The Newtown Pentacle

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drown something

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Wednesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That is a fine tow truck, thought I, and compelled was a humble narrator to get a quick shot. Generally speaking, owners of illegally double parked vehicles are less than keen about seeing a weird old guy in a filthy black raincoat taking pictures of their rides in the dead of night, so I did a “gun and run” shot.

I regret not going wide angle with a tripod and capturing the strobing effects of its warning lights on the surrounding environment. Ahh, the milieu…

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Now, that’s a truck. If I was to set myself up as a super villain or mad scientist, that would be my ride. I’d have it painted with evil branding elements, of course. Also, anti personnel weapons of a fiendish kind – hoses that shoot live fire ants, pepper spray grenades – that sort of thing.

Someday… an army composed of my own race of Atomic Supermen… someday…

– photo by Mitch Waxman

When I got to Jackson Heights, I turned back around and headed up Roosevelt Avenue. It’s such an interesting and horrible corridor, Roosevelt. Existentially, it’s horrific – the train noise, the constant traffic, noise, tumult. Just like industrial Maspeth, you constantly remark that people actually do live here – despite everything going on around them. They’re obviously made of sterner stuff than I.

Visually speaking, it’s endlessly fascinating, Roosevelt Avenue is.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My path was now heading south westwards, back towards HQ. Short walk, this one, starting at Astoria’s Broadway in the 40’s, then down to Northern Blvd. and 39th Avenue to the intersection with Roosevelt Avenue and then back to HQ. Lots to see, got my legs moving, and the elevated tracks provided cover against threatened precipitant.

Apparently, the used furniture store pictured above is offering a sale. I like signage that’s overwhelmingly literal.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Endless fascination surrounds the complex of stairs, elevators, and overhead rail tracks encountered at 61st street and Roosevelt Avenue. This is where Long Island Railroad and the IRT Flushing Line Subway intersect. What a potpourri of calamitous design this is.

I found myself desirous of getting away from the humans after this, after avoiding several skirmish lines. A skirmish line is when (usually) a family or a group of friends arrange themselves shoulder to shoulder as they walk down the street. This is an unbreakable formation.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Crossing over the border to Sunnyside, you encounter an old shop with new signage. As mentioned, I like literal signage. What do any of us really want, ultimately, other than a bit of simple convenience?

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

January 12, 2022 at 11:00 am

ceaseless poring

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Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Another day, another walk. As mentioned, one is increasing the frequency of his exercises in the name of reducing his body weight. Thereby, a lot of “not too far from home” scuttles are underway.

That’s a section of the Sunnyside Yards in Long Island City pictured above, as seen from a fence hole along Thomson Avenue.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Before the recent spike in Covid numbers, one had been enjoying the option of using mass transit again, but c’est la vie.

That’s an M line subway entering the Court Square station, heading into Queens from Manhattan.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I laugh a bit whenever I encounter this particular food truck, which proclaims itself as being “The Boss of The Tacos.” I wonder if there’s any consensus between the food trucks as to who’s boss. Are there Taco factions, rivals, or breakaway Birria enthusiasts? Tacos are artisanal by their nature, since you’ve got to touch all of the components with your hand to assemble them.

Los Tacos, soy el Jefe!

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’ve mentioned my recent fascination with photographing gas stations. It’s a damned difficult shot to get the exposure right, and also a real task to handle the photoshop/RAW processing on them. Bright lights, contrasting, saturated colors that want to go all comic book on you.

This one’s on Northern Blvd. and Newtown Road, nearby the Woodside Houses NYCHA campus.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A similar set of issues occur with car washes. This operation is a couple of blocks east of the gas station pictured above. The difficulty encountered with this shot is that I was standing across Northern Blvd. on the opposite sidewalk, and finding a fractional shutter interval without a vehicle moving into frame takes a while.

As you may have guessed, this particular evening’s walk was headed east rather than west. I like to mix things up occasionally.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There’s a small industrial zone found at the border of Astoria/Woodside/Sunnyside which I like to wander through. It’s a little too “populated” for my taste, surrounded as it is by a residentially zoned area. Check out that graffiti van though. That’ll teach this guy not to park here anymore, huh?

Back tomorrow with more.


“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 11, 2022 at 11:00 am

earthly year

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Friday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Recent endeavor found a humble narrator walking a friend back to their Jackson Heights digs, followed by a night time stroll back to Astoria via Woodside. One is generally not enthralled with taking photographs of residential structures, or shops. My preferential subjects are usually heavy and maritime industrial, transportation and related infrastructure, cool cars and trucks, and the occasional angry bird.

Woodside, of course, is heavily residential but it does have its charms.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I don’t know what the scoop is with this apparently abandoned church building, but I’m sure there’s at least one neighborhood ghost story told about it. That’s just the nature of things, or it should be.

C’mon, zoom in on the the windows. Is there a demon staring out at you from behind the glass? Must be. Tell me what you see in there? Spooky!

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’m always fascinated by the polychromatic lighting offered by the various forms of street furniture in Queens. That’s what the professionals call traffic signals and street lamps and all the other gear they install – fire boxes, bike racks, benches, hydrants. Street furniture is kind of a catch all phrase for the stuff which allows us to do our thing. If it’s well deployed, you don’t even notice its presence.

