The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Posts Tagged ‘7 line

judging from

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Thursday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The weather forecast on August 1st wasn’t promising anything pleasant for the days immediately following it, and there was a lot of fog and mist in the air…

How can a humble narrator be expected to ignore atmospheric diffusion? Pfah. One shlepped over to the N train, and away I went.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

At Queens Plaza, I transferred my allegiances from the N to the 7, and took that line two stops to Hunters Point Avenue.

I had a plan in mind for the foggy afternoon, one which would find me over in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint section.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

DUPBO – Down Under the Pulaski Bridge Onramp – was part of my plan. In the late afternoons during weekdays, the Long Island Railroad people deploy a train set about every half hour from the Hunters Point Yard. The trains move under the Pulaski Bridge, cross Borden Avenue, and then go off to parts that are unknown but fairly guessable.

My plan involved crossing the Pulaski Bridge on foot, of course, but I wouldn’t be “me” if I didn’t crack out a few shots of a passing locomotive.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Y’know, I know – intellectually – that they’re going to blow the train horn when they approach a grade crossing. Doesn’t change the fact that I’m startled by the sound each and every time they do it.

It’s what’s known as an autonomic reaction to environmental stimuli.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

After getting my LIRR shots, and then inspecting the waterside area under the bridge, I headed over to the steep and well traveled stairs of the Pulaski Bridge.

I guess that about 20 minutes had elapsed while I was wandering around down there.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Just as I got to the top of the stairs, a second train was released into the wild by the LIRR an I was lucky enough to get another shot.

Pedantic? Maybe? Fun? Yes.


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cacodaemonical ghastliness

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Friday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

May 21st and I was out for a short/long walk which ended up being fairly productive. I was heading towards Newtown Creek’s Dutch Kills tributary, and along the way I stopped off at “Hole Reliable,” which is found along the fencelines of the Sunnyside Yards.

The reason this hole is so reliable is that it overlooks the Harold Interlocking, a rail junction used by both Long Island Railroad and Amtrak which is the busiest such bit of infrastructure in the entire country. You don’t have to hang around Long before something rolls by.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The powers that be have been busy spending your taxes on improving the Harold Interlocking, which is part of the larger “East Side Access” project that will be bringing LIRR service to Grand Central Station, and there’s a couple of new sidings which have recently been completed and brought into usage – like the one pictured above.

Y’know, I’ve spent something like 15 years watching them do all the construction on this, and it’s kind of cool to see it being used.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Nothing new to report from Dutch Kills. Nobody cares, nothing matters, and 29th street continues to subside and sag into the collapsing bulkhead at the water’s edge. Turns out that the reason there’s always a puddle there is that the undermined street has broken a water line pipe. That’s great, as now it’s also a DEP problem – in addition to being an EPA, DEC, DOT, and MTA problem. Eventually, the entire alphabet will be involved.

Sigh.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My tree of paradise seems to be embracing the warmer weather, and at the time this photo was taken, had just become clothed in foliage.

I didn’t plan on walking directly home on this particular evening, as I was desirous of getting a few low light shots of the 7 train. Accordingly, over to the Hunters Point Avenue stop did I scuttle.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My 7 line plan was to take advantage of how frequently the service arrives – usually in about ten minute intervals – to hop on and hop off at the various stations that I don’t frequent.

As a note, I’m a fan of that new OMNY fare control scheme of theirs. Here’s a tip – the OMNY system lets you use your phone to pay for your fare. The credit card you thereby designate for transit use (I’m on an iPhone, can’t speak to how Google Pay works on Android) should therefore be one where you receive some sort of benefit for using it. Some cards have cash back rewards, others have airline miles that accrue with use, others send a few cents to a charity you support – you get the idea. I’ve tied all of my transit charges into a single card account – LYFT/Uber, Amtrak, Subway and Bus, Ferry. This also makes talking to my accountant about transit spending rather simple.

I have a friend who has all his monthly bills flow through benefits/rewards cards. This way he’s never late with a payment, and manages to get some benefit out of his outlandishly high electric bills.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I traveled on the 7 for a bit, following my plan to hop on and hop off. The shot above is from the 33rd Rawson stop, and it’s a Manhattan bound train rounding the elevated curve nearby the former Swingline Stapler building on Queens Boulevard. One night soon I’m going to doing this sort of night time excursion on every stop of the 7 all the way out to Flushing and back.

Keeps me out of the bars. Back next week with more, at this – your Newtown Pentacle.


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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.

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.


“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 8, 2022 at 11:00 am

lasting merely

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Wednesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That machine pictured above blows. Literally. It’s a jet engine on rail wheels which the LIRR uses for clearing snow and evacuating litter and leaf debris from the tracks.

Hunters Point Yard, Long Island City. It blows, but doesn’t suck, this gizmo. Want to know what else blows? Our perception of danger, and of the return of “Fear City.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A quick walk found me riding on a 7 train, which took me to the Court Square Station in LIC. According to what I see on the news these days, I should have experienced something like Act 3 of the post apocalyptic “Road Warrior” movie, but unmolested was a humble narrator.

Seriously, other than the curious instruction from MTA, observed several times on printed and electronic poster boards within “The System” which adjures against barbecuing on subway platforms or within moving subway cars, I haven’t seen much of “out of the ordinary” down below.

It ain’t the 80’s, or even the 90’s down there… not yet, at least.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

People have been walking around with their heads up their arse for decades on the topics of “crime and safety,” which is due to “Copaganda” in my opinion.

