The Newtown Pentacle

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Posts Tagged ‘Queensboro Bridge

homologous member

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Tuesday!

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Recent endeavor found a humble narrator riding the NYC Ferry from Astoria to Lower Manhattan. One cannot recommend this service highly enough, and I do so loudly to all who might listen. Throughout the pandemic, the Ferry has been a pressure valve for me, allowing a quite affordable afternoon on the water. You’ve got to mask up, obviously, but there is virtually zero risk of contracting anything on the top deck of the boat, other than having an errant seagull smack into you. The boats have bathrooms in case you need to blow some ballast, but unfortunately the onboard shops which sell coffee, beer, and or snacks are still closed. No problem there, since I tend to avoid drinking and eating when I’m out and moving about, but if you can’t survive without a beverage bring it onboard with you.

The Astoria line stops at East 90th street (where you can transfer to the Soundview line and head to the Bronx), Roosevelt Island, LIC North, 34th Street in the City (where you can transfer to several other lines), Brooklyn Navy Yard, and then it’s terminal destination is at Pier 11/Wall Street in lower Manhattan. The design of the system uses Pier 11 and 34th street as “hubs” where several of the lines converge. You’ve got 90 minutes from the time you purchase a paper ticket, or activate one on their phone app (I use the app), to accomplish a transfer. I’ve made it all the way from Soundview in the South Bronx to the Rockaways on a single $2.75 ticket. That’s 3 hours on the water for under $3 – cheap!

– photo by Mitch Waxman

On the East River routes, you encounter the grandiose sights and scale of the greatest City in the history of civilization. I’ve offered this statement before, and have been asked “what about Rome, or Constantinople, or Persepolis, Kolkata, Beijing, Tokyo, Berlin, Buenos Aires”… the list goes on and on. Ancient Rome could tuck neatly into Staten Island, Tokyo and Los Angeles are regions, not cities, and the City which other Cities compare themselves to ain’t London or Berlin. Since the end of the Second World War, the omphalos or navel of Western Civilization has been and continues to be NYC. I don’t just mean Manhattan, as a note, I mean the whole shebang.

Pictured above is the scene encountered as the ferry leaves the Brooklyn Navy Yard, depicting the Manhattan Bridge with the financial district of Lower Manhattan behind it on a misty day.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The Astoria route Ferry moves up the eastern side of the East River, whereas the Soundview route takes the western channel. Astoria route allows for dynamic views of Roosevelt Island, its eponymous lift bridge, and the power generating infrastructure which stains the shorelines of Queens. The terminal stop in Astoria at the NYCHA Astoria Houses campus puts you within easy walking distance of the Welling Court street art mural installation, Astoria Park, and hundreds of truly interesting restaurants and bars. Why not come visit and spend some of that stimulus money here in Astoria? We could use the bucks.

You can access the schedules for the NYC Ferry, and check out their various destinations, at their website. This isn’t a paid post or anything, by the way, I’m just an enthusiastic customer for the service and want to encourage all of my readers here at Newtown Pentacle to take advantage of it as a curative for the pallor and malaise introduced by our recent collective trials.


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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.

perfumed jungles

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Awww, it’s only Tuesday.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

To start – it was just weird to be out during the daylight and taking pictures while walking back from Manhattan via the Queensboro Bridge about a month ago. It’s been so long that I had to constantly remind myself to check my exposure settings. The night time stuff which has been on offer for the last year, the solitude thereof having been necessitated by obvious concerns, is comparatively “one and done” in terms of exposure and ISO sensitivity due to the somewhat predictable levels of nocturnal street lighting. Sure, I have to dial the shutter speed around here and there or up the ISO sensitivity, but… it’s been a long time since I had to worry about the deep shadows and blown out highlights encountered due to the burning thermonuclear eye of god itself bobbing about in the afternoon sky.

Luckily, the Roosevelt Island Tram was still there. I plan on riding on this thing sometime this week, actually. Hope I get a chance to wipe a clean spot on its window before boarding. If you haven’t been, there’s commanding views of the Queensboro Bridge to be experienced from up there, and it’s “one of those NYC things to check off your list.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Other goals and destinations abound. I’m also planning on visiting the Empire State Building’s observation deck soon. I’m hoping they’re still offering discounts. Getting high in Manhattan is often a problem, since a) you either have to know somebody who can let you in and get you to a window, b) there’s an in person meeting happening in a cool place, or c) you have an opportunity to trespass without being jailed. Getting high refers to altitude, of course, since the other meaning of it is no longer illegal.

