The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Archive for December 21st, 2020

inevitable razing

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Merry Monday, true believers.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Recent endeavor found one wandering about the Astoria section of Queens. While I was waiting for the N train pictured above to enter the frame, some fellow walked up to me and said “excuse me.” Figuring that he was about to ask for directions, I said “yeah, wassup.” The fellow then informed me of his nationality – Egyptian – and that he was hated by the local population of both his nationality and by those Astorians who originate from the nation of Morocco. He continued on, informing me that the North African community of Astoria had forced him to move out of the neighborhood some eight times, and that he intended on buying a gun which he would use to shoot precisely fifty people in pursuit of vengeance for his suffering. I let him know that I thought this was a bad plan and that he should rethink things.

I then said “if you’ll excuse me, I have to take a picture of that train,” which seemed to form a good enough or acceptable excuse for me to stop talking to him. He continued along 31st street in a generally southern direction, whereas I headed north and then west after capturing the image above.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

“Wackadoodle” is the word one such as myself uses to describe the inebriates and sanity compromised creatures of the street I often encounter. 99% of the time, wackadoodles are entirely harmless and fairly sympathetic creatures. You have to worry about the 1%, but part of the skill set of a New Yorker can be described as being “teflon” and not allowing anything to stick to you.

Just the other night, there was a superficially East Asian and quite middle aged woman who was pushing three loaded shopping carts down Northern Blvd. She would move one of the trio of carts forward while laughing maniacally, then as she walked backwards to move the next cart her exhortation mimicked the “caw caw” sound of gulls. Forward motion saw a return to hilarious and somewhat maniacal cackling. By “maniacal cackling” I mean literal the “HA HA HA heh HA Ha” sort of laughter, which was audible some two blocks away.

Wackadoodles abound.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One has been looking over his shoulder more often than usual in the last few months. There’s a lot of desperation out there in the world right now, and a significant population of people who struggle with their sanity under the best of circumstances are drowning right now under all of the stressors introduced by the pandemic. Wish I could say I’m being paranoid, or succumbing to my own psychological and mental handicaps, but I’m not.

As a note, long time friends will tell you that a humble narrator is an absolute magnet for the wackadoodles. For one reason or another, I seem to be considered quite approachable by these folks. I’ve had to develop a series of ” Teflon dodges,” accordingly.

My favorite one is to say “Listen, they’re watching and videotaping me right now bro, get the eff out of here before they recognize you too.” “The President has his hand in my pocket, yo.” That usually gets me a knowing look or a wink, and the wackadoodle wanders off, feeling that he’s met a comrade in arms.

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.

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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 21, 2020 at 1:05 pm

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