The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Posts Tagged ‘Northern Blvd.

avoided commerce

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Palpitant, I nevertheless declare this as Wednesday.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

In the shot above, my love of Newtown Creek smashes wholeheartedly into my vast appreciation of the Northern Blvd. corridor, as the fuel truck filling the tanks at this filling station is delivering fuel from the Kinder Morgan (formerly BP Amoco) tank farm terminal in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint section, which is found at the corner of Apollo Street and Norman Avenue. See? This is what it’s like inside my head.

As far as the second vaccine shot I received yesterday – yes, there are side effects with this one. Last night I got the hot/colds coupled with some body aches and most peculiarly the psychological state of “fever dreams” was plaguing me through the night, although I don’t have a fever. Fever dreams often take the form of widely spaced out awakenings, whereupon I’m convinced that I didn’t actually fall asleep and have been dreaming that I’m awake, but upon inspecting a bedside clock I discover that I’ve actually been out cold for several hours. Weird.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Street furniture – that’s what City Planners call utility poles and fire hydrants and benches. Street furniture as I define it are abandoned bits of furnishings which somebody has abandoned and left on the street for somebody else to deal with. You see feral couches and dining room chairs all the time, and this one was spotted on the corner of Northern Blvd. and Standard Lane while on my way home one night.

If I didn’t know the cause, I’d be telling Our Lady if the Pentacle that I was in the edge of getting sick right now, and expecting the rest of this week to be a wash. In addition to the immune system reaction I’m experiencing from the 2nd shot, for some reason this time the actual injection site in my shoulder is quite tender. The 1st shot felt like somebody had punched me in the upper arm, the 2nd proudly hurts.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Whatever. This process makes it highly unlikely that I’m going to either cease living, or end up becoming some sort of Typhoid Mary who cause’s others to similarly cease. I still know quite a few people who are resistant to the idea of the vaccine, which is bizarre to me. As I’m wont to remind them when this opinion is offered – you’re going to have a hard time traveling, or getting on a cruise, going to Disney – all that stuff, without proof that you’re not transmissible.

And so does the winter of discontent end, with neither bang nor whisper.

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, March 22nd. 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

March 24, 2021 at 11:30 am

nameless expectancy

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Monday is arrived.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A humble narrator has been seriously applying himself to the pursuit of mastering his equipment in the first quarter of this new year, specifically the camera and lens combinations recently acquired. What that involves if you’re a normal person would be to take a few shots and see what you get. For me, this means wandering throughout Western Queens in the middle of the night and pointing the camera at fairly difficult to capture and ever changing subjects. Car washes, as pictured above, fascinate.

What makes the shot above difficult to capture is the combination of ambient darkness, ultra bright artificial light and abundant reflective surfaces, and the desire to “freeze” the scene so you could see all the soap and water flying around the brushes and car. This is a lot harder to calculate, camera settings wise, than you’d think it would be.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

This particular excursion, which saw me leaving Astoria and heading eastwards along Broadway through Woodside in the direction of Jackson Heights, was undertaken for rather mundane reasons. I’m currently serving as Co-Chair of the Transportation Committee on the local Community Board and since the NYC Department of Transportation – or DOT – had recently informed the CB that they intended to strengthen certain aspects of the Northern Blvd. and Broadway bike lanes. Accordingly, I took a walk and explored the confines of their project to examine the street conditions. It’s best to observe in person rather than look at the place on maps, so as to spot areas that might end up being problematic.

Food trucks seem to draw my attention these days. Seldom do I partake, but I’m fascinated by the trade dress and attention grabbing signage of these things.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A new item on my “shoot this” list are Gas Stations. I’ve talked about this recently in some detail, but the disappearing filling stations of NYC are now something I’m making it a point of recording. From a camera POV, this is a damned hard subject to do justice to, given many of the same issues mentioned in the car wash shot at top. Reflective surfaces, super bright and or saturated neon lighting, ultra contrasty interaction with the dark street surrounding it… ain’t the easiest exposure triangle to figure out.

My photo gathering schedule continues to revolve around an “every other day” system, which sees a humble narrator leaving the house well after dark – 8, 9, sometimes even 10 o’clock – and then spending 2-3 hours burning through 5-10 miles of walking. These shots are about a month old, gathered during the last week of January.

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, March 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 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

March 1, 2021 at 1:00 pm

copious seepage

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Wednesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Recent wanderings, as mentioned earlier in the week, have seen me sticking fairly close to HQ due to the cold. Luckily, I happen to live within walking distance of some visually interesting sections of Long Island City such as the Sunnyside Yards, a portion of which is pictured above. Those are Amtrak train sets, overnighting in Queens.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’m a big fan of whomsoever it is at Amtrak who is responsible for poking holes in their fences. I’m an even bigger fan of whomsoever it is at Canon who has been designing lens with a smaller than usual lens element which I can fit into those pokey holes.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Another thing I’ve become a fan of are the few remaining gas stations in Western Queens, islands of saturated color and cold light shining in the night.

