The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

dusty shelves

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East River in the dark.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One was invited to a holiday party in Lower Manhattan the other night, and a humble narrator fairly abhors holiday parties, but the reason I went was to “show my face” and then excuse myself so I could do some shooting. The party was lovely, filled with friends old and new whom I enjoy both working and personal relationships with. Thing is, and I have to remind myself of this periodically, I don’t belong amongst people. Every minute that I’m not out and about shooting is a waste of my time, essentially, but since there is a part of me that could still be considered human you need to “feed the beast” occasionally. Allowing what’s left of my soul a bit of convivial solace and warmth periodically is as necessary as eating meals or pooping, essentially, but when you really get down to it none of that personal stuff matters. Everybody dies, moves away, or just writes you off in the end and all that really matters is the work. Everybody secretly (or not so secretly) hates me anyway, and it’s always a relief for them to see me walking away into the dark.

Accordingly, one bundled up his filthy black overcoat and set off into the nighted streets of the Shining City.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The House of Moses is what I call the East River shoreline of lower Manhattan, which in recent years has seen a spartan park appear beneath Robert Moses’ grandiose FDR Drive. My singular superpower is the ability to see through time, which makes the POV in any shots captured along this byway depressing. Once upon, and long ago, this was one of the busiest maritime centers upon the planet, the destination of hundreds of thousand of ships. Today it’s a relic, a waterfront curiosity for lookie loos, and a window into the short term thinking of an era defined by terminologies like “stagflation.”

Pictured above is one of the remaining sandy beaches along the East River, and the only one I know about in this part of Manhattan. I called a couple of people I know who would be able to tell me exactly how many sandy beaches there are on the East River, as a note, but in both cases my call went directly to voicemail. That happens a lot to me these days, which sort of confirms the dire portent and bleak future thing currently embraced by one such as myself.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s the Manhattan Bridge on the left, and the Brooklyn Bridge on the right in the shot above. For some incomprehensible reason, the FDR Drive framing the shot has recently been painted purple. I’m not quite sure about the choice of coloration, as in why they chose purple, but it’s probably a De Blasio thing (does purple equate to equity, or fairness, or just some other high handed and sanctimonious bullshit?). At least they didn’t use LED lights to saturate the atmosphere with garishly colored lighting.

As a note, it was freaking freezing out when I was shooting these, but the dissolute cold felt welcoming and mirrored that psychological and emotional vacuum which a humble narrator calls life.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

December 7, 2018 at 1:00 pm

5 Responses

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  1. How come you never or hardly ever have people in your photos? How about a selfie now and then? With tne filthy black raincoat to boot. If not, maybe a cast shadow falling across the desolation?

    georgetheatheist . . . Existential is as existential does.

    December 7, 2018 at 1:40 pm

    • r_181026183_beat0089_a

      Mitch Waxman

      December 7, 2018 at 1:50 pm

      • Thank you. Very good, sir. (Even though it’s 6 weeks old) But where’s the rest of us, everybody else?

        georgetheatheist . . . Existential is as existential does.

        December 7, 2018 at 6:19 pm

  2. The “Almost Purple” paint was picked by the trendy ‘SHoP’ architects, likely for some trendy reason

    As a sidenote – have you ever tried the digital ‘Night Sight’ modes on the newer Google smartphones? Was wondering what you thought of it/how it compared to the more traditional means.


    December 7, 2018 at 2:00 pm

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