My goodness, I’ve actually lived long enough to see the most onerous of the Rockefeller drug laws in New York State done away with.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Back at home, a couple of days later, I was lucky enough to catch the Amtrak people leaving the door to the Acela maintenance building open. As I’ve mentioned more times than I can remember, the Sunnyside Yards people have been poking new holes in their fences at a rapid pace. It seems like every day I find a new surveyor’s hole or some the after effect of some construction worker’s need to push a hose or a cable down to the rail yard.

Back tomorrow, at this – your Newtown Pentacle.


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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 6, 2021 at 1:00 pm

denizens thereof

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Monday is arisen, and risible.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The first two shots in today’s post were gathered during a quick visit to Astoria’s Luyster Creek, found on the forbidden northern shore of Queens. I’m told that the rotting wooden structure in the one above used to be a dock. Personally, I don’t have any reason to argue with that. As you can tell, it was low tide when I was waving the camera about and all of the exquisite petrochemical and human excrement smells normally subsumed by the waters of the East River and Bowery Bay were available for easy sniffing.

Y’know, when you’ve taken the deep dive into all of the Newtown Creek “superfun” that I have, your head gets filled up with all sorts of regulatory terms. “NAPL” is non aqueous phase liquid, for instance. “VOC’s” are volatile organic chemicals. What those five dollar terms indicate is that VOC’s – or petroleum derived products – mixing with VOC’s – basically raw sewage – is pretty bad. All this yuck settles down out of the water column and builds up a bed of sediments – called “Black Mayonnaise.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The flowing water found at the head of the canal, here at Luyster Creek, is a bit of mystery. I’ve asked my pals at the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation if they have any clue as to where this water is coming from. The theory is that it’s a natural spring being fed by “pore” or ground water, but that’s their best guess. The 20th century did a real job to the forbidden northern shore of Queens.

I’ve added Luyster Creek to my list of waterways, by the way. A group of us are going to head out here this weekend to do a shoreline cleanup, hopefully the first of many such endeavors. The good news is that some of my friends who work for the City are going to help out by letting us dispose of the collected trash in their bins.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Seriously, I haven’t been in Manhattan more than once or twice in the last year. This shot was collected when I was walking home from getting my first vaccination shot at a hospital on the Upper East Side. What a pleasure it was, I tell you, to walk home on a pleasantly warm day and catch that unoccluded East River afternoon sunshine. Sure, you have to dodge out of the way of people riding motorcycles in the bike lanes, which the bicycle people will tell me I’m imagining.

I’m a fan of the bike people’s push to turn the north side of Queensboro’s lower level current ped/bike lane into purely bike, while dedicating the south path for purely pedestrian access. Did you know that the south side lower level roadway used to be a trolley route? The streetcars would exit from the bridge and proceed up Northern Blvd. all the way to Woodside Avenue.


“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

April 5, 2021 at 11:00 am

neglected orchard

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Friday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Terror and habitual anxiety color my days, so the best time to just “do me” seems to be at night. Believe it or not, the spaces pictured in today’s post were once analogous to the modern day Hamptons, and the golden coast of northern Long Island City – basically between Anable Basin and Hallets Cove – was replete with the grandiose mansions and walled gardens of New York’s elite social and financial upper classes. Several of these conspicuous mansions were converted to charitable institutions after the mercantile families moved North, West, or East, or when they degenerated into common rabble as their fortunes faltered. The old manor houses and mansions became orphanages, homes for the insane, and asylums for fallen women (which is what they used to call “Sex Workers” in the late 18th and most of the 19th century, for those of you in the “woke” crowd). 1909 is the year that Queensboro opened for business, and that was just ten years after Queens itself was fashioned by Manhattan’s ready political hands. Then, as now, riverfront property is quite valuable. Prime industrial land was being “wasted” on the indigent and immoral, so these mansions became quite prone to grisly total loss fires. “Can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs” as the saying goes.

