The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

viscous end

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

As everyone knows, I’m a water guy. Waterfront is a critical “must have” as far as I’m concerned, and when traveling to places largely unfamiliar, the first thing I look for is an analogue of the Circle Line. Circle Line, is – of course – a NYC institution which offers boat tours of New York Harbor. There are versions of this business in just about every City in the United States which has a waterfront of any kind, and the one in Vermont’s Burlington is called “The Spirit of Ethan Allen.” Tickets go pretty fast for this excursion, so I ordered them well in advance of the trip Our Lady of the Pentacle and I began when we boarded an Amtrak “Vermonter” line train back at Moynihan/Penn station back in the City.

There’s a lot of cities, but there’s only one place you’re referring to when you say “The City.” My view on this is incontrovertible.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Lake Champlain, like nearly all of the inland waterways of the United States, falls under the ultimate authority of the United States Coast Guard. There’s actually a USCG post just north of where we boarded the tourist excursion boat.

There’s a breakwater at Burlington’s harbor frontage which hosts two navigational lights maintained by the USCG. Like all of the USA’s lighthouses, their operations are now either automated or administered remotely.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

We got what we paid for on this sunset cruise, which lasted about 90 minutes. From my point of view, it didn’t exactly make for exciting photos. Saying that, we had a few drinks and chatted with the other passengers. It was a fun time, and certainly worth the price of admission.

Also, after having chewed up about thirty miles or so of shoe leather in the previous 48 hours, it was great to be riding rather than walking.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Like all boats of this type, there’s a fairly high priced food and drinks menu you can order from for an extra charge. There was table service, and the crowd onboard was a mix of visitors and locals. The Spirit of Ethan Allen people also sell a dinner cruise on the same vessel. The dinner cruise folks were dressed in business casual sort of clothing, so presumptively it’s an after work thing? It was also a Saturday night, so… who knows?

The boat was probably at 75% occupancy. Would’ve been 100% if they sold more tickets. This was a popular destination.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s the Spirit of Ethan Allen, as shot earlier in the evening.

Covid hung about like a bad memory everywhere we went. Burlington has one of the best vaccination records in the entire country, we were told. Accordingly, there are no municipal mask mandates or vaccination checks. You’re encouraged to wear a mask inside of certain establishments by private owners, of course. The National mask mandate as it applies to public transit also applies, as does the requirement for mask usage in ride share cars like those offered by the Lyft service. Saying that…

Conversation with some of the locals revealed that the same divide that exists everywhere these days is also extant in Vermont. If you live in a City like Burlington or Montpelier, you’re far more likely to have gotten vaccinated than the group whom one local described as being “The Hill People.” My guess is that – like many of my neighbors back in NYC – the Hill People have either forgotten all about the freezer trucks at Elmhurst Hospital, or Tucker Carlson or Anderson Cooper told them it was a lie.

Please stop consuming cable tv news. All of it. Stop. It’s toxic.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As mentioned last week, they ain’t exactly hurting for scenery up here in the Green Mountain State. The burning thermonuclear eye of god itself dipped, as predicted, behind the western shield wall of mountains in New York.

By the time the boat returned to shore, it was proper dark out and it was time to head back to the hotel. Another 24 hours lay before us, whereupon the journey back to Home Sweet Hell would begin.

More to come 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 for $30.

Written by Mitch Waxman

October 6, 2021 at 11:00 am

Posted in AMTRAK

Tagged with , ,

2 Responses

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  1. Lovely photos and commentary.
    Re: lighthouses did you know many are now in private hands and more are for sale
    Re: cable news, Amen

    Lukas Nelson & Family – Turn Off The News And Build a Garden


    October 8, 2021 at 8:03 pm

  2. […] reel irresponsibly, took a boat tour onboard the Spirit of Ethan Allen on Lake Champlain in viscous end, returned to the downtown Burlington area in grew hoarser. I found a rail yard and an epic sunset […]

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