The Newtown Pentacle

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Posts Tagged ‘Queens Plaza

oppression waned

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Monday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Whew, what a couple of weeks. One has walked or ridden a boat into 4 of the 5 Boroughs, including… Staten Island… in the last 14 days. I’ve been in Astoria, Long Island City, Bushwick, Greenpoint, East Williamsburg, Sunset Park, Red Hook, Manhattan’s Financial District and Lower East Side, and St. George. This whole spate of activity got started a couple of weeks ago in LIC when I had to meet up with a couple of Newtown Creek Alliance interns to teach them a couple of things about my beloved Creek. Good news is that most of this travel has occurred on boats, specifically on ferry boats.

The shot above is from the sidewalk of Borden Avenue, alongside the Long Island Railroad’s moderately ancient Hunters Point Rail Yard. The current facility is the ninth iteration of a rail yard on this spot. Once, there was a gigantic glass and steel train shed here, and there were turntables that allowed rail engines to reorient themselves from one track to another.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Some of my travels have involved hopping on the subway. A humble narrator found himself at Queens Plaza just as a 7 line train was entering the Manhattan bound lower level tracks at the elevated MTA complex.

Just in the name of decrying how bad the management is at the redoubtable MTA… so, they had 16 months where basically nobody was riding the trains. During that interval, which you’d imagine as being a golden opportunity to perform upgrades and maintenance, they complained about declining fare revenues and an uptick in crime. Give us more money, they said, and the Feds bailed them out. Now, with the City reopening and everybody trying to get back to normal, just this last weekend they started doing signal upgrades to the Culver line. The F was running on the D, the D on the F, and R service was completely turned off in Astoria. Instruction was to take the 7 to Jackson Heights, and then transfer to the E, which was stopping in seemingly random places – none of which were where I was going.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The shot above was gathered by shooting through the dirty window of a N train bound for Queens Plaza. One day it will happen – I’ll be on an N train which doesn’t look it was parked under a flock of seagulls and it will have clean windows offering a crystal clear view of the scene above.

Frustrating, the MTA is. That’s also a good sign of some sort of return to normalcy. How do you bring people together in our politically divided culture? Answer is: our common hatred of MTA management.

Speaking of getting back to normal… what are you doing on August 7th? I’ll be conducting a WALKING TOUR OF LONG ISLAND CITY with my pal Geoff Cobb. Details and ticketing available here. Come with?


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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

July 26, 2021 at 11:00 am

abhorred necropolis

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Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Yup, still working on this shot at Queens Plaza. Just a matter of time till the right time and place collide. Unfortunately for me, a massive collection of “have to’s” and “I’d really like to but need to do this pedantic and boring thing instead’s” have obligated one to photogenically unproductive activities for the last couple of weeks. Boring.

I really want to get on a boat, or a series of boats, sometime in the next week and just relax on the water while shooting whatever N.Y. Harbor decides to send my way. Serendipity awaits.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

While stuck listening to a long and boring meeting, one noticed a thunderstorm approaching HQ and I was hoping that I might capture some lightning to punctuate the boredom of it all. I didn’t, but I did manage to record the weird color changes to the sky which such turbulent weather manifests. About a minute after this shot, the low clouds collapsed and inundated Astoria with heavy rain. No lightning, though.

I mentioned a fantastic offer that Amtrak was offering last week, which priced 30 “segments” of travel at $299. Given that two segments (and three days of travel) are enough to get me to California if I wanted, you can see the value of buying the package which I did. I have until the fall to activate it, whereupon I need to use it all within 30 days. Where am I going to go?

There’s definitely a day trip to the pretty city of Pittsburgh and it’s amazing collection of bridges coming up (there’s also a significant number of “connections” to Newtown Creek there), and it’s also likely that day trips to Washington D.C., Albany, Erie, and Boston are going to happen. My plan for all of them is to have a well designed shot list and route planned out. Leave NYC in the pre dawn and return late at night sort of things. Fun. I’ve been saying I need a vacation from “the zone” and now I have a very affordable and comfortable mode of travel. Probably going to execute all this moving about at the end of the summer when the light is a bit nicer.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Back at Newtown Creek, we had an in person get together for the fully vaxxed crew at Newtown Creek Alliance recently. We’ve all been interacting over zoom and phone during the pandemic, but it’s been a while since the staff and board members were all in the same room at HQ in Greenpoint.

Spotted a DonJon tug moving barges around at SimsMetal on the Queens side from the green roof at 520 Kingsland Avenue, where NCA is headquartered. See what I mean about N.Y. Harbor serendipity? You go to a gathering to inhale some pizza and beer, and there’s a maritime industrial show going on in the background.

Ahhh… my beloved Creek, she never disappoints.


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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

June 22, 2021 at 1:00 pm

recalled dreams

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Friday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A recent scuttle found me soiling the sidewalks outside of Aviation High School, painting the sidewalks with the corruption permanently stuck to the soles of my shoes. One is so incredibly aberrant that area grocery stores have established rules about allowing me near the Fresh Produce or Dairy aisles, as any occupation of such spaces on my part causes spoilage. Old ladies clutch at their purses, children begin to cry, birds flock into the sky, and cats hiss when I approach. It would not surprise one if the sidewalk spot I was standing upon while shooting the plane pictured above needs to be replaced. My presence causes concrete to rot, steel to rust, and lumber gets reduced down to a corrupted pulp. I once wilted a flower by staring at it. Ask anyone, I’m horrible.

