The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Posts Tagged ‘queens

swaggered boldly

with one comment

Hiding, dodging, weaving.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My carefully chosen route through the human infestation of Western Queens on a recent evening, a path which was chosen for its probable lack of inhabitants, nevertheless brought me into near contact with the other primates. Given that one such as myself fears others, without delimiting criteria involving their interior microbial population, avoidance of any sort of human interaction is definitively part of my skill set. Despite this, other hardy adventurers were out and about whom a humble narrator afforded a wide berth. In the shot above, captured on 43rd Avenue in LIC, I had spotted a bicycle rider approaching from about three blocks away and flung myself against that brick wall you see.

Luckily, the filthy black raincoat is adaptive for use as urban camouflage. The bicyclist probably perceived a filthy black bag of squirming rats out of the corner of his eye. What? You’ve never encountered a bag of rats? Well, what do you transport your rats in, a box? Wait… I’ve said too much again.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A rough looking passerby was silhouetted in the distance as my roadway interface scuttled along the pavement, and soon I found myself crouched down behind a garbage bin. Whomsoever left this handy hiding place in the middle of the sidewalk for me to cower behind has my thanks.

While crying for a few minutes as the stress chemicals bled out of the brain and spinal column, a humble narrator began to reconsider his various choices in life.

Regret at having not pursued an interest in product photography, or perhaps macro studio work, gnawed. From behind me came the sound of sneakers shuffling across the diseased cement, and yet another eidolon of “stranger danger” – likely cloaked in a rich cloud of microscopic predators – was turning the corner.

All that fellow was allowed to perceive of me likely appeared to him as a hurtling black shape moving spasmodically away at untold thousands of inches an hour towards Queens Blvd. while uttering a terrorized sound not unlike that of a burning duck mixed with the cry of a newborn goat.

In other words, a black bag of rats with a bunch of camera gear.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My escape path was arrested by an uncaring traffic signal at Queens Boulevard, the legendary “Boulevard of Death” itself. There did one encounter a sparse amount of passing automotive traffic, and eventually egress to the southern side of this “Via Mortis,” or the “ölim bwlvarı” as you would say in the Kazakh tongue or “leofóros tou thanátou” in modern Greek, was accomplished.

One was sure he could feel the pinpricks of Corona viruses bouncing off his face, a deadly series of plasmic projectiles carried upon the easterly wind. That’s what I thought at first, but luckily it was just some disgusting rain water dripping out of the elevated 7 line tracks overhead.

People, people!

Note: I’m writing this and several of the posts you’re going to see for the next couple of weeks at the start of the week of Monday, March 16th. 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

March 20, 2020 at 11:00 am

empty panel

leave a comment »

The darnedest things, you see.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

So, I’m coming home from the Community Board offices one night after a meeting, and I spot a wrecked car body dangling on the end of a tow truck’s wire. Not the sort of thing you see everyday, thought I, and worthy of a picture or two. Well, to be fair, I do see this sort of thing a lot, but most of you probably don’t.

Transiting to and from that Community Board District office is why there’s been a sudden proliferation of shots from the Industrial Business Zone found along the Grand Central Parkway and Astoria Blvd. of late. It’s no industrial Maspeth, mind you, but there’s a few interesting things to point a camera at hereabouts. If only St. Michael’s Cemetery was open at night, huh?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’m sure this is the sort of thing that someone who works for the City is just dying to write a fine for, but y’know – it’s the 108th precinct – and they’ve got bigger fish to fry. NYPD has got to be a scary place to work right now, first responder wise. Along with FDNY they’re literally the front line of the epidemiologist response team, and you’ve got to figure that they’re worried about tracking something back home after the shift ends. When all this is all over, rounds and rounds of drinks are on the rest of us for all of your services in these times of trouble, you coppers and smoke eaters.

Fun times, huh?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The joke which I’ve been trading with friends and family about “social distancing” is that what I normally consider a good time is to wander around a deserted industrial zone by myself, so this is just another day for me. Additionally, as a proud member of Generation X, social isolation and avoiding interaction with other people is imperative and a long denied desire. Don’t stand so close to me, as the old Police song opines.

Cooties.

Note: I’m writing this and several of the posts you’re going to see for the next couple of weeks at the start of the week of Monday, March 16th. 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

March 18, 2020 at 11:00 am

damnable resemblance

with 2 comments

A bit more Triborough, and some thoughts on the current crisis…

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Ok, here’s the way things are going to go here at the old Newtown Pentacle “for the duration.” I’m writing this and several of the posts you’re going to see for the next couple of weeks at the start of the week of Monday, March 16th. 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. That’s the reality right now, it’s all a craps shoot. As of right now, all of my tours and summer events are on hold until we see the way this shakes out.

