The Newtown Pentacle

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Posts Tagged ‘Railroad Avenue

cosmic continua

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Monday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

This week’s posts start and end with trains. There’s your “Chekhov’s Gun” for you, laid out all nice and obvious. Pictured above is an out of service Long Island Rail Road train which has been stored at the Blissville Yard in Long Island City’s Blissville section for about a year. It recently received a new coat of graffiti, and I’ve shown it to you in the past when its last iterative coating of street art was applied.

A humble narrator is in a bit of a mood at the moment. Controversy and politics amongst those of us who scurry about trying to pick up the crumbs that drop from the master’s table has broken out. If you’re reading this and know what I’m referring to, I’d opine that you should leave me out of your arguing. Don’t make me come over there.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Stupid, selfish, and self obsessed – that’s how I’d describe the mythological “noble” character of this country of ours in modernity. We’ve always been absolute monsters to each other, despite what the National narrative teaches. An iconoclastic fad is underway at the moment, dedicated to tearing down the firmament of our national sense of self. Extreme ideologies with no grounding in historical custom or law has been loosed upon a poorly educated and incurious population. Take a breath, y’all, huh?

Luckily, summer is coming, which indicates that I’ve got a roughly 60 day long break from having to attend any meetings regarding governmental bullshit nearing. This whole cycle of bullshit we’ve all been dealing with for the last decade or so should be coming to an end within the next couple of weeks, which will kick off a new cycle of bullshit. By the end of June, after the electoral primaries, we’ll know who the new god kings of Queens are going to be and exactly where and when they want their asses to be publicly kissed or when they privately want smoke blown up their alimentary.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

On Railroad Avenue, in the Blissville section of Long Island City, a tree can be observed. It’s the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil on Newtown Creek. Same species as the one in Eden, just not as knowledgable a fruit. Go figure. One recently encountered a cast off fruiting of this tree, just lying there on the side of the road. Like the great shit sandwich that is our culture, I had to take a bite. As a note, there were no serpents slithering about.

No more Mister Nice Guy, that’s what I said once the scales fell from my eyes. I wasn’t that nice to start with, so…


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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

May 31, 2021 at 1:00 pm

hieroglyphed dial

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Monday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The Green Asphalt company operates out of a property in the Blissville section of Long Island City, along the inscrutable Newtown Creek. Green Asphalt is in the recycling business, ultimately. When the NYC DOT or its contractors are resurfacing a road, milling machines are brought in first, which scratch away the top layers of “road armor” which are collected in dump trucks. That road armor is asphalt, which is an admixture of concrete and petroleum oil and tar. It seems that asphalt can be renewed, rather than dumped, using an industrial process involving very hot steam and lots of machinery.

Green Asphalt operates within the regulatory framework of NYC’s 2010 Solid Waste Management policy. They divert literally millions of tons of asphalt from expensively going into landfills. They also employ a lot of Unionized Blue Collar employees. Win.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s some of the equipment they have deployed over in Blissville. My colleagues and I from Newtown Creek Alliance were invited to attend a presentation and open site day the company offered. There was a neat shwag bag on offer, and they gave us coffee and sandwiches during the event. The Deputy Borough President of Queens attended, as did a few of the other “powers that be” here in the World’s Borough.

Overall, some pretty nice people run the show over there, working in an ecologically important role. It’s a heavy industry, yes, and one that’s currently entirely truck based (they’re going to be expanding use of their maritime bulkhead along the Creek soon) but before companies like Green Asphalt came along, NYC used to pay through the nose for dumping asphalt in landfills located in distant places.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

This post, by the way, is where the “adventures of vaccinated Mitch” really start. Like a bat let out of a cage is how I’d describe the last few weeks of activity. These photos were gathered at the end of April, shortly after the second shot had fully soaked in. I’ve been in 4 of the 5 Boroughs just in the last few weeks, traveling on boats and trains and of course by foot.

What’s been really weird for me has been being awake during the daylight hours after the long nocturnal interval.


“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

May 17, 2021 at 1:00 pm

forgotten sculptor

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Friday, again.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A recent daylight perambulation found a humble narrator in DUGABO, Down Under the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge Onramp, in the Blissville section of Long Island City. The bridge crosses the fabulous Newtown Creek, and provides a concrete manifestation of the currently undefended border of Brooklyn and Queens. Famously, the so called “garbage train” is assembled at the LIRR’s Blissville rail yard, and is normally hauled about by locomotive engines painted with the brand colors of the New York & Atlantic outfit. This bluebird GATX unit was a surprise, but my beloved Creek is never entirely predictable. The street down here is dubbed “Railroad Avenue” aptly.

GATX, as it turns out, is an 1898 vintage corporate entity based in Chicago that leases rail equipment on several continents and also has a sideline in aviation heavy equipment. If you want to take a deep dive, here’s their site.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The signal bells began clanging and the train started moving eastwards along the Lower Montauk tracks. As you can see in the shot above, somebody has set up housekeeping under the bridge, having constructed a shelter/shanty out of shipping palettes and other industrial leave behinds. As of yet, I haven’t talked to this fellow, but I already like him since he’s got quite a collection of cats living with him.

Thrilling is how I describe the sensation of seeing freight rail moving around at street grade in NYC. Once common, there are so few places where you see this these days… this train and it’s box cars of garbage remove hundreds of long distance truck trips every day from our roads.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Blissville’s Railroad Avenue offers quite a gallery of street art/graffiti- if you’re into that sort of thing. The building just behind the locomotive used to be a lead factory, although in recent years it’s also been home to a company that worked with plastics. These days it’s a warehouse, with a tire shop on the Review Avenue facing side.

There’s quite a bit of industrial/commercial activity going on down here in DUGABO. The N.Y. Paving Company has an enormous property where they manage a fleet of hundreds of heavy construction vehicles and store sand, gravel, and other tools of their trade. Across the street at the former HQ of the Tidewater Pipeline Company, later called the Lukoil Getty terminal, the busy Broadway Stages outfit handles movie and tv productions for Hollywood. There’s also a self storage company housed in a factory building that used to be the home of BG Pickles.

Back next week with more, 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.

antique disintegration

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Monday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A humble narrator is taking a break this week, as his anxiety and or stress levels have become absolutely maxed out. Also, I’m working on something rather time consuming that requires 100% of my attention this week since learning the nuances of a new software package is involved. Thusly, you’ll be seeing single shots and regular postings will resume next week.

Pictured above is the aptly named Railroad Avenue in the Blissville section of Long Island City, where a “critter” was assembling the garbage train.

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, October 26th. 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

October 26, 2020 at 1:00 pm

altered youth

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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.

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