The Newtown Pentacle

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Posts Tagged ‘Queens Plaza

yet inchoate

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Monday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Finally – that’s the last shot from February above, the 28th specifically, and part of the abundance of images which a humble narrator gathered during the late winter. Out for a Friday night walk, my footsteps somehow carried me to where I was standing at the end of a Long Island Railroad platform in LIC.

Pictured at the right side of the shot is what was originally called the Subway Building. It was also Queens Borough Hall for about a decade during the early 20th century, and later on during the WW2 era it became known as the Paragon Oil building. In recent years, the structure has been given a makeover by new owners and the 7 story, 130,000 sq ft. structure is now called “The Point, LIC.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A few days later, on March 2nd, another walk around the darkened streets of LIC was underway. It has been a while since I checked out the series of streets that intersect with Jackson Avenue and dead end at the Sunnyside Yards, so off I went.

This section, of course, is densely populated due to all of the new residential construction. I’ve been avoiding it like the plague, during the plague, just every other crowded “zone” in NYC.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

This particularly cool car was spotted. Didn’t see any plates or registration stickers on it, so I can’t tell you anything other than late model Ford Mustang. This was, I believe, on the aptly named “Queens Street.”

As mentioned a few weeks back, one has been unusually prolific – for reasons – so far this year, and until I manage to burn through some of the backlog of photos from late winter and early spring, will be offering posts here at Newtown Pentacle that carry six images.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’m always fascinated by the sort of parking structure pictured above. It’s a pretty efficient use of space and cantilever engineering, but there has to be so much weight focused down through that thing… I mean, yeah, engineering but…

In recent years, I’ve been seeing a lot of new building construction using cantilevers to maximize space. There’s an enormous residential tower rising in Greenpoint along Newtown Creek’s intersection with East River that uses this technique.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

This was one of my short walks, and my “turn around point” was at the Court Square station, nearby the sapphire megalith. I’ve shot this particular gas station dozens of times during the pandemic. About three years ago, I missed out on selling a stock photo to one of the agencies when I didn’t have a nocturnal image of a BP gas station. Ever since, I’ve been making it a point of gathering images of such infrastructure so as to not miss out on a future opportunity.

Also, this is the section of Northern Blvd. where those weird Subway grate covers that do double duty as street benches can be found, so it’s a convenient spot to sit down for a few minutes. I’ll take it.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Upon hauling my self back to an upright posture and getting back into motion, a former car dealership’s interior empty space called me to shoot through the dirty windows. I’m really into the concept of liminal space right now.

Liminal space is an area which is a transition between other spaces, an area which is normally full of “something” or “someone’s” but is currently empty except for you. The emptiness of liminal space is disconcerting to many people, and it’s kind of a “thing” at the moment.

If you haven’t experienced any of the interesting “Back Rooms” videos which use the liminal space concept as a setting for a mysterious sci-fi/horror narrative, click here.


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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

April 18, 2022 at 11:00 am

retreating figure

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Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Five thousand four hundred seventy nine days ago a humble narrator was having a pretty bad morning (that’s about one hundred thirty one thousand and four hundred ninety six hours, if you want to get granular). When you learn to think about your life in terms of days rather than rounding up to years, it changes the perspective. My bad morning knocked me off the self chosen path I used to be on and set me on the current one. Ultimately, that bad morning resulted in the shots you see in today’s post being gathered on a cold November night in Queens Plaza by a wandering mendicant cloaked in a filthy black raincoat.

As a note, there are vampires residing in the steel rafters of the elevated tracks in Queens Plaza. You’ll be walking along minding your own business when a bluish white arm suddenly thrusts down at you, snapping its hand open and closed in a desperate attempt at clutching on and pulling you up to feed its need. It’s best to carry a garland of garlic in your camera bag when scuttling through at night, lest you get got. Because of buried streams all around Queens Plaza and the nearby Sunnyside Yards, the Vampires get stuck in this area, as they’re unable to cross over running water. That’s something I’ve learned in the last 5,479 days.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’ve learned to notice everything around me in this interval. Up, down, all around. Not to take things or people for granted, how not to be cruel or cowardly, and to always be curious. Amazing individuals have entered my life, including several exemplars whom I refer to as “the real thing.” I’ve found myself walking amongst princes and potentates, over bridges and through tunnels, and have seen things which only a handful of other people even know about. It’s been an exhausting 5,479 days, during which I’ve captured and published some 87,186 photographs of what I refer to as “the study area.” What you’re reading right now is the 3,390th posting of the Newtown Pentacle.

