The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

damnable man-lizards

with one comment

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Suffering from the early stages of a summer cold, your humble narrator nevertheless keeps calm and carries on…

Today, a set of images captured in the “fancy” part of Brooklyn, the estimable Williamsburg itself. I should explain that no love has been lost for the fanciful desolation of the Creeklands, and The Newtown Pentacle is not “upping its brand” by exploring the tonier parts of town- instead, I had the pleasure of accompanying the colorful Ms. Heather (of on a photo walk one recent afternoon.

The shot above, which is as “ich ein Brooklyner” as a photo could possibly be, is one of the products of this perambulating with the queen of Brooklyn’s northern extant.

from wikipedia

Williamsburg is a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, bordering Greenpoint to the north, Bedford-Stuyvesant to the south, Bushwick to the east and the East River to the west. The neighborhood is part of Brooklyn Community Board 1. The neighborhood is served by the NYPD’s 90th Precinct. In the City Council the western and southern part of the neighborhood is represented by the 33rd District; and the eastern part of the neighborhood is represented by the 34th District.

Many ethnic groups have enclaves within Williamsburg, including Hasidic Jews, Italians, Puerto Ricans, and Dominicans. It is also an influential hub for indie rock, hipster culture, and the local art community, all of which are associated with one of its main thoroughfares, Bedford Avenue. The neighborhood is being redefined by a growing population and the rapid development of housing and retail space.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

We wandered in a generally south eastern direction, along the coastline, and I regaled my companion with tales of 1980’s Brooklyn, and the absolute hell on earth that Williamsburg once was. Bedford avenue, for instance, was once typified by burnt out buildings and empty brick lots. One job I held- located in a rat stricken factory (on Kent avenue at South 5th street) where I was employed cutting color separations for screen printed apparel from a material called “rubylith”, placed signage in the men’s room warning against use of the local prostitutes due to various venereal diseases which they were rumored to carry- especially a new and terrifying one called “SIDS” at the time which we now affectionately refer to as “HIV”. There were distinct groups of whores, some worked the parking lots (as in our particular building) while others were consigned to the street. Believe it or not, hipsters, Bedford and South 4th used to be like that HBO “hookers at the point” movie.

from wikipedia

“Prostitute” is a direct borrowing from the Latin prostituta, the feminine past participle of the verb prostituere (to set forth in public, to expose to dishonor, to prostitute, to put to unworthy use). The Latin verb is a composition of pro (forward) and statuere (to cause to stand, to station, place erect). A literal translation therefore would be: “to place forward”. “The notion of ‘sex for hire’ is not inherent in the etymology, which rather suggests one ‘exposed to lust’ or sex ‘indiscriminately offered.'” The word statuere is a derivative of stare (to stand), which derives from the proto-Indo-European root stā.

A variety of terms are used for those who engage in prostitution, some of which distinguish between different kinds or imply a value judgment about them. Common alternatives for prostitute include escort and whore; however, not all professional escorts are prostitutes.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

These shots are from early May, which most likely describes the vast backlog of photos which are in the process of digital development or haven’t been published here yet. It’s been a very interesting month, with lots of exciting sights and disturbing portents- I’m taking a breath this week at the urging of Our Lady of the Pentacle and medical staff alike. My tremulous health is finely balanced and controlled by an extensive schedule of prescripted pharmaceuticals, after all, and if care is not exercised I may fall into a decline- “one of my states”.

All work and no play makes Mitch a Mitch Mitch Mitchity Mitch.


Nervous breakdown isn’t a medical term, however, nor does it indicate a specific mental illness. But that doesn’t mean it’s a normal or a healthy response to stress. A nervous breakdown may indicate an underlying mental health problem that needs attention, such as depression or anxiety.

Signs of a nervous breakdown vary from person to person and depend on the underlying cause. Exactly what constitutes a nervous breakdown also varies from one culture to another. Generally, it’s understood to mean that a person is no longer able to function normally. For example, he or she may:

  • Call in sick to work for days or longer
  • Avoid social engagements and miss appointments
  • Have trouble following healthy patterns of eating, sleeping and hygiene

A number of other unusual or dysfunctional behaviors may be considered signs and symptoms of a nervous breakdown.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Needless to say, what I consider a break is what other folks call a dissertation. Look forward to daily, but quite ephemeral postings this week, stuff I’ve seen and wondered about but have chosen not to delve too deeply into.

