The Newtown Pentacle

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Posts Tagged ‘trucks

laminar dissection

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Thursday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Keep on truckin – as the kids used to say. Unfortunately, the kids who used to say that are now retirement age, but there you are. A recent scuttle through Industrial Maspeth at night saw a cavalcade of diesel powered steel rolling past the camera and I just got caught up in the moment.

The one pictured above was hauling municipal waste products, aka the solid materials which the NYC DEP filters out of the sewer flow. That’s pretty common, as is the habit of parking the trailer’s carrying this redolent cargo – as displayed by several of the hauling contractors employed by DEP – on area streets for weeks at a time. That sad story wasn’t what drew my eye, instead it the Green Goblin lighting kit which adorned the tractor section of this rig.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There’s a company over on 48th street nearby the on ramps to the Long Island Expressway (or is it BQE?) which has several impressive vehicles in their inventory. This particular outfit seems to be who’d you’d call if your truck or bus has broken down and you need a tow. The wrecker pictured above is one of a pair of giant vehicles they operate.

I was actually asked by one of its drivers if I was up to something, whereupon I asserted that I’m just a wandering photographer in an industrial zone at night who has a keen appreciation of heavy machinery. Yup, not suspicious at all.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Graffiti’d panel trucks abound. This has become a regular sight for me, and is something that’s really accelerated during the Covid months. This sort of tagging on commercial vehicles is nothing new, of course, but seeing a panel truck that hasn’t been “bombed” by a crew of taggers has become the exception rather than the rule in the last couple of years.

Scuttling, just keep scuttling.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Certain trucks and operations never get tagged… for reasons. There’s an enormous concrete operation in Industrial Maspeth called Ferrara Brothers. You see their trucks making deliveries all over NYC, but where they fill them with the good stuff is right back here in Queens.

I’m told that there’s a National level company which is buying up and consolidating all of the individual players in NYC’s concrete industry. Several of the medium sized companies, like Ferrara Brothers and NYCON, have already been gobbled up.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

FDNY’s Ambulances are damned difficult to photograph when they’re flying past on a call. It’s all “worst case scenario” for operating a camera. You’ve got seconds to spin the dials and adjust the settings to compensate for a) night, b) flashing lights, c) subject moving at 50mph.

This one is from the border of Woodside and Maspeth, in case you’re wondering.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Closer to home, along Northern Boulevard, I spotted this fairly old tow truck parked nearby a car mechanic. Something about it just caught my eye. It’s a 1990 Ford F-Series, I’m told. Given the weird time warp we are all experiencing these days, I’d point out that “1990” makes it a 32 year old tow truck.

Ahh, 1990, when a young Bill Clinton taught us all how to laugh again.


The Newtown Creekathon returns!

On April 10th, the all day death march around Newtown Creek awakens from its pandemic slumber.

DOOM! DOOM! Fully narrated by Mitch Waxman and Will Elkins of Newtown Creek Alliance, this one starts in LIC at the East River, heads through Blissville, the happy place of Industrial Maspeth, dips a toe in Ridgewood and then plunges desperately into Brooklyn. East Williamsburgh and then Greenpoint are visited and a desperate trek to the East River in Brooklyn commences. DOOM! Click here for more information and to reserve a spot – but seriously – what’s wrong with you that you’re actually considering doing this? DOOM!


“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

March 24, 2022 at 11:00 am

bodiless emanations

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Wednesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Heading home from a long walk in late January, which started in Astoria and then headed through Industrial Maspeth, a humble narrator decided to be lazy and acknowledge how cold it was by clipping off the return to HQ with a cab ride. Along the way, I passed by the charred remains of the Clinton Diner, nearby the semi legendary Haberman interlocking. Spotted this neato Volkswagen truck, which looks like it was built out of one of their 1970’s vans. Maybe this is the actual form factor it was built to, who knows?

One uses the LYFT service for his car service needs, mainly since I’m seldom in need of a ride in any sort of sane or normal place and will need the driver to be able to come find me in whatever industrial maze I’m in. There’s sort of a trick I’ve discovered to using their service, incidentally. I wouldn’t call for a car from this corner, which is where Maspeth Avenue, 58th street, and Rust Street coagulate.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Maspeth Avenue transmogrifies into Maurice Avenue, and this shot is maybe a block and a half away from the first one. It’s a good place to park a crane in front of a fire hydrant, which is an extremely Industrial Maspeth thing to do – as a note. It’s not a bad place to call for a car, but you’re still technically in Maspeth right here.

In my observation, LYFT seems to base its pricing structure around zip code based “zones.” I could be wrong, but calling a car from in front of the former diner in the first shot – a block and a half away – would result in as much as a $5 higher fare than the one which I’d get from in front of the crane.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A ten minute walk to 58th street at 55th avenue, which is technically in Woodside, shaved a full $10 off the fare reported in front of the diner. That’s pretty significant for what – in a vehicle – is about a 2-3 minute long distance between the two spots.

Besides, you get to see an FDNY service center at this intersection.


“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

March 2, 2022 at 11:00 am

beetling precipice

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Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

God, I love the loneliness of it all. I’ve got a speech I make occasionally – one usually offered when somebody asks about how I got involved with the whole Newtown Creek thing. The best part of the speech is when I say “and just like every other piece of wind blown trash in New York City, I found myself on the shorelines of Newtown Creek.” It sounds good, and makes for a good quote that a journalist can use. If you don’t give them a quote to take back to the office, they’ll use something you don’t want them to.

