The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

disjointed fragments

with 4 comments

Hells Kitchen in the rain.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One of my destinations last week was a Christmas Party get together with my pals from the Working Harbor Committee at a bar in the City, specifically in the Hells Kitchen section. Well, I guess it’s Hells Kitchen as it was on 9th and 50th, which sure ain’t what you’d call the theater district. One used to be employed nearby, when the Ogilvy and Mather ad agency was based in the Worldwide Plaza building. The building owners used to save money when stocking the toilets with “consumables,” and the 1 ply stuff they’d fill the men’s room toilet paper dispensers with just didn’t sit right with me. I’d keep a couple of rolls of Charmin in my desk for when nature called. It’s the small comforts which make life worth living, I always say. I’d always make a show of taking a crap at work, since I loved, and still do, the idea of getting paid to defecate.

Pictured above is a lineup of those pedal cabs on 9th Avenue which the tourists love so much. I’ve heard them referred to as “tuk tuks” but that’s a term normally used for a sort of motorized for hire vehicle common in south east Asia. A friend of mine held a part time gig once as a repairman for these things, but then he decided to devote himself entirely to his other and more lucrative career as a Union Glazier.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A core belief of mine, mentioned many times, is that NYC never looks better than it does when it’s raining. Sure, it’s often uncomfortable and inconvenient, but our town is usually in need of a nice bath and all the reflected and refracted lights rippling around in the puddles are just magic.

Frequent commenter George the Atheist asked recently why I eschew zoom lenses in such circumstance in favor a single prime lens (in the case of these shots, 24mm). Short answer is that when the zoom lens telescopes in and out of its barrel, it tends to pull dust and moisture into the mechanism, so… rain. Additionally, I’m digging on the challenge of the limitations offered by a single focal length lens.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Tonight, there will be a Queens Community Board 1 meeting at Astoria World Manner at 6:30 which I’ll be attending. It doesn’t seem that there’s anything earth shattering on the agenda, but the good news is that as of right now it’s the last “have to” I’ve got for this decade. There’s a bunch of “I want to’s” between now and New Year’s Eve, which is good news, but they mostly revolve around libation oriented social events.

The wheel of the year turns and turns.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Buy a book!

In the Shadows at Newtown Creek,” an 88 page softcover 8.5×11 magazine format photo book by Mitch Waxman, is now on sale at for $30.

Written by Mitch Waxman

December 17, 2019 at 1:10 pm

4 Responses

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  1. Hell’s Kitchen is not only a misnomer but an outright cheat!

    I mean, where is Satan and his hellish minions? Where are the legions of demons tormenting the souls of the damned by badly cooking their own shredded flesh and giving really bad service in the bargain- in a lurid Hellraiser sort of setting ? Not a hook and chain in sight, only a pack of bourgeoisie idlers, who belong in hell, ambling about. It’s a cheat I say!

    Why it’s as bad as that wretched “monster candy” one finds during Halloween/Samhein that tastes nothing at all like monsters.

    This deserves a strongly worded letter to the Times!

    Donald Cavaioli


    December 17, 2019 at 3:35 pm

  2. I’m afraid, Mitch, there’ll be more “have-to’s” in the decade. The decade technically ends Dec. 31, 2020. Ten complete years in a “decade”: 1 to 10 and 2011 to 2020.

    I love watching how everyone gets this wrong.

    georgetheatheist . . . count 'em up.

    December 17, 2019 at 6:59 pm

    • Kubrick got it famously right in calling the movie “2001” – the very start of the 3rd millenium.

      georgetheatheist . . . count 'em up

      December 17, 2019 at 11:06 pm

  3. City always looks better in the night rain

    Tommy Efreeti

    December 30, 2019 at 2:36 pm

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