The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Archive for December 2020

degraded parody

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Thursday, and hindsight is 2020.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Survivors, rejoice. You made it. New Year’s Eve. It’s been 293 days since the New York State lockdown orders of Friday the 13th of March were announced. That’s 7,032 hours if you’re the curious type. There’s a few things I’d like you to think about as we move forward into the future, here in these United States…

The photo above depicts the Sunnyside Yards, which is rumored to have been the actual target used by the Soviets for their thermonuclear bomb tipped missiles. The United States has ostensibly been preparing and spending an astronomical amount of money for more than 70 years preparing for the various shapes which the apocalypse might take. That includes, as George W. Bush reminded us when updating the spending program twenty years ago, preparing and updating responses to attack vectors for “nuclear,” “chemical,” and “biological” weapons.

Where has all that money gone, and why were was the greatest military power in history caught so flat footed by a predictable respiratory pandemic whose scope doesn’t begin to touch what an engineered bioweapon would do to us?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Governor Nelson Rockefeller and President Richard Nixon oversaw the nationalization of local and inter city transit systems in the early 1970’s. Bankrupt private capital railroad firms were turned into publicly owned and operated “authorities” and “corporations.” Nixon created Amtrak for passenger service, and Conrail for freight. Rockefeller combined the subways, buses, and commuter trains in New York State into the Metropolitan Transit Authority. The MTA’s annual budget is 17 billion dollars. If you were to stack individual dollar bills until arriving at the amount of 17 billion, you’d have a stack of money which is 1,154.3 miles high.

Fifty years later the MTA still operates its systems as if it was day one after the nationalization of the Subways, Buses, and Penn Central commuter services, with little or no interoperability having been achieved between its various divisions in the interim, and they operate in a state of perennial near bankruptcy. Conrail is largely irrelevant these days due to the private capital underlying modern rail shipping companies like CSX, whereas Amtrak has become a political football bandied about and abused by Congressional game players. Where does all that money go, and why hasn’t NYC’s regional transit system been modernized with interoperability and shared resources in mind?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

You can vow to wean your culture off of petroleum all you want, but without massive capital expenditures and tax breaks for those having to junk and replace their “installed base” of equipment you’re just blowing hot air. You can’t just quit heroin without withdrawal symptoms, can’t stop drinking without the “DT’s,” or just quit smoking the Crack without some sort of psychotic reaction. Petroleum is a drug, which you pour over your economy to make it go “vrooooom.”

Historically, any new or novel technology – let’s say that Star Trek style unlimited and non-polluting energy reactors appear tomorrow, for instance – it would be a good 50 years before they became commonplace. New fuel sources have historically had a long adoption period where the installed base of the last energy source is phased out and the new one is deployed. In the case of wood to coal in industry, it was about 150 years. Coal to Petroleum took around 75 years, and there are still several major industries (notably manufactured gas) which consume a magnificent amount of coal. Look to the United States Navy as the bel weather on this subject.

Happy New Year, ya filthy animals!

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, December 28th. 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 blurb.com for $30.

Written by Mitch Waxman

December 31, 2020 at 2:00 pm

utmost anomalous

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Wednesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Another night, another scary walk through the dangerously deserted and scarily dark streets of the Kaufman Astoria Arts District, with its inhuman and out of scale streetscape. Since nightlife has ended, the life of the night has taken over around here. You’ve got your four legged and two legged variants of rats crawling around here, and the oligarchs who remotely administer this area from their Manhattan penthouses simply don’t care about the people of Astoria. Street lighting is sparse, the blocks are defined by long and featureless cinder block walls, and were you to find yourself in trouble you’d soon find yourself yelling and screaming into a depopulated void. At least the ubiquitous security cameras of these oligarchs, maintained to protect their buildings, might provide the Police with some evidence of what happened to you.

These are the self same oligarchs who have proposed to expand their zone of control and dominion over this land, and to create new financial siphons to feed their overseas accounts, in partnership with REBNY President Larry Silverstein (self described as “Donald Trump’s best friend”). This development project of theirs would raze away multiple acres of small businesses and homes here at the southern edge of Astoria – making way for a residential tower development styled as Innovation Queens. This project would be yet another place for the powers that be over in Manhattan to wet their beaks on the blood of the masses, and slake their thirst for more. More. More. More.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My fascination with photographing gas stations continues unabated. I should say “successfully photographing” as the new camera is far more capable of capturing the fuller dynamic range of light and color offered by these spots than my older model was.

