The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Archive for July 2021

tinsel emptiness

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Friday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The 11th of July was meant to be a “Manhattanhenge” night, and despite the gloomy weather a humble narrator decided to throw the dice and see what could be seen from up on the Kosciuszcko Bridge. The weather precluded any sort of henge, but what – I’m not going to set up the tripod and get busy after shlepping over here from Astoria?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Obviously, this shot was gathered a bit earlier than the first one. Heavy humidity and low flying clouds marred the astronomical phenomena of Manhattanhenge, wherein the burning thermonuclear eye of god itself’s transit through the sky aligns neatly with the street grid of NYC’s master cylinder. Regardless, I was digging the fact that the skyscrapers were actually scraping sky.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The bum foot and pulled muscle in my back resulted in me waiting for yet another cab to carry my sorry butt back to HQ in Astoria. I’ve discovered that if you stand on the Maspeth side of the street, as opposed to the LIC side, Lyft knocks a few bucks off the fare. That’s a pro tip for y’all.

See you next week. Vote Quimby.


“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

July 23, 2021 at 11:00 am

unrent before

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Thursday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Recent endeavor found one photographing the proceedings of a Newtown Creek Alliance workday nearby Dutch Kills. It was a decent enough effort, one which involved the planting of environmentally beneficial plants and a general cleanup of the omnipresent illegal dumping one encounters around the troubled Long Island City waterway, and one which resulted in a humble narrator sitting painfully alongside the road while waiting for a cab to pick him up. As mentioned, my back and the left foot have been giving me trouble in recent weeks. This too shall pass, but why not avoid further exacerbation of injury when you can?

It was a fiendishly humid and warm evening, and low flying clouds were touching the rooftops of tower town. You couldn’t help but shvitz.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Often do I wonder whether or not a garment with pockets of pressurized helium contained within would lighten the load. Maybe I can order a camera bag from the Zeppelin people over in Deutschland, and just float my gear along. In many ways, I miss the old days when I carried a Canon G10 and could fit everything I needed to have with me in a pocket.

Saying that, all the gear I carry these days makes me a dangerous man. I’m ready for just about any circumstance. Any circumstance except one which requires a flash. I never carry a flash anymore. Writing this, it just occurred to me that I still haven’t tested out my flashes on the new camera, seven months after acquiring it. Guess I know what I’m doing tonight, now.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Newtown Creek Alliance is a non profit organization dedicated to “reveal, restore, revitalize” Newtown Creek. We have offices and employees, and I’ve been working with the group for about 15 years now. I’m the historian guy, lead a bunch of walking and boat tours centered around the “reveal” part of the mission, and more recently have joined the Board of Directors. NCA works on both sides of the Creek, in Brooklyn and Queens, and we are heavily involved in the whole Superfund thing.

If you want to get a closer look at the NCA operation, and meet us in person, on July 31st the “Kingsland Wildflower Festival” will be on offer at 520 Kingsland Avenue between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. I’m just meant to hang out, wisecrack at hipsters, and take photos for the event, but there’s going to be tours of the green roof which offer spectacular views of the Newtown Creek and surrounding Metropolis. Also, there’s supposed to be music and food.


“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

July 22, 2021 at 11:00 am

feeble spirit

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Wednesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Umbrella? Yeah, better bring one. As mentioned in previous posts, one has been experiencing several annoying and somewhat painful conditions which have been getting in my way. One of them is a pulled muscle in the spinal region. This condition is certainly temporary, which is how my experience with similar injuries in the past have played out, but it’s made me question every single item in camera bag from the point of view of weight. Sticking the umbrella in there is a drag, even though it’s only a pound or two. Seriously, when you’re marching along with the gear, even a few ounces of weight make a real difference in how happy you might be.

That’s the view of Astoria’s Broadway from HQ, gathered as one of these recent crazy storms was just blowing in. I was hoping to catch some lightning, but no luck.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Somebody on Newtown Avenue, in another section of Astoria, purpled their firebox. I know for a fact that the guys and gals who ride on the noisy red trucks don’t like when the citizenry do this, but in recent years I’ve noticed that people are taking the painting of fireboxes into their own hands.

This one isn’t too far from The Saw Lady’s house. Maybe she knows who and why. Is there a massive Prince fan living nearby?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Another walk, another Tylenol for my aching back. As mentioned in the past, Sunnyside Yards is always in focus around these parts. That’s an Amtrak maintenance facility, as you may have guessed.

Lots of intentional stretching and not repeating the physical behavior which resulted in my back hurting is underway, so everything seems to be on the mend. I still need to sit down more often than normal, and I’ve figured out the exact spot between the shoulder blades to press my thumb into. That causes an audible “click” and allows the trapped muscle to degauss or disengage or whatever it is that’s going on in there.


“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

July 21, 2021 at 11:00 am

numberless domes

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Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It’s been a while since the cool cars spotted here in LIC have been offered, even though an eye has been kept peeled for vehicles of the “off the beaten track” variety. I’ve always wanted one of these military style trucks, mainly since it’s a diesel engine deal with a pipe snorkel that would allow the motor to keep running even when submerged. Imagine cruising a flooded Frannie Lou in that ride, Queens kids.

This was parked on the sidewalk nearby the Big Allis power plant in the Ravenswood section of Long Island City. Were I ever to become a Batman villain, Ravenswood is where I’d set up my lair, and my lackeys would drive what’s pictured above.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Not too far from HQ in Astoria, there’s a business which handles all of the mechanical and construction needs for food trucks and carts. I won’t decry the fact that they illegally park on and block the sidewalks. A recent addition to their “honey do” list is a classic Airstream trailer. Stainless steel skin and a galvanized chassis, the Airstream is a 1960’s dream.

This business, and several like it, are under threat of displacement by the Innovations Queens project, which proposes bringing thirty story luxury condo buildings to Astoria in the 35/36 Ave. zone between Steinway and Northern Blvd.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Back in Ravenswood, where there’s a thriving industrial sector devoted to vehicle maintenance, this collection of spare parts was observed. It was poised in front of the old silk thread factory, and seemed to be the property of a garage engaged in the repair of taxi cabs. It reminded me of the biblical Abraham, with his tent open to the four cardinal directions.

More tomorrow – at this – your Newtown Pentacle.


“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

July 20, 2021 at 11:00 am

firmament alien

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Monday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

If you get caught out in a wild summertime thunderstorm, wouldn’t it super lucky if you were at a friendly bar with wide awnings that allowed you to be little more than a dry spectator to the cloudburst? What if that bar was an Irish bar, found at the Times Square of Astoria at 42nd and Broadway? Then you’d know how happy a humble narrator was when this exact scenario played out at my local.

The best thing that can happen when something dramatic is happening is to be ensconced in a place where you can observe, but not participate in, the misery others are experiencing.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Even by the standards of NYC’s legendarily harsh climate – with the blizzards and heat waves and hurricanes – the last few weeks have been “wack a doodle.” Oy. It’s so humid. I don’t even want to look at the electric bill.

I was absolutely enthralled by the reflected light pouring off that young lady’s mirror, it should be mentioned.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Firebox down! That was the subject of the message I sent over to the offices of my local City Council Member – Jimmy Van Bramer. This one is on Skillman Avenue and the “Mitch Waxman Early Warning System” let the powers that be, through the aforementioned power that is, know about it.


“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

July 19, 2021 at 11:00 am

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