The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

strangely aromatic

with 4 comments

Walden had his pond…

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Last month, we had a bit of snow, so one made it a point of marching over to the Dutch Kills tributary of Newtown Creek with the hope of photographing a certain tree (pictured above) which I’ve been shooting all year surrounded by frosty goodness. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, the western shore of the waterway it is rooted into was free of powder and ice. Oh well. Got busy anyway, despite not being able to feel my fingertips. As a note, manipulating camera controls when you can’t feel your fingers is a challenge.

I’ve become quite emotionally attached to this self seeded urban cultivar over the last year, and it’s come to represent something to me during the pandemic. It’s stalwart, and despite having sprouted under a factory and along the banks of a superfund listed waterway, it grows and grows. Someday I’m going to arrive at this spot and some jerk will have cut it down. Odds are I’ll drop to my knees and start bawling like a newborn.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One is desperately hanging onto sanity with his cold numbed fingertips at the moment. The level of anxiety I’m experiencing is massive. This is something I’ve been trying to be quite open about with friends and acquaintances, for a couple of reasons. One is that I’m fairly good in crisis situations, and am usually the person that you call when you’re in trouble or just having a hard time. One of my little mantras is “there’s plenty of time to freak out, cry and scream later, right now we need to deal with “this.” I’ve never understood the need people have to express their pique or disbelief that their house is on fire, running about hysterically, instead of setting about the process of extinguishing the flames. When the shit hits the fan… you have to be the Rock of Gibralter.

If somebody like me is feeling this level of constant anxiety, as there has been a constant wave of shit hitting all the fans for a long time now, I can’t imagine how difficult it is for others who don’t have the psychological toolkit I developed as the child of a malignant narcissist. You’re not alone, we’re all feeling it. Hang in there, the finish line where you get a needle jabbed into your shoulder, go back to work and a social life, and we start rebuilding the world is just around the corner.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The shot above is one of the focus stacking arrangements I’ve been experimenting with. This one uses differing exposures to find some sort of middle point between the brighter than daylight lighting of the FedEx last mile shipping hub and the darker than Satan’s heart ambience of Dutch Kills’ eastern bank which it adjoins.

There were Canada Geese rolling around in the water, and as you know, Canada Geese are dicks. Once got into a fist fight with a Canada Goose, but that’s another story.

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, January 11th. 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

January 12, 2021 at 2:35 pm

4 Responses

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  1. Ever try using those powdered packets of hand warmers ?

    georgetheatheist . . . can’

    January 12, 2021 at 2:53 pm

  2. Scary days. Scary days.
    Thanks for the pep talk.

    Jaye Haviland

    January 12, 2021 at 3:00 pm

  3. All I can say to all of us who follow Mitch and are like minded is let’s keep trying to hang in, keep positive if its at all possible, and reach out if we need to connect. Try to keep safe, best wishes,

    Barbara Pryor

    January 12, 2021 at 10:11 pm

  4. Love the photos. Hang in there Mr Waxman. I use vodka but I’m old and retired on a pension and I know you wouldn’t resort to that kind of dead-end solution. Thank G-d for the functioning judiciary and law enforcement in our country. The question is, how to support it.


    January 17, 2021 at 8:14 pm

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