I’m told that the vast majority of gas station owners in NYC are franchisees, although there are a handful of independents in each Borough. At the moment, there 7 major franchise brands represented in the City, with the Hess people transitioning their business model away from retail at the moment. As mentioned the other day, there are an estimated 800 gas stations found within NYC.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

In order for me to get to one of the spots which I’m typically heading to along Newtown Creek, I generally have to cross the Sunnyside Yards. Accordingly, I have a catalog of “fence holes” which I’ve discovered over the years. The good folks at Amtrak will give – add a new hole for some reason or another – and they will take away. At the moment, the lovely view seen above is available for inspection by the wandering photographer.

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, December 28th. 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 blurb.com for $30.

Written by Mitch Waxman

December 30, 2020 at 11:00 am

diminutive monkey

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Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I often wonder if all of this is actually happening or if I’m suffering the effects of coma in a hospital bed somewhere and my brain is firing off random hallucinatory ideations. Like the “this all might be a computer simulation” scenario, how could you possibly discern what is real or not if your conscious mind is trapped like a “ship in a bottle” within the delusion. Without an outside reference point, your point of perception is warped by the atmospheric container it dwells within. It’s astronomy from within the atmosphere versus the clear views available from space.

As mentioned yesterday, one ponders existential questions while wandering around Queens in the dead of night during a global pandemic.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Everyone is the hero of their own story, or at least they should be. I’m the villain of my own, or at least I find villains more interesting than the heroes, so I claim the role. Lex Luthor? He’s trying to protect the human race from an all powerful alien overlord. Joker? The only man in the entire City brave enough to laugh in the face of a sociopathic Billionaire who dresses up in bondage gear and spends his nights beating up poor people. God hates you for your sins, Lucifer loves you just as you are.

There’s around 177,000 stories living in the naked Astoria, I plan on learning a few more of them in the new year.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Incredible luck governs over me, I realize. One of the skills I’ve developed during these pandemic months is the ability to choose a path through one of the most densely populated sections of the planet which offers zero company and little or no interaction with the humans. It wasn’t terribly late, either, I’ve just managed to find something new I’m good at – avoiding company and the concomitant commiseration of microbiota that comes with it.

Cooties.

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, December 28th. 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 blurb.com for $30.

Written by Mitch Waxman

December 29, 2020 at 3:00 pm

prehensile characteristic

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The last Monday morning of 2020 is here.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Pondering, that’s what I do when I’m shlepping along and scuttling about and in between photos. My thoughts will wander to this or that, and I’ll often turn over recent conversations or arguments in my mind, wondering why I said or did something. Often, I’ll remind myself that everyone hates me. Can’t blame them either, a humble narrator is quite objectionable as a person and doesn’t really belong in the company of polite society. Too much of a wise ass. That’s always been my problem, but I just can’t stop myself. The world is hysterical, if you get the joke. I don’t, but I pick up a lot of trivia along the way, which feeds into the pondering.

I had to break the news to a friend recently that munchkins aren’t actually the punched out holes of Dunkin Donuts, which is something I thought obvious. It felt like I was telling him that Santa Claus isn’t real.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Did you know that the reason you associate eating carrots with improved eyesight via Vitamin A ingestion is actually British WW2 propaganda, propagated to hide the efficacy and existence of their novel “radar” military technology? They actually said that their “spotters” could see the Luftwaffe coming due to a carrot rich diet.

The dyes and colorings in modern military camouflage clothing are chosen primarily because of interaction with the invisible infrared spectrum used by night vision equipment, which is more important than performance in the spectrum of visible light discernible by the human eye?

Did you know that New York City has less than four days worth (supply estimate is 14.6 million gallons, primarily stored in 800 gas station underground tanks and a handful of bulk storage facilities) of the 3.4 million gallons of gasoline and diesel liquid fuels we consume every day stockpiled within our borders?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Did you know that Astoria’s 31st street used to be 2nd street Avenue, and before that it was called Debevoise Avenue? How about that the elevated tracks above it opened on February 1st in 1917?

Like I said… pondering.

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, December 28th. 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 blurb.com for $30.

Written by Mitch Waxman

December 28, 2020 at 1:00 pm

equally garrulous

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Merry Christmas, which is also Shabbos.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Just a few shots from the walk home, after visiting Hells Gate. I saw a few teenagers walking by, so I hid behind a thing for a while, cowering in apprehension of their intention or attention.

Teenagers… no impulse control.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The Bosses renamed Mighty Triborough a few years back, rechristening it as the Robert F Kennedy Memorial Bridge, and this shot depicts the area “Down Under” its off ramp. That would make this “Down Under the Robert F Kennedy Bridge Onramp” or “DURFKBO.”

I don’t know what the deal is with that glowing portal on the Triborough. I’m scared of it, and I don’t know why. It has a sinister portent.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Merry Christmas, Lords and Ladies. Tomorrow is a good opportunity for having a Kwazy Kwanzaa, don’t miss out.

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, December 21st. 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 blurb.com for $30.

Written by Mitch Waxman

December 25, 2020 at 11:00 am

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