The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Posts Tagged ‘Dutch Kills

invasive specie

leave a comment »

Monday

– photo by Valerie DeeBee

I’ve mentioned “My Pal Val” more than once here at Newtown Pentacle, and after discussing our recent visit to the Montauk Cutoff in Queens’ Long Island City Section, I invited her to guest blog about it today. The photos are hers, and after this – so are the words. Lords and ladies, meet Valerie DeeBee.

The Montauk Cutoff is truly fascinating to me, but never more so than in autumn, and at Mitch’s suggestion, we journeyed there as sunset was drawing near. An outstanding combination.

The silhouette of the water tanks was actually captured just before we began our ascent. It spoke to me of the time of day we were about to photograph, and seeing those shapes against the lowering sun in the sky made me feel that a wonderful adventure was at hand. It turned out that I would not be disappointed.

– photo by Valerie DeeBee

As we walked the Cutoff, the contrast of the overgrown, abandoned rail with the vibrant skyscrapers in the background caught my eye. Looking as though they occupy almost the same space, they are at the same time worlds away from each other.

– photo by Valerie DeeBee

A little further walk, we arrived at the object of my photographic desire: the flora, and especially the burnished gold trees growing in between and out of the deserted rails. This was what I had come to see and capture, and in so doing, take hold of another contrast: the “dead” rails and the dying trees. The contrast of these objects, their diverse colors, the innate beauty of the multiple layers made the trip a success for me.

– photo by Valerie DeeBee

As darkness would soon be upon us, we didn’t have the opportunity to shoot the various trains that pass nearby. Maybe another time … ?

Sometimes going out camera in hand can yield few – if any – worthwhile images, and upon viewing the day’s work at home, deletions can rule the day. Not so after this trip. The images taken were what I had hoped for and 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

December 27, 2021 at 1:00 pm

coffin shaped

with one comment

Wednesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Back in November, two of my pals from Newtown Creek Alliance – Willis and Gil – got it into their heads to organize a street end cleanup at the Borden Avenue street end in Queens’ Long Island City section. This allowed me to bust their balls by calling the duo “Gillis” for the day, so win. Luckily, the NYC DEP wanted to help and they arranged for a series of dumpsters to be trucked in to support the effort. About 50 people showed up to perform the labor, including a decent number of teenagers. One of those teens dug the creepy baby doll pictured above out of the poison loam surrounding this distaff tributary of the fabulous Newtown Creek.

For the whole set of shots from the effort, wherein you’ll be able to witness the astounding four dumpsters worth of junk that the community gathered during the day, click here.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The group’s labor came to an end when a magnificent band of thunderstorms blew through LIC. The high flying Queens Midtown Expressway, whose steel truss roadway hangs some 106 feet over Dutch Kills, provided us with some shelter, but everyone was huddled up against the sides of trucks and wooden fence panels to avoid the horizontal rain. A massive amount of water poured out of the atmosphere, but as is the case with such weather, it was all over in about a half hour.

That’s when we heard a rushing/roaring sound.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Found alongside the Borden Avenue street end is a storm sewer which empties into Dutch Kills. This particular one drains a couple of large industrial properties as well as a couple of streets and a section of the aforementioned Queens Midtown Expressway section of the Long Island Expressway. Thousands of gallons of storm water were ploughing out of the pipe and discharging into the waterway.

What fun.


“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.

abnormally impassive

with 2 comments

Thursday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Nothing matters, and nobody cares. The cogs of fate spin, and the inevitability is doom, so all you’ve got is now. Rejoice in the end of all things, as morals and reason are cast aside in the name of enjoying yourself. Find new ways to do so, with pleasures profane and ribald. Drink it. Eat it. Smoke it. Screw it. Swim in it. Do whatever you like. Do whatever feels good and damn the cost. Nothing matters, and nobody cares. More. More. More. That’s what Lucifer, with its mantra of free will, would tell you.

This whole sociopathic thing with me started with the Murder Hornets, remember that? Turns out that the medical world doesn’t use “sociopath” these days, and instead prefer the term “Antisocial Personality Disorder.” I stick with the dictionary version of the word, which indicates “extreme antisocial attitudes and behavior and a lack of conscience.” That’s a goal state for me. Imagine it… no conscience.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Since childhood I’ve always known that someday I’d be a doomsday prophet in Times Square, walking around with one of those sandwich boards that reads “The end is nigh.” I always imagined that I’d be wearing a spaghetti colander as a helmet, though. I’ve got the black sack cloth clothing, the wild look in the eye, all that. Call me Mitchathustra, for my whole life has led towards destitute doomsayer and troglodyte cave dweller. Tissue boxes make for good slippers, I’ll attest.

So, how’s about Christmas, huh? Ring ting tingling. There’s puppies. Lighten up, Bro, what d’ya say? Buzzkill. So dark.

Really, the healthiest thing to do at the moment is to just accept the fact that nothing matters and nobody cares. Any other point of view is simply shambolic and somewhat adolescent.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Lovecraft opined in “The Call of Cthulhu” that “Mankind would have become as the Great Old Ones; free and wild and beyond good and evil, with laws and morals thrown aside and all men shouting and killing and revelling in joy. Then the liberated Old Ones would teach them new ways to shout and kill and revel and enjoy themselves, and all the earth would flame with a holocaust of ecstasy and freedom.

Of course, Lovecraft was a pretty ugly guy when you get down to it. Vicious racism, upper classism, and a host of other personality defects are preserved in his writing. Saying that, he certainly called out what the dissolution of American society would look like.

Happy Thursday, lords and ladies.


“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 16, 2021 at 11:30 am

dazedly following

with one comment

Wednesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Seldom do I head down to the spot where these shots were gathered along Dutch Kills, due to the fact that I’m usually by myself when I’m out shooting. There’s a real chance of a snapped ankle on this path, or some other injury, and I honestly don’t know how I’d explain to the 911 operator where I was if I needed help (and I’ve thought this through). Thereby, since my pal Val was with me on this particular outing, caution was thrown to the wind. That’s the DB Cabin rail bridge, which – if memory serves – was built in the 1920’s, and is a still VERY active crossing for Lower Montauk line Long Island Railroad rail traffic over the mouth of the Dutch Kills tributary of Newtown Creek.

I seriously do not ever want to have to have the FDNY rescue me from some stupid injury in an out of the way place like this. It would be so embarrassing, and I’d never hear the end of it from my firefighter and or cop friends. Officer Pinky and Fireman Matt at the local bar here in Astoria – in particular – would “take the piss” as my British wife would say, since I regularly bust their balls.

Btw, he’s Officer Pinky because despite being a hulking meathead of a cop, this particular patrolman had a fractured pinky finger which put him on the disabled list for several months. The guy is built like a professional wrestler, but he had that little finger stuck out on a splint with a hand posture that reminded one of “tea time.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The bridge pictured above is part of the Montauk Cutoff, and is dubbed “Cabin M.” It’s inactive, and the tracks it’s connected to are no longer connected to Sunnyside Yards on the western side of the cutoff. It’s a single bascule rail drawbridge, and – again, of memory serves – dates back to the 1930’s. MTA was planning on demolishing it prior to COVID, but who knows what the future holds?

Eric Adams is said to be able to see through time and gaze at all of human history, in the manner of Dune’s God Emperor Leto the second, but he never had to sacrifice his humanity for this prescience like that fictional character from Frank Herbert’s sci-fi opus. Adams just had to ride a bike once and then go Vegan. The new Mayor will be an eidolon whom the children of New York will sing fluting aspirational songs about. Just ask him.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

From up on the bridge, my pal Val yelled down to me that it was time to split, and asked if I was interested in grabbing a meal. We headed over to the entirely adequate Bel Aire diner on Broadway and 21st street in Astoria and I quaffed a pizza burger deluxe. Yum.

More tomorrow, 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

December 15, 2021 at 11:00 am

effect upon

with 2 comments

Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My pal Val asked if I’d accompany her on a trip to the Montauk Cutoff in LIC recently, and I said “sure.” We timed our visit to coincide with sunset. Light is especially important to plan around during winter months in NYC, given the harsh shadows which the angle of the sun offers during mid day hours. You want to be up and out of bed before dark, or roaming around just as it turns dark, this time of year.

The Montauk Cutoff is an “abandoned” set of rail tracks owned by the Long Island Railroad/MTA that starts at Long Island City’s Skillman Avenue, crosses over several streets and an avenue as well as the Dutch Kills Tributary of Newtown Creek, and comes back to ground again at the Blissville Rail Yard along Railroad Avenue. It operationally connected the LIRR’S Lower Montauk tracks to their Main Line tracks at Sunnyside Yards.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My travels in September revealed that there’s a Railroad Avenue to be found in several cities, which is one of those intriguing “there’s a photo book in that” ideas which plague me. Sounds like a lot of expensive effort, but I might add it to my shot list for future travels.

Speaking of, I was away last week and weekend on another trip. Returned to Pittsburgh, as I was so incredibly intrigued by the place during my visit in September. Got a few nice shots, which you’ll be seeing in the new year, but which won’t be presented in the exhausting “deep dive” fashion that you saw in November.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

See what I mean about waiting for sunset during the winter? It’s the only time of day that the unremitting grayness of the dystopian shithole that is modern day NYC breaks open with a bit of colorful panache.

My pal Val’s interests in this location involved a triad of trees growing out of the abandoned rail tracks, and she was getting busy with the camera a-clicking and a-whirring while I roamed around with my rig trying to stay out of her shot. That’s the 1940 vintage Queens Midtown Expressway overflying the 1908 vintage Borden Avenue Bridge as shot from the “abandoned” 1920’s vintage Montauk Cutoff tracks.

Who says NYC’s best days are in the past?


“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 14, 2021 at 11:00 am

%d bloggers like this: