The Newtown Pentacle

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Posts Tagged ‘Long Island City

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Thursday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One can never resist grabbing shots of the high steel of the Long Island Expressway when I’m moving through the “empty corridor.”

“Blighting Long Island City since 1939” – they should put that on a sign.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There’s a reason I call this area the “empty corridor.”

Who cares anymore? I keep on saying that to myself these days. I’m in the process of “checking out” right now. Severing ties seems to be the order of the day, as I prepare to separate from NYC. I see fire shooting out of a manhole cover, I do nothing and…

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Well, unfortunately, I’m still me and I’m still here.

On the day that this post was written in mid August, for instance, a downed signal light on Northern Blvd. and a looming sewer backup issue were reported to relevant local authorities. I have a sense, however, that beginning in 2023 – Western Queens is going to be consumed by a series of easily fixable problems without me being able to reach out into agency land to get them to notice things spotted “in the field.” If Astoria ends up falling into the river, you’ll say “man, wish Mitch was still here.”

Saying that, I really don’t care anymore. Somebody else’s problem.

Hey, look at that – an Amtrak train set heading into Manhattan from LIC’s Sunnyside Yards! Neato.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

During the entire walk on August 10th, which started out quite comfortable, the atmospheric humidity was rising at a precipitous rate. Having arrived at the Hunters Point Avenue station, one nevertheless masked up and headed down into the sweating concrete bunker below.

My habit in recent months has been to use the 7 Line to go from subterranean to elevated and land on high at Queensboro Plaza. A transfer over to the N or W Astoria Line keeps me elevated and up high all the way to Astoria’s Broadway, and then I scuttle about ten blocks back to HQ. Yeah, I could transfer at Court Square for the M…

Part of my “Doctor Nerdlington” persona is extremely satisfied by executing a series of transfers when using the subways.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The 7 service is pretty good these days, in my experience. Every ten minutes or so, you’ve got one arriving.

I was planning on hanging around Queensboro Plaza for a spell, given the relative infrequency of the Astoria line trains, but the MTA’s ways are wild, and many,

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Arriving at the platform, an Astoria bound train was sitting there, so that funny train rapid dash that we New Yorkers execute occurred, the one followed by the realization that the train would going nowhere for a few minutes and you standing there feeling foolish for having rushed.

Off to Broadway went I, heading eastwards back to HQ and the sweet embrace of Our Lady of the Pentacle.


“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

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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 8, 2022 at 11:00 am

especially after

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Wednesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

After capturing images of a super saturated sunset in Long Island City, one converted the camera back into its handheld mode and began scuttling towards the train at Hunters Point Avenue. Along the way, something caught my eye at the bridge house for the Borden Avenue Bridge.

There’s graffiti everywhere, but most of the extant paintings are “tags” left behind by “punks.” Every now and then, it’s something different.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

This particular monologue seemed to written in either chalk or grease pencil, and asked several pointed questions. This messaging stood out, and was intriguing.

I did a bit of looking around in response to the curious screed, which led to an internet rabbit hole.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There’s a small population of people out there who claim that they are being stalked by organized groups, and believe that the group has some sort of connection to shadowy intelligence world entities. Sometimes these groups are governmental, or part of a “globalist cabal,” or they’re connected to some corrupted local branch of law enforcement.

There’s more than one subreddit for “gangstalkingand it’s a “thing.” I watched a couple of videos offered by psychologists who have studied and attempted to treat what they described as a paranoid delusion, and the Docs reported problems with getting these patients to accept help because “the shrink is in on it, and working with the persecutors.” Gang Stalking is described by these medical professionals as a paranoid delusion which is built on top of other psychological pathologies. The bit about “the light” can refer to two things in this world view – one is the weaponry used by the cabal to torture the victim of the gang stalking (said “light” has a variety of effects, from burning the skin to triggering programmed behaviors to somehow surveilling the subject), to the “light of god” as offered by lay priests leading suspect storefront church organizations that offer protection and comfort to the “targeted.”

Disturbingly, several mass shooters (notably the fellow who shot up a Navy Base in Virginia a few years ago) have left behind manifestos that discussed gang stalking as being part of why they did why they did. Most of the people who describe themselves as being “targeted” seem to have a host of other intractable problems – drug addiction, homelessness, mental illnesses. Like I said, “Internet Rabbit Hole.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Spotted a cool car as well, while changing the subject.

A late model Ford F-150 pickup.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Looking north, along Dutch Kills, from the Borden Avenue Bridge towards the Hunters Point Avenue Bridge with the 106 feet over the water Long Island Expressway’s Queens Midtown Expressway Truss framing the shot.