Back next week with more 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

June 11, 2021 at 11:00 am

Posted in Photowalks, Pickman, Woodside

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secrets stood

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Friday, brü.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

So, by the time you’ve received this latest installment, a humble narrator has had to endure about 20-25 hours of Zoom meetings in just the last week. Monday was a swearing in ceremony for Community Board Members, Tuesday was the actual Community Board, Wednesday was the Newtown Creek Community Advisory Group public meeting with EPA, Thursday the Steering Committee for the same organization. Unsurprisingly, the totality of this experience is somewhat Kafkaesque. I feel hollowed out by all of this, for some reason.

Luckily, I had a live and in person “thing” this week, along the fabulous Newtown Creek, in Long Island City’s Blissville section. The Green Asphalt company invited a few of us to attend a meet and greet at their site. Nice folks, good meet up, interesting conversations were engaged in. Real life. Not Zoom. Got caught out in the rain, perfect.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Any photo now, you are going to cross the vaccination threshold with me. It’s been a year of darkness here at Newtown Pentacle, a cavalcade of night time photos gathered in the most socially isolated places that I could describe as being “walking distance” from HQ here in Astoria. Then I got vaccinated, and the camera began turning up in the daylight again. There will still be a lot of night shots in the future, lords and ladies, but for right now…

Let there be light.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s the Sunnyside Yards, nearby Queens Plaza, with a 7 line subway up top on the elevated track and a Long Island Rail Road work train on the tracks below. While I was shooting this, a fellow sucking down a paper bag clad can of beer approached me. His name was Renny, and he described himself as a Physicist originally from Poland. His conversation began with “Einstein was an idiot.”

Back in session.


“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.

frightful guide

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Thursday, uggh.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A human sized Raccoon would be able to decimate any ten men in paw to hand combat. Should these rather fetching cohabitators of the urban space suddenly reach an evolutionary juncture that saw them grow in size… well… we are screwed. Imagine it, a stray container of nuclear waste finds its way into a dumpster of yummy left over McDonald’s waste, six months later there’s six foot tall raccoon boars hanging out on Queens Blvd. knocking old men’s hats off for kicks. The average weight of a regular male Raccoon is about 16-18 pounds and their nose to butt length is between 24 and 38 inches, depending on the individual. Using nuclear waste to mutate one to human size would form up a 100 plus pound six foot tall forty toothed monster, with thumbs.

Giga-Raccoons are scary, but a human sized Rat would be terrifying and virtually unstoppable. Raccoons at least follow a body plan we are somewhat familiar with, a six feet tall at the shoulder Rat would be the size of a small car and weigh a literal ton. Fighting one would be like going up against a super intelligent cow equipped with grasping hands and sharpened shovel blades for a mouth.

This is why we must strive to keep McDonald’s garbage free of nuclear waste contamination. We shouldn’t put radioisotopes in contact with vermin in the name of a) affordable housing, b) bike lanes, c) freedom or any other hot button issue. Just don’t do it. Giant rats bad.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Wandering along one night, a discarded midden of paper caught my eye. It seemed to contain a manual for either abusing a child or for spotting signs of such abuse. Recently, one was required to expose himself to some training materials offered by the City of Greater New York regarding similar ugly topics which adjured against several behavioral practices considered either illegal or immoral by the powers that be.

Now, as is the case when an adolescent strides across the room at 3 in the morning and says “don’t worry, the fire got put out, good night,” the City’s series of admonitions and offered examples of bad behavior raised more questions in me than they answered. Since nearly everything in the “official” communications and practices of NYC has some footing in the past, specifically a legal precedent involving a trial judge determining that the defined sin had in fact occurred and that the City had to ensure that the sin was on the “Do Not Do” list, I want to know a lot more about what led to me being told that “physical or verbal threats, stalking, implied or overt violence” will not be tolerated. What goes on in Lower Manhattan?

I personally advocate for vouchsafing the dumpsters at City Hall as being free of radioisotopes, particle emitting liquids… any example of the mutagens, really. Imagine if the Mayor somehow gained superpowers. Bill and Chirlane begin dressing up in spandex and capes… we could call them the Flying Wilhelms. Term limits notwithstanding, we’d never be rid of these two if they attained super powers.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The pandemic has to have been a great time to be a mad scientist, I believe. Lots of empty industrial properties you could rent for a tiny percentile of normal cost, fewer prying eyes from curious passerby. There has never been a better time to perfect your own race of Atomic Supermen, Mutant Raccoons, Super Mayors, or really any form of mad science enhanced biota, really. I always wonder about mad science.

Theoretically speaking you get your degree accreditation together while still sane, since attaining a PHD is a rather stressful and draining endeavor. There have to be warning signs of the subtle descent into Mad Science. Your first private gene sequencer arrives from Amazon, or Science Depot finally delivers the cloning tank you need. Friends mention that they’re concerned over how many volatile chemicals you’re stockpiling, the way you’re storing bricks of uranium in the garage, the crematorium in your back yard. Madness must be a consequence of sciencing since you never hear anyone refer to someone as a “sane scientist.”

I bet that the NY Post will be running banner headlines by August that NYC has the worst Frankenstein problem we’ve experienced since the 1970’s.


“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 22, 2021 at 11:30 am

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