The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Posts Tagged ‘Northern Blvd.

utmost anomalous

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Wednesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Another night, another scary walk through the dangerously deserted and scarily dark streets of the Kaufman Astoria Arts District, with its inhuman and out of scale streetscape. Since nightlife has ended, the life of the night has taken over around here. You’ve got your four legged and two legged variants of rats crawling around here, and the oligarchs who remotely administer this area from their Manhattan penthouses simply don’t care about the people of Astoria. Street lighting is sparse, the blocks are defined by long and featureless cinder block walls, and were you to find yourself in trouble you’d soon find yourself yelling and screaming into a depopulated void. At least the ubiquitous security cameras of these oligarchs, maintained to protect their buildings, might provide the Police with some evidence of what happened to you.

These are the self same oligarchs who have proposed to expand their zone of control and dominion over this land, and to create new financial siphons to feed their overseas accounts, in partnership with REBNY President Larry Silverstein (self described as “Donald Trump’s best friend”). This development project of theirs would raze away multiple acres of small businesses and homes here at the southern edge of Astoria – making way for a residential tower development styled as Innovation Queens. This project would be yet another place for the powers that be over in Manhattan to wet their beaks on the blood of the masses, and slake their thirst for more. More. More. More.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My fascination with photographing gas stations continues unabated. I should say “successfully photographing” as the new camera is far more capable of capturing the fuller dynamic range of light and color offered by these spots than my older model was.

I’m told that the vast majority of gas station owners in NYC are franchisees, although there are a handful of independents in each Borough. At the moment, there 7 major franchise brands represented in the City, with the Hess people transitioning their business model away from retail at the moment. As mentioned the other day, there are an estimated 800 gas stations found within NYC.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

In order for me to get to one of the spots which I’m typically heading to along Newtown Creek, I generally have to cross the Sunnyside Yards. Accordingly, I have a catalog of “fence holes” which I’ve discovered over the years. The good folks at Amtrak will give – add a new hole for some reason or another – and they will take away. At the moment, the lovely view seen above is available for inspection by the wandering photographer.

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, December 28th. 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 30, 2020 at 11:00 am

poignant abhorrence

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It’s inevitable. Monday is here again.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My kit continues to evolve, and I’ve spent some of the cash which I’ve been squirreling away for the last year and change on a new camera – the Canon EOS R6 mirrorless model. One has been wanting to upgrade the camera for a while now, as my old Canon 7D’s limits have long been explored. The new camera is fairly amazing, given that its combination of a full frame sensor, and “in body image stabilization” or “IBIS,” allows one to pull off handheld shots which would have required a tripod with the older model. As you do with a new camera, I’ve been shooting and shooting.

These shots are amongst the first I cracked out with the thing, literally the day I got it. The entire day I received the thing was spent consuming the manual, which is oddly something most people don’t do. Reading the manual, I mean. Am I the only person who does this? Talking to others, it seems that I am.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

All of these shots were gathered in fairly close proximity to HQ here in Astoria, and specifically composed for the somewhat difficult capture of their subject matter. Very bright and very dark in the same frame, moving objects, small contrasty detail, etc.

In the couple of weeks since, one has been on a holy tear around Western Queens, wandering about in the night. Disturbingly, one of the things I can report to you is that things have gotten a bit mean out there – it’s been sort of “crimey” in a manner I haven’t seen since the early 1990’s. There were a couple of close calls in the industrial zone over in LIC recently, wherein encounters with denizens of the street could have gone badly were I not as fully aware of my surroundings as I continually am. During the end of the summer and most of the autumn, I’ve had my headphones stuck in my ears while listening to the usual potpourri of podcasts, audiobooks, and music. For the last few weeks, not so much, as I need all of my early warning systems to be operating at defcon 3 levels.

A bit of 1980’s advice for the coming interval is “be aware, be paranoid.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One of the neat features on the R6 is a flip out screen which is attached to the camera body on a pivot. A touch screen, I’m able to control camera functions using it, and when the gizmo is up on a tripod I don’t have to contort my posture to see what I’m doing in the dark. This also allows me to achieve shot angles which formerly required me to lie down on the sidewalk or stand on something.

It’s been a lot of fun working out how to operate the thing over the last couple of weeks, and one has been on an absolute tear with it. Unfortunately, one feature on the thing I really haven’t been able to test is it’s revolutionary eye tracking autofocus mode, since I’m avoiding human contact as much as possible right now.

