The Newtown Pentacle

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Posts Tagged ‘Subway

formal blessing

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Wednesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

“Every time might be the last time,” I keep saying. On the 27th of September, one was traveling during the late morning to Brooklyn’s Greenpoint section. Specifically, I was heading for the Manhattan Avenue street end. An appointment was involved, and to ensure my timeliness the Subway was invoked.

Moving through the transit portals I do, one inevitably found himself over at the MTA’s Court Square facility, and the G line subway.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A brief ride, and then one found himself in Greenpoint itself. The MTA has recently installed an elevator system in this station.

Its signage caught my eye.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That must be some elevator, thought I.

Since I like using things I’ve helped pay for, I hit the button and had a funny exchange about the improvement with another commuter, whose personal invective was framed by English spoken with a syrupy Polish accent. Ahh, Greenpoint, how I’ll miss the default state of sarcasm that you inspire, and that I always enjoy interacting with, in your residents.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One scuttled down hill along Manhattan Avenue, towards the fabulous Newtown Creek.

“Every time might be the last time,” and this time around, I was meeting up with a friend that owns a boat. He offered to take me out for one last “from the water” photo session on my beloved Creek.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

While I was waiting for him to arrive, the tug Miss Madeline reappeared in front of the camera.

Just a few days ago, shots of the selfsame vessel attempting to conquer the laws of physics and mechanical engineering were offered here.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Tomorrow – I’ll show you what I captured on this particular day.

Miss Madeline navigated under the Pulaski Bridge, as we soon would.

More tomorrow.


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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

October 26, 2022 at 11:00 am

retinue of

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Wednesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Saturday the 18th of June, my trick left foot was singing a song. Baleful and rich with lament, this arthritic melody informed my night’s journey and thereby I decided that it would be a fantastic evening to “ride the train.” Accordingly, my toes were painfully oriented in the direction of Queens Boulevard from Astoria.

That’s the Standard Motor Products building, whose frontage is on Northern Boulevard at Steinway Street. There’s an urban farm up on the roof, which is just plain old cool.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Steinway Street becomes 39th Street when it crosses Northern Boulevard and passes over the Sunnyside Yards, but to members of the cult of historical specificity here in Western Queens – this section of 39th street will always be known as the “Harold Avenue Truss Bridge.”

Nerd.

The sunset was setting up nicely, and it seemed like I had actually timed things right for once.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

At Queens Boulevard, a Manhattan bound 7 line subway was coursing along its tracks. My plan was simple, and it involved hopping on and off of the 7 line between Queensboro Plaza and somewhere east of there. At some convenient point, I’d transfer down onto one of the underground lines which move through the 46th street stop nearby HQ in Astoria.

It was a warm night, and somewhat humid in Long Island City. My name is Waxman, I live here and I carry a camera. Dum de dum, dum.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

At Queensboro Plaza, there are two iconic shots always available for the passing photography enthusiast to gather. One revolves on variations of the shot above, depicting a Manhattan bound 7 line train entering the lower level of the station.

I should mention, a recent update of the software on my camera introduced a “vehicle tracking” feature for autofocus into my tool kit, and I’m currently working out the nuances of the new feature.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The other “iconic” subway shot at Queensboro Plaza is found at the extreme end of the platform, where the Flushing bound trains make their turn into the station on the high elevated steel of Queens Plaza, with the old Silvercup Bakeries signage in the background.

Figured I’d do a portrait format one for a change. I’ve been trying to remind myself to do this more often these days – turn the camera 90 degrees.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I began hopping on and off at various stations and popping out train photos for about an hour. On the 7, at least, ridership seems to be back to pre Covid levels.

Tomorrow- something different 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.

Written by Mitch Waxman

July 20, 2022 at 11:00 am

disturbed by

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Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

June 3rd, as mentioned yesterday, found me at the Hell Gate section of the East River nearby Astoria Park and the Triborough Bridge. After hanging around the joint for about 90 minutes during what turned out to be a light show of a sunset, I packed away my zoom lenses and tripod and converted the camera over to handheld mode and attached my “night kit” lenses.

This was one of my short walks, as I call them, but ultimately I was out and about on my feet for about five hours and had walked about six miles by the time I got back to HQ.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

You can have and use all the kit you can carry, and after an hour and half of futzing around with tripod and filters and fancy shooting techniques, my favorite shot of the effort are the two in today’s post – handheld and high ISO.

What are you gonna do?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

June 5th saw me hanging around HQ waiting for it to get dark and for a delivery to arrive. While I was waiting, a pack of birds descended on the forever puddle found on my next door neighbor’s roof. Next to this stagnant waterbody is my outdoor porch area, here in Astoria, so I outfitted the camera with a telephoto lens and got busy waiting for a bird to fly onto one of my wires.

Every time I try to say what kind of a bird a bird is, I get it wrong, so I just make up names for them myself. Accordingly – that’s a Peruvian Pepper Hen drying its feathers. It’s call sounded like this – GRAKKLE – which should let you know that I actually do know what kind of bird this bird is, but am smart enough not to venture any analysis of speciation.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My back was sore, and my feet hurt, but I still wanted to get out and do “something.” Drinking at a bar just isn’t exciting to me anymore, in fact it’s become kind of a sad thing these days. Most of the “Astoria Commentariat” at my “local” really doubled down on the substance abuse thing during the pandemic, and shooting the shit with folks in downward spirals is just depressing. Hope they can catch themselves.

