The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

infinitely north

with one comment


– photo by Mitch Waxman

One always tries to record the gear he encounters. Sometimes it’s a boat or a ship operated by some municipal agency or military branch, other times it’s a cop car or a some esoteric example of the fire brigade’s arsenal of cool tools. Heading towards home one recent evening, it was an MTA Mobile Wash Unit truck that caught my eye. The great thing about municipal kit is that it is purchased via an open bid process, which the agencies are required to publicly publish, so here’s the spec if you’re interested in manufacturing and selling Mobile Wash Unit vehicles to the State of New York.

I’ve been seeing these trucks all over the place during the pandemic months, presumptively accomplishing the disinfection mandate laid down by our Sith Lord Governor – Darth Cuomo. Have you seen the video of Governor Cuomo’s recent visit to City Hall and his interaction with Bill De Blasio’s staffers? No? Here you go.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Sometimes a guy just needs a little good cheer to lift his spirits, other times you need hydraulics and a forty foot long extendable platform attached to a motorized chassis.

These lift gizmos are cool, and I want one. Were I to adopt this as my personal ride, I’d figure out a way to legally use the bike lanes – they call a lot of things “micro mobility,” nowadays Bro – and just imagine all the cool shots I could get from the extended altitude of that platform. Who needs a drone when you’ve got a “Hildskalf” like Odin. I just need two trained ravens named Hunin and Mugnin to act as spotters.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

This crane has definitively seen better days. It looks like how I feel most of the time. It’s found in a remote corner of the Newtown Creek industrial zone in Long Island City, also just like me. Am I actually a rusty crane? Existential crises abound.

This is a fairly busy week for old Mitch – tonight, Queens Community Board 1’s Transportation Committee will be meeting virtually. Tuesday night, the full CB1 group will be virtually gathered for the monthly meeting. On Wednesday, the Newtown Creek Community Advisory Group will also be meeting virtually. For information on how to attend these public meetings – click here for Queens CB1 and here for the Newtown Creek CAG.

Also coming up – this Tuesday is the fund raiser Gala for the Working Harbor Committee, and October 29th is the Tidal Toast fundraiser for Newtown Creek Alliance.

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 19th. 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 19, 2020 at 11:00 am

One Response

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  1. Best rusty crane of the week ! Mine’s a 1956 American crawler with a 60′ stick and is not quite that rusty…but you’re on the right track with the lift: I picked up a 30′ reach bucket truck for $1,500 that solved a lot of problems I didn’t know I had. See you at Wednesday night’s CAG zoomer.

    Seth Tane

    October 19, 2020 at 11:37 am

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