The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

sylvan bower

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

Snarling guardians of the public good offer a fierce defense when they discern that a passerby is carrying that veritable thunderbolt of the gods, a weapon fiercer than any other, which is called a camera. The theft and imprisonment of valuable photons in digital form is surely the greatest menace faced not just by America… nay… but by the entire World itself.

The glint of recognition crosses their noble brows, followed by a surprised glance at the lens toting madman’s face. Surely the thing he’s carrying says “Canon” for a reason they think, and then they imagine what might happen should it be pointed at them. Irritation is doubled by the fact that I NEVER cross fence lines or do any of the crazy “Urban Explorer” derring do, or climb bridges the way my pal Dave Frieder used to.

I’m like a Vampire, I need to be invited in to do my work. I also don’t like when people clunk up my shots.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The guardians, like certain employees of this seemingly wholesome scrap metal operation on Provost Street in Greenpoint, grow incensed at the very mention of such devices. Confrontation of the animal invader with its dangerous weapon occurs, and wild interpretations of civil code are shouted at it.

Puzzled, an odd mendicant with a penchant for flowery prose and long wanderings about a certain Creek- with just such a weapon in hand- was forced to remove his headphones when confronted by one of these guardians recently. Interaction with the human hive is anathema.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Most of what I wanted to say to this fellow could probably be construed as a hate crime in California, but this is Greenpoint in Brooklyn- so I toned it down a bit- but, since he volunteered and all…

I sort of began an impromptu lecture on constitutional rights, the importance of the recycling industry in which he was gainfully employed, the fact that there are no laws in the United States forbidding photography except around certain Federal facilities (inside, but not outside, a secure Military or Intelligence base, airline security etc.), certain radical notions I have about the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby, and avoided questioning the parentage of his mother out of respect for the dear lady. He turned and walked away when I whipped out a pocket edition of the Bill of Rights which I keep in my camera bag.

Upcoming tours:

Parks and Petroleum- Sunday, May 12, 2013
Newtown Creek walking tour with Mitch Waxman and Newtown Creek Alliance, tickets now on sale.

The Insalubrious Valley– Saturday, May 25, 2013
Newtown Creek walking tour with Mitch Waxman and Atlas Obscura, tickets now on sale.

Hidden Harbor: Newtown Creek tour with Mitch Waxman – Sunday, May 26,2013
Boat tour presented by the Working Harbor Committee,
Limited seating available, order advance tickets now. Group rates available.

for a full listing and schedule of tours and events, click here

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Written by Mitch Waxman

May 9, 2013 at 12:29 am

3 Responses

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  1. “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom..of the press…” vs. “See something. Say something.”

    georgetheatheist...Madisonially inclined

    May 9, 2013 at 1:05 am

  2. BTW Mitch. Whenever some self-righteous blowhard on the public thoroughfare questions my taking photos, I cut them short and the first thing I say to them is “Who wants to know? Show me your credentials. Show me your ID.” Then we talk. I throw it back at them before they ever throw it at me.

    georgetheatheist...Madisonially inclined

    May 9, 2013 at 10:55 am

    • It’s just such a pain in the neck. I’d like to point out that the same jackhole who hassles you and me has his yard festooned with security cameras watching the thoroughfare. I’ve got a collection of shots of security cameras. I like to think that between my sensor and theirs and infinity mirror mirror effect sets up. Argghhh. I don’t come to their place of employment and slap the d**k out of their mouth.

      Mitch Waxman

      May 9, 2013 at 11:14 am


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