There’s a massive load of hardcore creek stuff in the pipes, and a couple of cool announcements about tours and events I’m either participating in or leading coming as well. Let’s just say that July 16th, which is “City of Water Day“, we’re going somewhere cool by boat…

Additionally, I’ve been haunting and annoying the DEP staff at the Temple of Cloacina in Greenpoint and have personally witnessed the actual bowels of New York City- with my camera. Additionally, the Working Harbor Committee has resumed it’s summer schedule of boat tours and I have been onboard whenever possible.


…Sewage originating south of E. 73rd Street is conveyed to the Newtown Creek WPCP. Sewage is transferred by combined sewers along E. 70th Street and E. 71st Street, which connect with the combined sewer along York Avenue.  The Newtown Creek WPCP, with a rated design capacity of 310 mgd, discharges the effluent into the East River.  The 2002 average dry weather flow of the Newtown Creek WPCP is 216 mgd and the average total flow is 229 mgd.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’ve also been riding the East River Ferry a bit, and must comment on the lamentable appointments at the dock in Hunters Point. I’m not going to post my reactions to the ferry dock, it’s horrible state, or the profoundly odd manner in which it is being managed for a little while. The shaming photos of it’s first days are in my possession, and one hopes that what these shots show are merely growing pains and not a horrible confirmation of what people in Queens believe to be a bias shown by the Manhattan elites toward us. Please ride the ferry yourself, get off in Brooklyn, get off in Manhattan, and then come to Hunters Point and decide for youself.

Lastly, I have no idea what this milky white substance in the mason jar is or represents. As is my policy, such items are never touched, only recorded. Perhaps its the property of one of the newer residents of Williamsburg recently migrated from the continent.

from wikipedia

The Lizard Man of Scape Ore Swamp (also known as the Lizard Man of Lee County) is a humanoid cryptid which is said to inhabit areas of swampland in and around Lee County, South Carolina along with the sewers and abandoned subways in towns near the swamp…

The first reported sighting of the creature was made by Christopher Davis, a 17 year old local, who said he encountered the creature while driving home from work at 2 AM on June 29, 1988. According to his account, Davis stopped on a road bordering Scape Ore Swamp in order to change a tire which had blown out. When he was finishing up he reported having heard a thumping noise from behind him and having turned around to see the creature running towards him.

Davis said the creature tried to grab at the car and then jumped on its roof as he tried to escape, clinging on to it as Davis swerved from side to side in an effort to throw it off. After he returned home, Davis’ side-view-mirror was found to be badly damaged, and scratch marks were found on the car’s roof, though there was no other physical evidence of his encounter.

“I looked back and saw something running across the field towards me. It was about 25 yards away and I saw red eyes glowing. I ran into the car and as I locked it, the thing grabbed the door handle. I could see him from the neck down – the three big fingers, long black nails and green rough skin. It was strong and angry. I looked in my mirror and saw a blur of green running. I could see his toes and then he jumped on the roof of my car. I thought I heard a grunt and then I could see his fingers through the front windshield, where they curled around on the roof. I sped up and swerved to shake the creature off.”

In the month that followed the Davis sighting there were several further reports of a large lizard like creature, and of unusual scratches and bite marks found on cars parked close to the swamp. Most of these are said to have occurred within a 3 miles (5 km) radius of the swamps of Bishopville.

Written by Mitch Waxman

June 20, 2011 at 2:03 pm

One Response

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  1. Sir, I take great exception to that scurrilous quote from Wikipedia, that infamous compendium of misinformation. Why of all the confounded things! To think that I should be cavourting about some God-forsaken backwoods in South Carolina chewing on some redneck’s pick-up truck as if I were some ignorant chupacabra pesant. What an insufferable nuisance that I should be blamed for what can only be the juvenile antics of that ne’er-do-well, reprobate, Mothman!

    Waxman you rascal, to think you have chosen to link me, a respectable, Oxford educated reptile through that salacious Wikipedia quote with that festering putrescence called the Newtown Creek is outrageous.
    By Gad, you saucy fellow, how cheeky of you!
    I do hope you’re not suggesting that I inhabit that flagitiosus cloaca otherwise I shan’t gain you entry into the Oddfellows Club again.

    Not withstanding all else, I do rather enjoy your surrealistic meanderings about the Newtown Pentacle. I suppose a certain amount of that rather American irreverence is to be expected. My old friend, the late Howard Philip would be quite proud. But should it happen again, I warn you Sir, an angry letter to the Times will follow.
    Good Day to you and convey my best regards to Her Ladyship.

    Yours Most Truly,
    Sir Man Lizard, OBE, K of C.

    Man Lizard

    June 22, 2011 at 8:55 pm

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