Cooties.

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

November 30, 2020 at 11:30 am

Posted in Astoria, MTA, Northern Blvd.

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dreaded murmur

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Friday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Happy Thanksgiving week, which I’m taking off. Single image posts will greet you between now and Monday the 30th of November. I’ll be out taking pictures, in between dodging microbiotal clouds of expirant and looking over my shoulders for other sources of existential danger.

Today’s photo depicts the intersection of Steinway/39th st. (originally Harold Avenue) and Northern Boulevard (originally Jackson Avenue) one recent night, a crossroads right at the border of Astoria and Sunnyside.

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 23rd. 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

November 27, 2020 at 11:00 am

waddled in

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Thursday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Another night, another day. Another walk with the camera through the hinterlands of Long Island City. Another conversation about thwarting the ambitions of the EDC, or the Real Estate People, or the deeper meanings of what some elected official or candidate has just said. Another phone call to somebody to try and get them to help somebody else who has troubles. Another comment offered to the Government people on some plan they’re concocting, another opinion email sent, another night and another day and another walk around LIC with the camera. Another night spent developing photos, another day spent writing, another phone call asking me to do or say something I don’t want to do.

I’m in a rut, and due to the damned pandemic roaring back to life it’s only going to get worse. Ireland just locked down again, and their total death toll since March doesn’t even approach the number of people dying of this bug every single month in the good old U.S. of A.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Anxiety, that’s what I’m experiencing right now. One has made it a point of discussing this fact, which violates several social norms. You’re not supposed to talk about your feelings, especially negative ones that might connote weakness. Mental health is no different from the conditions affecting the rest of your body, in my view, and keeping quiet about it when you’re feeling anxious or scared makes it difficult for others to admit they’re feeling the same sort of insecurity and fear. That’s why I’m making it a point of being open about what I’m experiencing. One of my little mottos is “Say what you do, do what you say.”

I’m not looking forward to the next couple of fortnights.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

What can you do to prepare for the winter of discontent we’re all about to experience?

The only answer I can come up with is to charge the camera battery, put on my hiking shoes, and get ready for yet another walk through Long Island City on yet another afternoon or evening. I can try not to hurt anyone, intentionally or unintentionally. I can aspire to try and help people when they need help. What else can you do?

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, October 19th. 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

October 22, 2020 at 11:00 am

puzzled till

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Northern Blvd.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It’s actually amazing how many times I’ve walked the exact same route, in the last two months, given that I’m still finding interesting things to point the camera at. Last weekend was warm and the weather generally beautiful here in Astoria and Western Queens. Restaurants and bars reopened for “to go” service, but large groups of quarantineros were everywhere you looked. If we don’t end up with large sections of the neighborhood in the hospital or dead by the first week of June, it’s entirely possible that the worst part of the first wave is behind us.

Saying that, don’t be a maskhole, and cover up. The less of us who wear a mask, the longer all of us will end up having to. I don’t want to be wearing a mask during August, when it’s hot.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The “hum” began ticking up again last weekend. That’s what I call the constant background level of noise here in Western Queens generated by automotive and mass transit action. Starting in mid March and then through April, I could hear my footsteps echoing back at me due to the quiet.

Traffic volume has definitely increased, as has sidewalk activity. Word has it that the encounter with the wackadoodle I mentioned on Monday is now a commonplace experience, and has a likely connection with the NYC Dept. of Homeless Services using the many hotels around Queens Plaza as shelters. It seems that the Homeless Veterans of the Borden Avenue shelter down in LIC are now living in the Howard Johnson’s on 12th street, and the hotels in the Dutch Kills neighborhood just north of Queens Plaza are filling up with similar guests.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’ve managed to reschedule a Doctor’s appointment for next week to which I was obligated towards the end of June, as the very last thing that a humble narrator wants to do is hop onto the subway. It’s funny, I actually miss it.

Just last night, I was wandering up 21st street in LIC, and the sidewalk grates that overfly the underground 7 line Hunters Point Avenue stop were to my left. The train entered the station, and then played its “beep bop, watch for the closing doors” recording. I couldn’t help but smile. It sounded normal.

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.

Written by Mitch Waxman

May 22, 2020 at 12:00 pm

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