The Newtown Pentacle

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Archive for October 16th, 2020

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

After my encounter with the elemental forces of Industrial Maspeth at the Plank Road, wherein a cataract of broken water main fluids sought to sweep me into the Newtown Creek, a humble narrator was feeling pretty haughty. It was a full moon, after all, and here I was in the happy place. Saying that, one was still full of vinegar and a particularly long photowalk continued apace.

By the time I got home to Astoria on this particular night, I had covered about ten miles worth of ground. Only half of it was arduous, as I was walking against the rotation of the planet. Walking is easier if you just let the world turn under your feet. I’ve always wondered if you can move fast enough (in an atmosphere) to just be standing still, while allowing the world to spin around below your shoes. I’ve always wanted to form a fixed point in space/time.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Unfortunately, a humble narrator moves at a fairly predictable speed which aligns neatly with average human walking velocity. I’ve got a whole series of different gaits that are cycled through on my walks. Long strides, quick steps, sauntering… one tries to work different groups of muscles when out for a walk.

Always, though, I’m moving in shadow. I wish and fantasize about some sort of Harry Potter magick cloak which would render me invisible to passerby. Imagine it – you’re doing something and then you suddenly start hearing a DSLR shutter flipping about in a patch of empty space. Of course, there’s no such thing as empty – even the voids of outer space are laced with thinly dispersed energetic particles and molecular remnants. If you think about, stars and planets are ultimately congealed piles of space junk. Romantic, ain’t it?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My path back to Astoria carried me down 43rd street, through the terrifying tunnel sidewalk leading from Blissville to Sunnyside. This is my “put the mask back on” spot, by the way. Generally speaking, once I arrive at an area where there’s nobody else, I pull the thing off. Once an area where you can’t either “distance” or be alone has been reached it’s all mask all the time for me. Read that as 43rd street between the LIE and Skillman/39th Avenue, for instance. I’ve been picking my paths to favor being unmasked for a couple of months now, but again, depends on circumstance.

One thing that’s really been cooking my carrots about the mask thing has been that since my face is covered, excess body heat normally radiated by breathing and the mass of small blood vessels found in the face has forced me to stop wearing the baseball style caps which are normally part of my daily ensembles. It’s the small things which always strike me in times of tumult. Carrying a little bottle of hand sanitizer, which breaks all my rules about having liquids secreted about my person? Not wearing a cap?

The big problem, and I’m not being facetious here, is that I wear glasses full time at my advanced age and the breath fogging introduced to this practice by wearing a mask has found me crossing Queens Boulevard – at night – without a crystal clear view of oncoming traffic. Crossing the boulevard of death without being able to see the reaper coming for you? Brr. See y’all next week at this – your Newtown Pentacle.

Note: I’m writing this and several of the posts you’re going to see for the next week at the beginning of the week of Monday, October 12th. My plan is to continue doing my solo photo walks around LIC and the Newtown Creek in the dead of night as long as that’s feasible. If you continue to see regular updates here, that means everything is kosher as far as health and well being. If the blog stops updating, it means that things have gone badly for a humble narrator.

“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

October 16, 2020 at 11:00 am

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