More wandering, in tomorrow’s post, 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, January 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 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

January 27, 2021 at 2:00 pm

amorphous liquid

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Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Another day night, and another walk around Western Queens with the camera. As mentioned yesterday, one is unnaturally vulnerable to cold weather. Partially, this is due to the side effects several of the medications my team of Doctors insist upon, and to the underlying medical conditions which their prescriptions are designed to remedy. My genetic flaws affect the circulatory system, heart, and the liver’s regulation of blood chemistry which – in simple terms – means that when it’s cold out my hands and feet go all bloodless and numb. This results in me having a fairly uneven and sometimes painful gait, and the loss of physical acuity and haptic feedback in the fingers. If you notice a pile of black rags with a camera lurching and weaving along Northern Blvd. some evening, that’ll be me.

Don’t worry, my fettle is fine, just trying to be quite transparent these days about my various maladies and weird moods. Hoping that you might cut me a break for my many malapropisms, micro aggressions, and madness in the future.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Somebody I used to hang out with at the neighborhood bar, in the before times, spent some effort describing my “micro aggressions” to me one night. I explained them away saying that I was quite unaware of any projected enmity, and reminded my companion that I’m the kind of person who doesn’t consciously project “micro” anything. If I’m mad at you, it’s “macro aggression” time, and the last time you experienced anything like what it’s like when I’m angry was at the end of the Jimmy Cagney movie “White Light, White Heat.” There’s an overlay of the climax of “Barton Fink” as well, specifically evoking the finale denouement of John Goodman’s role (without the hitler part, though). Ain’t pretty.

I do like that the particular set of things I will call someone out on are specific to their circumstance, as I try to avoid broad stroke denunciation based on creed or orientation. I once called some fellow a “shoe wearing, ginger ale drinking, motherflower.” When the asshole you’re yelling at falls to the floor laughing, you win.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There are two things one is continually struck by on my night time wanderings – particularly in the last couple of months – first is that I’m somehow able to pick a pathway through one of the most densely populated sections of North America wherein the only other humans are safely sealed up inside of automobiles and trucks rather than on the sidewalk where they can blow their cootie laden breath at me, the second is that the City that never sleeps now goes to bed about ten p.m.

The latter factoid is bizarre, walking through Sunnyside or Astoria and seeing that every restaurant and bar is shuttered. The odd pizza joint will be open, but the “24 hour City” is a thing of the past.

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, January 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 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

January 26, 2021 at 1:45 pm

deep fissure

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Monday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Donald J Trump warned you 5 years ago that without him there would a taco truck found on every corner, which is one of those things we’ve been all hoping would happen as tacos are delicious and food trucks are an affordable source of these treats. Here we are, just a few days into the Biden era, and the prophesied taco trucks have begun to appear. What do you know about that? Something Trump told the truth about, which is notable for somebody whose pants were so reliably on fire.

Recent walking excursions have been finding me scuttling along familiar streets which are a bit closer to HQ than the usual Newtown Creek zone, which is ultimately due to my fatal weakness to cold weather. Superman has his Kryptonite, I’ve got January. January while standing on a frozen shoreline in Queens is not fun. The shot above is from the corner of Broadway and Northern Blvd. which I will describe as the southern angle between “proper” Woodside, Astoria, and “kinda sort of” Sunnyside.

The East/West border of Woodside and Astoria, I would offer, is definitively 58th street/Woodside Avenue. There’s seldom a Taco Truck there, but one can hope.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Fascination with automotive maintenance facilities continues, and while wandering by a largish Car Wash company on Northern Blvd. at the bleeding edge border of “proper” Woodside the other night, this scene was observed.

I’ve been using the new Canon R6 for a bit now, and can say that I’m thoroughly enjoying the device and feel like there’s a lot of stuff which I was formerly precluded from capturing that is now well in reach. The lens being employed on many of my early night walks with the R6, and in all three shots in today’s post, is a f1.8 “nifty fifty” 50mm. The R6 offers “in body image stabilization” which allows for some techno magic to happen when shooting at night. In the interval since this shot was captured, I’ve augmented the lens bag with a 35mm f1.8 lens that has its own onboard stabilization system. Combining the lens and body technologies, this allows for some 8 additional stops of light gathering range. Wait till you see those shots, which will start filtering into posts here sometime next month.

The lesson of prior winters instruct that this is the time of year that – when I’m able to be outside – shoot, shoot, and keep shooting. Never know when a blizzard or nor’easter is going to randomly gobble up a week of your time during the winter in New York City. I’ve been keeping myself busy.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The Canon R6 is a very capable device for handheld night shooting in the “urban milieu,” and I’ve found myself leaving the house for a walk sans camera bag, tripod, etc. I’m carrying an extra battery with me and that’s it. Radical simplicity is the mantra for me these days. I’ve been so impressed with that 35mm lens that I just placed an order with the good folks at Beards and Hats (BH Photo) for its “big brother” which is a stabilized 85mm f2. Looking forward to a day – which will can’t come soon enough – when I leave the house with just the two lenses and a couple of extra batteries and that’s it.

My desire for this sort of simplicity has nothing to do with eschewing zoom lenses or anything like that. You try walking ten miles at a clip with fifteen pounds of glass and a tripod in your knapsack. Sheesh.

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, January 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 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

January 25, 2021 at 11:00 am

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