I decided thereby, that it would be a “ride the trains” night. Only $2.75.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The N was caught in Astoria, which carried me to the Queensboro Plaza IRT station, and the most photogenic of NYC’s subways – the 7. I hung around on the platform for the arrival and departure of several train sets, and struck up conversation with a young guy who was a bit of a railfan. “I could stand here and watch this all night,” he told me.

For me, that wasn’t the case.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I shot a few frames of the 7’s entering the station, and then hopped on an express which took me to Woodside. I waved the camera around a bit at a few other stops, mainly the ones along Queens Boulevard. Then I debarked from the system at 40th Lowery Street and walked back to HQ in Astoria, whereupon I downloaded the captured images and began the processing/developing process.

To recap – I showed up. I did the work. I went home.


“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 12, 2022 at 11:30 am

cavern eyed

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Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

On the 1st of June, two things were annoying me. Well… lots of things were annoying me, but leading the parade were an ominous weather forecast and a bit of lower back pain. I had stupidly deleted an entire folder of photos by accident the day before, and lost several nice shots so I was also really annoyed at myself. I decided on a pathway for the day’s effort which would involve constant access to areas that could offer me shelter from the prophesied thunderstorms and rain when they arrived.

Luckily, half of Western Queens is located underneath a highway overpass or an elevated subway line. Off to 31st street did I scuttle.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A quick walk to the N line at 31st street saw me boarding a train and heading towards Queensboro Plaza. The N is an IND train, like the R and M, but it operates out of the IRT station at Queensboro Plaza.

Queensboro Plaza (IRT) is the one “upstairs,” whereas Queens Plaza (IND) is the one “downstairs.” How dysfunctional is the MTA? They still maintain an inter operational distinction between the two systems after nearly six decades of operating them.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Moving through the transit system and seamlessly transferring from line to line is what makes you a New Yorker. My “don’t get wet” plan involved – as stated – staying close to areas of cover for when the sky broke open and rain started pissing down. Yeah, I could’ve just stayed home, but after accidentally deleting an entire “roll” of shots I had a fire in my belly to do some work.

Exultant, that’s how I felt when the 7 line arrived. One boarded the train and set off for my next destination.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The Hunters Point Avenue 7 Station was where I debarked, and where the plan for my day continued. I got a couple of shots of a Flushing bound 7 on the other side of the station heading towards Court Square before scuttling up the stairs to the street.

I love the esthetics of this particular station, and will reiterate my statement that the 7 is the most photogenic of all the subway lines.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Up on the sidewalk, there’s a hole in the fence I like to use when passing by, and luckily for me – the 7 line service is so frequent after its painfully long to install CBTC upgrades – another Manhattan bound train was already on its way into the Hunters Point Avenue station on the truss bridge over Sunnyside Yards which connects to the Court Square Station after traveling over Davis Street.

Yes. Nerd. Me.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My next stop was a few blocks away, in DUPBO – Down Under the Pulaski Bridge Onramp. There’s a Long Island Railroad siding hereabouts. If you’re in the neighborhood – usually weekdays between 4 and 6 – there’s a very, very good chance you’ll get to see something like the shot above playing out.

More tomorrow.


“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 5, 2022 at 11:00 am

were well

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Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

April 26th brought one of those “I told you so” moments to Astoria. For literally ten years, I’ve been sounding the alarms about the ridiculous amount of dead wiring overhead – and the horrendous condition of often century old utility poles which carry them. Assemblymember Brian Barnwell heard my cry and his office tried shaking the tree at the NYS Utility commission, but just like every other part of New York State – that patronage mill called “Albany” saw no political gain in even conducting an inspection of the situation here in Queens.

A line of thunderstorms crashed through Astoria earlier in the evening, and shortly after the wind and rain stopped, the FDNY arrived on Astoria’s Broadway and began arranging caution tape.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

To no one’s surprise, the storm had caused a series of live wires to crack down onto the puddle choked street and yet another Astoria hullabaloo was underway. The 46th street Subway Station was right in the middle of this municipal chaos, as a note.

You ever get the sense that the people who run this City and State would make terrible roommates?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

On the 27th, after having completed all of my “have to’s” it was decided to take a fairly short walk. Recent habit has seen me circumnavigating the 183 square acres of the Sunnyside Yards on these short walks. I’ll leave Astoria and walk over to Skillman Avenue, which will be followed to its terminus at Hunters Point Avenue and 21st street, whereupon I’ll head over to Jackson Avenue and then follow it through Queens Plaza where it transmogrifies into Northern Blvd. at 31st street and scuttle back to HQ.

Along the way, there’s lots and lots of fence holes to poke the camera lens into, and observe what wonders there might be hidden within the colossal rairlroad coach yard. That’s the IRT Flushing 7 line train exiting Queens Plaza heading for points east.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

All winter and spring, I’ve been seeing the Long Island Railroad’s newest acquisitions being put through their paces. I don’t know if these trains have entered “revenue service” yet or if they’re still being tested out.

I’ve had a horrible realization recently… good lord, have I been rail fanning? Has it really come to this?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The 7 line exits Court Square Station on an elevated track, and this right of way descends down into the Hunters Point Station. Occasionally, on this particular route, I’ll actually hop on the 7 and take it back to Sunnyside or Woodside and walk home from there.

I stand on the assertion that the 7 is the most photogenic of all the subway lines.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

At Hunters Point Avenue, you’ve got an absolutely incredible eastward looking view of the Sunnyside Yards. That Long Island Railroad train was heading into Manhattan, and the entrance to the East River Tunnels is nearby.

Wonders, I tell you, wonders.


“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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