The Newtown Pentacle

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Posts Tagged ‘Taxi Cabs

further liberation

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Wednesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

You can have Manhattan, Long Island City is the most visually interesting part of New York City’s center core. Center core, you ask? If you’re in Bay Ridge, you ain’t in it. St. George on Staten Island is core, but a half mile back from the water ain’t. Everything west of Jackson Heights, west of Bushwick. Everything south of the Bronx Zoo, except for Manhattan above about 150th Street. A big chunk of western New Jersey is also core. I have spoken. Are you core? I’m hard core, here in Astoria.

Like Police cars, yellow taxi cabs are vehicles which seldom stop moving, with the exception being the last 11 months of this interminable pandemic for the taxis. I’ve been seeing entirely inert cabs all over the place, and a lot of them have had their medallions and other TLC flair removed. I have no idea how this industry in particular is going to find a road to recovery after this is all over. By my estimate, we’ve got at least another year of this ahead of us, by which point I’ll have watched everything Netflix has to offer.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One mentioned both Project Firebox and the native art form of the Borough of Queens – illegal dumping – in yesterday’s post. Here on Skillman Avenue, you’ve got both. That’s value for money right there, lords and ladies, just like dinner theater.

This particular stretch of Skillman Avenue, found between 39th street and Queens Plaza, is a favorite for the race car boys to meet up along. I’ve seen them drifting and fading multiple times over the last year, sending up plumes of tire smoke. The asphalt is scribed with black spirals and figure eight donut patterns. It’s a madhouse.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Another fence hole I’ve recently been able to exploit allowed one a view of this Amtrak train set moving itself around at Sunnyside Yards. One good thing – for me – about the pandemic period is that since I’m not rushing around to get to work or something important anymore is that I get to photograph the efforts of people who still have jobs.

Fun for me, who is little more than a whirling mass of filthy black clothing concealing a wandering mendicant.

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 1st. 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 3, 2021 at 11:00 am

elusive dreams

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Friday odds and ends for the endtimes.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Spotted this wrecked “Boro Cab” on the south side of Steinway Street, all illuminated by the glow of a rotisserie chicken joint, and it caught my eye. I like to guess what happened when I see this sort of thing, and based on the bent up signboard and caved in roof, conjecture revolves around this vehicle as having been rolled during the accidental which rendered it non operational. I always say “accidental” rather than “accident” for what you see afterwards, as I find it clumsy using a verb to describe a noun. Brooklynese is the language of my inner voice – which would sound like “Brooklynese iz da langwadge a My innah voyse” if you were a telepath.

Conjecture is the word for this sort of wondering about things you see but are guessing about how they ended up in this state, and I’ve always wondered if it’s appropriate to use “conject” as a verb. There are a lot of words like “conjecture” that I wonder about, but you have to pass the time somehow when wandering around on a cold night during a pandemic as American civilization fractures. I get stuck on this sort of thing all the time.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One is, of course, an idiot. Regardless, there are thoughts which torment and inhabit. Beyond the whole “inflammable/flammable” dichotomy, I often turn words about in my thoughts, breaking them down into parts to discern deeper meaning – Dis-ease – hey, that’s a lack of ease.

My buddy Hank the elevator guy is an elevator mechanic, but doesn’t describe what he does at work as “mechanicing.” A guy I know in Astoria is Joe the insulator, and he spends his days insulating stuff. Mario the exterminator guy exterminates, Brendan the bar tender tends bar, but my landlord who owns a Butcher shop in the City doesn’t “butch.” This sort of thing absolutely consumes me sometimes.

Shouldn’t the workflow of a butcher be called “butching?”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Electricians wire, they don’t “electric.” Plumbers actually do plumb, but that’s a relatively small part of their job. Arborists don’t “arbor,” and these days only a very small subset of Sailors “sail.” Firefighters fight fires, Police police, Bakers bake. Photographers photograph. Artists don’t “art,” Musicians don’t “music,” Tailors don’t “tail.” It’s all very confusing. Don’t even ask me about Phlebotomists.

Not sure if I’ve shown you my favorite 2020 ChristmAstoria display, pictured above, from 43rd street between Broadway and 34th Avenue. I don’t know the people who live in this particular house, although I do know a few other people who live on this block. If there was an award for Christmas lights, they’d get my vote.

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, January 11th. 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

January 15, 2021 at 2:00 pm

indecipherable parchments

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Thursday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The fascination with photographing gasoline filling stations at night just consumes one such as myself, and I’ve found myself wandering twixt the East River and (so far) Jackson Heights in recent weeks looking for these roadside businesses. This one is found in the angle between Sunnyside and Queens Plaza along Queens Boulevard. There’s also a Car Wash at this one. Ubiquitous in prior decades, car washes and gas stations both are fewer in number these days than they used to be.