Also, if anything truly critical happens which needs to be broadcast, I’ll augment the regular blog schedule with news posts. If you’re in any kind of trouble and need help, here in Astoria or in LIC, contact me here and I’ll try to make the powers that be aware of your situation. This isn’t 911 or anything, but I’ve got a line of communication or two with officialdom that most people don’t have, so consider me as a resource.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Speculative logic, as in purely speculative – Epidemiological playbooks for the United States Government can and might take the form of soldiers deployed on our streets. Their mission might and will probably include maintaining law and order (the cops are going to be overwhelmed, and will get sick too), as well as vouchsafing and handling the delivery of essential supplies, and possibly handling mortuary practicalities. Border control between the States might happen too. I’ve already seen some goofy things happening on the streets here in Astoria, including some jack ass beating up his girlfriend in front of my house a couple of nights ago. You REALLY don’t want to be incarcerated right now, so best behavior, all.

The traditional American sophistry says that “we’ll get through this together,” whereas the Coronavirus pandemic utterly negates the concept of “together.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

So… I hope you’re all doing what you can to stay safe and healthy. Saying that, an aerosol based virus is a very difficult thing to control and contain. If you encounter a situation where you can be kind as opposed to cruel in the coming weeks, please consider enacting the former behavioral set. Check in on your family and friends, via phone rather than just text, especially those in your circle who suffer from mood disorders and other psychological bad weather. Tell people you love that you love them. Don’t start a witch panic by sharing obvious malarkey on social media.

If Newtown Pentacle stops updating, and a humble narrator is no more, please look in on Our Lady of the Pentacle occasionally and make sure that she has enough milk for her tea.


“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 17, 2020 at 11:00 am

pitiable tones

with one comment

My Creek always welcomes my triskaidekaphobia.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Shlep, shlep, shlep. That’s my game. As an old Christmas cartoon used to musically opine – “put one foot in front of the other, and soon you’ll be walking out the door.” Why it is that when I leave the house I inevitably end up in places like this is somewhat mysterious. What draws a creature like me out into the public sphere in the first place, as I belong in a catacomb or dungeon awaiting unwary travelers like some great spider? All interaction with others is strained and painful for me. My countenance causes children to cry, dogs to yelp, and induces startled reactions from adults. When I begin to speak, the croaking notes and gurgling exhalations are often described as being scented by and carried aloft on a bilious breeze. If I could get away with it, I’d wear naught but prophet’s robes, but come close with the filthy black raincoat and hooded black sweatshirt. Every now and then I catch a reflection of myself in a shop window and even I’m scared at what I see.

I’ve arrived at an age where pieces are about to start falling off as if I’m some sort of a biblical leper. Truly objectionable am I, ask anyone. God hates me, but to be fair, that’s probably my fault.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

People have always enjoyed making an example of me, or holding me to a higher standard than others despite my low social status. As a child, I’d be sitting in a school auditorium reading a book quietly while my classmates were all acting like irradiated monkeys and pyromaniacs. The Principal would surmount the stage and scream “WAXMAN” into the loudspeaker, whereupon my daily humiliations would resume.

I can’t help it that I stand out. I was born this way. These experiences, and many more, have caused me to become quite “vengeance” based in my thinking. I’m going to make the world pay, and pay dearly, for what’s been done to me.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My beloved Newtown Creek is the same way – reviled, ruined, lonely, lost. She and I have an understanding with each other, and since we are kindred spirits, the Creek never disappoints when I’m visiting. I feel like I should throw in a “verily” here.

Look at my sweetie, the way she opened the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge for me just as I happened to be passing by. She’s a good old girl, the Newtown Creek.

Enjoy your Friday the 13th, lords and ladies, especially so since there’s a full moon tonight. As a note, Sunday marks the “ide of March” as well as being National Egg Cream day.


“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.

altered youth

with one comment

Like every other piece of wind blown trash, I always end up at Newtown Creek.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

God, how I love it so – the wastelands of Long Island City at night. One can just let it all hang out, laugh maniacally without scaring the neighbors, and embrace the dissolution and horror of it all here at the titular center of the great urban hive. The Coronavirus wouldn’t last two seconds around here, as far nastier and better established pathogens would beat the crap out of the newcomer. Hand sanitizer? Look where I like to hang out on a Saturday night. Hand sanitizer would bubble, boil, and froth if you poured it on the sidewalk here in Blissville.

The good news about all this pandemic panic is that I finally have an excuse to not have to shake hands or exchange hugs with the humans. Nepenthe.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s Green Asphalt pictured above, a company whose raison d’être is the 2010 Solid Waste Management Act, dictating that NYC can no longer use landfills to dispose of road surfacing materials. When the contractors working for the NYC Department of Transportation scrape away a road’s armor, the milled materials are transported to Green Asphalt or a similar operation where the stuff is heated up and mixed with a small amount of new product. The resulting mass of steaming goo is then used to repave a street, often the very same street it’s was just milled off of.

That’s called recycling, baby, recycling.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Green Asphalt is found on one of my very favorite streets in Queens, Blissville’s Railroad Avenue. Why do I like it so very much? Could be those jet black cats with the glowing yellow eyes. Also might be the railroad tracks which give the street its name, or the ghosts of industrial titans like Fleischman’s Yeast, Van Iderstine’s rendering plant, or even the lesser branches of the Haberman family tree which used to stretch out hereabouts. I like darkness, and solitude, so there’s that too.

