The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Posts Tagged ‘31st street

diminutive monkey

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Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I often wonder if all of this is actually happening or if I’m suffering the effects of coma in a hospital bed somewhere and my brain is firing off random hallucinatory ideations. Like the “this all might be a computer simulation” scenario, how could you possibly discern what is real or not if your conscious mind is trapped like a “ship in a bottle” within the delusion. Without an outside reference point, your point of perception is warped by the atmospheric container it dwells within. It’s astronomy from within the atmosphere versus the clear views available from space.

As mentioned yesterday, one ponders existential questions while wandering around Queens in the dead of night during a global pandemic.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Everyone is the hero of their own story, or at least they should be. I’m the villain of my own, or at least I find villains more interesting than the heroes, so I claim the role. Lex Luthor? He’s trying to protect the human race from an all powerful alien overlord. Joker? The only man in the entire City brave enough to laugh in the face of a sociopathic Billionaire who dresses up in bondage gear and spends his nights beating up poor people. God hates you for your sins, Lucifer loves you just as you are.

There’s around 177,000 stories living in the naked Astoria, I plan on learning a few more of them in the new year.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Incredible luck governs over me, I realize. One of the skills I’ve developed during these pandemic months is the ability to choose a path through one of the most densely populated sections of the planet which offers zero company and little or no interaction with the humans. It wasn’t terribly late, either, I’ve just managed to find something new I’m good at – avoiding company and the concomitant commiseration of microbiota that comes with it.

Cooties.

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, December 28th. 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

December 29, 2020 at 3:00 pm

prehensile characteristic

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The last Monday morning of 2020 is here.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Pondering, that’s what I do when I’m shlepping along and scuttling about and in between photos. My thoughts will wander to this or that, and I’ll often turn over recent conversations or arguments in my mind, wondering why I said or did something. Often, I’ll remind myself that everyone hates me. Can’t blame them either, a humble narrator is quite objectionable as a person and doesn’t really belong in the company of polite society. Too much of a wise ass. That’s always been my problem, but I just can’t stop myself. The world is hysterical, if you get the joke. I don’t, but I pick up a lot of trivia along the way, which feeds into the pondering.

I had to break the news to a friend recently that munchkins aren’t actually the punched out holes of Dunkin Donuts, which is something I thought obvious. It felt like I was telling him that Santa Claus isn’t real.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Did you know that the reason you associate eating carrots with improved eyesight via Vitamin A ingestion is actually British WW2 propaganda, propagated to hide the efficacy and existence of their novel “radar” military technology? They actually said that their “spotters” could see the Luftwaffe coming due to a carrot rich diet.

The dyes and colorings in modern military camouflage clothing are chosen primarily because of interaction with the invisible infrared spectrum used by night vision equipment, which is more important than performance in the spectrum of visible light discernible by the human eye?

Did you know that New York City has less than four days worth (supply estimate is 14.6 million gallons, primarily stored in 800 gas station underground tanks and a handful of bulk storage facilities) of the 3.4 million gallons of gasoline and diesel liquid fuels we consume every day stockpiled within our borders?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Did you know that Astoria’s 31st street used to be 2nd street Avenue, and before that it was called Debevoise Avenue? How about that the elevated tracks above it opened on February 1st in 1917?

Like I said… pondering.

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, December 28th. 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

December 28, 2020 at 1:00 pm

leer evilly

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Monday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Prior to writing this post, a humble narrator trimmed his fingernails. It made me curious, so after a bit of investigation it turns out that your fingernails (which grow at a far more rapid rate than toe nails, according to medical science) advance from the cuticle at an average rate of some 0.14 inches a month. A quick bit of calculation thereby reveals that I’ve likely grown and discarded just under seven and half feet of fingernail over the five and change decades I’ve been alive. It also seems that nail clippings can serve as important biometric markers and a laboratory analysis of them can help to determine several things about your diet, current homeostasis, overall metabolism, and identifying any particular poison which you might be environmentally accumulating.

What can I tell you, I’m the curious type. Ever wonder about how many yards of hair you’ve chopped off over the years? Gallons of piss, pounds of poop, dollops of snot? I have. These are the sort of subjects I’ll often explore when walking the camera around in the dead of night.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Biologic metrics are fascinating. Of late, I’ve been obsessed with the step counter app on my phone, which has supplied me with a series of benchmarks for how far and fast I’m moving about. On the particular night which these shots were gathered, for instance, in a roughly three hour interval, some 10,000 individual steps were recorded. That equates to about 4.7 miles, meaning I was scuttling along at roughly 1.5 miles per hour. That’s half of what’s considered to be average human walking speed, but don’t forget that I had to keep on stopping to obsessively capture pictures of the visual splendors presented by Western Queens.

