The Newtown Pentacle

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Thunderation, it’s Thursday.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There’s a (I believe to be owned by) Con Ed electrical substation in the Dutch Kills neighborhood, nearby the Scalamandre Silk building on 38th aevnue. Used to be that when you walked past it, presuming that like me you had your headphones stuck into your ears and you were listening to Black Sabbath, you’d hear a weird electronic buzzing playing through them. For one reason or another, I haven’t been inhabiting this zone too frequently in recent years, but it used to be a regular sight for me. More than once during those halcyon days of frequent passage, a humble narrator had actually experienced electric shocks transmitting into my ear canals via that headphone route while scuttling past this facility, which is part of why I’m stupid. On the particular evening these shots were captured, I’m happy to report that no such buzzing or zapping occurred.

Modern design, huh?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Speaking of Black Sabbath, I’d like to take this opportunity to propose changing the National Anthem to either “War Pigs” or “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath.” That is my recommendation, so just deal with it and go start a popular movement to do so. I have spoken.

This substation occupies an entire city block, as a note. I didn’t focus the camera too deeply into the lot, but this place has all sorts of science fiction looking coils and frammistats within its fence and should be on one of those listicles you see all over the web about “five things to see in Queens.”

Don’t forget about that Black Sabbath National Anthem thing, either. I’m counting on y’all. Imagine how much cooler Baseball will be when we all stand up and take off our hats while Sabbath Bloody Sabbath plays.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A few blocks away, one encountered this display. It was hard to notice, really. There was a huge crowd of people further down on the sidewalk, where a barrier had been erected “closing it,” and they were tragic. Lost souls bottlenecked at the barrier, unable to conceptualize backing out, pressing agains the green plywood with desperation. At the very front of the group, crushed skeletons ground into the barrier, making a disconcerting sound. Luckily, a humble narrator caught himself before proceeding. They should really try to get people’s attention in a more obvious fashion, but life is cheap in Long Island City, and not dearly held.

Black Sabbath.


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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 13, 2020 at 11:00 am

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