The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

harmless stupidity

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

Nothing dire today, lords and ladies of Newtown. Neither prophecy nor portent will be presented this day, and sarcastic ironies have the day off. Just a few shots from a walk in the beginning of august, down part of what I consider “the beat”- an area I regularly observe and keep tabs on. Such self appointed territories are really just places that I move through often, mostly on my way to somewhere else. In this case- the somewhere else was Dutch Kills, and I was walking down Skillman Avenue by the Sunnyside Railyard from Astoria.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Illegal dumping, when done with a certain “bon vivant”, is an art form here in the Newtown Pentacle. There is the casually tossed McDonalds bag thrown from a speeding car, the cast off carton or scrap of plastic sheeting, little bits of string. These are the work of mere amateurs. The good stuff is often found at the edges of neighborhoods, dumped by working guys, who have to stack things properly purely because that’s all that muscle memory will allow them to do.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

These were all shot along the same street, within a few blocks of each other. The rotting tomatoes drew me in, but when I saw these paint cans so perfectly posed and lit- a sudden realization that this was “going to be “one of those days”, here, in the Newtown Pentacle.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Down the block, the rococo considerations and delicate chiaroscuro which went into this collection of cast off drapery and garments calls to mind certain lavish moments of Flemish art history dating back to the apex of the Dutch decadence. Can these disparate dumpings be the work of only one hand?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

When this exhausted can of Olive Oil was set so gingerly in the vernal verge, did the executor of the deed realize the resplendent triumph of it’s placement?

Written by Mitch Waxman

September 18, 2010 at 12:15 am

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