Industrial Maspeth is famously my happy place, where I go when I want to be by myself. Unfortunately that’s changed during the pandemic months, as Industrial Maspeth has become quite a busy place again. Different sort of busy than the old days, but there are concurrences between now and then.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The last mile shipping industry – UPS, FedEx, and the Amazon people – have quietly expanded their operations – massively – during the blitzkrieg of bad news we’ve all experienced over the last couple of years. There’s a huge industrial population of package sorters, package loaders and unloaders, road truck drivers and local delivery truck drivers who congeal around the various shipping facilities in Maspeth. Amazon is building a Taj Mahal sized shipping facility on Grand Avenue on what used to be the campus of Star Corrugated Box.

This population of people working “in the zone” have brought all sorts of things along with them to my beloved Creek. Five years ago, this happy place of mine was a post industrial wasteland which people drove through and seldom stopped in. In the last couple of years, as this new group of workers have filled in; I’ve seen a prostitution racket using the LIRR tracks for their assignations, lots and lots of druggery, and of late a while new racket.

Kids, as in late teen and early twenties, are riding into the shipping warehouses on delivery bikes and raiding the baskets of packages awaiting their temporary destination on the local delivery van. Two man teams, arranged like Scythian Archers with one facing backwards, swipe stuff in boxes and then tear ass away from the scene as fast as the bike will go. The various teams communicate with other using cell phones.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

So, where are the photos of that, Mr. Wind Blown Trash Newtown Creek? Well, there are certain things which you don’t want to be noticed noticing when you’re alone and on foot at night in Industrial Maspeth, I tell’s you.

Street level trouble is one thing – a weird encounter with a homeless guy, or a group of menacing teenagers nearing – but there’s a higher level of sinister which you just don’t want to be anywhere adjacent to around these parts. Notably, you don’t want to be a witness when somebody is in the early stages of organizing their crime. Careful out there, peeps.


“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

March 1, 2022 at 11:00 am

apparent sphere

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Friday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

We’ve covered a lot this week; how to dispose of a body, how to crime, explored a civil war between Brooklyn and Queens, and the intriguing technological possibilities offered by my newish camera. The shots in today’s post didn’t quite fit into the others but I like them anyway so…

This one is from Long Island City, nearby the Dutch Kills tributary of the loquacious Newtown Creek. It depicts the operational equipment utilized by an aggregates processing yard. What that means is that stones and soil go in, get fed into gizmos, and get sorted by particle size. Rock, gravel, sand. In the fullness of time, even the sand will face away. Nothing lasts.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Over in the happy place of Industrial Maspeth, there is a gargantuan NYC Department of Sanitation maintenance facility and garage. They have all kinds of cool stuff there, including this absolute specimen of kit. I don’t even know what to call this thing. A front loader? A bull dozer? A mobile oppression platform? It’s cool, it’s orange, and they left the door open so I was sorely tempted to take it for a joy ride because I’m from Brooklyn.

Freaking Queens.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

At the burned out Goodfella’s Diner in Maspeth, nearby the fabled Haberman rail siding of the Long Island Railroad – specifically in the Diner’s parking lot – I spotted this cool looking truck. What? It’s a truck. I like taking pictures or trucks. What do you do? Practice spitting?

On a side note, what the hell is up with all the spitting these days? If you’re a male under the age of 30 and live in Queens, it seems you produce copious amounts of saliva and need to bleed some out roughly about every three sidewalk boxes. This isn’t “hawking a loogie,” mind you, this is a little “psst” bead of snot and spit which gets expelled at regular intervals. Have any of you blokes heard about about public health, or the whole pandemic deal?

How much saliva do you generate, brü? See a doctor.


“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 14, 2021 at 11:00 am

ominous things

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Tuesday’s are the most malign days of the week.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That puddle there is permanent. I’ve walked through this section of Maspeth during summertime drought conditions when it was hot enough to bake bread on the sidewalk and that puddle permanently persists. I’m told this is one of the lowest spots in NYC, as far as it’s relationship to sea level, which I’ve been known to describe this spot as being “the bottom of a soup bowl” that’s formed by the high grounds surrounding the alluvial flood plane of the legendary Newtown Creek.

There’s a sewer grate under the puddle somewhere, one which is choked by concrete and street garbage, which is meant to drain directly into the Maspeth Creek tributary of the larger Newtown Creek waterway without ever visiting a sewer plant. This is puddle is more or less on the spot where the town docks of Maspeth would have once been found, where DeWitt Clinton dreamt up the Erie Canal. I can see through time, but time is only a construct, as everything is actually happening all at once. We live in an explosion, and there are puddles.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Puzzling statement, no? Well – ponder it, bro. I don’t want to get into chemical decay and quantum states in today’s post. Puddles, that’s my bag, bro.

The big plumbing warehouse whose property sits behind both the eternal puddle, and a fence, used to be the United Enameling and Stamping Company. They made bathtubs and sinks and toilets and the sort of stuff that connected such items to water supply systems as well as enameled cooking equipment. Their huge parking lot used to be filled with dipping tanks, which were filled with esoteric compounds and cancer juices used in their manufacturing processes.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Next door to the plumbing warehouse is a concrete company – Ferrara Bros. You see their characteristic orange trucks making deliveries all over the City. This isn’t Ferrara’s only corporate footprint, here in industrial Maspeth. I think they’ve got a couple more giant factories in other boroughs, possibly another one in eastern Queens but I’m guessing there and can’t be bothered to find out more.

By my count, there are three big concrete processors around Newtown Creek. Ferrara Bros. here in Maspeth, NYCON at Dutch Kills in LIC, and Tec-Crete Transit mix over in Ridgewood. There’s others, of course, but that’s the three who more or less touch the shoreline of the lugubrious Newtown Creek.

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 18th. 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 19, 2021 at 1:00 pm

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