As I wrote in yesterday’s post , Sunday I took a walk along 31st Street underneath the elevated train in my home town of Astoria Queens, NY.  My walk actually started when I exited the N train at 36th Street on my way back from a swim in Manhattan. The day had started out sunny then cloudy with a light sprinkle of rain and by the time I left the gym the skies were a bright blue.  At this time I did not have an idea of what or where I wanted to shoot until the train passed by the old abandoned house mentioned in my last post. That gave me the idea to add to my Abstract Astoria series with shots of all things urban within that short distance of about two miles or so.

I started shooting on the platform taking shots of a couple of graffitied and cluttered rooftops and a nice wide-angle view of the train tracks snaking along toward the ever-expanding Long Island City.  When I finally hit the street my eye was immediately drawn to the old, decrepit, mangled, and rust covered surroundings of this old neighborhood. These are my urban sculpture and still life because they have been left to the elements they take on a new form with deep rich textures that make them perfect subjects for the camera. They tell their stories through their warped shapes, peeling paint, rusted metal, sun bleached wood and faded plastic. There are old, old wrought iron fences twisted and bent that tell of a time when they were straight and sturdy and protected the structures they surrounded. Some new items freshly painted and shining in the sun speak of newcomers to the neighborhood and intend to remain for at least as long as their older counter parts. 

After my first shot I get completely lost in this world of wonderful waste, ruin and neglect in a landscape crowded with small factories, store fronts,  restaurants and of course the rumble and roar of the trains above my head. And always the sky is criss crossed with telephone cables and razor wire glistening in the sun accentuating its sharpness and its deterrent to thievery.

I don’t know many people who can get excited about this type of subject matter but as the saying goes “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and through my lens the world is truly a beautiful place indeed.

Enjoy the photos below and you can view all 45 images in the Abstract Astoria II gallery on my website. 

Stay in Focus,



One thought on “A walk along 31st Street

  1. These comments and narratives are so picturesque and descriptive of the sites and the images Cate photographs.
    You are immediately drawn into the staccato of an urban landscape which vibrates and stimulates the mind’s eye. Brava!!!


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