The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

vain presence

with 10 comments

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One feels as if enough attention hasn’t been paid to Queens of late, and special efforts to program my walks have been accordingly undertaken. Ambitions and obligations have drawn me, more often than not, to Brooklyn in the last few months and it seems as if I spend my days walking back and forth to the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge more than anywhere else.

I haven’t been east of Forest Hills so far this year, nor south of Ridgewood- for instance.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Special attentions must, as always, be paid to the area around Court Square, Queens Plaza, and Hunters Point- all of which are undergoing thunderous transformations and metamorphoses. Blink just once, it seems, and an entire neighborhood might be transformed into something new and unrecognizably shiny. That thing which cannot possibly exist in the cupola of the Sapphire Megalith doesn’t ever blink, as its singular eye is lidless and likely triple lobed, but it isn’t talking.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Unadulterated and unbound, Western Queens never fails to disappoint the itinerant photographer plying its lanes. Rhapsodic, the lessons and parables freely observable and extant both inform and instruct. It is said, by physics scholars and quantum mechanists, that reality is altered merely by the act of observation itself.

A humble narrator, therefore, hopes to profoundly alter reality in the coming weeks.


Click for details on Mitch Waxman’s
Upcoming walking and boat tours of Newtown Creek, and Staten Island’s Kill Van Kull

June 30th, 2012- Working Harbor Committee Kill Van Kull walk

for June 30th tickets, click here for the Working Harbor Committee ticketing page

July 8th, 2012- Atlas Obscura Walking Tour- The Insalubrious Valley

for July 8th tickets, click here for the Atlas Obscura ticketing page

July 22nd, 2012- Working Harbor Committee Newtown Creek Boat Tour

10 Responses

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  1. Mitch, reality cannot be altered.

    From Galt’s Speech in Atlas Shrugged:

    Existence exists—and the act of grasping that statement implies two corollary axioms: that something exists which one perceives and that one exists possessing consciousness, consciousness being the faculty of perceiving that which exists.

    If nothing exists, there can be no consciousness: a consciousness with nothing to be conscious of is a contradiction in terms. A consciousness conscious of nothing but itself is a contradiction in terms: before it could identify itself as consciousness, it had to be conscious of something. If that which you claim to perceive does not exist, what you possess is not consciousness.

    Whatever the degree of your knowledge, these two—existence and consciousness—are axioms you cannot escape, these two are the irreducible primaries implied in any action you undertake, in any part of your knowledge and in its sum, from the first ray of light you perceive at the start of your life to the widest erudition you might acquire at its end. Whether you know the shape of a pebble or the structure of a solar system, the axioms remain the same: that it exists and that you know it.

    To exist is to be something, as distinguished from the nothing of nonexistence, it is to be an entity of a specific nature made of specific attributes. Centuries ago, the man who was—no matter what his errors—the greatest of your philosophers, has stated the formula defining the concept of existence and the rule of all knowledge: A is A. A thing is itself. You have never grasped the meaning of his statement. I am here to complete it: Existence is Identity, Consciousness is Identification


    June 27, 2012 at 12:52 pm

  2. Well, with that quote from a simplistic work of reductionist dogma (existence exists the way I say it exists ’cause I said so), all of the work of Heisenberg, Shrodinger, Robertson, Kennard and Wey, indeed all of quantum mechanics has been overthrown. All that math and experimentation? Who needs it when you can acquire the key to understanding the universe by slavishly following the thoughts of Ayn Rand, eh, George? PUH-LEEZE.

    Now that George has solved the unified field theory by discarding over 87 years peer reviewed, experimentally proven, empirical science, perhaps he should run along and collect his Nobel Prize.


    June 27, 2012 at 3:19 pm

  3. Uncertainty principle doesn’t state reality can be changed per se, it states reality cannot be exactly measured outside of a margin of error and therefore cannot be precisely defined or determined. On a sub-atomic or quantum level, it states that the state, or spin, of a particle exists in more than one state, or in multiple waveforms, until it’s observed and then it collapses into one defined waveform.


    June 27, 2012 at 3:39 pm

  4. Blah, blah, blah. “A is a.” – Aristotle (“PUH-LEEZE” – LOL. What a pompous jerk.)


    June 28, 2012 at 8:59 am

    • Mitch is going to “profoundly alter reality”? Move over Penn and Teller.


      June 28, 2012 at 9:02 am

    • Oh George, you sooo crazy!


      June 29, 2012 at 12:24 pm

  5. Right…the Vain Presence of the writer’s haughty ego trying to come off as profoundly insightful.

    “Rhapsodic, the lessons and parables freely observable and extant both inform and instruct. It is said, by physics scholars and quantum mechanists, that reality is altered merely by the act of observation itself.”

    Bad B movie script.

    cupola, lidless, itinerant…..yawn…stick to photography.

    Cav…we do not live at the sub atomic level…come back to us!

    Mr. Roark

    June 29, 2012 at 12:41 am

    • Never left this level and sorry to have gone off on a tangent, Roark.

      Things that happen on the sub-atomic level do have some very minor effects on our level. Ever wonder why every measuring device and electronic component made has a limit of accuracy? That’s the uncertainty principle at work.

      Except maybe in the Randian Universe where heretics who think outside Ayn’s objectivist box are berated as Aristotlians (?). 😀

      My bad, should’ve made this point clear the first time.


      June 29, 2012 at 1:20 pm

      • So placed on a scale, which should hold more weight? The concept of Reason, which Rand’s philosophy, the Enlightenment, and all that is good in this physical world is based…or your hypothesis concerning those numerous times we question why there aren’t more lines on our tape measure? My “Certainty” Principle states that humans that avoid Reason will live a life of floating abstractions….and right 😉 …you would be more of Platonic soul to an Objectivist if you acted as such…. 🙂

        Mr. Roark

        June 29, 2012 at 3:42 pm

  6. Mitch, are you going to saw a lady in half? And then glue her back together? I’ve got my front row seat and a Big Gulp. I’m so-o-o-o excited.


    June 29, 2012 at 6:19 pm

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