The Newtown Pentacle

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Posts Tagged ‘Construction equipment

fantastic figment

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Wednesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Back in NYC, just as the Omicron variant Covid surge began, one put all thoughts about holiday merrymaking and socializing out of his head. You can’t argue with a logarithmic curve, so the logic of the entire Covid period – at this particular moment, it’s been 1,057 days, if my math is correct – was followed. Go out at night, by myself, and wander around the industrial zones where I’m going to encounter few if any other people. As the old Christmas cartoon would offer: put one foot in front of the other, and soon you’ll be walking out the door.

Good golly, Miss Molly, are we ever going to escape from this looping form of existence? Everyday is like the last day, same old, same old. When this is all over, I’m going to start wearing different colored clothes or something.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

This particular evening in early December was quite a cold one. My simple desire was to get some exercise, but I was engaging in a “short walk.” For me, that meant heading out from Astoria, crossing the Sunnyside Yards to Skillman Avenue and following that to Queens Plaza and then back down Northern Blvd. towards HQ. Just under three miles, round trip, I guess?

Was wondering, while shooting these, if I had recently been riding on any of those trains down there. Sigh.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Sunnyside Yards is a railroad coach yard. What that means is that you can’t catch a train here, despite it being an 180 and change square acres Federal and State railroad facility. The purpose of the Sunnyside Yards is to provide holding areas and turn around trackage for commuter rail that’ve already been to Manhattan. You see New Jersey Transit, Long Island Railroad, and Amtrak units down there regularly. Every now and then you’ll see some train set branded with Pennsylvania colors. I always figure they must’ve gotten lost when I see them. “Queens, what do you mean Queens? We must’ve taken a wrong turn at Lancaster… Crap.”

The yards are divvied up between the various entities housed here. The official owner is Amtrak, but MTA has sway over significant acreages of the place. They’ve recently finished building out an enormous new holding yard on the north side of the facility, which is a part of the East Side Access project.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A humble narrator famously maintains a catalog of the holes in Amtrak’s fences which are large enough to fit a camera lens into. The best of the Federal holes were cut for surveyor usage. They’re generally the size of a deck of cards, these holes, but are far and few between. There’s also tears in the chain link fencing, which is also fairly easy to work with. Then, there’s the set of holes formed by weathering and material failure. Those are irregular and difficult to use, but I manage.

The shot above comes from one of the latter kind, where – I think – what must have been a vehicle accident caused a steel plate to bend away from the rest of the fence structure. Holes.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Back onto Skillman Avenue nearby Queens Plaza, where I spent a few minutes pondering whether or not I wanted to head down to Dutch Kills for a lookie loo. One decided not to. It was, after all, freezing out.

One pointed his toes north and east, and started shlepping back to the rolling hillocks of almond eyed Astoria.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Along the way, a discarded Book of Psalms and pile of Cheerios caught my attention. Fascinating, the way that these manufactured items end up where they do once somebody is done with them.

One thing you notice, upon returning to NYC from nearly anywhere else, is how dirty it is. Piles of crap are everywhere.


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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

February 2, 2022 at 11:00 am

frightful velocity

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Friday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Reliable actuations of the new(ish) camera, wherein I can point it at a scene and get back what I’m expecting, have been achieved. What I’m up to right now is figuring out how far I can push the thing before the images fall apart. These shots were captured at an ungodly high ISO (128,000) to see what that might look like if I needed it in a pinch.

The answer is that it looks fairly “otherworldly” and a little weird, huh?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The shot above is beyond the range of human vision. Literally, I could barely make out anything but the shape of the concrete truck above when I was shooting it. Frankly, I was startled when the autofocus found something to bite into when the camera was pointed at the shadowy mass.

That puddle under the truck was basically the only standing water I encountered on this walk. And the Dutch Kills tributary of Newtown Creek is right on the other side of that truck, as a note.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Again, the startling fact that I was seeing so little damage in the industrial zone from the Ida deluge was staggering. I was expecting hydrological evidences – mud slicks, debris piles stacked against chain link fences, puddles. Nothing, nada.

Back next week with more wonders 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

September 10, 2021 at 11:00 am

apparent sphere

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Friday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

We’ve covered a lot this week; how to dispose of a body, how to crime, explored a civil war between Brooklyn and Queens, and the intriguing technological possibilities offered by my newish camera. The shots in today’s post didn’t quite fit into the others but I like them anyway so…

This one is from Long Island City, nearby the Dutch Kills tributary of the loquacious Newtown Creek. It depicts the operational equipment utilized by an aggregates processing yard. What that means is that stones and soil go in, get fed into gizmos, and get sorted by particle size. Rock, gravel, sand. In the fullness of time, even the sand will face away. Nothing lasts.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Over in the happy place of Industrial Maspeth, there is a gargantuan NYC Department of Sanitation maintenance facility and garage. They have all kinds of cool stuff there, including this absolute specimen of kit. I don’t even know what to call this thing. A front loader? A bull dozer? A mobile oppression platform? It’s cool, it’s orange, and they left the door open so I was sorely tempted to take it for a joy ride because I’m from Brooklyn.

