The Newtown Pentacle

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Archive for the ‘Sunnyside Yards’ Category

stagger back

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Friday odds and ends.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One finds himself constantly exhausted by and annoyed by all of these online Zoom meetings, as opposed to the sort of in person meeting fatigue that was experienced in the “before times.” On the plus side, I don’t find myself traveling around to some dusty school cafeteria or office building annex to be told by Governmental employees that something is impossible due to some arcane regulatory prohibition. Conversely, I don’t like being told no when I’m sitting in my own kitchen back at HQ. There’s also a whole lot of non verbal communication which gets lost – I’ve taken to describing my various postures, laser like stares, and other physical “tells” to whomsoever it is I’m talking to, as there’s a whole lot of communicative indication which don’t translate on video conferencing.

Y’know, it didn’t have to be like this, and if everybody had taken this plague seriously back in spring and summer we’d likely be half way back to normal by now instead of negotiating “new normal.” Idolators, that’s what you anti maskers are.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The shots in today’s post didn’t fit into the other offerings this week, so they’re lumped together in an odd fashion today. The sheer scale of Long Island City’s Degnon Terminal Industrial Business Zone (IBZ) is staggering, and you never quite get past that when wandering the seemingly narrow sidewalks lining the massive factory buildings in this area. These are old school double wide factory sidewalks, btw, notice how that garbage truck in the lower right corner of the shot above only takes up half of the pavement?

Luckily, these old dinosaur factories have found new utility and life in recent years. Light industrial usages – commercial printing, garment assembly, etc. have recently found their way here. You want to talk about blue collar employment, you have to talk Newtown Creek or you’re just virtue signaling.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Speaking of my beloved Creek, here’s a shot of the Dutch Kills tributary in LIC, part of the series I’ve been presenting all week here at Newtown Pentacle.

If you haven’t added your email to the subscription function here at WordPress, or followed me on Twitter ( @newtownpentacle ), you’re missing out on free daily updates full of photos from places most seldom see. I go to these places so you don’t have to.

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, November 16th. 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

November 20, 2020 at 1:00 pm

wail hastily

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Thursday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Just because I was walking home from LIC’s Dutch Kills didn’t mean I was done taking photos, nor was I done experimenting with the focus stacking technique. Got this one on Thomson Avenue, corner of Skillman, across the street from LaGuardia Community College. I had become so focused on shooting that I had lost track of time, and this is about the moment I discovered that it was well after midnight and that my camera battery only had two bars of power left on it. Thing about this particular technique is that every single image represents 9 or 10 individual shots, so it’s pretty easy to chew through your camera memory cards and battery charge in short order.

Oops. I carry extra batteries with me, of course, so no big deal. Saying that, wow, I was something like 300 plus shots and six hours into the walk and I hadn’t even realized it. Additionally, this is also when I realized that despite the fact that the audiobook I was listening to at the start of the walk had long ago concluded, I still had my headphones in for some reason. Missing time, huh?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My toes were promptly turned towards HQ, and the slogging home section of my night. I had covered a lot of the same ground at the start of the evening, so photo opportunity on the way home was fairly limited. Saying that, there were a couple of shots that jumped out at me – like this little tree sapling that had somehow rooted itself alongside the fenceline of the Sunnyside Yards. I love this sort of sight – indomitability of nature and all that.

I was still playing around with the focus stacking technique mentioned in earlier posts this week, which allowed for a terrific amount of captured light and tint.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

This image depicts the western looking pov from Skillman Avenue, where you can see the Queens Plaza South and North truss bridge over the rail tracks, and the elevated 7 line above the roadway. While gathering the focus stacking shots for this one, four distinct passages of rail train sets rolled through the frame, leaving behind light streaks to mark their passage.

Man, I just love Long Island City.

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, November 16th. 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

November 19, 2020 at 11:00 am

rat tracks

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Monday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It’s fall foliage time in Long Island City, so capturing the bucolic splendor of the Industrial Business Zone is on my menu this week. Admittedly, there’s a definite deficit in these parts – vegetation wise. You take what you can get, I always say.

This shot is from Skillman Avenue, nearby a company called “Propper” which seems to manufacture and distribute military and utility oriented clothing (army pants and service uniforms) that have more than the usual number of pockets sewn into them. I wear army pants most of the time for both comfort and utility, but order a different brand than propper, one that includes a lot of velcro closures on those many pockets. My particular brand also has several internal pockets sewn into the velcro closure outer ones, which comes in handy when I want to leave the camera bag at home. Between the pants and my trusty Scott E Vest sweatshirts, I’m packing (literally) 39 distinct and secure pockets at all times. Literally – I’m Mr. Big Pants.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One lost track of time on this particular lonely walk around a nocturnal Long Island City, what with the unseasonably warm November weather last week. Additionally, the route I chose successfully avoided the presence of any other humans somehow, so possibly my missing time involved an abduction by aliens. Solitude is no mean trick, given how this section of Western Queens which I call home counts amongst the most densely populated sections of North America.

