The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Posts Tagged ‘Long Island Expressway

furry blasphemy

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Friday, it’s Shabbos to some, a nightmare for others.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My initial reaction to the new camera system (the Canon R6) has been pretty positive so far, can recommend. Last night at three in the morning, I finally figured out how to use about half of my lens collection with the thing as well, so there’s that.

Also, the Montauk Cutoff should be open to the public, I can recommend that too. As promised, I did get up there last night, and I did a whole photographic walkthrough at night which you’ll see sometime in the near future.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’ve often referred to the series of streets – 50th and 51st avenues in particular – shadowed by the steel truss carrying the Long Island Expressway’s “Queens Midtown Expressway” section as “the empty corridor.” In the shot above, you can see why.

Personally speaking, I’m kind of digging the reappearance of epic street graffiti in LIC. The old white washed “Giuliani time” streetscape has needed to reintroduce a bit of chaos and color, in my mind.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

So… I’m all geared up and ready to rock. Where do I go next? When leaving the house, after all these months of pandemic isolation, my feet are basically on autopilot and they turn the toes towards LIC and the Dutch Kills tributary of Newtown Creek. Either that or industrial Maspeth, and sometimes Greenpoint.

Just saw an ad on Facebook from the Empire State Building people, claiming that I can spend a bit of time on their observation deck in return for a fairly affordable and pandemic era discounted admission price, so I might just venture into the City at some point in the near future. Who can say?

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 30th. 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.

demoniac dexterity

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Thursday, which meant hope for the weekend once.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Yup, Montauk Cutoff, Long Island City. This particular area has been referred to many times, here at Newtown Pentacle, as the “Empty Corridor.” Boy, oh boy was it empty on the night I was shooting these images. Weirdly enough, I had multiple encounters with people on the street on this particular evening. There were two young blokes who were likely considering jumping me at one point, and then a few minutes later a super expensive looking sports car with black tinted windows pulled up next to me. The window rolled down a few inches and a deep basso voice from inside began querying me about whether or not a nearby strip club was open or not.

Have I ever mentioned that I hate strip clubs? Not the idea of them, mind you, but I mark some of the most uncomfortable moments of my life as being ones where social obligation carried me into “the club.” Guys go ga gah over strippers, but in my experience they’re the female equivalent of those guys you see in a 711 parking lot with their shirts off at three in the morning in Nassau County. Hey, different strokes for different folks, who am I to judge?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Regardless of perceived vulnerability and paranoid wonderings, I continued doing my thing. The Montauk Cutoff was my particular mission on this particular evening, as it will be tonight. There’s a growing awareness of this set of abandoned railroad tracks in the body politic of Queens, and the opportunity they represent for creating a bit of public space where you can socially distance to your heart’s content.

In fact, if my plans work out, I’ll be up on the tracks tonight.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Sorry for the late post today, there’s been a bit of HQ tumult today that I had to deal with. All good, everything positive, but tumult. Back tomorrow.

Also, sorry strippers, not judging on you or what you do to feed the kids. I don’t enjoy watching professional Basketball, or Football, either.

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 30th. 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

December 3, 2020 at 1:30 pm

each description

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Empty Corridor.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Were it not for political maneuvering and the inertia for which a certain NYS authority whose mandate involves metropolitan transit is famous for, you’d have some open space in Long Island City to visit during this interminable quarantine, namely the Montauk Cutoff. The cyclopean wall on the left hand side of the shot above supports a set of abandoned railroad tracks which several of my chums and I have been trying to turn into a public space for years at this point. Ennui abounds.

One found his way down here last week, to an area of LIC which I often refer to as “the empty corridor.” When the Long Island Expressway and the Queens Midtown Tunnel were installed here, eight decades of blight began. Devil’s advocate, though, says that the chemical and pharmaceutical factories, as well as the lead foundry and varnish plant which the LIE displaced weren’t exactly “not blight” but at least there were a lot of people with jobs hereabouts as opposed to a lot of people driving back and forth to office jobs in Manhattan.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The Empty Corridor is pure and utilitarian. Not a single thought was given to anything natural or “normal.” Anything green growing here is due to shrinking maintenance budgets on behalf of City and State authorities. It’s been decades since they sprayed herbicide, or sent in teams of arborists to clear cut the self seeded trees. Rodents walk around freely here, much to the joy of the residents of a nearby feral cat colony.

Illegal dumping is art. The streets are broken pavement, shattered automotive glass collects along the crushed curbs like rainwater, the air smells of burning wire insulation and automotive exhaust. The buzzing sound of failing electrical transformers echoes out from the manholes, infrequent local traffic rockets past at incredible speed, and half of the street lights are burned out.

I love it so.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

When this whole “social distancing” thing started up, I thought of this particular scene and place.

The immense street level loneliness of places like the Empty Corridor belie their actuality. Whereas in my mind, I was totally alone with my personal biome, in reality I was surrounded by crowds of people. The Long Island Expressway is descending into the Queens Midtown Tunnel at the left of the shot, and just beyond the tunnel is the population center of Long Island City at Hunters Point. On the right is the New York City Housing Authority Warehouse, and most of the street parking is occupied by their fleet of trucks. Biome wise, therefore, there’s probably a couple million people’s worth of cooties floating around in the air down here, or they’re stuck to some greasy smear.

I’m going to get the Montauk Cutoff done, as we need some more open space. Or, at least I’m going to reduce the number of streets in Western Queens without sidewalks. There’s no sidewalk on the left side of the street in the shot above, for instance.

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, May 25th. 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 as we move into April and beyond, 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.

stirred stealthily

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Borden Avenue.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I got scared the other night, thinking I had spotted a pride of teenagers roaming about LIC, so I hid behind one of the structural legs of the Long Island Expressway and pondered a few things. Yes, teenagers travel in a “pride.” Busy body white ladies, the “Karen’s” you see all over the internet trying to boss people around, form up a “privilege” when they gather, as in a “Privilege of Karen’s.” A band of teenagers is less than five individuals, whereas a pride is a large group comprised of a lead Alpha team commanding several Master Betas who in turn lead individual bands. Dominance behaviors familiar to any primatologist are displayed. Deep and turbulent currents occur when a Pride encounters a Privilege, with both sides threatening to summon a Cadre of Cops while recording each other with cell phones. Invariably, someone shouts “world star” or “welcome to YouTube.”

As a note, Cops usually come in pairs. Six or more Cops form a Cadre, whereas a full precinct wide deployment is a “fuck ton” as in “Holy Shit, there’s a Fuck Ton of Cops out there.” Any wonder why I choose to just hide behind and beside the structural elements of the built environment?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

“Mitch, there’s no such thing as salt and shade resistant plant species which could survive around the outfall pipes of NYC’s elevated highways,” I’ve been told that by botanist, parks personnel, and everybody else in positions of City or State authority over NYC’s elevated highways. As you can see from the self seeded vegetation in the shot above, whose speciation is cosmopolitan, they are right and I am as always wrong.

Looking out of your narrow windows at a world which you despise, and comparing your world view to mine, it is quite easy to describe me as naive, badly informed, or as some sort of agenda pushing hack. Call me names, abuse my statements, say whatever you wish as it is your absolute right. The fact is… life finds a way. Abandon orthodoxy, see what is and what grows, be organic in your logic. You’ll be happier working towards creating the world you wish we lived in than the dross corner which pain and shattered hope has painted you into. Go take a walk, and watch the world. It can be beautiful. You don’t have to pronounce everything as false and perverse to protect your heart. You just have to embrace the fact that green things can and do crack through the concrete.

Watch out for Prides of Teenagers though, they have zero impulse control.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It’s funny, actually, that I never seem to grow tired of shooting around this outlandish steel traffic viaduct in LIC. The thing arches over Newtown Creek’s Dutch Kills tributary, where it rises 108 feet up, with the Queens Midtown Tunnel and Greenpoint Avenue at either end. The utilitarian esthetics embraced by the engineers of the House of Robert Moses have always spoken to me, design wise, but I like a good onramp.

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, May 18th. 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 as we move into April and beyond, 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.

common case

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Echo… cho… o… o…

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The show often comes to me, as was the case the other night when an industrial wrecker appeared and towed away a broken down DHL delivery truck here in Astoria. Speaking of Astoria, I’m happy to report that a few of the local shops have reopened, which has eased a few of the supply issues experienced here at HQ. A cache of milk bone cookies can only last so long, and Zuzu the dog doesn’t want to hear about plague, pale horses, or other excuses when she wants a snack. The dog is demanding. She does a lot for morale, and expects her tithe.

The operation to get the DHL van hooked up to the wrecker was surprisingly complex, as a note. The wrecker’s crew had to raise and chock the front tires of the van in stages until its nose was high enough relative to the street to slip the tow bar under it. Luckily, this operation was undertaken while I was pay per viewing “The Rise of Skywalker,” which is officially the worst Star Wars product ever made in my opinion – and that includes an infamous 1978 TV “special’ called the “Star Wars Holiday Special.” Watching a tow truck crew at work was preferable.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A recent walk through the concrete devastations found me on Borden Avenue, staring down the Empire State Building and the Queens Midtown Expressway section of the larger Long Island Expressway. Just on the other side of the fence with all the barbed wire on it, as seen in the left side of the shot above, were dozens of FDNY ambulances awaiting their turn on the lifts at a mechanic and maintenance facility operated by the fire service. There was a fair amount of civilian traffic moving around, which I wasn’t really surprised by. I’ve noticed automotive traffic is inching back up, everywhere.

I call this area DULIE – Down Under the Long Island Expressway. As I often opine, you need to get ahead of the real estate crowd on this sort of thing, lest they rename your neighborhood “Karen,” or “Todd.” It’s where I like to go to be by myself, just like industrial Maspeth. The latter is next on my list, and I plan on heading over there sometime around when you’re reading this.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Blissville is where this photo was gathered, along Review Avenue. One positive thing that’s come out of all this free time I suddenly have has been the gradual conquering of the LED light dilemma. The unnatural frequencies offered by LED lights have been bedeviling me, exposure wise, for a while. Still haven’t quite got them locked down or licked yet, but as the shot above suggests I’m starting to get there.

One thing I really miss on my long walks involves not having my headphones jammed into the ear holes and listening to my “theme music” playlists. As mentioned a few times, I’m trying to be more fully aware of my surroundings right now, as the deserted streets offer up all sorts of uncertainties. There’s the possibility of finding myself the center of attention for adolescent rowdies or gutter toughs or even street muggers, there are hot rod clubs burning rubber all around the Creek, and if you had noticed the bands of Raccoons and Canada Geese prowling about like they own the place as I have – you’d desire “total situational awareness” too.

Still – It’s just not the same without “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” grinding out.

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, April 20th. 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 as we move into April and beyond, 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.

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