The Newtown Pentacle

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were frowns

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Wednesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

April 22nd’s walk first visited Dutch Kills, and I had decided before leaving HQ that I’d be taking a train back “to the zone” so one headed over to the Hunters Point Avenue stop on the IRT Flushing or 7 line subway. This station is found alongside the Sunnyside Yards’ southern border in Ling Island City, and there’s a couple of very convenient fence holes there I never fail to take advantage of.

Pictured is a Manhattan bound 7 line train entering the station from its last stop at 23/Ely Court Square.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

While I was hanging around and shooting, an Amtrak train set emerged from the tunnel I was standing over, heading eastwards.

After fishing around in my camera bag for a Covid mask, I headed over to the stairs leading down to the fare control area of the 7 line station, paid my due, and continued down to the platforms.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The headway frequency on the 7 has been vastly improved since the completion of the CBTC signaling system installation, and the train really is a lot more frequent than it used to be as they can now run the individual train sets a lot closer together than they used to.

As you can see, this one was an express, and I needed a local but that’s not too big a deal.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One stop brought me to Court Square Station, and after about a five minute wait, the local 7 line arrived.

In my opinion, the 7 is the most photogenic of all of NYC’s subways.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The local carried me to 40th Lowery, high over Queens Boulevard. If I had been feeling truly lazy, I would have ridden the thing out to Jackson Heights and transferred to a local IND R or M line back to Astoria’s Broadway and the station that’s two blocks from my house, but…

Hey, it’s all downhill from here…

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A quick scuttle down 39th street, and an encounter with yet another Amtrak train set. This one had just executed a turn around on the horseshoe tracks found along 43rd street and was heading into the Amtrak service yard nearby the Honeywell Street Bridge/36th street.

Wonders, I tell you, wonders.


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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 8, 2022 at 11:00 am

blazed effulgently

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Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Shlepping along the increasingly mean streets of Queens, one found himself opposite St. Raphael’s Roman Catholic Church on Greenpoint Avenue, at a spot where a concrete retaining wall of about 36 inches in height can be found. Given that there is a dearth of actual street seating – no benches, for instance – hereabouts, one decided to take a load off for a few minutes and watch the Fords go by. There’s a lot of Fords, and Chevy’s, and everything else since the Long Island Expressway entrance and exit ramps are on this corner.

St. Raphael’s and its congregants provided me with one of the best “just stumbled upon it” photo days I’ve ever experienced here in Western Queens. Check out this Flickr album from 2010.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

90% of the time, I’m literally just wandering around. The other 10% is “I’m going to go to” with a plan, but you can’t force light and atmosphere to do your bidding. Over the last decade, one has learned that there are certain parts of “the study area” which are highly dynamic and regularly offer a cornucopia of random photographic subjects.

Nearby an FDNY facility in the LIC IBZ (industrial business zone) this ambulance/truck was encountered. Its insignia identifies it as belonging to New Jersey’s Ringwood Underwater Search and Recovery – which seems to be a non profit team of divers. What it was doing in Queens? Who knows? A lot of Jersey people will drive into Queens to find a place to park their vehicle, then take the 7 into Manhattan.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

In terms of fertile areas for photographic exploitation, especially ones which are a short walk from HQ, Sunnyside Yards almost never fails me. There’s a shot just waiting for you at almost anyone of the many fence holes that I catalog.

Given that heading south out of Astoria towards Newtown Creek or Brooklyn’s Greenpoint means an inevitable crossing of the gargantua rail yard… I get a lot of shots of trains.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The construction projects related to “East Side Access” have been going on for a generation at this point. It’s fairly routine for a road and or sidewalk around the yards to be blocked and or fenced off for some sort of construction project.

Luckily for me, on the particular night this shot was captured (which was the 18th of February, by the way) the construction guys left the fence open and I was able to crack out a couple of shots of their gear.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Sunnyside Yards allows few junctures that you can make north/south crossings via. Queens Plaza, Honeywell Street, 39th/Harold, 43rd street, and 48th street. The latter is where an employee’s entrance to the yards can be found. Recent construction efforts at that location have seen the local street drains become clogged.

The flooding at this spot has allowed big piles of slippery mud to accrete. It’s been reported and the local authorities notified, but nobody cares and nothing matters.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Sigh… keeping an eye on it.

When the Governor is trying to sell you on giving $850 million of tax money to an NFL team in her home district for a new stadium, remember this picture. Also – the collapsing bulkhead along Newtown Creek, and the general shit level of infrastructure maintenance you see everywhere in NYC.


The Newtown Creekathon returns!

On April 10th, the all day death march around Newtown Creek awakens from its pandemic slumber.

DOOM! DOOM! Fully narrated by Mitch Waxman and Will Elkins of Newtown Creek Alliance, this one starts in LIC at the East River, heads through Blissville, the happy place of Industrial Maspeth, dips a toe in Ridgewood and then plunges desperately into Brooklyn. East Williamsburgh and then Greenpoint are visited and a desperate trek to the East River in Brooklyn commences. DOOM! Click here for more information and to reserve a spot – but seriously – what’s wrong with you that you’re actually considering doing this? DOOM!


“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle


Buy a book!


The Newtown Creekathon returns!

On April 10th, the all day death march around Newtown Creek awakens from its pandemic slumber.

