The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

utter nullity

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

The least developed and most interesting character in the Star Wars fictional universe – to me, at least – is Emperor Shiv Palpatine. I consider him a role model, actually. Found a way to breathe life into a moribund federal state, where no societal advancement had taken place in literally centuries, created several sleek and deadly military branches, and rid his society of a conservative group of superstitious religious zealots – who armed themselves with laser swords and meddled in politics. Sure, he had to build a couple of moon sized space stations armed with planet popping cannons, but think about all the jobs that represented. In all fairness, he did nothing to confront the glaringly obvious role of the Droids as slave labor. Why do you think they used restraining bolts and wiped droid’s memory frequently? I think the reason that we don’t know much about the Emperor is because R2D2 never spent much time with him. The entire Star Wars deal is actually about the adventures of R2D2, who hung around with several generations of a single family.

Finally got to the Empire State Building observation deck last week, so lots of eye candy is coming your way, true believers. Pictured above, my beloved Creek in a wide shot with a whole lot of vignette. I was using one of my crop sensor lenses at this stage of my visit, and you can see the image circle when it’s wide. That vignette is actually the inside of the lens.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Let’s say that a humble narrator takes a few years off and goes walkabout. While traveling with Pirates and Smugglers in the South Pacific, he encounters an ancient temple nearby the island of Pohnpei. Therein, he learns of and begins to gather knowledge of the Dark Side of the Living Force. What emerges from the temple is no longer a man, he has become a Sith Lord just like Andrew Cuomo. A beeline is made for the mainland, and an overly complicated plan goes into effect which results in the overthrow of Democracy and the creation of the “American Empire of Freedom” is announced on the world stage. Ok, I’d be full Sith Lord evil – like Andrew Cuomo – so instead of a couple of Death Stars, I’d build the “Giant American Army Boot in Space.” That would look like exactly what it sounds like, by the way. A giant metal army boot that descends from the sky and grinds cities down under its heel as if they were giant cigarette butts. All the nations will tremble before the power of the American Empire of Freedom’s Giant Army Boot in Space, and thereby before that of the Emperor – Darth Mitch, Lord of the Sith.

Just realized that since the “rule of two” applies to Sith Lords, at some point I’d end up having to laser sword fight with Cuomo… I’m going to have to learn that “shoot lightning from my fingertips” deal. Scary man, him.

Same lens, same Creek, just a bit tighter in. As the thing zooms into about half of its intended range, the vignette disappears. This lens zooms out to 300mm, a focal length which I haven’t yet filled in with the lens kit for the new camera. Honestly don’t know if I will, though. If I have or want to, that’s the answer on that one.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The Sith Apprentice position would be hard to fill. Palpatine saw his guy get burned up in a volcano, and had no idea that the kid had knocked up a Princess. What was left of the kid, he stuck in robot suit and told it to kick ass. I’ve got a couple of friends with young kids who might fit the bill for robot suit assassins someday, but I have no idea where the nearest volcano might be. I dunno… Connecticut? The Princess’s kids screwed the whole Empire thing up, of course. Poor Shiv Palpatine, he did his best.

I’m sure there would be some Rebel scum who would futilely try to take me down, but what… they’re going to blow up the American Empire of Freedom’s Giant Army Boot in Space or something? Pfah.

This is looking over Alphabet City on the Lower East Side of Manhattan towards the coastline of Williamsburg in Brooklyn, along the East River. I’d switched to a different lens here, a 24-105 zoom. I was carrying an uncommonly large kit with me this evening, and made it a point of rotating them through the course of time that I spent at Empire State Building.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Actually, if I did acquire the power of a Sith Lord, I’d keep the whole “Darth” thing quiet and just be a master criminal. Just imagine waving your hand at NYPD and saying “I am not the old man in a black bathrobe you’re looking for” and having the Cops agree with you. You could also use the Force to float up stairs instead of getting all sweaty, get coffee, and you’re always carrying a super bright flashlight that can also cut steel. You could also probably use your magicks to try and figure out what this whole bitcoin thing is about.

This one is looking at the Freedom Tower, and the Statue of Liberty, and basically Manhattan from 34th street to the Battery. That green lumpy thing in the distance is Staten Island. Best baseball seats in NYC out there, at the Staten Island Yankees stadium.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As you may have guessed by now, my goal of watching all of Star Wars, in the story’s chronological order, is moving along. This is in story timeline order, btw, not by theatrical release date. That means “Phantom Menace” followed by “Attack of the Clones” and then the “Clone Wars” series and then “Revenge of the Sith.” Now, I’m trying to get through awful “Solo” whereupon the very good “Rebels” cartoon will slot in. Then I’ve got “Rogue One” followed by the original three Star Wars flicks from the 70’s, and then Mandalorian. I’m going to completely ignore the three Rey movies as they suck and shouldn’t be considered part of the continuity.

Whew. What did you do during the Pandemic?

This one is looking towards Queensboro Bridge, Astoria, and Ravenswood over the shoulder of the Chrysler Building on Manhattan’s 42nd street. Still using the 24-105 zoom for this one.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Looking back at where all things start and end, the fabulous Newtown Creek. Every time I’ve been up on the Empire State Building’s Observation Deck, it’s been a fairly short and well timed interval which ends too quickly. Maybe this is just because of the Pandemic and the lessened crush of tourists moving through, but I ended up hanging around up there for more than two hours – which was awesomesauce!

The second half of my excursion occurred at and shortly after sunset, and you’ll be seeing shots from that interval tomorrow.

In the meantime… execute Order 66.

“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

June 24, 2021 at 11:00 am

2 Responses

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  1. “Aggression and desire, violence and sex . . . the most primal building” – Herbert Muschamp, NY Times architecture critic

    5th photo down ( with the tall, sleak black building right of center: Trump World Tower.

    Believe it or not, the “fake news” NY Times gave this building a rave review by Herbert Muschamp 17 years ago:

    It is what it is.

    georgetheatheist . . . lincoln logs

    June 24, 2021 at 1:05 pm

  2. Awesome detail! A very clear day, a superb camera, kudos to the photog too.


    July 9, 2021 at 10:33 pm

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