It’s hard to find a place in NYC where you can be truly alone, but one such as myself is always alone, even in a crowd.


“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.

cosmic fear

with one comment

My continuing tour of the worst places on earth, in today’s post.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Pictured above is the spot where the Long Island Expressway off ramp feeds into the local street grid in LIC, specifically at the intersection of Borden Avenue and Van Dam Street. For some reason the FDNY routes ambulances through this traffic choked lane, so in addition to the rumble and exhaust of thousands of cars an hour, there’s also sirens to listen to and flashing lights to enjoy. What with all the artificial light cascading about, and the low ceiling of the Queens Midtown Expressway truss above – this is about two blocks from Greenpoint Avenue, for reference – it’s actually quite beautiful as far as environmental and urban planning disaster areas go. What can I tell you, I like places of this sort. It’s where I belong.

Not exactly pedestrian friendly, though.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Behind all the colorful tumult pictured in the shot above, there’s a small wooded area adjoining an on ramp for the LIE, which the local Queensicans have designated as a great place to engage in the native art form of the World’s Borough – illegal dumping. For quite some time, there was a sizable homeless colony back here which would better be described as a homeless village. In many ways, it looked like a galactic refugee set piece from the Star Trek series, with shanty structures and people engaging in an off the grid mercantile economy.

All that is gone, and these days the little stand of trees back here are merely a knoll. If it wasn’t state owned land, I’m sure the Mayor would be trying to build affordable housing here, or maybe a homeless shelter. Dotting the “i”‘s and crossing the “t”‘s is what the horde of loathsome sentience in City Hall is going to be up to until December 31st of 2021, I predict. That’s how much longer we have to wait until Citizen De Blasio is powerless again.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There’s a lot of wasted space in LIC, I would point out to the First Citizen’s team.

This patch could easily be used to store municipal vehicles, or perhaps establish a small office park for the NYC EDC to work out of. Ever wonder why these clowns get to work in skyscrapers owned by the City, rather than empty strip malls in Nassau County? MTA has 2 Broadway in the City, and a rather handsome structure on Jay Street in Brooklyn. Real Estate rules the roost these days, so why do our civil servants get to occupy prime value locations? Wouldn’t it make sense for them to work out of a transit desert? Go to work in East New York, or the northern Bronx, or western Staten Island, just to give them a bit of perspective on what the rest of us experience?


“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.

dominant figure

leave a comment »

What can I complain about next?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One wishes that the Mayor would hang “suggestion boxes” around the City. A new division of the municipal hive called the “Complaint Department” could be formed. This would be the thing that caused me to actually work for the City, as I’d want to be the Commissioner of Complaining. In many ways, this would be a dream come true, and everything my Mother warned me against being like would finally pay some dividends. My pal, Special Ed, once opined that he’d like to start a consulting business offering “freelance unsolicited criticism.” His business model would involve walking into a bank, for instance, and letting the manager know that the velvet ropes were arranged incorrectly, for which Ed would submit a bill.

What makes Ed so “special”? Once he moved into the wrong apartment building, and he still stores his clothing in the refrigerator. We used to live in the same building on the upper west side of Manhattan and he was my “Kramer.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Recent endeavor found one scuttling towards the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge on an evening constitutional. A few times along the way one was overcome by ennui, and found himself crying while down on his knees and shaking his fist in the general direction of Lower Manhattan. I’m fairly happy, actually, about the complete overreaction by the Dept. of Buildings regarding that poor woman who was struck by a chunk of falling masonry over in Manhattan which has taken the form of erecting scaffolding around City owned structures to vouchsafe against liability, since I like taking pictures of scaffolded corridors. Also, they provide me with shelter from rain, sun, and a variety of sky based biblical plagues (the falling frogs, in particular). I get involved with a lot of biblical plagues during my rounds.

I didn’t have a particular path in mind for this walk, incidentally, other than trying to avoid using any of my normal “routes.” It’s very simple for a creature of habit like me to find himself continually using the same pathway, but since everybody secretly or not so secretly hates me, I need to worry about assassins exploiting my predictability.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Look at that will ya? The deserted streets, the loneliness, vulnerability… nepenthe.

I for one welcome the Corona Virus, since it means that there will be fewer humans hereabouts. For decades one has opined that what this City needs is a good plague to force everyone to straighten up and fly right. I’ve also advocated for armed conflict with New Jersey, an internecine war of attrition between Brooklyn and Queens, and that the best solution for Heroin Addiction is to give addicts as much Heroin as they want since it would get them to the obvious conclusion of their hobby quicker.

One is not a terribly nice man. I pretend and aspire to be better than my nature, but there’s only so much subterfuge I can offer. Recently, I realized that I dress like Emperor Palpatine from Star Wars. If only I could shoot that purple lightning from my fingertips…


“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 10, 2020 at 11:00 am

%d bloggers like this: