The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Archive for December 2018

damn’d uncomfortable

with one comment

Another one down.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Metaphorical allusions notwithstanding, somebody literally crucified Minnie Mouse on a chain link fence for Christmas, over in Woodside. There’s some grandiose commentary one could offer about corporatism in the shot above, but I’ll leave that for the Neo Marxists to flesh out, as I ascribe to the Freudian aphorism that “sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.” Got this one yesterday, while taking an afternoon constitutional that saw me cutting over from Astoria to Sunnyside, and then tipping my lens into Woodside on the way back to HQ. It was colder out than the actual temperature would have indicated, for some reason, but that’s Queens for you. She’s mysterious, unpredictable, and always surprising.

I’ll remember 2018 for the weather, which was lousy all year, and often felt like it was raining for weeks at a time.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A couple of nights ago, one went out for a night time scuttle in the light industrial zone found alongside the Queensboro Bridge. File the shot above under “the things they didn’t tell Amazon,” which is part of a fairly large portfolio of existential issues which the residents of Queens just deal with during their daily rounds. There’s a long list of these issues with which the City government lets us know that they consider us “less than,” and it’s going to be quite interesting to see how they deal with them now that the “fancy people” whom they care about are coming to town.

You really don’t see this sort of thing in Manhattan, and if you do, you don’t see a dilapidated or dangerous condition persist for months or years. In Queens, you do.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

2019 is at hand, and I’m supposed to be making a list of resolutions – as your friendly neighborhood blogger – for the next interval. Announce a new set of plans, begin a new project, that sort of claptrap. How’s this sound?

Be nicer to people you don’t understand or like, instead of being “tolerant.” Shut up and listen when somebody who says things you don’t like is talking, instead of trying to shout them down before they finish their statement. Stop worrying about things that are “beyond your pay grade” and do something about issues which affect you on a local or personal level. Go to a community board meeting and voice up to the “powers that be.” Get to know the local Cops when you’re there. Stop littering. Embrace the concept of “having a little shame,” and remind people that they’re not “the One, like Neo from the Matrix,” and they’re just another schmuck who is no different or more special than anybody else. That life is a giant shit sandwich from which we all have to take a bite. That we all do better when we’re all doing better. Be kind.

Also, crucifying Minnie Mouse is just wrong, man.


“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

December 31, 2018 at 1:30 pm

vital change

with 4 comments

DUKBO, in today’s all ‘effed up post.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Before you ask, no, I didn’t get any shots of the Astoria Borealis. I was too busy running around HQ and unplugging all my gear. Not my first Con Ed rodeo here in Astoria, and experience has expensively taught me to unplug the gear when weird electrical things are occurring. Now, back to…

Laurel Hill Blvd. used to be the legal border between Maspeth and Long Island City, and in those halcyon days before NYC consolidation, nobody used the term “Queens.” They sort of made that one up in 1898, the Tammany boys did. This “angle” between neighborhoods is often visited by a humble narrator, and given the deserted and lonely condition of the place it’s where one such as myself belongs. I shouldn’t be around people, preferring as I do the darkness found amongst these places of abandonment, broken pavement, and poisoned soil.

At this particular moment, still reeling from all the smiling and comraderie of the holiday season, one is not unlike a regularly beaten animal – vicious and ready to bite.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Whilst hanging about the fencelines of a cemetery at night, as one does, I was busy mentally considering my “book of rules,” specifically the section that discusses the verbalization or offering of threats. My “book of rules” is a codified series of truisms which I’ve created or collected for myself over the years. Every man should have a code, I believe. Mine includes “say what you do and do what you say,” amongst others, but in the case of the “threats” subsection of the larger “aggressive behavior” chapter heading I’ve been thinking about adding a few things lately. There’s a couple I’ve picked up from others like Nietzche’s “regret is like chewing on a stone and has the same result” or Shaka Zulu’s “never leave an enemy alive or he will rise again to strike at your throat.” Mainly, these revisions to the code revolve around, and advise, specificity. There’s a whole section on “That’s how they getcha” which advises against ordering pasta as a main course in restaurants, but that’s a different story.

On the threat front, it’s far more effective – in my experience – to offer “I’m going to take your eyes” or “I’m going to break your arm, the left one, above the elbow” than more generalized statements revolving around the kicking or punching of the various sections of an enemy’s anatomy. Also, “I’m going to end you” is just way, way too vague.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

When I’m out at night taking photos of junkyards and construction sites, one is attempting to use every watt of brain energy he’s got, which isn’t much so I have to ration. In addition to watching out for the approach of vehicular traffic or malign examples of the local population, and avoiding obstacles or pitfalls in my path, as I’m composing photos and operating the camera, there’s generally an audiobook or podcast playing through my headphones. In another layer of thought, I’m engaging in an inner dialogue which focuses on times I’ve been wronged without redress (the shot above involved reliving the time in Third Grade that Karen Yee told the teacher that I’d kicked her on the stairs while our class was going down to assembly. I was innocent then, and now, and Karen Yee can burn in the hell of liars). Yet another layer is constantly revising the codification of the “Book of Rules” which, as mentioned above, revolve around several topics. “Don’t eat shellfish at the start of a vacation,” for instance.

Also, I had to pee.


“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

husky whisper

leave a comment »

Back in session.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Pictured above is the fabulous Newtown Creek, and the currently undefended border of Brooklyn and Queens. A humble narrator had multiple errands to run the day this shot was captured, including recoding a pretty neat moment in the history of the Greenpoint side of DUKBO (Down Under the Kosciuszcko Bridge Onramp), which I’ll describe in a later post. In consideration of my too tight scheduling that particular day, and a sudden urgency evinced by my landlord to gain access to HQ in order to conduct a nebulous series of repairs, one found himself in a for-hire vehicle heading towards Brooklyn from Astoria on the Brooklyn Queens Expressway and upon the Kosciuszcko Bridge over the aforementioned but still fabulous Newtown Creek.

I figured that since I was paying for the ride anyway, I might as well get something out of it other than mere conveyance, so the window was rolled down and… you know the rest, there it is up there.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Bored and overwhelmed by the schedule of holiday events one found himself attending recently, a rare night at home revealed an NYPD car sitting on my corner for a couple of hours, which caught my attention. Since I was bored and the cops didn’t seem to be doing anything particularly interesting other than sitting there, I decided to get artsy fartsy and use my tripod to get a portrait shot of the scene here in Astoria. This was the night of that day when it stopped raining like a week ago – you remember, that time when it rained buckets for about nine thousand straight hours? Yeah? This is that night when it had just stopped raining.

Seriously, cannot tell you how bored I was at this particular point in the last week and a half, with not a lot of adventure to report – but it was nice to be around people.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Just yesterday, with my holiday obligations done, a humble narrator skittered forth with the camera and out into the night. My feet just started kicking along, and soon my path had carried me from Astoria to the Degnon Terminal in Long Island City, where the fabulous Newtown Creek’s astonishing Dutch Kills tributary is found. Even after it got dark, one continued along and was soon cruising through Blissville. Nearby Blissville’s border with Industrial Maspeth, the southern – or Penny Bridge – gates of First Calvary Cemetery are found, and that’s where one found himself just last night whilst stabbing at the shutter button.

Who can guess, where the heck it will be, that Mitch goes tonight?


“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

December 27, 2018 at 11:00 am

grim party

leave a comment »

Merry merry.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A humble narrator is taking this week and the first half of next off, so singular images will be greeting you through the week. Have a joylessly laconic Festivus, a Merry Christmas, and a Kwazy Kwanzaa.

Be back on the 27th to finish up the year at this. your Newtown Pentacle.


“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

December 26, 2018 at 11:00 am

typewritten notes

with one comment

Merry merry.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A humble narrator is taking this week and the first half of next off, so singular images will be greeting you through the week. Have a joylessly laconic Festivus, a Merry Christmas, and a Kwazy Kwanzaa.

Be back on the 27th to finish up the year at this. your Newtown Pentacle.


“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

December 25, 2018 at 11:00 am

hopelessly alien

with one comment

Merry merry.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A humble narrator is taking this week and the first half of next off, so singular images will be greeting you through the week. Have a joylessly laconic Festivus, a Merry Christmas, and a Kwazy Kwanzaa.

Be back on the 27th to finish up the year at this. your Newtown Pentacle.


“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

December 24, 2018 at 11:00 am

particular period

leave a comment »

Merry merry.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A humble narrator is taking this week and the first half of next off, so singular images will be greeting you through the week. Have a joylessly laconic Festivus, a Merry Christmas, and a Kwazy Kwanzaa.

Be back on the 27th to finish up the year at this. your Newtown Pentacle.


“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

December 21, 2018 at 11:00 am

%d bloggers like this: