The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

awesome pulsing

with 3 comments


– photo by Mitch Waxman

After spending a stinky hour and change at Penny Bridge in Greenpoint, one decided to walk back to HQ in Astoria via the pedestrian path on the Kosciuszcko Bridge. I ran into a friend and her dog on the way, and got to enjoy a bit of company. Having not seen this particular person since the start of the pandemic, she was a bit startled at how much my personality has changed in the last year and a half. I explained my philosophical embrace of sociopathy in recent months, and how freeing it is to just not care about anything anymore.

Really, I just give zero shits about anything. Nothing actually matters.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The “happy place” is my pet name for industrial Maspeth. The corner which that stop sign pictured above is found on used to host a Yeshiva, which closed under mysterious circumstance back in the 1950’s. Rumors abound, including wild stories about “Dybbuk” infestations, but it’s most likely something mundane that closed the religious school. The “Frum’s” were probably just consolidating themselves into Williamsburg and or Crown Heights during this era.

Translation of Frum for Goyem – many Jews refer to the Orthodox sects (Hasids, Satmars etc.) as “Frum.” It’s a Yiddish word, which I don’t know the exact meaning of, but it seems to be related to being strict. Frum are the people you see wearing the hats and formal clothes everywhere they go, and who rigorously follow religious law and custom, and are often in the camera retail business. Conservative Jews usually dress like everyone else, but wear Yarmulkes and observe both dietary and sabbath law pretty closely, but also often ski or take cruises and that sort of stuff. Secular Jews, which are my particular tribe, are basically assimilated Americans with funny last names, except we have Chanukah substituted for Christmas.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Almost back at HQ, and suffering greatly as the humidity had risen nearly 30 points since my time at Penny Bridge, a chance meeting with a New Jersey Transit train running on the turnaround track at Sunnyside Yards necessitated a photo as it passed. Boy oh boy, was I shvitzing when I walked in the house. Oy, it’s so humid!

Back tomorrow.

“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

August 31, 2021 at 11:00 am

3 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. The Yiddish “frum” derives from the German “fromm” which means “pious”

    georgetheatheist . . . mot maven

    August 31, 2021 at 12:13 pm

  2. I’ve looked but can’t find anything on the yeshiva you mention from the 1950s. Very interesting.

    “Sociopathy” is not freeing imho. It might temporarily release you from distress. But I think you know that!


    August 11, 2022 at 9:57 pm

    • Corner of what’s now 44th street between 54 Avenue and Queens Midtown Expressway Service Road. I’ve got it on several old fire insurance maps.

      Mitch Waxman

      August 11, 2022 at 10:09 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: