The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Posts Tagged ‘weirdness

bewildering jarring

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Today’s post is of an entirely pedestrian manner.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

For about a year, I’ve been noticing this odd pattern all around the Newtown Pentacle, wherein a seemingly discarded single shoe is left conspicuously placed. As mentioned often, my particular curse is to notice everything, and these castaway garments have captured no small amount of my attentions. What’s odd about this is not that someone is discarding an item in the street, a common enough occurrence, its that shoes come in pairs and you seldom discharge one from service but keep its antipode. The boot in the shot above was in Astoria, at the corner of 43rd street and 34th avenue.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Down Under the Pulaski Bridge Onramp, or DUPBO as I refer to it, is a spot beloved by those that engage in the native art form of Queens- illegal dumping- and it is unsurprising to see entire wardrobes of clothing abandoned here. I once saw an entire dining room set down here, posed as if it was awaiting the gathering of a family to dinner.

Yet, once again, you find a single shoe.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Just as the weather began to warm up in 2013, a change in the pattern was observed.

Suddenly shoes began to appear in matched pairs.

This shot is from Northern Blvd. nearby Steinway Street in Queens. At first, it seems almost normal, just a pair of abandoned shoes. Unfortunately, that’s what triggers another of my curses- which is to ask “Why?” Why would somebody remove their shoes on a busy glass strewn road, and in front of a gas station? What is the logical chain of dominoes which fell into place that brought this footwear to this particular spot? Was it the Rapture?

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Presumptively, the fellow who carefully placed this abandoned set of kicks on 30th avenue and 45th street had another pair ready to go, but why not change them out at home? My habits, at least, include the sustained usage of footwear when out of the house. It is one of my deeply held beliefs that unless you’re arriving at the beach, park, or a pool and find yourself removing your shoes when out of the house- you’re either in need of medical attention or being arrested and searched (or visiting someone who made the calamitous decision to buy light colored carpets). I stay laced, but that’s me.

I grew up in a version of New York which considered smashing beer bottles on the sidewalk as being huge fun, and a City in which wearing heavy boots was an absolute necessity which had nothing to do with fashion.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

The pair above were encountered in on Skillman Avenue in Sunnyside, and for once I had a witness along (Hi Tim) who can attest that they were neatly set out upon a stoop. Probably some generous soul, we surmised, setting out used shoes for the needy. Still, I wonder, and need to invoke my secondary curse. “Why”?

Personally, I have never set a pair of shoes on the curb with such a motive, and am puzzled by the offer of such back handed charity. Also, having personally known “the needy”, I can report that I’ve never seen one of them grab a pair of curbside shoes and say “huzzah.”

What is the worst part of going bowling, and if you need to wear someone else’s shoes, would it be any of these?

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Just the other day, on Kingsland Avenue in Brooklyn- nearby Greenpoint Avenue and the Newtown Creek- a single shoe awaited me as I shambled past. It was sporty model, meant for a right foot. Back to my first curse, the one which compels me to carry a camera around and obsessively record everything encountered, and an odd detail about each and every shoe displayed in these shots- which is that they all have their laces arranged neatly.

Just to reiterate my belief that there’s something odd going on here, and demonstrate that this is “a thing” – check out the great Cecil Adams over at “The Straight Dope” struggle with the phenomena.

Want to see something cool? Summer 2013 Walking Tours-

The Insalubrious Valley- Saturday, June 29, 2013
Newtown Creek walking tour with Mitch Waxman and Newtown Creek Alliance, tickets now on sale.

Modern Corridor- Saturday, July 13, 2013
Newtown Creek walking tour with Mitch Waxman and Atlas Obscura, tickets on sale soon.