Nothing in Queens Plaza is real. The entire place is a built environment, and even the ground you’re walking or driving on is the roof of a structure. Tunnels shoot through the loam, allowing shiny metal boxes to move about below. There’s running water, streams and creeks which only the Lenape had names for, somewhere at the bottom of it all. That’s the flowing water which precludes the Queens Plaza vampires from invading the dense residential communities of nearby Sunnyside or Astoria. There’s also the Mafia, of course, who had long been at war with the undead back in Sicily. The Ottomans brought the Nosferatu plague to them, which then spread out into Eastern Europe on Turkish trade routes. When both vampire and mafioso came to North America in the 19th century, a new front in an old war opened up.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

131,496 hours ago – which translates to some seven million, eight hundred eighty nine thousand and 760 minutes – my very bad morning occurred. There’s multiple timelines which can branch out of that moment, and someday while attending a trans dimensional Council of Mitch’s meeting I hope to explore what happened to all of the other versions of me that walked out of the moment. I’m hoping that one of us pursued mad science and there’s a reality where a “me” has his own army of Atomic Supermen and has taken over the world. I imagine I’d be a real Dick if I had absolute power. I can’t picture myself going “full Hitler” but that’s the thing about me – the second France stepped out of line, I’d likely send the Atomic Supermen in to teach them a lesson. Next thing you know, death camps and I’m attacking Russia during the winter. It’s inevitable, really.

For the curious, the Council of Mitch’s meets once every three years. We all go to a hotel in Puerto Rico, where there’s a ball room that hosts a dimensional nexus. I missed the 2020 one because of COVID, since I live in the reality where that genie got out of the bottle and the other Mitch’s have been spared the experience. We Mitch’s normally get together and explain obvious things to each other, complain a lot, and then compare bits of NYC historical trivia that we’ve uncovered in our individual timelines. It’s all quite pedantic. We all claim to be “Mitch Prime” but acknowledge that we might be wrong about that. We’re all also a bit jealous of each other, but pretend that we’re happy about each other’s achievements and sarcastically passive aggressive about them. All of us agree that it’s been an odd and interesting 5,749 days.


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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

December 21, 2021 at 1:00 pm

blazed dangerously

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Wednesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Another shlep across Western Queens in the dark, that’s all I wanted to do. While on this particular scuttle, I discovered that I had fully burned through yet another pair of Merrel hiking boots over the prior six months and that it was time to order another pair. Concrete devours the treads of my shoes, and after noticing that my trick left foot was causing me all sorts of trouble and pain in recent weeks, I inspected my shoes only to discover that the treads had been ground away and all that remained of them was a light pattern on an otherwise bald sole.

You didn’t skimp on shoes, I always say. Foundation garments either. Cheap shoes and socks buy you expensive blisters and cause trouble.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As previously mentioned, I’ve been trying to stick to an every other day schedule for walks long and short. This was a short one, by my standards. Walk over to LIC, swing the turn at Queens Plaza, head back to Astoria. Roughly two hours, with occasional stops at interesting if familiar points of view like the one above at Sunnyside Yards.

From HQ in Astoria to Queens Plaza, as the crow flies, is three subway stops or about a mile and a small bit of change. Peregrinations along the route add in some distance, and all told – there and back again is about three miles.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

At one point I decided to lie down in the sidewalk and crawl around for awhile in the manner of a pilgrim. Just kidding there.

A bit of gear I recently acquired allows for a stable placement of the camera on the sidewalk, and a few other uncommon “POV’s.” It also encourages one to engage in what I call “photographer calisthenics,” which includes deep knee bends and that sort of motion.


“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 8, 2021 at 11:00 am

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?


“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 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.


“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 22, 2021 at 1:00 pm

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