Your chances of getting jumped… personally, I walk around everywhere with my radar on at full power at all times and have been eschewing the use of headphones while commuting… are certainly less than they were in the 1980’s, but have never been absent. Many just chose to believe that they were safe or something, and the looney tales propagated out to the news media by “certain” municipal unions which reinforce public perceptions of their centrality to all things good and great has created an impression that a) the cops could “fix it” if only they had more money and more cops and less reforms and more blah blah, and b) that the people committing these outlandish criminal acts in these stories could be cured if only there was more funding for mental health and affordable housing and blah blah blah.

Ask a hammer how to fix a broken window, it’ll say “hit it with a hammer.”

Here’s a different way to experience things – with your own eyes. Some people are good, others are bad, and a small percentage of them are straight up scumbags. We should create a penal colony on Mars and populate it with these scumbags, I’ve always thought.

Australia has worked out fairly ok, why not have a Marstrailia?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

With my own eyes – I have not seen people BBQing in the subway, but I’ve seen fare evasion and all sorts of “normal” NYC bullshit occurring more often post Covid than before.

About a month ago, an obviously ill scumbag was yelling ugly racial rhetoric at random passerby, right here at the Court Square Station. More than once have I observed the same guy doing the same thing. Cops? Nope. Would they clip him, or just force him to move on?

The one that really cooks the noodle for me is that although the ugly sentiments that this guy offered would be considered a hate crime, and despite the fact that he’s clearly “not healthy” mentally, do we really want the NYPD to get into the business of policing what people can and can’t say in the Subway – or anywhere else?

I’ve mentioned in this space that I’ve had weird encounters on the street during the pandemic, which could have gone “ass over tits” quickly if I didn’t possess the experiences of having grown up and lived in NYC all my life. I know how to talk and act in these situations, and when it’s time to run away or scream at the top of my lungs for help.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Queens Plaza was the next point of subway line transfer, where I would connect with an R line subway that would carry me to the subway stop which is nearest to HQ in Astoria. Queens Plaza is where some poor woman got attacked with a hammer, with said hammer wielded by some scumbag from Manhattan. The subway stop in Astoria I was aiming myself at is found at an intersection where, in 2020, a young mother found herself caught in a crossfire of bullets being fired indiscriminately by two random bunches of local scumbags. She died.

If the cops happened to be in the Queens Plaza station, and also happened to be nearby that staircase where the scumbag with the hammer attacked that woman, you can bet your bottom dollar that NYPD’s legendary lack of subtlety would have been on full display. The gunfight in Astoria, which was one of about 8 or 9 such exchanges which have occurred within a couple of blocks of that Astoria subway stop… how do you stop that? Drug trade gonna drug trade, gangstas gonna gang, bangers gonna bang.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As mentioned, my radar is being maintained at full power these days.

Nobody gets to within eight steps of me without an assessment, and receiving a series of non-verbal cues that they’ve been noticed and are dancing too close. Saying all that, be careful, scumbags are and always have been everywhere.

Real life isn’t what you hope it is, instead it’s entirely unpredictable and two out of every ten people are scumbags. Further, four of the remaining eight can flip either good or bad depending on the crowd they’re in. Good news? There’s generally two out of the ten who will be ok people no matter what happens.

Thankfully, the R train arrived. Some scumbag took a dump in the car I was riding in, but hey – it’s only three stops to where I gotta get off so…


“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

May 18, 2022 at 11:00 am

all observant

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Thursday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It’s all so depressing… shortly after cataloguing the dissection of the Dutch Kills shoreline, and other features in the immediate vicinity thereof, one hopped on the 7 train at the elevated Court Square station.

It was time to head home, and after spending a full early February day out and about, my energy was ebbing low.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The plan I had hatched involved taking the 7 to Queens Plaza, and then hopping aboard an N or W train to Astoria, whereupon a short walk to a local pizzeria would result in me walking into HQ and greeting Our Lady of the Pentacle – with a triumphant couple of slices in hand.

The MTA, though… their game is strong.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The frequency of the 7 line is pretty fantastic these days, since they’ve completed the decades long CBTC signals replacement project. It really does come every 5-10 minutes, the 7.

Unfortunately, the gold badged Broadway line trains – R, N, W – never received an upgrade to their signals, and especially so in midtown Manhattan, where it is desperately needed.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The signals upgrade allows for precise control of train set positioning and line wide coordination. This allows the trains to be run much closer together than using the old 1920’s style system, and allows for better “transit saturation.”

Over in the Shining City, there are several choke points for Queens bound trains – notably at the tracks leading into 34th/Herald Square and 42nd Times Square, and at the approaches to the Steinway and 63rd st. tunnels under Columbus Circle. If ANYTHING goes wrong at any single one of those points, EVERYTHING goes wrong with all three lines – as well as affecting the M, and the E, and the F lines. This triggers a meltdown in the system that can ripple from Manhattan all the way back to Brooklyn and Queens within minutes.

The Q, which formerly was part of the Astoria line, is now Manhattan only and running on the Second Avenue Subway tracks.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

After about twenty minutes of standing on the platform at Queens Plaza, I got bored and started waving the camera around.

What is it with the new people in the luxury condos and their lack of drapery, window coverings, or Venetian Blinds?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

After about a half hour, during which I was dreaming of pizza, the N finally arrived.

It was long day, and there were lots of photos that needed developing when I got back to HQ.

More tomorrow.


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.

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Written by Mitch Waxman

March 31, 2022 at 11:00 am

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