The Newtown Pentacle

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Posts Tagged ‘Maspeth Avenue Plank Road

tarnished silver

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Thursday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A few more shots from my happy place, Industrial Maspeth, in today’s post. There’s another enormous construction project underway on the Queens side of the waterway, which will see yet another last mile shipping center built. There will be more truck traffic thereby, and despite sitting on a rail spur and adjoining maritime bulkheads, nobody in the government compelled Federal Express to explore their usage.

It just grinds my gears, hearing the politicians talk about climate change and environmental issues – specifically heavy automotive traffic – and when they have the chance to actually do something about the concerning future they speak of it’s time to feign ignorance. Look at LIC – a brand spanking new and fully planned “City” in which all of the problems of the old chaotic “City” have been artfully replicated. Go see the garbage mountains of Court Square on trash day, experience the lack of public bathrooms, or street seating, or…

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Private car ownership used to be far more common than it is today in NYC. Fleets of yellow cabs have been replaced by fleets of ride share vehicles, but there really hasn’t been an “add on” in terms of “cabs plus Ubers” as some think. What has increased? Truck traffic.

Every consumer good, scrap of food, and dog collar in Nassau and Suffolk Counties arrives on Long Island, from Port Elizabeth Newark, after being driven by truck through NYC. We need to break that particular chain, and establish water transport of bulk shipping between the Port of NY/NJ and Long Island. Why are there no docks for intermodal cargo shipping at or nearby JFK? JFK is a major shipping port for NYC, but it’s all truck and airplane based. It’s surrounded by water, and connects in several places to the LIRR network of rail tracks, but we unload cargo from jets and use trucks to move the stuff around instead. That’s where your magnification of traffic has magically appeared from in the last 10-15 years.

Don’t worry, the bosses have decided to add another half mile to the Second Avenue Subway to negate having Upper East Siders needing to walk the two blocks to the 4/5 on Lexington. It is uphill, after all, and what upper Manhattan needs is more Subway capacity, right? It’s not like all of the leading economic indicators and the actual non Wall Street economy are centered around Brooklyn and Queens where north/south transit is accomplished using a four car long G line train.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The sham of it all.

What NYC needs is a holistic master plan, one which governs in broad and not terribly specific strokes. You want to build an apartment building? Great. How are you going to engineer storm water neutrality into the structure? Check the requirements for that in the master plan and Mazel Tov on your new endeavor. Amazon or Fed Ex or UPS wants to expand their operation? Fantastic – NYC needs blue and brown collar jobs more than ever, but here are the electric vehicle/mass cargo intermodal shipping predicates which they’ll need to oblige.

Bike lanes will fix all problems instead. They are a panacea, a silver key which open up vistas of experience and reality that can only stagger the imagination. They’re like Coca Cola – the real thing.


“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 2, 2021 at 11:00 am

something tangible

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Wednesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Recent endeavor found a humble narrator in my happy place – Industrial Maspeth – before the burning thermonuclear eye of god itself emerged from behind Nassau County in the east. I was at the Maspeth Avenue Plank Road, with the tripod and full bag of gear.

Daylight savings time, coupled with the paucity of daylight hours and the atrocious angle of the winter sun relative to NYC’s street grid, negates a lot of photographic opportunities. Sunsets and sunrises are really your only chance for “magic moments” this time of year. One has been making an effort to commit to one or the other time interval at least once a week.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The Maspeth Avenue Plank Road is the stubby remain of a bridge which last crossed Newtown Creek during the Presidency of Ulysses S. Grant, and it’s found just shy of three miles from the East River. It adjoins a section of Newtown Creek called “the Turning Basin.” This area is conventionally referred to as being the most environmentally compromised section of the waterway, as a point of interest. Industrial usage of this zone of Newtown Creek included an enormous and quite dirty Manufactured Gas Plant on the Brooklyn side, and a chemical/acid factory and high volume copper refinery on the Queens shoreline. There were a lot of other businesses with lovely occupations housed on both sides – fertilizer and rendering mills, night soil processors, secondary manufacturers and packagers for petroleum refining byproducts like paraffin waxes and naphtha – for instance.

It’s nice. At sunrise, fleets of birds take to the air.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The big LNG fuel tank at the right side of the shot is one of two such apparatuses found in Greenpoint at the National Grid property. Grid’s footprint used to be Keyspan, and before that it was Brooklyn Union Gas’s. BUG was the manufacturer of the “natural” gas mentioned above. When Grid bought up all of the BUG assets, via their purchase of the Keyspan outfit who had previously acquired the property, they also assumed Superfund liability and responsibility for cleaning up all of BUG’s “yuck” here in Newtown Creek’s turning basin.

That’s the happy place for ya.


“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 1, 2021 at 11:45 am

portentous meanings

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Wednesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One found himself at the Maspeth Avenue Plank Road site recently, attending and photographing a Newtown Creek Alliance cleanup event that occurred on a lovely Saturday afternoon. One of the property owners nearby this site has recently been compelled to do some remodeling of their shoreline. I’ve known about this for a bit, but given that I’m usually here either at sunset or after dark, haven’t explored the new situation.

It’s not a good idea to be poking around in the bushes after dark in Industrial Maspeth, and especially so if you’re on foot and alone. Given that NCA had a fairly large group here, scooping garbage and debris off of the shoreline, I figured “why not?”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The shoreline in this spot has been fairly impassable during my years at Newtown Creek, and largely ignored by the industrial operation which worked busily on the other side of a large concrete and steel fence. An artist I know had briefly set up a small structure back here which he used as a hangout and ad hoc painting studio. That structure had been taken over by some mendicant in the last year or two. Artist, structure, and mendicant are all gone now and there’s all sorts of geographically appropriate plantings here now.

This is where I got into the fight with a raccoon back in 2020, during which I had to poke at the thing with my tripod.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s the mouth of English Kills, the Newtown Creek tributary that flows all the way back to Johnson Avenue in Bushwick. It’s also where water quality along the Creek sharply drops off. If you think Newtown Creek is bad, as everybody including the Federal Government does, you should see English Kills. Yuck.

Back tomorrow with more from my beloved Creek.


“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 15, 2021 at 11:00 am

local perspectives

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Friday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A few last shots from a spectacular sunset at the Maspeth Avenue Plank Road, along the turning basin of the lugubrious Newtown Creek. This is about two and a half miles back from the East River.

Some of you seem upset by my recent philosophical turn, the embracing of sociopathy as my governing morality. Well, in accordance with sociopathy, who cares what you think? I don’t. I don’t care about anything anymore.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Seriously, whatever it is, I don’t want to know nor am I going to oblige you with an argument.

One has arrived exactly back where he once was, offering his middle finger to the programmed and robotic ideologues. Did you know that during the early days of the Nazi military advance into Russia, the Wehrmacht encountered Russian made roads of ice? These Russian ice roads used German prisoners of war as structural railroad ties. The captured German soldiers were bound, forced to lie in a trench while still breathing, and then drowned in briny water which the Soviet armies pumped in which instantly froze and killed them. The Russian winter solidified the whole affair into something that trucks and armor could move quickly on during their retreat. The Wehrmacht officers described heading east on these roads, and the disconcerting experience of having thousands of panicked blue eyes lifelessly staring up at them as they passed.

This is lateral thinking at its finest. It’s also a parable for all of the shopping mall warriors in this country who think a Civil War might be fun.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The Maspeth Avenue Plank Road has been extant at what was once called Furman’s Island since the Presidency of Ulysses S. Grant. Grant, and Sherman, taught the ideological forebears of the modern day “know nothings” about consequence.

I used to care about that, but now it’s just another fact. Happy Friday the 13th.


“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

August 13, 2021 at 11:00 am

godlike solemnity

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Thursday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

This is what I went to industrial Maspeth for, that’s what I’d like to say. Instead, I was actually there to pick up a package at UPS that I’d missed delivery for and wasn’t able to access it prior to 9 p.m.

Killing two birds with one stone, however, is the Mitch Waxman way. Why not spend the waiting time shooting the celestial light show as the burning thermonuclear eye of God itself slipped behind New Jersey.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Experience indicated that this particular evening, with low hanging clouds, would offer quite a show.

My embrace of sociopathy, however, indicated that I couldn’t enjoy the sights. This is the double edged sword of being emotionless. Everything, mood wise, is in the middle. A baby is born, and another one dies, and you force yourself to feel nothing at all. It’s a bit like stoicism, but gray. How did Orwell describe the future? Something about a boot and a face?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As the shadows got inky, and the Kosciuszcko Bridge lit up, things got interesting. There’s such a narrow window for this sort of thing in the summer months.

Normally, I try to capture the Kosciuszcko lighting when it’s facing through the hot colors of the spectrum, but given the crimson and orange light – I went for the blues and greens.


“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

August 12, 2021 at 11:00 am

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