relict, and the bin itself is definitively an older model.

I began wondering how long ago this particular bin was placed here on the corner of 39th street and Queens Blvd. and whether or not I could determine its age based on model and design. Came up empty on both fronts. Any ideas?

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 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 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.

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