Under normal circumstance, solitude is reached for and desired, during a pandemic season – it’s nepenthe.

This particular route isn’t exactly unfamiliar to longtime readers of Newtown Pentacle, of course, and I’ve been marching along it throughout the pandemic. I’ve actually been making it a point of visiting certain spots at different seasonal intervals, which has been kind of a “thing” for me to do. We’ve all had to find something to do during this weird interval, I would imagine. Adapt or die, right?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Given that it looks like the long dreaded second wave of Covid is upon us here in the big City, I’d like to join the chorus and remind all to be preventative and careful as you move around the world in the next few months. I know a LOT of people who experienced the virus during the first wave and even the folks who didn’t end up in the hospital due to it described a pretty undesirable experience. Who wants to get sick, anyway?

It’s going to be a very cold winter, after a very hot summer and a definitively annoying autumn. I imagine somewhere around the middle of December we are going to start hearing about a baby boom, as December 13th will make it 9 months since this all started and “Netflix and chill” became a lifestyle. Damn.

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, November 16th. 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

November 16, 2020 at 11:00 am

organic metabolism

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Friday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Hey, it’s peak fall foliage season in LIC, get out there and take some pics!

Recent endeavor found me up on the Montauk Cutoff abandoned railroad tracks in Long Island City, and I waved the camera around while I was up there.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s a New Jersey Transit train entering the Sunnyside Yards via one of the East River tunnels. NJT uses Sunnyside Yards to store rolling stock in between peak hours that crossed under the Hudson River to Penn Station.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s a Long Island Railroad passenger train heading for the East River tunnels, on it’s way to Manhattan and Penn Station.

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, November 9th. 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.

highly excited

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It’s avoiding the topic Friday.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

You always have to be wary about Vampires in Western Queens. What, you think that the legendary diversity of the Borough of Queens only relates to wholesome or salubrious types? For every twenty hard working immigrants, there’s likely some abyssal and atavist abomination that followed them here from their aboriginal origins. I’ve warned you in the past about what might exist in the high rafters of the elevated subway system around Queens Plaza, the mischief goblins of Cretan lore called the Kalikantzaros, the presence of the Yugoslavian Strigoi, and those unnameable things rumored to be living in the turgid waters of Hells Gate.

Ever notice that most churches are built like fortresses? If you were to start up a mega church and base it in a former industrial laundry alongside a rail yard, wouldn’t you surround it with cruciforms and hire 24 hour security too? Can’t be too careful. Devils.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As mentioned earlier in the week, I like a good demolition photo. According to my understanding of the existing buildings down on the deck at Sunnyside Yards, and I very well might be 100% incorrect here so grain of salt, this building used to serve as the NYC training facility for the Pennsylvania Railroad’s Pullman Sleeping Car Porters and restaurant/bar train staff. This staff, known for a) wearing red hats and b) being almost exclusively African American, were the progenitors of the 20th century population movement from the American South referred to as the Southern Migration. Founders of what’s referred to as “The Black Middle Class” in the northeast is how the members of the (union) Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters are often portrayed. I’m not an expert by any means on this subject, so I’d ask you to google up someone who is, as it’s a great story. You could always start with wikipedia.

At least I got to tell you about these fellows, even if I might be wrong about which building was which on a couple of hundred year old maps I often refer to.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Sunnyside Yards is a Railroad coach yard that occupies about 183 square acres in Long Island City. Opened in 1910, it was part of a regional build out by the Pennsylvania Railroad that saw the creation of a passenger rail station in New Jersey, the creation of rail tunnels under the Hudson River and into Manhattan where they entered the original Penn Station, the tunnels under Manhattan and across the East River to Queens, and Sunnyside Yards was the final piece required for the linking up of the regional rail of Long Island (LIRR) with that of the continent. The Pennsylvania Railroad’s main competitor was the Grand Central Railroad Company, which erected the Hell Gate Bridge for the same purpose – connecting to Long Island. Sunnyside Yards was federalized in the 1970’s, which is how Amtrak ended up owning most of it, but large chunks of the property are held by MTA and by the General Motors Corporation.

103 square acres, and you can’t catch a train there. On the western side, you can catch a serious case of vampirism though, so watch out.

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, November 2nd. 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

November 6, 2020 at 1:00 pm

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