DOOM! DOOM! Fully narrated by Mitch Waxman and Will Elkins of Newtown Creek Alliance, this one starts in LIC at the East River, heads through Blissville, the happy place of Industrial Maspeth, dips a toe in Ridgewood and then plunges desperately into Brooklyn. East Williamsburgh and then Greenpoint are visited and a desperate trek to the East River in Brooklyn commences. DOOM! Click here for more information and to reserve a spot – but seriously – what’s wrong with you that you’re actually considering doing this? DOOM!


“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

April 5, 2022 at 11:00 am

unsatisfying uluations

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Thursday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Scuttling, always scuttling, that’s me. Filthy black raincoat fluttering in the wind, camera in hand, shoes scraping along the sidewalk. It’s horrible to behold, my countenance, I’ve been told. I dread passing before a piece of silvered glass.

The good news is that a humble narrator was recently engaging in a bit of calisthenic stretching and one of the tendons in my trick left foot shifted and made a sound not unlike a cello’s base string being struck with a hammer. Ever since, the pain and tenderness in the left foot and ankle has ameliorated a bit, which has just been awesome. Of course, I’m in my 50’s, so my right hip immediately began to hurt instead.

I like to refer to this phenomena as my pain squirrel, which finds a different branch of the body’s tree to sit upon every day. My physical form is like a meaty Yggdrasil, with the Pain Squirrel Ratatoskr found above, and the Death Serpent Níðhöggr chewing his way up through my roots from below.

I have an entirely pedantic inner life.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

This time around, I was out for a short walk, which these days sees this shattered husk walking the equivalent of four to five subway stops in one direction and then looping back towards HQ. It’s malevolent, winter weather, and my particular “kryptonite” revolves around cold.

Partially, this is due to the medications prescribed by the team of doctors who labor to maintain my homeostasis. The ichor flowing though my circulatory system tends to run away from cold, rendering the extremities cold and pale. If I’m out for a long walk on a very cold night, it looks a great deal like this when I return home.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Nearing HQ, this scene greeted me nearby a construction site. Obviously, somebody does not grasp the concept nor practice of municipal recycling, on a fundamental level.

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

February 24, 2022 at 11:00 am

amorphous amenity

with 2 comments

Wednesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Lucky. Just happened to be in the right place at the right time, which happened to be the Brooklyn/Queens border, found on the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge, at about 8 o’clock at night on a Friday in middle January. The tug is the CMT Pike, a 1979 vintage push boat operated by Coeymans Marine Towing.

This was a very, very difficult shot to get the exposure right for, as a note. The difficulty was due to the contrasting environment of bright lights and deep shadow, and complicated by the boat being operated at full steam and sliding quickly across the gelatinous waters of Newtown Creek.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One doesn’t like heading home along the same path which he left it from, so my toes were pointed in a generally “Maspethian” direction for the return leg of things. There’s a little park, on Review Avenue at the corner of Laurel Hill Blvd., that was constructed along with the new Koscisuzcko Bridge. One likes to have a bit of sit down there when out for a long walk, and although sitting on a block of concrete in January isn’t exactly comfortable, it’s still nice to be able to take a load off for a few minutes and “unclick” my back.

As long as I was there, why not get in a couple of shots of the bridge? Why be lazy when you’re already out and about, and sitting down on a block of frozen concrete which is draining your body heat away through your butt?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My path back to HQ in Astoria found me walking through Sunnyside Gardens, and looking over my shoulder a lot. My paranoia alleviates around Newtown Creek, given how relatively depopulated it is. Sunnyside, however, enjoys quite a dense population. Using my old rubric that 2 out of every 10 people are straight up evil, what that means is that when you’re moving through a densely populated neighborhood about 20% of that population might screw with you.

My “rule” is that out of every ten people, two are evil and two are good. The remaining six are in the middle, and can go either way depending on whether or not they follow their social cues from the good two or the evil two. “The company you keep” isn’t just something your grandmother warned you about, in my mind.


“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 23, 2022 at 11:00 am

perfumes from

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Wednesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Three Queens neighborhoods in one scuttle, now that’s what I’d refer to as a “long walk.” It’s everything I can do not to just end up at Newtown Creek every time I leave the house, so an effort is made not to do so.

That’s an N train on the Astoria Elevated tracks, found along 31st street. The cross street is Newtown Road, which I’ve been told is a pathway through the area that predates the arrival of the Europeans and that once followed the course of running water.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Spotted this one on 39th street in Sunnyside, and found it comical. The reference is of course to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement operation at the Federal Dept. of Homeland Security. The reason I find it comical is the absolutism of the slogan. You really, really don’t want to abolish the Customs Dept., in particular. I’d be in favor of some reform when it comes to the Immigration Dept., but suspect that what I’d have in mind differs wildly from what the writer of this graffiti has in mind.

Y’know, I advise my leftie buddies all the time to be mindful about giving Tucker Carlson something to talk about on Fox, but there you go.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Over at the border of Blissville and Sunnyside, you’ll find the Long Island Expressway. I’ve always been fascinated by the design motifs and cues offered by the design teams at the “House of Moses” back in the 1940’s and 50’s. That’s Robert Moses, of course. I mean, it’s an inherently ugly thing – a highway off ramp – but there’s something esthetically pleasing in the design, to my eye at least.

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

February 9, 2022 at 11:00 am

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