Written by Mitch Waxman

June 27, 2013 at 1:28 am

artificial means

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“follow” me on Twitter at @newtownpentacle

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Maritime Sunday is suspended again this week, so as to incorporate the timely but dire warning that another Abomination has been spotted, moving freely through the community. This time the sighting was on Greenpoint Avenue in Sunnyside, whereas the last place and time I reported that such an entity walked amongst us was in Manhattan, back in December of 2012.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

The beast had taken up station on the block opposite the park, and in some wild pantomime of clumsy gesticulations admonished passersby to accept a script of some kind. The blood chills thinking about what sort of bargain might be offered by such a creature, and one wonders if there are some things which might well be worth any cost.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

The whirring staccato of my camera shutter attracted the attention of this rodent of great size, no doubt due to its overdeveloped auditory capabilities. Irregular coruscations of the cardiac action ensued deep within your humble narrator when the great beast suddenly stiffened and began to turn towards me, for given the speed legendarily attributed to its kind an attempt at escape would be, at best, a fruitless endeavor.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Cruelly baleful in expression, the monster fixed me in its glare while baring monstrous teeth, which were not fangs, instead its mandibular apparatus appeared to be bare plates of bone whose prominent shape and appearance reminded one of nothing less than the steel blades of jack hammers. ThIs halfling hare was around one and three quarter meters tall, and seemed both sturdily built and well armored by a dense hide which tended to hang loosely about its presumably sinewy limbs.

Watch your back out there today, it may be Easter Sunday, but this Abomination was lurking around, on the sunny side of the Newtown Pentacle, just yesterday.

Written by Mitch Waxman

March 31, 2013 at 4:06 am

nitrous wheezing

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- photo by Mitch Waxman

Recent readings on the Satanic Cult panics of the 1980’s and 90’s, the most famous of which was the infamous McMartin case in California, revealed that a manual for the Pagan community on how to avoid circumspection was published. Its title included the phrase “How to Appear Harmless”, which struck one such as myself with a deep whimsy. Much effort is expended on my part, in order to dissuade the local gentry from lighting torches and picking up pitch forks as I near.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Wandering about, exposed to prying eyes and on foot, one must be concerned about not just sentry men, guard dogs, and violent neighbors but with the more esoteric hazards presented by Queens. While consumed with such paranoid mutterings, this odd drawer of bubbling black slime was noticed on a deserted stretch of 37th avenue at the border of Sunnyside.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

The locale is defined by the presence of a large municipal property, an enormous and ethnically Korean church, and the tracks of the Long Island Railroad. Deserted on the weekends and evenings, the street largely serves as a thoroughfare for traffic moving between the Home Depot on Northern Blvd.’s 48th street exit and 43rd street.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Initial supposition that this was merely a manifestation of the native art form of Queens- illegal dumping- was complicated by the complete lack of smell. It wasn’t paint, and it sure wasn’t oil. What the fuligin substance was is anyone’s guess, I suppose.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

An impulse to poke at it with a stick was suppressed, as repeated viewings of the classic horror movie “The Blob” have taught me that such activity might allow a viscous entity of malign intelligence or intent egress to unprotected flesh.

Also:

Remember that event in the fall which got cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy?

The “Up the Creek” Magic Lantern Show presented by the Obscura Society NYC is back on at Observatory. 

Click here or the image below for more information and tickets.

lantern_bucket

Written by Mitch Waxman

January 22, 2013 at 12:15 am

trembling protest

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- photo by Mitch Waxman

Just the other day, one was strolling along Jackson Avenue in Long Island City and enjoying the late afternoon haze of auto exhaust when I decided to avoid a group of rough and aggressive looking youngsters by ducking down a dead end called Dutch Kills Street. Haughty and diffident, these unscrupulous looking minors had perhaps reached the third grade, but realizing that they have spent their short lifetime playing violent video games and were therefore potential killers, your humble narrator decided to walk the familiar path of ignominy and hide from them.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Such physical cowardice has often proven to be the better part of valor for one such as myself, a shunned and awkward thing which resembles a man. Dutch Kills Street, where the native art form of Queens (illegal dumping) is practiced wholly, is overflown by structures sprouting out from the Great Machine at nearby Queens Plaza. Vehicular traffic departing and approaching the mighty Queensboro bridge hurtles along overhead, and the street grade lanes end at the fence lines of the titan Sunnyside Yards..

- photo by Mitch Waxman

At the end of the street was observed another of the curious shoes which I’ve been noticing scattered around in similarly desolate locales over the last few months. Odd bordering on obsequious, the presence of just one half of the mated pair- again and again- just makes a little bell go off in my head when I see it. It is common to see all sorts of domestic and personal goods scattered about the neighborhoods surrounding the fabled Newtown Creek, but the homogeneity of these singular shoe sightings simply suggests something sinister and suspicious.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

The rough looking group of third graders had noisily passed the intersection of Jackson and Dutch Kills, heading towards Tower Town down in Hunters Point. They were assembled in a “skirmish line” formation, walking abreast of each other while in the company of a group of women who seemed to have some measure of control over their movements. Some of these women had far younger children with them, who were being transported in bizarre cart like machines- whose appearance I did not like, I should add- which I found disconcerting. Your humble narrator hid behind a pile of trash for awhile, then fled the scene with haste.

Written by Mitch Waxman

January 11, 2013 at 2:57 am

edge away

with 2 comments

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Play time is almost over now. The Honeymooners Marathon is coming on New Years, which signals that only a few days are left before the blistering reality check of a January morning. With the holidays and Mayan Apocalypse out of the way, it’s nearly time to knuckle down and get “back in session”. For today’s post though, musing contemplations and foolish wondering rule the hour.

The shot above, incidentally, is from a place called Oia on a island called Thira which is the likely inspiration for the legend of the lost city of Atlantis.

from Azathoth By H. P. Lovecraft, courtesy hplovecraft.com

When age fell upon the world, and wonder went out of the minds of men; when grey cities reared to smoky skies tall towers grim and ugly, in whose shadow none might dream of the sun or of spring’s flowering meads; when learning stripped earth of her mantle of beauty, and poets sang no more save of twisted phantoms seen with bleared and inward-looking eyes; when these things had come to pass, and childish hopes had gone away forever, there was a man who travelled out of life on a quest into the spaces whither the world’s dreams had fled.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Too much time spent in contemplation and peaceful idyll is not a good thing, in fact it’s the proverbial “devils playground”. Wasteful thought processes play out, which are unproductive and annoying to those around me. One wonders how much longer these unfortunates will subject themselves to a creature like myself.

The shot above, by the way, is from a different island. One which hosts a 16th century castle built and lost by Venetians and later held first by Ottoman and then Greek. It once served as the headquarters of a confederacy of pirates whose fleet menaced Egyptian, British, and French shipping during the early 19th century.

from H. P. Lovecraft Letter to Farnsworth Wrigth (July 27, 1927), in Selected Letters 1925-1929 (Sauk City, Wisconsin: Arkham House, 1968), p.150., courtesy wikipedia

Now all my tales are based on the fundamental premise that common human laws and interests and emotions have no validity or significance in the vast cosmos-at-large. To me there is nothing but puerility in a tale in which the human form—and the local human passions and conditions and standards—are depicted as native to other worlds or other universes. To achieve the essence of real externality, whether of time or space or dimension, one must forget that such things as organic life, good and evil, love and hate, and all such local attributes of a negligible and temporary race called mankind, have any existence at all.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

During these dark days of winter, a humble narrator dreams of sunshine and warmth and the sweetness of fresh bread dipped in honey consumed with the blackest of coffees. Such pleasures, however, are neither deserved nor imminent. The time is come, finally, to stare into any and all available abysses- and return to my lonely path. It is once again the hour of the wolf, here in the Newtown Pentacle. Of course, we’ve got that Honeymooners Marathon, as George the Atheist reminds. (Mr. GTA did a post documenting the moving of the Civic Virtue statue at his own blog, btw, check it out here)

Also, the shot above illustrates the shoreline of yet another island, one where European Civilization is considered to have been born roughly 5,000 years ago.

from “The Doom That Came to Sarnath” by H. P. Lovecraft, courtesy wikisource.org

There is in the land of Mnar a vast still lake that is fed by no stream, and out of which no stream flows. Ten thousand years ago there stood by its shore the mighty city of Sarnath, but Sarnath stands there no more.

It is told that in the immemorial years when the world was young, before ever the men of Sarnath came to the land of Mnar, another city stood beside the lake; the gray stone city of Ib, which was old as the lake itself, and peopled with beings not pleasing to behold. Very odd and ugly were these beings, as indeed are most beings of a world yet inchoate and rudely fashioned. It is written on the brick cylinders of Kadatheron that the beings of Ib were in hue as green as the lake and the mists that rise above it; that they had bulging eyes, pouting, flabby lips, and curious ears, and were without voice. It is also written that they descended one night from the moon in a mist; they and the vast still lake and gray stone city Ib. However this may be, it is certain that they worshipped a sea-green stone idol chiseled in the likeness of Bokrug, the great water-lizard; before which they danced horribly when the moon was gibbous.

Written by Mitch Waxman

December 27, 2012 at 2:42 am

amiable normality

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“follow” me on Twitter at @newtownpentacle

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Mayan Apocalypse Countdown: We are in the home stretch on Planet Earth. and just 4 days remain until the 13th b’ak’tun ends, initiating the Mayan Apocalypse on December 21st. Tick, tock.

In the face of predestination, prophetic warnings, and probable destruction- prosecution of all possible prophylaxis is both prudent and proper. Indisputable inklings of illuminated ideations, irresistible and insidious, inspired me to inquire whether the Free and Accepted Masons could intervene or otherwise interfere with the oncoming interval of destruction.

from wikipedia

Saturnalia was supposed to have been held on December 17 (ante diem xvi Kal. Ian.) from the time of the oldest Roman religious calendar, which the Romans believed to have been established by the legendary founder Romulus and his successor Numa Pompilius. It was a dies festus, a legal holiday when no public business could be conducted. The day marked the dedication of the Temple to Saturn in the Roman Forum in 497 BC.

By the late Republic, the celebration of Saturnalia had expanded to seven days, but during the Imperial period contracted variously to three to five days. Under Augustus, there was a three-day official holiday.[48] Caligula extended it to five.

December 17 was the first day of the astrological sign Capricorn, the house of Saturn, the planet named for the god. Its proximity to the winter solstice (December 25 on the Julian calendar) was endowed with various meanings by both ancient and modern scholars: for instance, the widespread use of wax candles (cerei, singular cereus) may refer to “the returning power of the sun’s light after the solstice”.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

December the seventeenth is another of those historical dates upon which the anniversary of several momentous events occur. In 546 AD- Rome was sacked by the Ostrogoths, and in 1398 Delhi fell to the armies of Timur.

In 1903- the Wright Brothers learned that men could fly if they were clever enough.

Looming loquaciously over the locus of 23rd street and Sixth Avenue, the Grand Lodge of the Masons and the group which inhabits it have been spoken about in four lengthy postings from way back in 2009.

Check out parts one, two, three, and four.

from wikipedia

The Aztec calendar stone, Mexica sun stone, Stone of the Sun (Spanish: Piedra del Sol), or Stone of the Five Eras, is a large monolithic sculpture that was excavated in the Zócalo, Mexico City’s main square, on December 17, 1790. It was discovered whilst Mexico City Cathedral was being repaired. The stone is around 12 feet (3.7 m) across and weighs about 24 tons.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Filled with a series of questions which only those who know the truth of history might answer, your humble narrator journeyed to Manhattan and joined one of the free tours regularly offered by the group. The tour follows a twisting path, entering rooms with a right turn and exiting with a left, moving in weird diagonals throughout their building.

The guide recognized my need for guidance, and soon I was brought before the God of America. Brazen, the gaze of the eidolon bore into ones soul, an accusatory and knowing permanence of vision radiating from beneath carven brows. The greatest of the Masons would have been resolute and unflinching in the eye of any storm, let alone some silly Mayan Apocalypse.

from wikipedia

The prophet is commemorated in the Coptic Church on the 23rd day of the Coptic month of Baramhat.

On the Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar, the feast days celebrating St. Daniel the Prophet together with the Three Young Men, falls on December 17 (during the Nativity Fast), on the Sunday of the Holy Forefathers (the Sunday which falls between 11 and 17 December), and on the Sunday before Nativity. Daniel’s prophesy regarding the stone which smashed the idol (Daniel 2:34-35) is often used in Orthodox hymns as a metaphor for the Incarnation: the “stone cut out” being symbolic of the Logos (Christ), and the fact that it was cut “without hands” being symbolic of the virgin birth. Thus the hymns will refer to the Theotokos (Virgin Mary) as the “uncut mountain”

Daniel is commemorated as a prophet in the Calendar of Saints of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod together with the Three Young Men (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego), on December 17.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Tribulations such as the forthcoming apocalypse and the embrace of such dubious reasoning would have embarrassed him. Rational men, Washington and his fellow conspirators against the Hanoverian throne knew the illuminable truth of things, that the world will continue on and on. His graven image assures and assuages.

from wikipedia

Today, Washington’s face and image are often used as national symbols of the United States. He appears on contemporary currency, including the one-dollar bill and the quarter coin, and on U.S. postage stamps. Along with appearing on the first postage stamps issued by the U.S. Post Office in 1847, Washington, together with Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson, and Lincoln, is depicted in stone at the Mount Rushmore Memorial. The Washington Monument, one of the best known American landmarks, was built in his honor. The George Washington Masonic National Memorial in Alexandria, Virginia, was constructed between 1922 and 1932 with voluntary contributions from all 52 local governing bodies of the Freemasons in the United States.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Still, trepidation and timorous doubt haunt. The cogs and wheels of the universe are immutably in motion, spinning in uncertain ways. Quantum theory teaches that all things are possible at all times, and that the condition of observed reality depends upon the quality and perceptions of the observer.

The Mayan calendar has been right before in its predictions of cultural doom, for was it not prophecied that at a certain time on a certain day in a certain year that a bearded man would arrive at Veracruz and signal the destruction of their own civilization? And did Cortez not arrive at the appointed moment? It occurs to your humble narrator that we should not fear the arrival of Nibiru, but rather the imminence of Quetzalcoatl.

from nasa.gov

Q: Is there a planet or brown dwarf called Nibiru or Planet X or Eris that is approaching the Earth and threatening our planet with widespread destruction?

A: Nibiru and other stories about wayward planets are an Internet hoax. There is no factual basis for these claims. If Nibiru or Planet X were real and headed for an encounter with the Earth in 2012, astronomers would have been tracking it for at least the past decade, and it would be visible by now to the naked eye. Obviously, it does not exist. Eris is real, but it is a dwarf planet similar to Pluto that will remain in the outer solar system; the closest it can come to Earth is about 4 billion miles.

Written by Mitch Waxman

December 17, 2012 at 12:15 am

swaying shutter

with 3 comments

“follow” me on Twitter at @newtownpentacle

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Mayan Apocalypse Countdown: just 7 days left until the 13th b’ak’tun ends, initiating the Mayan Apocalypse on December 21st. Tick, tock.

Additionally, for the sake of “georgetheatheist”, it is now just 17 days to the Honeymooners Marathon.

It is said by adherents to the Christian faith, when discussing their own conception of the end times, that men will witness abominations in the days leading up to the apocalypse. Specific eschatology discusses weirding mixtures of men and beasts, who shall roam amongst us. Muslims too believe that when the last days come, the iron walls of Dhul-Qarnayn will shatter and allow an army of bestial chaos egress to the world of men.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Just the other day in Manhattan, center of the great human hive, this unholy thing was witnessed moving amongst the crowds. It is realized that we live in a multi cultural society which champions diversity, however, your humble narrator refuses to acknowledge the rights of some escapee from the island of Dr. Moreau. Have the lessons of Orwell’s “Animal Farm” not been absorbed and embraced? Bipedal locomotion is exclusively ours (and the Kangaroos as well, don’t forget them).

- photo by Mitch Waxman

It is a sad state of affairs, that Baphomet the sabbath goat might walk unhindered about the megalopolis, unchallenged and haughty. In the days of Harry Truman or Rudy Giuliani such a thing would never have been allowed. Your humble narrator is preparing the bunker for active duty.

Written by Mitch Waxman

December 14, 2012 at 12:15 am

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