This was one of my “short walks” incidentally, which I commit to at least twice a week. Long walks are 10-15 miles and take all damn night, also twice a week. I’ve got a very tidy “every other day kind of thing” going on these days.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Biometrics actually underlie a lot of the world, if you notice the details. There’s a universe of calculation that goes into the rise and run of staircases, for instance. Average servings in a restaurant, the size and shape of drinking glasses, even the amount of space allotted to an individual rider on the subway is calculated (MTA has told me that it’s one square horizontal meter, which is projected upwards as a two cubic meter box). All of these calculations are regionally specific, incidentally. European and American designers of public space have historically had to compensate for higher average body weights and size than their counterparts in South and East Asia. If you wear jeans with a waist size over 34 inches, I’m told you’re going to have a hard time buying clothes in Japan or Viet Nam.

I wish I had been saving all of those nail clippings over the years, just to be prepared for any possibility of a Ragnarok situation involving flooding, as I’d have a personal Naglfar to float away from trouble.

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.

Written by Mitch Waxman

November 9, 2020 at 11:00 am

atomic weight

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Thursday’s, right?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That photo up there was surprisingly difficult to capture, but not because of any technical or camera related issue. Instead, it was the wind. The tripod I use was chosen for its “carry-ability” and beat out several other contenders for my hard earned cash in terms of its weight. That’s actually where it’s fatal flaw manifests – it’s quite light. Normally, this isn’t much of an issue, but at Hells Gate the other night, steady winds were introducing vibration into the setup and blurring the shot. A “proper” tripod would weigh four or five times what mine does (I have two of those, which get left at home) but then you have a ten and change pound pile of metal you’re carrying. Saying that – a heavier tripod would have locked down to the ground, gravity wise, and cancelled out the wind effect somewhat.

When you walk miles and miles, as I do, getting even a half pound out of your camera bag is a victory. Remember, I’ve been using two tiny prime lenses for the last year almost exclusively. The heavy “glass” zoom lenses have been siting in a camera bag for most of the pandemic, a habit I got into a year ago when I broke my big toe.

F11, ISO 200, 30 seconds – that’s the exposure triangle formula for this one.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Just because the prime lenses are low in weight doesn’t mean they’re not capable devices. I continue to be staggered at just how good Canon’s 24mm pancake lens is. It can be a bit wonky on autofocus in low light, but there’s ways around that. The downed tree in the shot above was barely visible with the naked eye due to it being in shadow, but a quick bit of flashlight work allowed the 24mm enough light to lock onto it and then it was just a matter of figuring out the right exposure.

For you photographers out there – f4 at ISO 200, 25 seconds. The only blur in the shot was introduced by the wind wobbling the branches about. The 24mm is razor sharp at f4, which I can’t say about my far more expensive and heavy zoom lenses.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Citibike racks placed on the sidewalk, as I’ve found out, are tantamount to opening a Nazi death camp for the bicycle people. They want the racks placed on the street pavement, which has absolutely nothing to do with their political campaign to reduce the number of free parking spots for cars in NYC. The rack pictured above, for instance, translates to around five parking spots. Ideological concerns trump everything else for that crowd, including the ultra mundane set of rules and laws which both the Citibike and NYC DOT people must oblige.

I’m told by the powers that be that the racks are placed where they are (sidewalk versus street) in response to the needs of emergency vehicles, underground and overhead utilities, and the turning radiuses of mass transit vehicles like buses.

Since I’m doing this today – f4, ISO 100, 2.5 seconds.

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 5, 2020 at 1:30 pm

stolen fearfully

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An Astoria Wednesday.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’m told that the construction chaos encountered at the corners surrounding the intersection of Astoria Boulevard and 31st street will be over soon, so one decided to pop over there the other night to get a few shots. This construction revolves around the renovations of the elevated subway station above, and the installation of elevators which connect to the subway station platform.

This is – perhaps – one of the most pedestrian unfriendly spots in all of Queens, and that’s saying something. I’ve always pointed a finger at the confluence of Northern and Astoria Blvd.’s over in Flushing as being one of the spots where you’d suddenly find yourself walking on the shoulder of a highway off ramp, but wow – do I hate crossing the street here. Especially so while wearing a pandemic mask that causes my glasses to fog up.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Local traffic off ramps from the Triborough Bridge feed a never ending flow of automobiles and trucks onto Hoyt Avenue, which proceeds to feed east bound traffic onto Astoria Blvd. Support columns for the elevated tracks above provide a series of obstacles for driver and pedestrian alike. There’s a lot of light bouncing around under the elevated – vehicular headlights, traffic signals, street lighting – all competing for your attention as try to negotiate the less than obvious pathways you’re meant to walk through. Luckily, most of the traffic coming off of Triborough seems to be flowing onto the ramps leading down to the Grand Central Parkway trench which divides Astoria into two neighborhoods.

I wasn’t planning on doing some epic analysis on this particular evening, rather I was heading towards the Hell Gate section of the East River and mighty Triborough.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As mentioned above, I’ve been told that the MTA construction project is about to start winding down, but I’m ignorant as to that timeline. One positive thing about all of these lovely barriers and scaffolding is that it provides a vouchsafe pedestrian space down here where you are securely isolated from traffic. There’s also a lot of primary colors from the hot side of the color wheel, so it makes for nice photos.

Tomorrow, what I saw in the wind and cold at Hells Gate.

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 4, 2020 at 1:00 pm

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