Nomenclature from the time, specifically the late 19th century, including referring to homeless children as “street arabs.” Life was cheap and short then, as it is now.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

For once, my timing was impeccable. Arriving at this particular spot just as a passing subway train was climbing out of its tunnel hole and towards the elevated station, I got to crack out a few shots as it’s wheels and third rail shoe were creating flashes of electric arc light. You have to be a bit careful in this particular area under Queensboro, due to the plague of vampires that hide amongst the bridge’s nest of steel girders and structural supports.

You don’t find the undead – or Vampires, at least – East or North of 31st and Northern Blvd., probably due to underground streams of flowing water, and certain magical arts carried into Astoria by Coptic and Orthodox Monastics who carried it from their ancient homelands in Egypt and Greece. These protective charms would be decried as Wizardry were they not so old and enshrined, and were known in both Constantinople and Alexandria long before the arrival of the Turk.

They’ve always had a Vampire problem in Eastern Europe and Western Asia.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Peasant superstitions notwithstanding, one of the truly wasted spaces in NYC is found at the western edge of Queens Plaza, under the Vampire colony. The arched vaults of Lindenthal’s cathedral of steel and utility are used to store municipal junk, NYC’s municipal fleet vehicles, and unknown items wrapped in fluttering tarps. Why wouldn’t you surround an architectural and civil engineering masterpiece with razor wire and use it as a parking lot?

Perhaps it’s because…

Vampires?

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, February 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

February 26, 2021 at 11:00 am

induced gate

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Thursday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Fill ‘er up, buddy. You don’t get to say that very often, or at least not geographically often, in Western Queens these days. The rapacious hunger of the Real Estate Industrial Complex, which will be slaked only when each and every property lot in NYC has had a residential tower built upon it, often focuses in on the easy kill. Like lions stalking a wounded antelope, the REIC agents hungrily circle around gas stations and supermarkets. The large footprint and air rights enjoyed by these businesses cause gastric juices to drip from the quivering maw of the REIC agents, and the sight of open sky causes the deeply seated pancreases to begin secreting hormones that quicken the pulse and respiration. Kill, kill. More, more. AMI, MIH, jobs, more, more.

Most of the gas stations remaining in NYC are franchises, parts of some far flung petrochemical empire run out of air conditioned offices in other states that smell of expensive cologne. The one pictured in today’s post is that rarest of prey animals for the REIC predator – an independently owned filling station which offers no corporate logo or branding. They sell gas and fix cars, here at Bridge Stop.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The REIC acquisitions people are trained killers, and are the agents of extinction for small business. It surprises me that neither the Silvercup crew, nor the Kaufman Astoria mechanics, or the HANACssassins have pried the deed for this property away from whomsoever holds it. This is the turf of those three members of the REBNY crime families. Want to know how they do business, the Real Estate Industrial Complex? One of them was just your President, the one who was impeached for inciting a mob to storm Congress. His son in law and principal advisor is another member of this club, but his holdings are largely found in the WIlliamsburg and Greenpoint sections of Brooklyn, as well as an aptly addressed Manhattan office tower at 666 Fifth Avenue.

Long have I advocated for the Federal Government to conduct a RICO investigation of not just the Real Estate Board of New York, but also of their enablers in municipal service at the NYC Economic Development Corporation. Perhaps, someday, all the poisons in the mud will leech out…

– photo by Mitch Waxman

1909 was a pretty big year for Queens. The Queensborough Bridge, Sunnyside Yards, Subway work was underway, the NY Connecting Railroad… all kinds of good stuff was being built. Back then, you still had people growing potatoes in fields around these parts as the steel for the transit system was being installed. The infrastructure was built, and that lit off a fifty year long period of breakneck economic growth and development. The growth was bolstered in the 1930’s and 40’s when Robert Moses began building highways, and Cord Meyer began building eastern Queens suburbs to surround the off ramps of those highways. Again – infrastructure creation was followed by economic growth. Pattern?

The way they’re trying to do it today is backwards, but the people doing the planning these days eat Pizza with a knife and fork. New York City does not have a housing problem, it has a transit problem. We solve transit for the 21st century, we save the City, and in turn we save the country. We begin by learning to ignore the zombie hordes of “YIMBY’s” and the “housing growth first” cult of density worshipping sycophants with their shadowy connections to Real Estate Industrial Complex.

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, February 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

February 25, 2021 at 11:00 am

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