The Newtown Pentacle

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Posts Tagged ‘Maspeth

impious amulets

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Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

June 15th found me taking a walk with an artist from Brooklyn, a fellow named Monte Antrim, who has been bitten by the Newtown Creek bug in recent years. I offered to take him on a “seeing tour” and introduce a few of the less obvious points of view for his consideration.

We started off in Long Island City, and ended our excursion at a bar in Bushwick – long after sunset.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Personally, it was kind of a “snap shot” day for me. I didn’t want to get busy with the camera in the normal sense, and was mainly in tour guide mode for most of the walk.

From LIC, we headed eastwards along the Queens side, through Blissville and then into Maspeth.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

When we got to Maspeth, the sound of FDNY sirens were echoing down from the Kosciuszcko Bridge, and there was a plume of smoke rising out of Greenpoint.

I speculated at the time that it was probably a truck or car fire, but as it turns out a furniture manufacturer on Van Dam had suffered a two alarm fire.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Over at Maspeth Creek, these feathered dicks were loitering on the sidewalk. Newtown Creek and its tributaries are overrun these days by Canada Geese. So much so that I’ve learned to speak a little goose.

NAAAAAG.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

At the Maspeth Avenue Plank Road, even more of these dicks were encountered, including a bunch of youngsters.

NAAAAAAG.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

We crossed Newtown Creek into Brooklyn at the Grand Street Bridge, just as the burning thermonuclear eye of God itself descended behind New Jersey.

My trick left foot was singing opera for the second half of this walk, I must say. Ow.


“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

July 19, 2022 at 11:00 am

rest without

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Thursday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

April 24th saw me taking a very long walk indeed. Truth be told, I ended up having to stamp out a small fire in the afternoon, and decided to get the time back by taking a cab to an opportune jumping off point in Industrial Maspeth – or as I call it “The Happy Place.”

I just couldn’t stand the thought of spending an interminable hour and change walking through residential neighborhoods and losing the light accordingly. It was worth the $20.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

MTA has a maintenance facility hereabouts, and they were in the process of decommissioning several Long Island Railroad passenger cars. One scuttled on and on.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

At Maspeth Creek, I noticed a Canada Goose on a nest. She said “NAAAG” and stuck her tongue out at me, which I’ve since learned is goose for “go away.” I’ve since said “NAAAG” to other Canada Geese, and they seemed shocked that I’ve learned some of their language.

NAAAG. I speak a little goose now.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A few blocks away, a Momma and a Poppa Canada Gooses were guarding their progeny, pictured above.

They’re so cute when young, and such assholes when mature, the Canada Gooses. Just like people. NAAAG.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

What they were guarding the chicks against is pictured above, a nearly spherical floop of a cat. The kitty seemed surprised that I noticed it, and had probably convinced itself that it was a stealthy predator rather than an adorable fur balloon.

Floop.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A broken water main in front of a NYC DEP building flows freely in Industrial Maspeth, which is… just…

Anyway, the broken water main is accomplishing the goal of hydraulically removing litter and garbage from the streets of Industrial Maspeth. Unfortunately, that sewer grate above doesn’t lead to a sewer plant, rather it empties directly into Newtown Creek.

“DEP” stands for “Department of Environmental Protection.”


“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.

laminar dissection

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Thursday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Keep on truckin – as the kids used to say. Unfortunately, the kids who used to say that are now retirement age, but there you are. A recent scuttle through Industrial Maspeth at night saw a cavalcade of diesel powered steel rolling past the camera and I just got caught up in the moment.

The one pictured above was hauling municipal waste products, aka the solid materials which the NYC DEP filters out of the sewer flow. That’s pretty common, as is the habit of parking the trailer’s carrying this redolent cargo – as displayed by several of the hauling contractors employed by DEP – on area streets for weeks at a time. That sad story wasn’t what drew my eye, instead it the Green Goblin lighting kit which adorned the tractor section of this rig.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There’s a company over on 48th street nearby the on ramps to the Long Island Expressway (or is it BQE?) which has several impressive vehicles in their inventory. This particular outfit seems to be who’d you’d call if your truck or bus has broken down and you need a tow. The wrecker pictured above is one of a pair of giant vehicles they operate.

I was actually asked by one of its drivers if I was up to something, whereupon I asserted that I’m just a wandering photographer in an industrial zone at night who has a keen appreciation of heavy machinery. Yup, not suspicious at all.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Graffiti’d panel trucks abound. This has become a regular sight for me, and is something that’s really accelerated during the Covid months. This sort of tagging on commercial vehicles is nothing new, of course, but seeing a panel truck that hasn’t been “bombed” by a crew of taggers has become the exception rather than the rule in the last couple of years.

Scuttling, just keep scuttling.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Certain trucks and operations never get tagged… for reasons. There’s an enormous concrete operation in Industrial Maspeth called Ferrara Brothers. You see their trucks making deliveries all over NYC, but where they fill them with the good stuff is right back here in Queens.

I’m told that there’s a National level company which is buying up and consolidating all of the individual players in NYC’s concrete industry. Several of the medium sized companies, like Ferrara Brothers and NYCON, have already been gobbled up.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

FDNY’s Ambulances are damned difficult to photograph when they’re flying past on a call. It’s all “worst case scenario” for operating a camera. You’ve got seconds to spin the dials and adjust the settings to compensate for a) night, b) flashing lights, c) subject moving at 50mph.