Freaking Queens.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

At the burned out Goodfella’s Diner in Maspeth, nearby the fabled Haberman rail siding of the Long Island Railroad – specifically in the Diner’s parking lot – I spotted this cool looking truck. What? It’s a truck. I like taking pictures or trucks. What do you do? Practice spitting?

On a side note, what the hell is up with all the spitting these days? If you’re a male under the age of 30 and live in Queens, it seems you produce copious amounts of saliva and need to bleed some out roughly about every three sidewalk boxes. This isn’t “hawking a loogie,” mind you, this is a little “psst” bead of snot and spit which gets expelled at regular intervals. Have any of you blokes heard about about public health, or the whole pandemic deal?

How much saliva do you generate, brü? See a doctor.


“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 14, 2021 at 11:00 am

inverse geometry

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Monday is da shizzle.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

What a busy weekend! This vaccinated thing is going great so far. More on that in a subsequent post.

The first two shots in today’s post were gathered in Long Island City, specifically the stretch of Borden Avenue which the Queens Midtown Expressway truss has positively loomed over since 1940, in the beginning of March. I tell you, lords and ladies, that the normal problem here at Newtown Pentacle is not being able to generate images quickly enough. Since I haven’t had as much to do during the pandemic, one thing I’ve kept busy with is shooting photos. I’m a good month ahead of myself these days, which is neat, but as the world starts back up I plan to get a bit more in sync with the seasons and current events.

Fed-Ex, like the other “last mile shipping” companies including Amazon and UPS, have been extremely busy for the last year. They’re also massively expanding their footprint around Newtown Creek. Newtown Creek Alliance recently worked with a graduate student named Geoff Storr on a policy brief about this expansion – which you can check out by clicking here.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Wandering around LIC, one of the things that jumps at me is the absolute sin of the wasted space under the Queens Midtown Expressway section of the Long Island Expressway. Specifically, this is the zone between Van Dam Street and the Queens Midtown Tunnel. Empty, used for illegal parking, illegal dumping, ugly.

There’s gotta be a better way!

A humble narrator is in the early stages of annoying an entirely different branch of the Government than the usual ones about this subject. In this case, the agency of record is the New York State Department of Transportation. I figure that since they’re all done with the Kosciuszcko Bridge project they must be looking for something new to do.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

On my way back to HQ on a particularly pleasant evening, this chunk of construction equipment was noticed. This is part of the same operation which I’ve talked about before, who are working out a contract to bring the crosswalks and corners into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. This involves “rekajiggering” the curb, pouring new concrete for the corner, and installing a “rumble strip” pad to provide tactile feedback to sight compromised or wheelchair users.

It provides me with something to take pictures of, so “win.”

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

April 12, 2021 at 1:00 pm

elderly eccentric

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Monday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One of the few times I’ve been out and about during the day, and in the company of others, recently saw a humble narrator scuttling along the forbidden northern coast of Queens. A small group of the neighbors are gathering soon, with the intention of focusing some attention on Luyster Creek, and a scouting party was organized to observe the site and plan the effort. It was agreed that we are going to need goats.

Beyond the sheer joy involved with the idea of getting a personal goat, I’ve since been informed that you can actually rent a goat, and it was nice to be out in the sunlight for a brief interval. I’ve become so pale that my skin is translucent, revealing the deep degeneracies contained within the skinvelope and exposing my inner workings. Luckily, the others became distracted by some “construction fu” occurring opposite the Bowery Bay Wastewater Treatment plant’s formal entrance, said con fu is pictured above.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Controversy swirls, and we all spin. Back in the dark on a different date, one picked a lonely pathway through less traveled corridors in Long Island City. Well… other people travel them all the time, but I seldom do, preferring efficiencies of route which offer statistical advantage in the category of avoiding members of the human infestation. One eschews random contact with these hidden intelligences, even when respiratory plagues are not prevalent.

Cold temperatures and dire news have caused the humans to sequester within, while outside creatures like myself crawl about. Encounters with other wanderers are few and far, but one has accidentally collided with the dangerously deluded, those who are criminally inclined, the dead drunk, and even hostile wackadoodles in recent months – out here in the cold dark.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

…what was that sound, over there, behind that thing, next to that other thing, is there someone in that car, are they sleeping, what’s that – it’s a cat, no it’s a big rat, no it’s a little dog, nope – definitely a big rat… holy crap, that guy’s taking a dump… oh man, there goes the rat… christalmighty that’s some rat…

Goats. You can rent goats in NYC.

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, February 1st. 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

February 1, 2021 at 11:00 am

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