The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Archive for January 2018

in researches

with 2 comments

A cholesterol festival.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Astoria has a reputation for being home to some of the best restaurants in NYC, which is something that I honestly cannot say that I agree with. There’s a few gems, just like in every neighborhood, but… “best?” Also, on the side of Astoria I live on, we ain’t got that many Greeks. People hailing from the former Yugoslavia actually seem to be the largest single “group” hereabouts, at least in my experience. Saying that, the population is so heterogenous that it’s hard to point at any one group that dominates, until you start looking at “racial” populations (Black, White, Latino etc.). Even then, things are pretty evenly distributed around here.

That’s actually pretty good news, as far as the restaurant thing goes, as there’s usually something new to try. I will always, however, regret trying the Bosnian Chicken Soup at some joint on 30th avenue which would have never be considered one of the City’s “best” we’re it still open. Feh… The dish above was served at a no longer extant operation called the Queens Kickshaw on Astoria’s Broadway nearby Steinway Street.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Pictured above is a Mediterranean lunch pie dealie, which was on offer at Sacs Pizzeria on Astoria’s Broadway. If you haven’t been, Sacs is highly recommended. The pie was basically spinach, feta, onions, and a few other hits of green veg baked in a pastry shell. They do “normal” pizza as well, and there’s a sit down side to the place where you can do a whole Italian meal.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Also on Astoria’s Broadway, and just down the block from Newtown Pentacle HQ is Muncan’s. This is an old school European smoked and cured meats shop, and they make all sorts of sausages, salamis, prociutto on site. They have a smoke house in the back yard of their shop and my practice is to be out drinking my coffee when they open the flues of the place in the morning. The bacon wind, as I refer to it, offers all the joy of smoked pork with zero cholesterol. Win!

A recent bout of Flu has left a humble narrator a bit worse for wear, and short on new content this week. Accordingly, shots from the archives have been pulled and will be presented thusly, as this – your Newtown Pentacle.


“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

January 31, 2018 at 11:00 am

Posted in Photowalks, Pickman

Tagged with ,

other hand

with one comment

Did a shave and a haircut ever actually cost “two bits,” also, what’s a “bit” worth in 2018 money?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Back in 2015, whilst bumming around the East River waterfront in LIC, one took a picture of a seaplane. That’s it, right up there. Difficult shot to pull off, this was, what with the burning thermonuclear eye of God itself hanging directly behind the venerable Empire State Building. The City really was shining that day.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

In 2017, I took a different photo, this time it was of a train. Specifically a Long Island Railroad train, crossing Borden Avenue in Long Island City and heading towards the Hunters Point Yard. This is one of my favorite spots in Queens, and a humble narrator will often be spotted while grievously squatting upon a pedestrian bridge over the track. Look for a corpulent vulture like thing with a camera, that’s me.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Here in Astoria, this 1957 Pontiac Star-Chief was noticed and photographed on a lovely afternoon in 2013.

A recent bout of Flu has left a humble narrator a bit worse for wear, and short on new content this week. Accordingly, shots from the archives have been pulled and will be presented thusly, as this – your Newtown Pentacle.


“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

January 30, 2018 at 11:00 am

Posted in Photowalks, Pickman

Tagged with , ,

assured by

with one comment

Critters I’ve met over the years… they all hated me, even the dead one.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Back in 2010, I scared the hell out of this rat in an Industrial Maspeth warehouse by setting off a camera flash. It said “Eep.” Then, it scurried behind a giant bale of cardboard just as the place returned to near darkness. The next time my flash went off, the rat was back, with a bunch of his pals. I skeddaddled, you can’t mess around with a squad of rats in the dark and expect to come home without some lasting physical or psychic scar tissue.

You don’t fool around in Industrial Maspeth.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

In 2016, this skeletonized cat was encountered up on the Montauk Cutoff railroad tracks. In recent years the number of carcasses I’ve been spotting along the streets has noticeably diminished. I’d estimate 2011 as being the recent high water mark for encountering “dead things” on the streets of Brooklyn and Queens. Lots of pigeons, and other birds too. Scores of what we’d call “flat rats” back in the old neighborhood. A few cats, one or two possums, or the odd raccoon.

You don’t see stray dogs anymore.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

In 2013, this Rooster was encountered in upstate New York. He was kind of a jerk, if you ask me.

A recent bout of Flu has left a humble narrator a bit worse for wear, and short on new content this week. Accordingly, shots from the archives have been pulled and will be presented thusly, as this – your Newtown Pentacle.


“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

January 29, 2018 at 11:00 am

Posted in animals, Photowalks, Pickman

Tagged with ,

smoldering hillocks

with one comment

One has never had the makings of a varsity athlete.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My “flutastic” week is nearly over, wherein a vast and somewhat hallucinatory experience with a viral infection has nearly been completed. This year’s variant of the influenza virus is a doozie, as compared to the prior iterations which I’ve experienced. The worst part of it, to me at least, was the inability to achieve a lasting period of sleep. For a couple of days there, the longest interval I could muster was no more than a few hours at a pop. These brief junctures were typified by bizarre dreams, typified by one in which I was counting the forks found in my silverware drawer in the kitchen. Worst part of that was that it was a serial dream. I’d get to fork number 42 (I don’t have that many forks, incidentally) and wake up.

A couple of hours later, I’d manage to pass out and immediately resume counting with fork number 43.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A doctor friend of mine, who often was concerned about my casual disobeyance of maintaining regular sleep patterns, advised me that you need a daily minimum of seven hours for your kidneys and liver to “turn over” your blood supply.  She knew me well, and by supplying an actual scientific index and practical reason for surrendering to unconsciousness guided one towards a bit more of a sustainable lifestyle. Saying that, I’ve always hated the biological need for sleep, and resented the notion that one third of my total existence on this planet will be spent while unconscious.

I’ve never been a “tough guy” but as it has turned out, I’m fairly resilient from a physical point of view. I can drink like a Russian, endure physical pain and discomfort that would make others blanch, and there is not a single paper bag on this planet that I can’t punch my way out of. This particular physical fortitude has made me vainglorious, unfortunately, and when a minor event like an influenza infection occurs it makes one question – and more than question – my entire conception of self. Losing a few days of sleep used to be something that would roll off my back like rain, these days it’s a hammer blow to the cranium.

Also, my fork count got all the way to 764, but that was Wednesday night, which is also when I decided not to drink any more cough syrup. Fever dreams are just bizarre.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One is a bit short of content for this, your Newtown Pentacle, as a result of all this illness and hallucinatory counting. Accordingly, next week, expect a few posts of singular images which will act as placeholders while one resumes his wanderings.


“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

January 26, 2018 at 1:00 pm

plague borne

leave a comment »

That’s twice, in as many months now, that I have become infected.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A humble narrator often likes to opine that due to constant proximity to the Newtown Creek, and the immune system’s response to the many bacterial and viral pathogens encountered, that he seldom gets sick. The statement continues that “when I do come down with something, it’s a whopper.”

So much so, that as I was writing this post, I accidentally hit “publish” before it was done, but that’s the sort of week I’ve had so far. One has been in “high suffer” with some sort of viral infection – not necessarily the flu – but something “flu like” which has interrupted both sleep and regular feeding schedules. For a couple of days there, not more than forty five minutes of sleep at a time occurred, which was punctuated by what I describe as cough syrup hallucinations.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

When sleep has occurred, it has been beneath multiple blankets, which have been found to be saturated with perspiration upon awakening. That’s how the shots of laundromats figure into today’s post, if you were wondering. Curiousity wasn’t conquered by this viral onslaught by the way.

According to the NY Times, ca. 1901, the term “blanket” is actually a brand name dating back to 1339 which has become ubiquitous. Thomas Blanket manufactured a revolutionary textile product in England’s Bristol back then, which gathered admiration and protection from the crown.

Back to my personal misery – this virus is “going around” and quite a few people I know have contracted it prior to my own infection. Chills and sweats, a violent cough, and general ennui typify the experience. I’ve actually been lucky inasmuch as I’ve been hosting a later stage version of it than what others have experienced.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

For one such as myself, the worst part of the experience was missing out on the three or four days of spring like warmth and that night of heavy fog which one had been planning on exploiting fully for photographic pursuits.

All I want to do is play in traffic, after all.


“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

January 25, 2018 at 11:00 am

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: