The Newtown Pentacle

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Posts Tagged ‘Long Island City

oddly corrobative

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Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The routine one currently ascribes to involves a schedule of “one day out, one day in.” What that means is that if I’m out with the camera on Monday, Tuesday is the day I’m at HQ developing whatever I shot and delivering it to the Internet. One opines that internally lubricated parts like the knee or hip joints require regular flexion lest they lose function. Scuttling, always scuttling, that’s me. As a point of interest, the way that this shakes out this week is that tonight I’ll be out and scuttling.

One appears to be little more than a pile of filthy black fabric caught in a stiff breeze to most passerby, but for some reason I’m catching people’s eyes these days and I don’t like that. Some of the humans want to talk with me, whilst others are suspicious of my presence. Unfortunately, there are also those whom have seemingly developed a taste for human meat during the pandemic, and they gaze at me and my possessions hungrily.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Things have become odd out there, in this second winter of Covid. A winnowing of patience, the thinning of empathy, an acceptance of “that’s how things are now” has been arrived at. You can feel “the vibe” if you’re the sensitive type. Personally, I miss the illegal fireworks.

I’ve been observing the sort of things which hint at the continuing unraveling of civil order, encountered malign actors on the deserted streets, and have taken to swiveling my head around more than previously. Blame whatever you want to for this, I don’t care what others say, and I’m sure there’s a political narrative you’ll find comfort in. It’s going to be a real shit show when the Cops start doing their jobs again, which I predict as coinciding with the arrival of a new local political regime in January. It’s likely too late for that to have any real meaning, however, as the Djinn has escaped its bottle.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Pictured above is a frontline of next year’s political bullshit here in Astoria. A mega project offered by the Kaufman Astoria people called “Innovation Queens” is slated to begin paying off local “voices” to sing the song of gentrification. If you want to know what it costs to buy off these voices – it’s about $5,000 a head. You’ll get all the usual characters – the street minister who’s secretly a gangster, the well thought of community leader who’s secretly the secret gangster’s mistress, the odd local business owner who was planning on selling his bar soon anyway. These sort of characters were all in for the LIC rezonings, the BQX, Amazon, etc. – whatever big idea City Hall and the EDC were flacking at the time and writing checks for. That’s why I can tell you what and how much they cost, because that’s what they cost the bosses last time, and the time before that. Five grand isn’t even bagel money for the real estate people.

The Innovation Queens people describe this little industrial zone along Northern Boulevard as “dark, deserted, dangerous.” In actuality, it didn’t used to be, but ever since they started acquiring/emptying/blighting the properties hereabouts…


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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.

damned effrontery

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Wednesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My Tree of Paradise grows out from under a cosmetics factory found on a superfund site in Long Island City. It’s all I’ve got to cling to, really. It represents something to me. That’s why I left HQ at about 4:45 in the morning on a recent chilly morning, paid money for a cab to drop me here in Long Island City at Dutch Kills, and explains why I was standing there on the Hunters Point Avenue Bridge with a tripod setup just as the burning thermonuclear eye of god itself peeked up from behind Nassau County. I got what I wanted, which was the shadow of a factory roof pointing an arrow at my tree of paradise.

Why take a cab rather than walk or take the train? Have you read the headlines? Things have gotten a little weird out there these days and particularly nights, and it’s not worth taking the chance that you’re going to run into some malign actor in the dark while burdened down with bags of camera equipment.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

For those of you relatively new to New York City, which I’d describe as being any of you who moved here after “Giuliani Time,” there’s a series of sensible prophylactics you’ll want to acquaint yourself with.

First is that you keep your money and your wallet in separate pockets. This way, if you do get cornered by a mugger you can give them the cash, and avoid the pain in the ass of replacing all of the cards and documents in your wallet. Second is that even if you’re a millionaire, dress like you’re living rough on the street. Predators will not notice you that way, and they’ll instead stalk richer or fatter prey. Third is “keep moving.” Fourth is to carry a flashlight or some other piece of metal in your coat pocket to use as a bludgeon. Fifth is not to be embarrassed to yell for help at the top of your lungs. You’d be surprised at how well #2 and #5 work.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One such as myself – a feckless quisling and vast physical coward – spends a lot of time alone on the deserted streets of NYC at night. I generally have a camera dangling off of me, which makes me “noticeable” and a bit of a target. Number six on my list of NYC survival tactics, which is built on the third motto of “keep moving,” is to not take unnecessary chances. Given that you know that the Subway system has been repurposed as a nocturnal shelter for people too high or crazy to be allowed into the homeless shelters during Covid, and that the cops aren’t going to do a single thing about anything until De Blasio is out of office, it’s best to just acknowledge that fact and take a cab.

Pictured above is a storm sewer found along Dutch Kills, underneath the Long Island Expressway. The water wasn’t actually glowing green, instead it was early morning light filtering through tree canopy that lent the hue to the water. Enjoy your giving of thanks.


“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

November 24, 2021 at 11:00 am

ostentatiously on

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Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A few odds and ends today, including a shot above accomplished using some of my DIY made at home camera technology. That’s an office setup at one of the many auto dealerships found along Northern Blvd. here in Long Island City, one which I shot through a plate glass window. Reflections were cancelled out using an air conditioner foam insulator collar affixed to one of my lenses. Boo-yah!

I like it when my DIY stuff works.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A woman lives in that plastic cocoon pictured above. The cocoon is found along Northern Blvd. in LIC nearby another one of the many auto dealerships mentioned above. She’s the one who makes bird sounds, and then laughs in a manner which can only be described as “maniacal” whom I’ve mentioned in the past. What I mean by maniacal is the sort of laugh you’d expect an extra to offer in a “Hammer House of Horror” movie about Bedlam, a laugh which Peter Cushing’s character would ignore.

Before you ask, as I already have, she just wants to be left alone. Doesn’t want socks or “stuff” or access to services, just solitude to deal with whatever’s happening to her. Ok. She’s been here a couple of years, so…

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Coming back into Astoria via Steinway Street, one encounters an automotive repair shop which often offers interesting insights into what could happen on the streets of New York City to an innocent motorist. On this particular evening, no spectacular wrecks were encountered but for some reason this towing truck with a hatchback on its bed caught my eye.

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 14, 2021 at 11:00 am

cloudy throne

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Monday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’m not joking when I say that I’m obsessed with that little tree which is growing out from under a factory building in Long Island City, along the banks of Newtown Creek’s Dutch Kills tributary. One feared, during a post deluge walk, that it might have become unrooted due to the heavy rain but there it was. It’s passed from being a tree to being a metaphor for me. Nature wins, ultimately, no matter how hard we try – nature wins.

Hope, basically. It represents hope to me.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It’s why we should be striving to enslave the insects to do our bidding. Imagine commanding armies of ants or termites. It’s just a matter of figuring out their pheromone language and changing their marching orders. Ants can move mountains, one particle of sand at a time. Give me enough indentured ants and I’ll change the course of the Hudson.

To get started – we’ll just need a bag of sugar, a laptop, and a couple of lengths of copper speaker wire. Yeah, eventually we’ll need an AI to act as the Queen, but one thing at a time – huh?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I don’t know why I automatically go to “mad science” as my solution for intractable problems. I have a friend who’s the kind of scientist who does horrible things to monkeys at work (for good reasons, as he’s trying to cure blindness, but it’s still a pretty grim laboratory setup). I’ve asked him if the “science industry” has any sort of safeguards against he or his colleagues going rogue. If you notice your co worker has a human hand wired to a computer, for instance, is there an 800 number to call?

The answer, after he finished laughing about the term “science industry,” was no. There are no restrictive or societal rules against mad science. Order your Tesla coils, lords and ladies, the sky’s the limit.


“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 13, 2021 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

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