The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Archive for the ‘Astoria’ Category

worried faces

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Would it kill you to smile?

- photo by Mitch Waxman

While riding the Subway in New York City, observation of the interesting social behaviors exhibited by the citizenry entertains. There are those who present the “pfft, ain’t no thing” and those who present the “what the hell are you looking at” and also present are the “please, for gods sake, do not notice me” lean. Others pretend to sleep, or stare blankly at the floor (that’s the one which I favor), while a small group of extroverts feel the need to shout and otherwise draw attention unto themselves. Then there’s the buskers.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

There are Mariachi’s, young couples who perpetrate the “gypsy baby” scam, those three kids who dance and perform acrobatics. Worst of all are the religious zealots, whose clumsy attempts at evangelism are enough to drive one into the arms of Satan itself. Skillfully ignoring these buskers and con artists, or not, is what separates the true New Yorker from the tourist. The tourists are the worst, of course, breaking all of the unspoken rules of subway etiquette which “regular” riders subconsciously obey and enforce. Nobody smiles, the MTA has a rule against that.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

My camera is always at the ready whenever entering these concrete bunkers with their pungent atmospheres, and one of the odd things I’ve noticed in recent years is the reaction some have upon seeing the device. Lens cap on and power switch off, they will stare at the camera in the manner one would watch the countdown clock on a bomb. I don’t understand this. Humans, they’re weird, and need to smile more often.

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Written by Mitch Waxman

April 2, 2014 at 10:54 am

unidentifiable flowerings

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Catching up with the Newtown Pentacle.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

This long winter has been especially difficult for one such as myself, who possesses no reserve of warmth. Accordingly, hermitage is enacted. Hair, beard, and nails are allowed to seek their natural length while an induced stupor was enjoyed by the brain. Now that the burning thermonuclear eye of god itself has once more attained an efficacious position in the sky, all of the dead cellular material external to the skinvelope has been trimmed back and an understimulated brain called to action once more.

The long marches across the concrete devastations have resumed.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

The spot of trouble enjoyed by my household in recent weeks, regarding the reliable availability of internet service – as supplied by Time Warner Cable – seems to have been resolved due to the actions of this fellow. Last Saturday, the third most hated corporation in modern day America sent this fellow, Jose, over to rewire and rekajigger the connections. The connectivity issues seem to have been repaired accordingly, and now the service has returned to “it just sucks” as opposed to “doesn’t work at all.”

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Last Sunday, whilst crossing the Pulaski Bridge to visit Greenpoint via Long Island City, these graffitos were spotted. Displaying an unusually literate and somewhat scientifically accurate credo, my attentions were caught. It wasn’t this screed which stopped me in my tracks, instead it was the one in the penultimate photograph adorning this post.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

No comment, except to say that hidden in green slimy vaults, in his house at R’lyeh

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Written by Mitch Waxman

March 26, 2014 at 12:06 pm

recumbent head

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Hell in a hand basket, lords and ladies, and tongue held firmly in cheek.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Nothing can cause a humble narrator to fly into a rage faster than encountering a vehicle parked on the sidewalk. This is a big problem in western Queens, where the law is enforced subjectively at best, and especially here in Astoria with its population of expatriates and immigrants who were generally too uncontrollable, troublesome, or irascible to stay in the country which they were born in.

Just the other day, on my way home, this scene was spotted on 35th avenue in the 40′s.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

These people… Sheesh. They come here with aspirations of building a new and better life, form a lasting relationship with our relatively non tyrannical government, and this is how they thank the natives? When I was a boy, people who parked on the sidewalk would find themselves swinging from a tree or lamppost, or just fed to a pack of wild junk yard dogs. It’s obviously the fault of real estate developers and our elected officials that this sort of thing is allowed to continue.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Worst of all, this isn’t even an American made car. How does some newcomer afford a foreign sports car anyway? Can’t be from earning it… next you’ll tell me it was a gift. Grants and subsidies and social welfare programs set aside for immigrants that’s how. Can you imagine how much revenue the City loses, only enforcing the parking laws on its native born citizens?

Feh, satire bites

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Written by Mitch Waxman

March 19, 2014 at 11:49 am

crush and engulf

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Late again, sorry. Here’s why.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Since the weather broke, your humble narrator has lost nary a minute to the Newtown Pentacle, and much in the way of shoe rubber has been expended in the last few days. Saturday, I walked the so called entire “upper creek” (the area of Newtown Creek found between Maspeth Creek and English Kills, which borders Ridgewood and Bushwick). Sunday, I was in Greenpoint all day, but sadly missed getting a shot of that baby seal which turned up at the Newtown Creek Nature Walk.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Monday (yesterday), I conducted a tour of the lower Creek for a group of film students from Pratt University, and this afternoon, I’m hoping to find some time to pop over to Hell Gate in the hope of capturing some interesting images of maritime traffic.

Recent efforts of note - which appear on external websites – include a series of posts describing the non profit scene of Red Hook on the Red Hook Water Front site, and my coverage of Sunnyside’s St. Pat’s Day for All parade can be found at Brownstoner Queens.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

It is magnificent, this throwing off of the shackles of ice and snow, and returning to the streets. Conversely, a humble narrator’s physique has largely transformed into a quivering jelly over this long winter, and every muscle in my legs and back are liberally painted with lactic acids. Hopefully, within a few weeks, I’ll be back in fighting condition and enjoy a fineness of fettle.

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Written by Mitch Waxman

March 11, 2014 at 2:42 pm

crushed convulsively

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A ritual observance observed.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Spotted this on Northern Blvd. at 35th avenue last Sunday. Similar to prior findings, this assemblage of ad hoc sculpture seemed to be composed of common kitchen items. The best peasant magicks usually are. Oddly enough, Queenscrap ran a piece today about a similar find from nearby in Woodside – check it out here.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

As to the “prior findings,” this looks eerily similar in technique and medium to the subject of the 2011 Newtown Pentacle post “little memories.” Incidentally, that find also happened during the month of March.

The Queenscrap post links out to a thread at Reddit which postulates that this is a Tibetan offering/arrangement, called a Torma. Ignorance is my watchword, and your humble narrator confesses to it. These things have stumped me whenever I’ve tried to figure them out, which is odd as obscure occult lore is one of my hobbies.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

I’m pals with a Tibetan guy that lives across the street from me – a combat hardened U.S. Marine (and immigrant) with multiple tours in Afghanistan and one in Iraq under his belt who is trying to readjust to civilian life. Think I’ll show him these pics. Maybe he’ll be able to confirm or deny their Tibetan provence, or perhaps he’ll take one look at them and run screaming into the night knowing that these idols signal the presence in the neighborhood of an unspeakable cult that was old when the world was young.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

March 4, 2014 at 11:35 am

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