The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

sickly complected

with one comment

It’s National Bouillabaisse Day, in these United States.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Cliché, a “New Yorkers walking through steam boiling out of a lower Manhattan street grate” shot is presented above. Often, whilst moving around the City, one is confronted with imagery like this. It’s a shot which people far more talented and technically adept than I have taken a thousand thousand times before, and there’s little point to adding another specimen of it to the visual lexicon but there you are. Same thing with seeing a squirrel eating an acorn while perched on a fence or something. You just have to click the shutter.

This time of year, I don’t have much going on anyway, might as well take what the City offers you when it comes along.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Often has a humble narrator asserted that NYC is embedded with psychic firmament, and that the city itself is somewhat sentient – a “being” possessed of a seething cauldron of emotions and a radiant intellect. I believe the City to be female in gender and temperament – a mother goddess like the Hellenic “Hera.” She likes to mess with you, throwing pedantic and existential obstacles or tests your way, the city does.

“Oh great” usually precedes many of my observations concerning the MTA, or the sudden appearance of any number of City agency or utility employees on my block. “Oh great, Verizon is setting up on my corner at midnight. And, they’ve got a backhoe with them…” is the last one I can recall uttering. Occasionally it will be stated as “Wow, there’s a lot of Cops here all of a sudden.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Thing is, the City is eternal. Long after the American experiment has faded away, New York City will still live on in some sort of decedent form. Cities almost always seem to live on in one form or another long after the Empire has fallen; Rome, Memphis, London, Istanbul, Beijing, Persepolis, Tokyo, Damascus… Babylon the great always falls. A certain point of view often comes up in modern conversations which looks back to a period just one century ago in NYC as some sort of heroic age. Giants existed, who built subways and great bridges and highways and tunnels. These giants are long gone, and we marvel at their works, which we lesser beings are barely able to maintain.

What do I know? I’m just some wandering mendicant in a filthy black raincoat, scuttling along the streets of an eternal elder goddess/City which is possessed of a malefic sense of humor, carrying a camera.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle


Written by Mitch Waxman

December 14, 2017 at 1:30 pm

One Response

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  1. Mitch, the City’s divine zeitgeist only lives in stories, fables, and those few parts as yet untrammeled by any passerby bearing a smartphone (or at least, mercifully, ignored by them)

    The spirit lives in the few twinned souls able to tap and see into the past, of which I maybe count you as one. If not, you masquerade well enough. Ironically, you do realize, you are actually an agent of destruction, you know. At least you dutifully record that which you will inevitably harbinger the passage of.

    Oh, I don’t mean the pollution or dumping. Those, no one wants to remain. But you should be savvy enough to acknowledge that such swamps act as natural barriers to the great consuming Glass Plague, insulating and protecting adjacent communities. Should you itch to follow the rising sun, Waxman, let me warn: I like you, but keep to your haunts. My holds have been immortalized by Seyfried, and have safely been hid by the monikers ‘forgotten’ and ‘vanished’. It is harder to find and change that which has been looked over, invisible, and utterly occupied by an immutable Other. And that is how I like it. Herald changes in your shrinking copse, alone, please – mine I patrol by foot and word of mouth – no pictures needed, no pictures necessary.

    The sun will rise on new bridges, on clean creeks, and over shining struts – and be proud of the hand you may have had in that, when you are training your lens on the glass pencil boxes studding those new waterfronts.

    The glass plague may wholly consume the swamp of yesteryear, and leave everything in its wake sanitized, shining, glassy, and utterly grime and grass-free. Will you bow your head when those self-same tendrils reach your little homestead, in acknowledgement of the role you played? Admire the sunlight and wind while you can see still see and feel it, wherever you can.

    It is something those who live in the now of social media, twitterlings, pop-up twee cupcake stands, twitter, outrage-pc-culture are blind too, sadly. Blogs, sadly, are part of that. They invite attention. Attention, most of the time, is a Bad Thing. But what else could you have done but capture what you saw? I don’t blame you.

    Did you see, there are no cobblestones left. Did you hear – there are no scary, bad men on the radio anymore. The NWO has made sure those fellows will never trouble anyone again, with their bothersome personalities that refuse to kow-tow to the new Way of Things.

    Mitch – you should’ve mortgaged your cameras and moved to a place by the bay. Inevitably, inexorably – you will be displaced, whether you call it moving onward or for what it truly is when the time comes. I will mourn this blog then, from where I’ve cemented myself.


    December 14, 2017 at 5:40 pm

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