My trick left foot was starting to sing it’s song again, so I started limping towards the train station and a ride back to Astoria.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

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

September 7, 2022 at 11:00 am

harrow up

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Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

After confirming that Dutch Kills was indeed still bubbling, one accomplished his usual shot list at the Hunters Point Avenue Bridge. All these years, one of my self appointed obligations has been to take the same photo from the same spot over and over and over again. Pedantic, yes, but I can show you the evolution of this area over the last 15 years. The skyline has changed, but somehow Dutch Kills never benefits.

What can I tell you? This entire section of my life is ending soon, and I’m deeply – deeply – caught up in sentiment and reflection at this moment. Every time I do something, it’s theoretically the last time.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The Tree of Heaven is thriving right now, is in full bloom, and remains an eidolon to me.

After accomplishing the usual shot list, I decided to walk with the camera mounted on the tripod and continue doing deep focus and longish exposure shots.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As you can see, the burning thermonuclear eye of God itself was descending behind Manhattan and into whatever fiery pit it spends its nights in, over in New Jersey.

There was quite a light show on this particular evening.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One was making his way over to Borden Avenue for this particular sunset. The overhanging clouds of humidity rising from the City were causing all sorts of lovely color to manifest up in the vault.

I kept on keeping on to the south.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Up on Borden Avenue, I couldn’t resist this shot, with the Empire State Building framed by a series of illegally parked moving trucks.

Well, they were “technically” legally parked as it was prior to 9 p.m., but you just know for a fact that they would still be there the next morning. Nothing matters, nobody cares.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s the one I was hoping to get, above. I also shot a few hundred individual exposures which I’m planning on turning into a time lapse, but that’s on the back burner right now. I’m still working out the production/capture/delivery system for time lapse videos.

Back tomorrow.


“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 6, 2022 at 11:00 am

always frightened

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Monday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

More shots from an August 10th walk greet you this morning. One was heading for Dutch Kills, ultimately, but a desire to approach “the zone” from a different angle guided my steps. Specific to my intentions was the need to confirm the latest degradation of the Dutch Kills waterway due to municipal indifference was ongoing.

Streams of forced air bubbles are occurring now. Here’s a brief video of the phenomena. This is alongside the Hunters Point Avenue Bridge, nearby the southwest pier of the structure. Relevant authorities have been informed about the condition, including City and State level agencies.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Part of the reason I chose this particular path involved the avoidance of walking in direct sunlight and growing overheated. Additionally, I didn’t fancy having the sun bobbing around directly in front of me and blowing out my eyesight. I stick to shadows when I can.

Shadows are where I belong.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There’s a fairly serious change in altitude you’ll encounter on Hunters Point Avenue as it leads to Dutch Kills. East of Van Dam Street and leading back up to Greenpoint Avenue is built onto a hill, versus the relatively flat flood plain surrounding the water. There’s an industrial zoned series of buildings in this corridor, which includes a fantastic FDNY Fleet Services building. You’ve also got a bunch of fairly intriguing truck based businesses like Wanrong Trading Corp. – pictured above.

Traffic intensifies as you near Van Dam, which is a primary corridor between Queens Plaza/Queens Boulevard and the Long Island Expressway/Borden Avenue or the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge’s crossing into Brooklyn.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Once you cross Van Dam Street, you’re in the Degnon Terminal. A focal point for private investment capital at the start of the 20th century, the Degnon Terminal used to be full of blue chip national level corporations until the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. In recent years, the industrial park has been rebounding.

You can still see the sky there, which has become something of a rarity in Western Queens over the last 20 years.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Were I not moving out of NYC at the end of this year, I would have received my twenty year award for living in Astoria in the spring of 2023. I can tell tales of blackouts and exploding transformers, and the various waves of bad actors who suddenly appear and disappear on the streets. The homeless guys who come and go – Johnny Rottenfoot, “The Hat,” Raggedy Andy, the self replenishing corps of “Los Burrachos,” Pineapple Face, Big Head, Junkie Johnny, Homeless Melissa and her boyfriend Juan who lived in the bank’s ATM room – there have been so many who suddenly appear and then are just gone. Many have died on the street, which just sucks.

One stands out to me, an older devotee of drink, who died during the winter and was frozen to the sidewalk and wall he was sleeping on. The FDNY had to defrost him so that the morgue could remove the body.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’ve seen Deliverista justice administered, learned that I can sleep through an old west style shootout that occurred directly beneath my bedroom window, and learned that Astoria is one loose screw away from sliding into the East River at any given moment. We had a Cop who thought it would be a good idea to drive to work in a facsimile of the “Dukes of Hazard” General Lee car – with a confederate flag on the roof. We also had “Rape Cop” for a while, a fellow whose penalty for sexually assaulting an inebriated woman was to wear an aviation unit jumpsuit on duty. When he got out of the car, all the neighborhood kids would start chattering “yo, it’s rape cop.”

Sigh. Astoria, Queens. Long Island City, Queens. Home sweet hell.


“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 5, 2022 at 11:00 am

pompous inside

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Friday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

After an interminable number of days wherein a late July into early August heat wave saw me sheltering in place at HQ, August 10th saw atmospheric temperatures and humidity drop to comfortable levels. Thereby, off I went on a walk. After all the sitting around at HQ, my joints were creaking from a lack of exercise, and the camera was anxious to capture images of the wonders of Western Queens once again.

Alright, the Q66 bus ain’t exactly a “wonder,” but it’s still pretty cool. There’s a real disconnect in Queens regarding the bus system for a lot of people, and it’s one of those places where you encounter the “economic and cultural privilege divide” thing that the kids talk about. Neighborhoods where the primary form of transit service takes the from of Subway Train Lines are generally richer and more gentrified than those that are served primarily by buses. Buses, therefore, are fascinating to me as they represent a clear borderline between the social and economic classes. Personally, I make it a point of using all forms of available public transit, which – as my mother would have pointed out – “you’ve already paid for it with tax, don’t be an asshole.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’ve famously been riding around the northeastern United States on Amtrak, since getting vaccinated for Covid, but I haven’t ridden on their “high speed” Acela service. I’m not in that big of a hurry to get somewhere to justify their premium pricing and ride the slower and cheaper service, and am entirely satisfied to just grab shots of their Acela trains at the Sunnyside Yards.

As stated hundreds of times, the 183 square Sunnyside Yards coach yard and rail complex is a few blocks from HQ, and sits squarely betwixt a humble narrator and his beloved Newtown Creek. I cannot resist utilizing the multitude of federal fence holes to record the elaborate heavy industrial ballet that is observable below.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The Long Island Railroad was rather busy on this particular evening, but then again I was passing by “hole reliable” about 6:30-7:00 p.m., and that’s literally LIRR’s busy time – so…

This was going to be a relatively short walk for me as I had an early morning assignation the next day, and the plan was to wander towards the Dutch Kills tributary of Newtown Creek and eventually end up at the 7 train at Hunters Point Avenue. My habit these days is to use the 7 to get back to Queensboro Plaza, and then transfer to an Astoria bound N or W. It’s more efficient for me to take the 7 to 74th street in Jackson Heights and then transfer to the downstairs R or M lines which offer a stop just two blocks from HQ. Saying that, I really don’t mind the ten blocks or so that I have to walk from 31st street after riding on that line.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’ve always wondered about “hiding” something by attaching it to a train. You build a train car that’s securely lockable, paint it up to look like any other bit of rolling stock on whatever line you’re going to use, and the thing just travels from place to place and never stops moving. You want to fully fund rail travel in the United States, you say?

Here’s what you do – prison cars. You lock your felons up in locomotive passenger cars that are set up internally with jail cages, and then they spend their sentence traveling the country in a windowless steel box. How’s that for an abrogation of civil rights? Got to be cheaper than the current prison system we already have. I have several other suggestions for the sort of authoritarian dystopia that seems to be just over the horizon, many of which involve reclassifying “child labor” as “mandatory national service.” How’s that for cruel and unusual?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

For the authoritarian future, I favor Dante’s Inferno style punishments that are designed to be cruel, ones which are also inherently ironic in nature. You’re a drug dealer? Then your sentence involves Pfizer and Eli Lilly testing out new drugs on you without repercussions to their stockholders. Home invader? Well, my dear fiend, your mailing address is now a Rotary Jail. Capital crimes would be punished in a specifically cruel and unusual fashion – mobs of crazed Chimpanzees come to mind for pederasts. Americans would happily tune into to watch the Chimps dismember thought criminals and child diddlers, so there’s profit to be had in selling ad space on the broadcast to Taco Bell or Coca Cola. The ancient Persians reached great heights in this sort of arena – “The boats” torture comes to mind. Come on, America, we can do worse if we try.

In this near future of unfettered and profitable cruelty, men will become wild and free, and unattached to any previous morality. Society will learn new ways to enjoy itself.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Sigh…

One continued his scuttle, and since the burning thermonuclear eye of God itself was hanging pregnantly in the western sky, headed over to Queens Boulevard where shelter from the emanations of the vast radioactive fireball would be shielded by the aqueduct veranda of the 7 line subway tracks.

More next week, 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.

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