The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Posts Tagged ‘LIRR

puerile extravagance

with 2 comments

Wednesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One of several great things about the new camera system I’m working with is that I can pretty much leave the tripod at home when going out for a night time walk. What’s cool about that is that the somewhat laborious process of “stop/set up/shoot” has now been replaced with “hey, look at that, take a picture.” I still use the tripod occasionally, but it’s kind of an intentional thing rather than a necessary thing. For those of you who might not be photography obsessed gear heads, carrying less and doing more with it is kind of the name of the game when you’re on the street. Studio photography, as in the standard three light portrait shot you were likely the subject of during school photos or family portraits, still requires a bunch of gear. Saying that, you can’t instruct a passing Q104 bus to hold still, smile, or say “cheese.”

So, when do you need a tripod or other camera support when packing one of these very modern mirrorless cameras? When you want to do a long exposure, or a time lapse, or any number of photo genre’s that you want to play with which require an absolutely static relationship between camera and composition – that’s when.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Forgive me for rattling on about this at least once a week, but I’m still absolutely astounded by the set of capabilities which Canon has baked into this new gizmo, and am still exploring its limits. Hell, the biggest feature and selling point on this new generation of Canon cameras is face and eye based autofocus tracking and I haven’t even turned that one on yet due to the pandemic and my avoidance of other people. Just the other night I found a tiny button on the thing by accident – that I didn’t even know was there – that allowed me to toggle back and forth between manual and automatic settings. The only reason I found that was because I was wearing gloves and accidentally activated the thing.

The gloves are a step up for me as well, as I’ve finally found a pair that incorporate some sort of material into the finger pads which smart phone and other touch screens can acknowledge. If this process continues to its logical conclusion, I’ll be wearing an Iron Man suit by July.

Actually, I’d love an Iron Man suit, but they don’t have them in the husky department at Alexander’s. Now, how’s that for an obscure reference?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The other day, while presenting a Sunnyside Yards shot gathered at a fence hole I refer to as the “old reliable,” I mentioned that whomsoever it is at Amtrak that’s been put in charge of fence holes at the rail complex during the Biden era has been busy. A couple of new ones have appeared, including one that allowed the shot above, depicting a Long Island Railroad train heading towards Manhattan.

Now, that’s a shot which my older camera would have categorically required a tripod to get. What I would’ve been unhappy about would have involved the train being motion blurred due to the shutter speed. The new unit had zero problems operating at low light and offers the use of a shutter speed which allowed me to produce a sharply defined and quite frozen moment.

See y’all tomorrow at this – your Newtown Pentacle.

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, March 8th. 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

March 10, 2021 at 11:00 am

dimensions dissolved

leave a comment »

Monday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Electrical transformer explosion season has come and gone here in the ancient village of Astoria, which is a shame since the folks who work for Con Ed’s Emergency Units are nice people who seem to drink a lot of coffee and eat a lot of sandwiches, so our local delis and bagel shops profit off of their presence. Without exploding manholes, this time of year, the local business forecasts and retail economy are flat.

Last week, a humble narrator made his way into Manhattan for the first of two COVID vaccine jabs. The process was very, very NYC. You waited in a line to provide your information and display your skill at filling out forms, which allowed you to queue up into a second line where the forms were discussed again, and then a third line which led to somebody in blue clothes and a white coat who did the deed after discussing the forms again. I experienced no side effects other than a mild headache, and a minor craving for human brains. I go back at the end of March for the second jab, and the particular flavor I received was the Pfizer version. I don’t know why that’s important, but people have asked me whether it was the Coke, Pepsi, or Sprite version in the last week. There you are.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

In the meantime, I’m still avoiding the rest of you and wandering around in the dead of night. Occasion found me cowering in fear when a group of teenagers were spotted. Luckily, I was able to dive into a pile of the omnipresent litter and garbage which distinguishes Queens, and secreted myself away from their attentions. While hiding in the midden of abandoned goods, one spent his time pondering the state of the world. I also checked my email and Facebook while submerged beneath the litter camouflage. Multi task! Cowering and productivity can and do go hand in hand neatly.

I’ve been allowing myself to feel emotions again, which has been a bit of a mistake, as the only portfolio of emotions enjoyed by a creature like me are classified as being amongst “the seven deadly sins.” I’m a particular fan of sloth and envy, but hatred – boy oh boy. Hate gets a bad rap, as does shame. If more people felt shame, I’d have less places to hide when I see a group of teenagers coming at me, since they’d litter less.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

After the adolescent horde passed me by, a humble narrator shook off the detritus and candy bar wrappers he was immersed in and continued on his way. My next stop involved yet another inspection of the fence hole situation at Sunnyside Yards. There actually were a couple of new ones, but the shot above depicting a Long Island Railroad train roaring through the Harold Interlocking was gathered at a fence hole which I’ve come to refer to as “the Old Reliable.”

One looks forward to the end of March, which is rumored to leave in the manner of a climatological lamb in accordance with some old chestnut of a saying, and end of March will be the moment when my immunological armor has been affixed. Getting out of the box I’ve been in for the last year is tantalizing for me. Saying that…

There might be teenagers about. Delinquents! Ruffians! No impulse control!

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, March 8th. 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

March 8, 2021 at 11:00 am

organic metabolism

leave a comment »

Friday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Hey, it’s peak fall foliage season in LIC, get out there and take some pics!

Recent endeavor found me up on the Montauk Cutoff abandoned railroad tracks in Long Island City, and I waved the camera around while I was up there.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s a New Jersey Transit train entering the Sunnyside Yards via one of the East River tunnels. NJT uses Sunnyside Yards to store rolling stock in between peak hours that crossed under the Hudson River to Penn Station.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s a Long Island Railroad passenger train heading for the East River tunnels, on it’s way to Manhattan and Penn Station.

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.

waddled in

leave a comment »

Thursday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Another night, another day. Another walk with the camera through the hinterlands of Long Island City. Another conversation about thwarting the ambitions of the EDC, or the Real Estate People, or the deeper meanings of what some elected official or candidate has just said. Another phone call to somebody to try and get them to help somebody else who has troubles. Another comment offered to the Government people on some plan they’re concocting, another opinion email sent, another night and another day and another walk around LIC with the camera. Another night spent developing photos, another day spent writing, another phone call asking me to do or say something I don’t want to do.

I’m in a rut, and due to the damned pandemic roaring back to life it’s only going to get worse. Ireland just locked down again, and their total death toll since March doesn’t even approach the number of people dying of this bug every single month in the good old U.S. of A.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Anxiety, that’s what I’m experiencing right now. One has made it a point of discussing this fact, which violates several social norms. You’re not supposed to talk about your feelings, especially negative ones that might connote weakness. Mental health is no different from the conditions affecting the rest of your body, in my view, and keeping quiet about it when you’re feeling anxious or scared makes it difficult for others to admit they’re feeling the same sort of insecurity and fear. That’s why I’m making it a point of being open about what I’m experiencing. One of my little mottos is “Say what you do, do what you say.”

I’m not looking forward to the next couple of fortnights.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

What can you do to prepare for the winter of discontent we’re all about to experience?

The only answer I can come up with is to charge the camera battery, put on my hiking shoes, and get ready for yet another walk through Long Island City on yet another afternoon or evening. I can try not to hurt anyone, intentionally or unintentionally. I can aspire to try and help people when they need help. What else can you do?

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, October 19th. 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

October 22, 2020 at 11:00 am

into which

leave a comment »

I been everywhere, man.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A humble narrator is fully “back in action” after a long hermitage. In the last seven days – I’ve conducted three walking tours of the Newtown Creek watershed, visited the Kosciuszko Bridge construction project, attended and partcipated in a Working Harbor Committee tour, and have also found myself cathechizing elected officialdom about the dangers of CSO’s (Combined Sewer Outfalls). I also shot and developed a few hundred photos, and you’ll be seeing some of them over the next few days.

I also got to take the most photogenic of NYC’s subway lines the other day, which is the IRT Flushing or 7 line, as evinced by the shot above.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Two of my walking tours last week were private affairs, and involved exposing groups of students to LIC. I brought the kids down the Dutch Kills tributary of Newtown Creek, then along the main stem of the Creek itself, and we eventually ended up along the East River waterfront in Hunters Point.

The counterpoints between “America’s Workshop” and the “Modern Corridor” are jarring, and seeing the post industrial section contrasted with the gentrified residential sections really seemed to hit home with them. I love taking out groups of students, incidentally, as ultimately our world will be theirs someday, and they have to start thinking up the solutions to the colossal mess we’re going to be leaving behind.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Funnily enough, what with all the running around, I ended up walking close to forty miles last week as I scuttled around from place to place. This weekend, I’ve got another private group tour on Saturday, but on Sunday there’s a free event I’m helping to conduct with my colleague Will Elkins from Newtown Creek Alliance. Details are found below for attending the “North Henry Street Project,” which will meet up at 11 a.m on the corner of Kingsland and Norman Avenues in Greenpoint.

This one is part of the citywide MAS Janeswalk event, and I’m hoping you can come along and check out the plans NCA has been concocting for the “Unnamed Canal,” a minor tributary of Newtown Creek.

Upcoming Events and Tours

Sunday, May 8th at 11 a.m. – North Henry Street Project,
with Municipal Arts Society Janeswalk and Newtown Creek Alliance,
in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Click here for more details.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

May 2, 2016 at 1:30 pm

%d bloggers like this: