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It’s all so depressing.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A somewhat random series of images greets you today. As endlessly mentioned in recent posts, I’m bored boredity bored bored, tired of winter already, and literally dying for something interesting that isn’t horrible to happen. This horsey ride over in Sunnyside… I wish they made adult versions of these things so I could at least have something to look forward to after the goal of achieving fifty cents was accomplished.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Spotted this arrangement over in LIC, on Jackson Avenue. I don’t think that the Union guys consciously create compositions when they’re doing their thing, but they are often responsible for moments of true rapture.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The literal dust bin of history was stumbled across at the Vernon Blvd. street end in LIC’s DUPBO, where some thoughtful soul had disposed of a series of history textbooks and what seemed like an entire library of Time Life WW2 hard cover photo books.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

While I was there, in LIC I mean, exploitation of one of the many holes in the fencing of the LIRR Hunters Point yard was undertaken. I’ve got a catalog of these holes and POV’s, incidentally, which includes the entire Sunnyside Yards and follows the Montauk line all the way back to Ridgewood. For those of you who live in Bushwick, Ridgewood, or East Williamsburg – two words – Scott Avenue (bet Randolph and Meserole).

Trust me, but be there early or late.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

For some reason, I’m fascinated by laundromats at the moment, a subject which I’m planning on discussing with my team of physicians. This one is in Park Slope, where I somehow ended up one day.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Over at Central Park Zoo, there are Grizzly Bears. Their names are Betty and Veronica, and I have no idea which one this is. Where’s Archie, ask I?

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Written by Mitch Waxman

February 4, 2016 at 11:00 am

be fair

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I love to photograph, So mama, don’t take my Kodachrome away

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Today, it’s all about the yellows. The particular wavelength and angle of light emanating from the burning thermonuclear eye of God itself is ugly at this time of year, and a certain responsibility is felt to attempt to brighten things up. Pictured above is one of the groundling burrowers with the glowing red eyes who inhabit the Roman Catholic polyandrion called Calvary Cemetery, here in LIC.

Word has it that their role is to carry messages between those who exist above and below the till, and that the daily challenge is to try and avoid the multitudes of Hawks, Cats, and other predators who desire the rending of their flesh during the carrying out of their task.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Last summer in Astoria, we had what seemed like a record crop of Sunflowers, which led to great rejoicing in the apiaries of Western Queens. I’ve mentioned a certain paranoia – carried over from childhood – regarding sunflowers and the buzzing harvesters which infest them, in the past. Regardless, the stalwart photographer must pursue his craft, and the fancies or terrors of infancy are best left on the back shelf.

Still, sunflowers freak me out.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Dead things abound in Western Queens, and not all of them are found below the soil of the so called cemetery belt. This poor little bastard counted its last minutes on a sidewalk in Queens. Often, one fears that this is the sort of posture one such as myself will be displaying when discovered by passerby.

Life a leaf, you.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Pineapples, in some abundance, observed at an Astoria fruit stand.

The most amazing part of our culture, in my opinion, is that after reading this post – in the middle of January – you can go out into the cold, and by writhing through the atmosphere for just a few blocks find tropical cultivars on sale. It will not be difficult for you to find mangoes, strawberries, pineapples – in January. That is simply amazing, when you get down to it, and it’s a reminder that despite the climactic challenges you’ll encounter – you live in the financial capital of a nuclear armed superpower which enjoys the actual highest standard of living ever known and that other nations and cultures send us regular tribute.

In many ways, we are living in the modern equivalent of late Republic Rome.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

On the subject of living in an analog for Rome (prior to the First Triumverate, natch), you can be reasonably assured of the presence of the fire fighters should sudden immolation occur. FDNY’s trade dress, as mentioned in yesterday’s post, always brightens things up. The only times that the phrase “everything is going to be alright” escapes my lips is when FDNY shows up – they’re our army of municipal super heroes, after all.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The darkness of winter gives the Vampire community of Western Queens vast regency. As opined in the past, the army of Strigoi shuns entry into Astoria due to vast numbers of South and Central European ethnicities resident hereabouts. My neighbor Mario prefers to use high visibility paint on his cruciform wards, because “safety first.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It’s down on the western section of the Sunnyside Yards that you really need to be carrying the garlic in LIC. The area is infested with the Nosferatu in the Hunters Point Avenue section nearby the LIRR. It’s a big part of the reasoning behind the stout fences protecting the 7 train as it rises from the tunneled depths. You probably don’t want to accept the fact, I know, but there you go.

Don’t get me started on the Witch Cult. Vampires are merely rabid dogs inhabiting the shadowed corners of our world, whereas the worshippers of Hecate and the Magna Mater are hidden amongst us and actively working… I’ve probably said too much already.

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Written by Mitch Waxman

January 20, 2016 at 1:00 pm

indubitably again

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Wake up, sleepyhead.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It’s a brand new year, and we’ve all got a lot to get done. Let’s get to it! You’ll probably want to make some coffee first.

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Written by Mitch Waxman

January 1, 2016 at 11:00 am

once had

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Should old acquaintances…

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Well, that was kind of lousy year, huh?

Here’s to a better 2016 for everyone, from this, your Newtown Pentacle.

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Written by Mitch Waxman

December 31, 2015 at 11:00 am

Posted in animals, cats

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sights familiar

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Newtown Pentacle’s 2015 Year in review

January, 2015

– photo by Mitch Waxman

This is the Newtown Pentacle “Year in Review” post, which is replete with links to earlier postings. The links were chosen for inclusion based on my own predilection. Either the photos contained in them don’t suck, or they were written to cover something significant that passed in front of my camera. There’s some pretty good stuff contained herein, IMHO. There will be a single image posted on Thursday the 31st and Friday the 1st, and new material will resume on Monday the 4th at this, your Newtown Pentacle.

2015 started off with a bang – and the loss of a dear friend – Captain John Doswell, who was eulogized in this post on January 5th. Out of a desire to escape from existential reality, I went searching for the Vampires that hang around the House of Moses down in Red Hook. Life kept on happening though, and while enduring an excruciating interval in Manhattan’s Gas Light district, a neat relic of tenement New York at a Church on 14th and 1st was described.

February, 2015

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A humble narrator spends a lot of time outdoors and concurrently complains endlessly about the weather. Too hot, too cold, humid, dry, raining, or way windy – I’m a regular complaint department on the subject. This post from February depicts a frozen over Newtown Creek, and what turned out to be creosote oil migrating out of a wooden maritime structure called a “dolphin.” “Other Objects” discusses curious altars and offerings discovered adorning certain corners in Astoria from around the time of the lunar new year. Over at Bushwick Inlet on the East River, in hoary Greenpoint, a spectacular fire at the Citystorage building was observed.

March, 2015

x

– photo by Mitch Waxman

When the Big Little Mayor announced his intentions to deck over the Sunnyside Yards, which is literally “in my back yard,” I was forced to say “not.” As history is ultimately the best weapon in my quiver, the video above was created and disseminated to the web. A dedicated effort to focus in on Queens was made in 2015, after having spent most of 2014 over in Greenpoint. Strange Oceans focused in on “used to be 5ptz” on Davis Street in LIC. Not Permitted continued to discuss the Sunnyside Yards issue, and Very Confines witnessed mystery discharges into the Newtown Creek at the currently undefended border of Brooklyn and Queens.

April, 2015

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One spent quite a bit of time and effort visiting the “House of Moses” in 2015, and “Resting and Brooding” spent a bit of time observing the heart of Robert Moses’s empire here in Astoria – mighty Triborough. On the south end of Steinway Street, a tropical bird was noticed that was suffering from neglect in “Nearby Where,” and “Were Related” revealed where the City government stores a bunch of its gear under the Queensboro Bridge and at North Henry Street in Greenpoint.

May, 2015

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One of my highlights for 2015 was getting invited down into the Second Avenue Subway project, which spawned a series of posts. “Who can guess” “all that there is” “that might be” “buried” and “down there” arrived in Newtown Pentacle subscribers email, Twitter streams, or Facebook feeds in late May of 2015. Earlier in the month, “historical realities” explored DUPBO – Down Under the Pulaski Bridge Onramp – back at Newtown Creek.

June, 2015

– photo by Mitch Waxman

In June of 2015, I was operating at full throttle. Opening about the ridiculous lack of public bathrooms to be found in the greatest City on the planet in “fully inanimate,” discussing the ongoing Superfund situation at Newtown Creek in “arduous details,” and asserting that 7 line Subway is far and away the most photogenic of NYC’s mass transit options in “simple swains,” and I got to bring the camera out with the Working Committee on a tour of Gowanus Bay in “quaint fusion.” The HarborLab group built and delivered a dock to Newtown Creek’s Dutch Kills tributary for the usage of LaGuardia Community College’s science programs, and I tagged along to document the effort in “jouncing descent,” “grim facade,” “listless drooping,” and “stinking shallows.

July, 2015

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Amidst Glare” showcased the last photos my old camera ever took, before an accident destroyed the thing. A call out to Newtown Pentacle’s readers for financial aid in replacing it was answered handsomely, which warmed the calcified vesicle which passes for my heart. “Racing Ahead” returned to the House of Moses, and wished the Marine Parkway Bridge a happy birthday. An uncharacteristic post explored the macroscopic world of an Astoria cucumber patch in “vine encumbered,” whereas “Portal Guardians” brought me right back home to the gutter.

August, 2015

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Walking from Astoria to lower Manhattan one sunny day, via the Williamsburg Bridge, was discussed in “victoriously swept,” and led to another visit to the House of Moses in “pale vapors.” The House of Moses is citywide, and Greenpoint’s iteration was explored a bit in “staves and axes.” Over at Staten Island’s own Kill Van Kull waterway, a pretty significant bridge rebuilding project is underway at the Bayonne Bridge, which was detailed in “decadent element.” Calvary Cemetery in LIC’s Blissville neighborhood was profiled in “ordinary interpretation.” Closer to home, Astoria’s Broadway was invaded this summer by an army of drunks which the 114th Precinct refused to notice. I forced them to notice in a flurry of posts and social media efforts, starting with “unknown things,” and “parched and terrible.” My efforts at documenting the neighborhood and its issues continued with “later civilizations.

September, 2015

– photo by Mitch Waxman

In September, like every other idiot with a camera and tripod in North America, I was up on the roof photographing the so called “super blood moon” in “khephrens gateway.” The battle of the Borrachos continued here in Astoria, in “another city.” “Drifting Sand” visited Astoria’s Steinway Mansion and offered a shout out to Newtown Pentacle’s most frequent commenter – George the Atheist – for his tireless documentation of the sinful manner in which the cultural heritage of Queens is treated. At Newtown Creek, the area I refer to as DUGABO – Down Under the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge – was discussed in “horrors and marvels.” I got to gather some night shots from mid channel on the Newtown Creek in “gorgeous concealment,” and tripod shots of the Dutch Kills tributary of Newtown Creek were offered in “could furnish.

October, 2015

– photo by Mitch Waxman

With tour season winding down in the late fall, my wandering about the City of Greater New York increased. Over at Newtown Creek’s Unanmed Canal at North Henry Street, a Newtown Creek Alliance event allowed me some purchase to explore the unexpected ossuary found at a semi abandoned DSNY Marine Transfer Dock in “gently heaving.” An Atlas Obscura night time event at Brooklyn’s Greenwood Cemetery provided time and opportunity to provide some fairly surreal “night into day” shots in “breathing marble.” Back in Astoria, “swinging and plunging” showcased some passing maritime action at Hells Gate, and showcase a cool car spotted at the border of old Astoria in “other metals.” Newtown Creek has finally seen MTA re activating its rail presence, albeit for the purpose of shipping trash around, and the garbage trains at the Blissville Yard were described in “viewless aura.

November, 2015

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Halloween was spent at the corner pub which I refer to as my district office – Doyle’s at the Times Square of Astoria, 42nd and Broadway. Costumed hordes allowed me to photograph them in “rose oddly.” Oddly, my energy levels in November were quite high, whereas Consolidated Edison was busy dealing with low levels of residential supply found in Astoria as detailed in “full joys.” Discussion of manhole covers resumed in “discoursed of,” Mayor de Blasio and his agenda were derided in “mountain folk,” and LIC’s Montauk Cutoff was discussed in “these views.” The Montauk Cutoff post explored my growing interest and fascination with low light photography,  and a series of posts about a pre dawn walk from Astoria to industrial Maspeth – “grotesque night,” “betraying myself,” “duplicate and exceed,” and “ultimate effect” displayed what I saw on an uncharacteristically warm November night. Finally, DUKBO – Down Under the Kosciuszko Bridge(s) Onramp(s) – and the NYS DOT construction project, was visited in “brought up,” and “leftward fork.

December, 2015

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The close of 2015 began as it started, with the death of a good friend – Kill Van Kull chronicler and Photographer John Skelson, who was eulogized in “Marine Things.” The forbidden north coast of Queens, and Luyster Creek,  was visited in “known specie,” and the Queens side of DUKBO described in “cyclopean endeavor.” A boat trip on Newtown Creek found a Hindu god lurking along the bulkheads in “systemic horror,” and an encounter with some cheeky monkeys in Central Park was described in “urge primal.