This one is from the border of Woodside and Maspeth, in case you’re wondering.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Closer to home, along Northern Boulevard, I spotted this fairly old tow truck parked nearby a car mechanic. Something about it just caught my eye. It’s a 1990 Ford F-Series, I’m told. Given the weird time warp we are all experiencing these days, I’d point out that “1990” makes it a 32 year old tow truck.

Ahh, 1990, when a young Bill Clinton taught us all how to laugh again.


The Newtown Creekathon returns!

On April 10th, the all day death march around Newtown Creek awakens from its pandemic slumber.

DOOM! DOOM! Fully narrated by Mitch Waxman and Will Elkins of Newtown Creek Alliance, this one starts in LIC at the East River, heads through Blissville, the happy place of Industrial Maspeth, dips a toe in Ridgewood and then plunges desperately into Brooklyn. East Williamsburgh and then Greenpoint are visited and a desperate trek to the East River in Brooklyn commences. DOOM! Click here for more information and to reserve a spot – but seriously – what’s wrong with you that you’re actually considering doing this? DOOM!


“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

March 24, 2022 at 11:00 am

bodiless emanations

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Wednesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Heading home from a long walk in late January, which started in Astoria and then headed through Industrial Maspeth, a humble narrator decided to be lazy and acknowledge how cold it was by clipping off the return to HQ with a cab ride. Along the way, I passed by the charred remains of the Clinton Diner, nearby the semi legendary Haberman interlocking. Spotted this neato Volkswagen truck, which looks like it was built out of one of their 1970’s vans. Maybe this is the actual form factor it was built to, who knows?

One uses the LYFT service for his car service needs, mainly since I’m seldom in need of a ride in any sort of sane or normal place and will need the driver to be able to come find me in whatever industrial maze I’m in. There’s sort of a trick I’ve discovered to using their service, incidentally. I wouldn’t call for a car from this corner, which is where Maspeth Avenue, 58th street, and Rust Street coagulate.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Maspeth Avenue transmogrifies into Maurice Avenue, and this shot is maybe a block and a half away from the first one. It’s a good place to park a crane in front of a fire hydrant, which is an extremely Industrial Maspeth thing to do – as a note. It’s not a bad place to call for a car, but you’re still technically in Maspeth right here.

In my observation, LYFT seems to base its pricing structure around zip code based “zones.” I could be wrong, but calling a car from in front of the former diner in the first shot – a block and a half away – would result in as much as a $5 higher fare than the one which I’d get from in front of the crane.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A ten minute walk to 58th street at 55th avenue, which is technically in Woodside, shaved a full $10 off the fare reported in front of the diner. That’s pretty significant for what – in a vehicle – is about a 2-3 minute long distance between the two spots.

Besides, you get to see an FDNY service center at this intersection.


“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

March 2, 2022 at 11:00 am

beetling precipice

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Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

God, I love the loneliness of it all. I’ve got a speech I make occasionally – one usually offered when somebody asks about how I got involved with the whole Newtown Creek thing. The best part of the speech is when I say “and just like every other piece of wind blown trash in New York City, I found myself on the shorelines of Newtown Creek.” It sounds good, and makes for a good quote that a journalist can use. If you don’t give them a quote to take back to the office, they’ll use something you don’t want them to.

Industrial Maspeth is famously my happy place, where I go when I want to be by myself. Unfortunately that’s changed during the pandemic months, as Industrial Maspeth has become quite a busy place again. Different sort of busy than the old days, but there are concurrences between now and then.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The last mile shipping industry – UPS, FedEx, and the Amazon people – have quietly expanded their operations – massively – during the blitzkrieg of bad news we’ve all experienced over the last couple of years. There’s a huge industrial population of package sorters, package loaders and unloaders, road truck drivers and local delivery truck drivers who congeal around the various shipping facilities in Maspeth. Amazon is building a Taj Mahal sized shipping facility on Grand Avenue on what used to be the campus of Star Corrugated Box.

This population of people working “in the zone” have brought all sorts of things along with them to my beloved Creek. Five years ago, this happy place of mine was a post industrial wasteland which people drove through and seldom stopped in. In the last couple of years, as this new group of workers have filled in; I’ve seen a prostitution racket using the LIRR tracks for their assignations, lots and lots of druggery, and of late a while new racket.

Kids, as in late teen and early twenties, are riding into the shipping warehouses on delivery bikes and raiding the baskets of packages awaiting their temporary destination on the local delivery van. Two man teams, arranged like Scythian Archers with one facing backwards, swipe stuff in boxes and then tear ass away from the scene as fast as the bike will go. The various teams communicate with other using cell phones.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

So, where are the photos of that, Mr. Wind Blown Trash Newtown Creek? Well, there are certain things which you don’t want to be noticed noticing when you’re alone and on foot at night in Industrial Maspeth, I tell’s you.

Street level trouble is one thing – a weird encounter with a homeless guy, or a group of menacing teenagers nearing – but there’s a higher level of sinister which you just don’t want to be anywhere adjacent to around these parts. Notably, you don’t want to be a witness when somebody is in the early stages of organizing their crime. Careful out there, peeps.


“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

March 1, 2022 at 11:00 am

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