The Newtown Pentacle

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Posts Tagged ‘Long Island Railroad

highly excited

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It’s avoiding the topic Friday.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

You always have to be wary about Vampires in Western Queens. What, you think that the legendary diversity of the Borough of Queens only relates to wholesome or salubrious types? For every twenty hard working immigrants, there’s likely some abyssal and atavist abomination that followed them here from their aboriginal origins. I’ve warned you in the past about what might exist in the high rafters of the elevated subway system around Queens Plaza, the mischief goblins of Cretan lore called the Kalikantzaros, the presence of the Yugoslavian Strigoi, and those unnameable things rumored to be living in the turgid waters of Hells Gate.

Ever notice that most churches are built like fortresses? If you were to start up a mega church and base it in a former industrial laundry alongside a rail yard, wouldn’t you surround it with cruciforms and hire 24 hour security too? Can’t be too careful. Devils.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As mentioned earlier in the week, I like a good demolition photo. According to my understanding of the existing buildings down on the deck at Sunnyside Yards, and I very well might be 100% incorrect here so grain of salt, this building used to serve as the NYC training facility for the Pennsylvania Railroad’s Pullman Sleeping Car Porters and restaurant/bar train staff. This staff, known for a) wearing red hats and b) being almost exclusively African American, were the progenitors of the 20th century population movement from the American South referred to as the Southern Migration. Founders of what’s referred to as “The Black Middle Class” in the northeast is how the members of the (union) Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters are often portrayed. I’m not an expert by any means on this subject, so I’d ask you to google up someone who is, as it’s a great story. You could always start with wikipedia.

At least I got to tell you about these fellows, even if I might be wrong about which building was which on a couple of hundred year old maps I often refer to.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Sunnyside Yards is a Railroad coach yard that occupies about 183 square acres in Long Island City. Opened in 1910, it was part of a regional build out by the Pennsylvania Railroad that saw the creation of a passenger rail station in New Jersey, the creation of rail tunnels under the Hudson River and into Manhattan where they entered the original Penn Station, the tunnels under Manhattan and across the East River to Queens, and Sunnyside Yards was the final piece required for the linking up of the regional rail of Long Island (LIRR) with that of the continent. The Pennsylvania Railroad’s main competitor was the Grand Central Railroad Company, which erected the Hell Gate Bridge for the same purpose – connecting to Long Island. Sunnyside Yards was federalized in the 1970’s, which is how Amtrak ended up owning most of it, but large chunks of the property are held by MTA and by the General Motors Corporation.

103 square acres, and you can’t catch a train there. On the western side, you can catch a serious case of vampirism though, so watch 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, November 2nd. 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.


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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.

Written by Mitch Waxman

November 6, 2020 at 1:00 pm

unplumbed voids

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Nobody ever says “Thank God, it’s Wednesday.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Three archive shots greet you today, all of which are rail based. Pictured above is the New York & Atlantic engine 400, which I got to ride on last year. The tracks it rides on are part of the Bushwick Branch, which is itself a part of the larger Long Island Railroad system.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A few miles west of the first shot, which depicts a freight train, is the LIRR’S Blissville Yard in Long Island City. Oddly enough, there was a defunct passenger train being stored at this freight yard on the Lower Montauk tracks.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A different kind of train, those are IRT Flushing line subways sitting on the tracks in Roosevelt/Corona – I’m never sure where one starts and the other ends – in between rush hours.

Back tomorrow.

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, August 24th. 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.

human toothmarks

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Thursday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

DUPBO, or Down Under the Pulaski Bridge Onramp, is a section of the fabulous Newtown Creek which I haven’t been paying too much attention to during the pandemic months. It’s a bit more “populated” than I’ve been comfortable being around, what with the homeless colony that’s popped up on the LIC side. There’s several RV’s you’ll notice down there, which a few humans and several rather bark prone doggies are living in, and that violates my goal of going to places where nobody else is. What this city needs is a good…

As you can see, there was a full moon on the night these shots were gathered, with the one above looking due East towards Calvary Cemetery.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s the Pulaski Bridge pictured above, a double bascule drawbridge owned and operated by the NYC DOT. Fundamentally speaking, this section of Newtown Creek isn’t the environmental horror show you encounter further east, rather it’s more akin to the environmental horror show that is the East River. A recent assertion by one of the Superfund Investigatory teams was that there were more “chemicals of concern” entering the Creek in this zone via the East River than from the upland post industrial properties. This, of course, causes me to wonder and ponder whether or not the East River itself should be considered a Superfund site.

When you start peeling a banana, you’re sort of committed to eating the thing, huh?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

At the Hunters Point Yard of the Long Island Railroad, which adjoins the Pulaski, I noticed these work trains sitting and idling. Can’t tell you what they were up to, but it’s likely that track and right of way maintenance was on the dance card.

Back tomorrow with something different 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, August 10th. 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.

dark spectacled

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Hello, Sweetie.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Railroad Avenue is found along the fabulous Newtown Creek in the Blissville section of Long Island City. The name of the street belies it’s function and what it travels along, which are the trackways of the Long Island Railroad’s Blissville Yard, which itself is a part of the LIRR’S Lower Montauk line. Pictured above is a modern day movie studio, which used to be known as the Tidewater Building, or as the Lukoil/Getty dock more recently. I wasn’t focusing on history when shooting this series of shots, however, rather it was the subject of monsters that plagued me.

You saw that warning from the Center for Disease Control about the hordes of hungry rats? Christ almighty, if that’s going to happen anywhere and to anyone, if would here and it would be me.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

At the titular western end of Railroad Avenue, you’ll find the gates leading to SimsMetal, a private company which handles the processing of the plastics, paper, and metals that are collected curbside by the NYC Department of Sanitation on “recycling day.” On the subject of seeing other people, who are not wearing hard hats and safety vests at least, in these places which have formerly been inhabited by only me – it happened again. A few people wandered past me heading this way and didn’t come back, and I ran into a nice guy naked Steve who had come back here to capture shots of graffiti for his website. Saying that – seriously – people on Railroad Avenue on a Saturday night? The world really must be ending, yo.

I was back here for the graffiti too.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’ve been trying to get shots of this particular Long Island Railroad trainset for a while, but it’s been parked in a different spot which is decidedly more difficult – and far more “trespassy” – to get near it for the past few months. I’m told that what you’re looking at is either a giant pile of soon to be recycled metal, or the future foundation of a reef in some faraway patch of water.

The crazy lighting was generated by the weird emanations and the otherworldly spectrum of light which flows off of the Koscisuzcko Bridge, overflying the Newtown Creek about a mile east of this spot adjoining the Blissville Rail Yard on Railroad Avenue. It’s no ordinary or earthly color, that, instead…

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, June 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 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.

be shunned

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Another day, another 20,000 steps.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One found himself scuttling down Skillman Avenue recently, marveling at the ludicrous size of Durst Organization’s latest project on the other side of the Sunnyside Yards in Queens Plaza. Skillman has become rather populated in recent weeks, as the residents of both Sunnyside and Hunters Point have begun exploiting it for exercise and recreational walks.

I look forward to all of you returning to swallowing your alcohol drinks, or sitting in movie theaters, or watching your sports ball again, and getting the hell out of my personal Idaho.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

At the corner of Skillman and Thomson Avenues, the photo above was observed. I have several theories about this scene – postulates, causalities, and so on.

1) Covid. The virus ate away at some unfortunate person from their feet up and all that was left behind was the scalp and hair. 2) Those ravenous rats which the CDC warned the country about the other day, entirely consumed somebody but left their hair behind. 3) Somebody actually heard back from NYS Unemployment and they flipped their wig. 4) Fake news. There is no wig, instead it’s the Democrats, specifically Nancy Pelosi and AOC planting conflict actor hairpieces around Long Island City.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My reveries about the hair piece were interrupted when one of those sterilized Long Island Railroad trains came rolling by. Oh boy! My obsessive desires to photograph LIRR rolling stock now satisfied, so one pointed his toes towards that fabulous ribbon of municipal neglect known as the Newtown Creek. Again.

It really feels like I’m walking the stations of some highly industrialized cross at this point, btw. One occasionally feels a sharp sticking pain in the back, and exclaims “Ow, my country.”

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, June 1st. 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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