The Newtown Pentacle

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Posts Tagged ‘Taxi Cabs

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Combination punches are what make a great fighter, and a deadly virus.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One is forced to continue his incessant marching about, as my very existence is predicated upon regular “cardio” without which my veins and arteries will become plugged up. In accordance with quarantine rules, I’m only leaving the house when the streets will be absolutely deserted. Luckily, I favor lonely paths, enjoy the concrete devastations, and am also a bit of a night owl under best circumstance. Recent endeavor found one wandering through Long Island City on my way to Newtown Creek on a Saturday night. I know how to party.

That’s Skillman Avenue pictured above. Somehow, all the arguing and gnashing of teeth over that bike lane seems pretty silly now, doesn’t it?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

LIC is still home to several yellow cab fleets. These pictures were gathered on a Saturday night, and seemingly all of the yellow cabs operated by this particular outfit were sitting parked and empty. Already in serious trouble due to a changing economy and the rapacious greed of both medallion brokers and the City’s “TLC,” I don’t know if the yellow cab side of the “for hire vehicle” segment is going to survive this quarantine.

There’s a lot of people I know who work in the so called “gig” economy who are experiencing total unemployment and impoverishment already. Personally speaking, there is going to zero demand for any sort of walking or boat tour until at least July, and that’s presuming that things are normal again by then, so I’m actually one of the aforementioned “screwed” as well. Lots of belt tightening is underway at HQ, and my goal of buying a new camera body at the end of the year is pretty much kaput.

Saying that, I’m hoping to just not get sick and die right now, so if I manage that, it’ll soften the blow about the camera. ‘Life and death” versus “things you’d want debates”… so very American of me, huh?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I do have a bit of sympathy for the cab drivers, as a note. A humble narrator makes it a point of talking to cab drivers, whereas a lot of folks don’t bother. One is often interested in the points of view offered by the mostly immigrant drivers, some of whom are surprisingly well educated and interesting people working at their first job in the U.S. and are just making ends meet by working in this particular trade. Others are knuckleheads and bad conversationalists.

One of the things I observed while wandering around that night was that the ethnic restaurants were empty, while bars and other restaurants were packed. This was on Saturday the 14th, as a note. When I say “ethnic restaurants” I don’t mean the kind that cater to the general population, rather ones which people of that restaurants actual ethnic culture or community frequent – the Comida Typica’s or Greek Tavernas or the Colombian steak and egg joints.

Of course, on this evening restaurants and bars were still open.

Note: I’m writing this and several of the posts you’re going to see for the next couple of weeks at the start of the week of Monday, March 16th. 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 as we move into April and beyond, 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.


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Written by Mitch Waxman

March 19, 2020 at 11:00 am

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Color, in today’s post.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Whilst wandering about the ruined flood plains of Ravenswood, here in Queens, one encountered this lot of out of service Taxi Cabs. As it was one of those rare days where the gloom had cleared away and allowed the warming emanations of the burning thermonuclear eye of god itself to shine down upon the concrete devastations, some effort was expelled in attempting to capture the scene in all of its chromatic splendor.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There is, soon to be was, a huge Taxi industry footprint in LIC.

This is just north of Queens Plaza, btw, for those of you who aren’t familiar with the area. These cabs all seemed to be missing “something.” Most of them had no roof lights, some were missing the “trade dress” stickers, and none of them were adorned with the valuable medallion indicating that they are licensed and ready for business. The area surrounding this lot is full of body shops, garages, and mechanic shops. There’s also a lot of taxi meter shops in the near vicinity.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Whilst shooting these, the question “hey, what are you taking pictures of” came floating by from across the street, offered in a heavily accented voice. Again and again, I get asked this question is alarmed and defensive tones. Nobody notices the millions of smartphone cameras which seem to be at work, but the DSLR always gains the notice of someone who is somehow threatened by the idea that a photo is being captured. Funny thing is, if I was really looking to screw someone over by capturing some sort of incriminating shot, I would do it “cop style” with a long lens from a couple of blocks away – not with a wide angle lens while hanging over a fence.

Dichotomy, this.

Big announcements coming on Monday, so enjoy your holiday, Lords and Ladies.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

April 3, 2015 at 11:33 am

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