Wish it was because of environmental reasons, but instead it’s largely because these large footprint properties are extremely desirous to the real estate industrial complex as development sites.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Have I mentioned that creepy skeletal trees keep on catching my eye these days when I’m wandering about? This particular one adjoined an industrial lot with a malfunctioning light that was strobing. Took me about ten shots to catch the flash, which was happening at random intervals.

Must be lovely living on the residential plots just a block away, with a bright white/blue light flashing all night.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I really don’t know how the medallion taxi industry is going to survive COVID. This has been mentioned before, and it’s another one of those problems which is hard to solve without surrendering a ton of taxpayer money in pursuit of bailing out an entire industry. As is the case with a lot of these kinds of situations, you feel pretty bad for the actual working stiffs doing the job, but the people who own and run these companies are not exactly salubrious characters – if you catch my drift.

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, January 11th. 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

January 14, 2021 at 2:30 pm

cut classes

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Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Happy Thanksgiving week, which I’m taking off. Single image posts will greet you between now and Monday the 30th of November. I’ll be out taking pictures, in between dodging microbiotal clouds of expirant and looking over my shoulders for other sources of existential danger.

Today’s photo displays what’s happened to some of the yellow cabs during this pandemic season of ours. Notice that the cars are stripped of both medallions and placed advertising materials. That water is the Dutch Kills tributary of Newtown Creek, in the Long Island City section of Queens.

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, November 23rd. 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

November 24, 2020 at 11:00 am

oddly sunburned

with one comment

Wednesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Half of everyone I know act like dicks more than half of the time, which is why I like to wander around by myself in the dead of night.

Doesn’t matter what their politics or religious life is like, still “dick” half the time. I know Christians who embrace cruelty and conformity, lefties who want to ensure their own freedoms by attenuating yours, and ideologues abound for every philosophical point and bent. Everybody has a badly formed opinion about everything, or doesn’t care about who gets annoyed as they endlessly beat their drums and drone on about something they haven’t personally dealt with. Everybody, and everything, is so freaking predictable in this behavioral climate that I find it depressing. Actuate an idea, make it real. Otherwise shut up and go along, stop trying to hurt other people in the name of making yourself feel better about the things you see when you look in the mirror. Empathy? Compassion? Bah.

Also, here’s a bit of advice – strategy and tactic are two different things. If you’re “busting a move,” it’s best to keep it to yourself until afterwards. Conservation of energy dictates that if you are, indeed, “busting a move” you should have a goal in mind while doing so. Otherwise you’re just a feeble peacock spreading your feathers and saying “look at me.” “Busting a move” is a tactic, not a strategy.

What wasn’t predictable to one as all wise and knowing as myself was encountering the weird digital looking light pattern cast through a fence by security lights and onto a line of inactive taxi cabs in Long Island City. Neato.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

During this particular photo outing, a humble narrator found himself being “eyeballed” by some guy in a gray sedan. On more than one occasion during my walk, I looked up and there he was, watching me. I smiled and waved, even when he made it a point of pulling up in front of me with his headlights pointed directly into the lens. My response was to walk around his car, while smiling, and then set up on the passenger side of the vehicle. Mood that I’ve been in lately, I was absolutely praying that he got out of the thing and started some shit with me. It’s been a long, long time…

I’m scared of groups of teenagers, not other middle aged men.

If you want to see somebody act like a dick, piss me off. Once I’ve decided – and it’s me who decides, not you – that I no longer have to pretend to be a nice guy with you it ain’t pretty. Full Brooklyn mode is engaged. Should you not wither and die before the verbal assault – and it is an assault – the physical attack is spring loaded and ready. Not bragging here, and it’s not a set of behaviors I’m proud of, but screw with the bull and you get the horns. I live my life in this manner, knowing that lots and lots of people are simmering all the time, just like me, and are ready to pop like a firecracker. Knowing that I’ve got one of those flare up kind of tempers, I’ve gone to great lengths to institute a series of psychological stop gaps in my reactive mind, which is why you’ve never seen me on one of those wanted posters at the Post Office.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

So why do people act like dicks half the time, when we all implicitly know that there are pressure cooker mentalities like mine ready to go off? Not everybody has learned to put a leash on their temper the way I have. Mike Tyson has famously opined that the reason for this is the lack of physical peril offered by the Internet when you say something ugly. You can’t get punched in the nose by Mike Tyson via Twitter. If Mike Tyson is ringing your doorbell, I guarantee you are going to try polity when attempting conflict resolution with him.

It’s good to be angry, and to argue your ideas. Just don’t be a dick about it, and maybe – just maybe – think about what you’re trying to achieve the next time you cancel or shun someone. Maybe it’s better to have somebody be a known quantity whom you can use tactically as part of an overarching strategy. When anybody gets too “woke” with me, I have a Libertarian or two in my social circles whom I unleash on them.

That’s the half of the time when I’m backed into acting like a dick.

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 19th. 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 21, 2020 at 1:00 pm

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