The damning realization that I actually enjoyed the solitude of the Pandemic is currently messing with me. I always said that what this City needs is a good plague, and my wish came true. Thereby, COVID is all my fault.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’m tired. Tired of arguing. Tired of listening to paranoid conspiracy theories. I’m tired of virtue signaling, tired of public rhetoric that is abandoned in private, and tired of those who project the “shiny happy people” trope. I’m also tired of the perennially angry, the unfocused, those who cannot forecast the consequences of their actions. I’m tired of the ground permanently shifting around under my feet, and tired of reacting to other people’s bad decisions. Tired.

I’m especially tired of everyone wanting something from me that they did nothing to earn. Duplicitous status whores, false potentates, graven idols – that’s what I see everywhere I look. Gah.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The only solace for me is when I’m alone and behind the camera. This is the latest iteration of a certain shot I’ve been chasing, depicting the 7 entering the Queens Plaza station on the elevated tracks. This one counts as “almost” and I won’t be satisfied until I manage to get the crimson and orange sky shot I’m yearning for. I keep on missing that one, which in the last week alone I was denied from chasing it by a series of evening meetings which kept me here at HQ in front of the computer.

It’s all dissolution and death ahead of me, nothing matters anymore.

Back next week, hopefully with a better mood and outlook, and lots of swell pix at this – your Newtown Pentacle.


“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

June 18, 2021 at 1:00 pm

clamoured forms

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Monday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Riding the trains again, that’s me. As stated previously, I never thought I’d come to a juncture in my life where I missed riding the subways but I guess that’s what a fairly unprecedented public health emergency teaches a guy. The shot above, of course, wasn’t captured within the system. Instead I was scuttling down Skillman Avenue on my way to do a thing. I’m also “doing things” again. Had my very first live and in person meeting in the last 16 months just last week. Everybody in the room was vaxxed, naturally.

A humble narrator finds himself in a weird place these days. As I’ve mentioned to several people in the last month or so, I no longer have any tolerance whatsoever for other people’s bullshit. Used to be that I’d make excuses for you, or try to explain the many reasons why you’re justified acting like a walking/talking asshole. No more. No second chances. Piss me off just a little bit these days and it doesn’t matter how long we’ve known each other – you’re done. If you’re somebody I didn’t like all that much to start with… woof.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I find that the angst and anxiety I was experiencing throughout the pandemic has transformed into red hot anger. What the hell is wrong with you people? Are you all really this stupid and selfish? Those are questions which have been soundly answered, and the answer is “yes.”

Accordingly, my inclination is to say “Ok, no more Mr. Nice Guy,” and to stop pretending that I’m a better person than I actually am. Patience is no longer a virtue I exhibit. If there isn’t a payoff for being decent, I’ll just go the other way and get mine. Fuck y’all. This is an inclination which I’m currently struggling with.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

While I’m trying to figure out how to quell all of the anger and disappointment I’m carrying around with me, I’m also trying to find a way forward which doesn’t involve me screaming at people at the top of my lungs about minor sleights and annoyances. Just this morning, I had to instruct my bagel guy to stop talking and just listen to my bagel shepherding instructions with an “I’M TALKING NOW, JUST LISTEN.” I apologized afterwards, and tipped him well for the affront, but holy smokes am I currently a lit fuse waiting to go off. Sorry Jose, wasn’t your fault.

Best thing, I think, is to solitarily hit the streets with the camera and lose myself in a few audiobooks. It’s been a while since I listened to “The Dunwich Horror” so I’m going to start trying to calm myself with a bit of my old pal Howie Lovecraft.


“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

June 14, 2021 at 1:00 pm

boughed orchard

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Thursday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Another evening walk in Long Island City. Pictured above is a 1915 built structure which has been dubbed as “The Point LIC” by its current owner. For much of the 20th century it was called the “Paragon Oil” building, but when it was built and opened it was called “The Subway Building” and the uppermost floor was – in fact – Queens Borough Hall during the tenure of BP Maurice Connolly.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Given that I’m able to take the trains again, I’ve been doing so.

One of the things I missed during the pandemic was the ease and low cost of getting around using mass transit. I found myself forced into paying through the nose for ride share services whenever I wasn’t able to simply walk somewhere. I was able to justify the risk of coming into contact with one stranger, but couldn’t rectify the possibility of sharing an atmosphere with dozens of strangers at Covid’s high water marks.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Yup, still working on this shot.

Getting close. I’m only going to be satisfied when I hit a crimson and orange sky behind the train, but that’s just a matter of right place/right time. If you’re moving through Queens Plaza at anytime between 8:15 and 8:45 and you notice a deconstructed pile of old man waving a camera about in the direction of the Silvercup sign, that’s probably going to be me. Don’t say hello, I’ll only disappoint you in person, and you might be horrified.

I have that effect on people.


“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

June 10, 2021 at 11:00 am

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