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unutterable aeries

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Tekelele, indeed.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As described in yesterday’s post, a sexual display committed by two monkeys at the Central Park Zoo scared me, so a retreat to the “safe space” of the Penguin house was enacted. It should be pointed out that the lighting in this section of Manhattan’s premier animal penitentiary is rather dim, which I suspect is for the comfort of the captive birds contained therein. It took every trick I know, as far as the subject of low light photography goes, to capture the images in today’s post. You can actually discern the sensor grid of my camera in a few of these shots, as it was pretty darned dark in this safe space and the exposure triangle required for hand held shots (through glass) leaned toward staggeringly high sensitivities. Also, a significant amount of condensation and moisture was observed on the barrier glass of the bird prison, which actually created some interesting visual effects, imho.

Whilst concentrating on my task, errant thoughts kept intruding, and one couldn’t help but think about H.P. Lovecraft’s “At the Mountains of Madness.” Actually, since I was listening to an unabridged reading of the novella (Audiorealms, Wayne June reading) it was extremely difficult not to think about the star crossed Elder things and their shoggoth problems. Tekelele, tekelele.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Of course, given the largely useless amount of trivial information which populates my thoughts, a secondary narrative began to intrude. The Mountains of Madness tells the story of a fairly inaccessible Antarctic region which holds the remains of an alien city whose inhabitants were exterminated by a certain biological technology which ran amok, which Lovecraft called “shoggoths.” Good book, this, and Lovecraft makes a good case for letting “sleeping dogs lie.”

The ends of the earth, and the so called “poles of inaccessibility” began to come to mind. Anything, anything to erase the micro aggressions suffered at the Snow Monkey enclosure, was a welcome reprieve.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Oodap Qeqert is a bank of gravel and rock which is found off the northwest coast of Greenland, and is possibly the most northern point of land one might find before the pack ice of the Arctic Ocean obliviates terrestial life forms. Geologists don’t consider a gravel bank to be actual land, per se, and Kaffeklubben Island (also off the coast of Greenland) is officially the northernmost point of dry land you can get to if you’re on the way to the North Pole. If you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, and headed for the antipode, the most remote island on Earth warrants a visit. It’s a Norwegian territory, believe it or not, called Bouvetøya Island.

Unless a Penguin got seriously lost like Topper (the scarf wearing Penguin from the Rankin Bass “Santa Claus is coming to town” animated television program), you won’t find any in Greenland. You’ll find lots of Penguins on Bouvetøya Island, however.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The chilly waters of the antipode are actually quite mysterious. Lots of interesting and fairly undocumented things happen down there, like the so called Vela Incident back in 1979. The Antarctic Continent is literally the last terrestrial frontier for mankind, and was a focal point for the Super Power competitions of the Cold War era. The Soviets established Vostok Station nearby the Southern “Pole of Inaccessibility” on the continent. What that “POI” term means is that it is situated as far away from a coastline in every direction as you can get on Antarctica.

Famously, the Russians who now inhabit Vostok Station have been involved in a deep drilling experiment to access the unfrozen fresh waters of Lake Vostok, which lies some 13,000 feet beneath the glacial surface that Vostok Station sits upon. Speculations about what sorts of primeval life – the lake has been sealed off from the rest of the planet for fifteen million years – might inhabit the lake cause one to shake and quiver with horror.

Truly – who can guess, all there is, that might be buried down there?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The Soviets were goofy for drilling deep holes into the Earth, it should be mentioned.

Their “Kolskaya sverkhglubokaya skvazhina,” or Kola Superdeep Borehole, not too far from their border with Finland on the Barents Sea, managed to penetrate down better than 40,000 feet. The rocks and geological layers that their drills reached to date back to the Archaen Age, which are about two and a half billion years old. The Kola project was abandoned in 2008, and the Russian Federation made it a point of not just destroying the facility and equipment, but capping the hole with reinforced concrete and steel. They likely had their reasons. What is held in the deep earth is not something that mankind truly wishes cognizance of, and were its contents to become widely known… Incidentally, Kola is the supposed location where that “well dug to hell” recording was captured, but that’s just an Internet meme, right?

Deeper holes have been drilled since Kola, in pursuance of hydrocarbon deposits nearby Russia’s Sakhalin Island in the Northern Pacific Ocean, and in the Persian Gulf by Qatar.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My recovery from the startling and outré Monkey incident accomplished, a humble narrator decided it was time to return to Queens, where my delicate sensibilities might be better coddled, cultivated, and wrapped in vibrant diversity than here in Manhattan’s Central Park Zoo.

On the whole “poles of inaccessibility” thing, I’d suggest study of the village of Suluk in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, which is one of the so called “cradles of nations” and likely the most inaccessible place in Eurasia. Closer to home, the United States’s “POI” is called Corn Creek, and it’s in Allen, South Dakota. Allen is, coincidentally, the poorest county in the entire United States and the median family income thereabouts is $3,819 per annum, and that is all the justification you’ll ever need to hear for the importance of loving someplace with a harbor or port nearby.

Hell, $3,800 won’t even get you one month in a closet sized studio in Williamsburg.

The geographic center of New York State is in Madison County, and is around a half hour drive from Utica.

The geographic center of NYC is on the “Boulevard of Death” – the middle of Queens Blvd. at 58th street – according to the NYC Dept. of City Planning. There’s a brass plaque and everything on the spot, and it’s one of the places where a humble narrator likes to shout out “Tekelele, Tekelele” at passing traffic.

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Written by Mitch Waxman

December 18, 2015 at 11:00 am

urge primal

with 3 comments

Trigger warnings abound in today’s post.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

So, last week there’s a day I have off. My mac is back from the shop and working again – and that’s a good thing. It’s also unseasonably warm out, so a humble narrator starts cooking his noodle about finding some cheap diversion to spend the afternoon in pursuit of, which – as any New Yorker will tell you – ain’t that easy.

It occurs to me that I haven’t been to the Central Park Zoo in a few years, and since the price of admission is just twelve samolians, a visit is within my means. Alternatively, I’d go take a walk around the Newtown Creek, but I just wasn’t in the mood for pollution and devastation this particular day, so off to the City I went in pursuance of getting some charming shots of the critters which the Manhattan people hold captive for their amusement.

The trip also fit into the whole “House of Moses” thing I’ve been doing all year, wherein I’m trying to visit as many of the Robert Moses built projects scattered around the City as I can. Central Park Zoo, the original I mean, not the modern version which was rebuilt in the 1980’s, was one of Moses’s flagships.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I enjoy shooting critters, even if they are the captives of the Manhattan types.

The Japanese Snow Monkeys… is it still ok to refer to the national origins of a monkey… I don’t know. Does it make one a specist, referring to the particular clade of primate which a creature is? How about the snow part? The world has changed, and so has language, in the last few years. Is this creature a “cisprimate?” I don’t know. Is it ok to use “critter” anymore? Is there an approved thesaurus which vouchsafes the linguistic sensitivities of every possible iterate? I’m old now, and hail from a violent and ignorant era where half of the nicknames from my old neighborhood in Brooklyn would now be prosecutable as hate crimes.

I’d like to reach out to the college campus types to advise. 

– photo by Mitch Waxman

While pondering the incomprehensible mine field offered by the overly sensitive and “waiting to be offended” types, the… beings(?)… were engaged in that most primatological of behaviors – grooming each other.

Ahh… that’s nice, said I, and focused the lens in on this pair.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Suddenly, this happened.

My triggers all began to pull without warning, and a humble narrator was reduced to a shivering wreck. Didn’t these “beings” realize that there were children about at the zoo? There were no consent forms exchanged between them, nor “safe words” negotiated in the presence of a third and impartial party. The Zoo displayed no signage warning me about what might be encountered on their grounds, and at no point was I offered a safe space in which to recover from the bestial display which the organization just allowed to happen. I had to make due with the Penguin house.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Unbridled, and with zero concern for the casual observer, these creatures continued their lewd act. One wishes that he could have stopped photographing it, but every muscle in my body had involuntarily spasmed into the position it was in when this display started, and my camera shutter just kept on flipping. Oh, unhappy act.

I intend on instituting a law suit against the Central Park Zoo shortly after this post is published, as I have been materially damaged and will never be able to photograph a primate again without revisiting this scene. In effect, I have been raped by my willful observance of this act of sexual violence, and my delicate eyes will never be able to look upon a Curious George book again without micro aggressions rocking the mirrored surface of my mind.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

After this occurrence, which was as serious an offense as the Nazi extermination of the Jews to one as correct, and politically sensitive as myself, a humble narrator returned to his darkened rooms to sit and shake while whimpering. How dare these primates parade themselves thusly, knowing that others might be offended by their public actions?

This never happened while Bloomberg was Mayor, and therefore it must be de Blasio’s fault. These apes need to be sent to a sensitivity training camp, and educated in proper societal etiquette. Accordingly, an announcement is offered that I’ve founded a new non profit which offers this service to zoo animals, for which I’m applying to both City Hall and the Federal Government for funding.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

December 17, 2015 at 11:00 am

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