The Newtown Pentacle

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Wednesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As mentioned in prior posts, a humble narrator took his camera on vacation in September. The camera wasn’t bored, but it’s been trapped here in NYC since arriving from Japan at the end of 2020 due to COVID restrictions and all that, so I wanted to show it what other parts of the USA look like. Amtrak takes you places, and one of the places we went together was the pretty city of Pittsburgh.

One left the rented room in Pittsburgh early in the morning, after having received weather forecast warnings about a powerful line of storms meant to arrive in the area where their three rivers converge about 4:30 p.m. Accordingly, one’s activities for the day had been built around this. After exploring both sides of the Allegheny River frontages, a humble narrator began scuttling back towards the AirBNB I was staying at in downtown Pittsburgh.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s the PPG tower. Pittsburgh Plate Glass, that is, and if there’s an “Empire State Building” in this city, I guess that’s the one. Proper photographs of the thing will be offered tomorrow, the shot above is a bit more of a “snapshot” than it is a photograph.

On the way back to my room, I picked up some coffee and a couple of bananas at a 711. Also as mentioned, the temperature when I left in the morning was about 60 and over the course of the day it had risen to about 85 and it was quite humid. One had been out wandering and walking all day and I was perspiring.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The AirBNB was in a former office building which had been converted over to residential usage called “The Clark Building.” Apparently, it used to be the regional HQ for Warner Brothers, was built in 1928, and I was staying on its 23rd floor. The elevation provided a front row seat to the oncoming storm, and after a quick shower and change of clothes, the window was first rolled up and then the tripod was deployed so that the camera could watch the show.

I really was hoping for lightning, but c’est la vie, huh?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

For about 90 minutes, rain and wind pummeled Pittsburgh, and according to the local news I was watching on my phone, a tornado had set up nearby the Allegheny county line that caused no small amount of damage. Me? I was sitting pretty, drinking coffee and enjoying a banana.

I also took this opportunity to offload the day’s photo effort from the onboard memory cards of the camera to the laptop which I had carried with me all the way from Queens in NYC. I recharged the batteries and wiped down the equipment.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

After the front had passed, the temperatures dropped back into the low 60’s, and there was still a bit of occasional drizzly rain coming and going. Around the corner from the Clark Building, an ornate movie theater was observed with a lit up marquis advertising a showing of the “Wizard of Oz.”

When in Rome, as the saying goes, and since I required a meal at this point – as I had long ago digested the pancake breakfast quaffed nearby the Heinz Factory on the north side of the Allegheny – I headed for a nearby outpost of Pittsburgh’s iconic “Primanti Brothers” sandwich shops.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The Primanti Brothers sandwich is a “cholestival festival.” I ordered the menu item they called “The New Yorker.” How could I not, after all? Pastrami, Corned Beef, french fries embedded in the sandwich… delicious, but it’s a cardiologist’s nightmare made manifest on a plate. I washed it all down with a couple of pints of Yuengling, which is apparently a locally manufactured beer. After eating, I gathered my crap together and decided to remain busy.

Tomorrow – night shooting in Pittsburgh.


“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

October 27, 2021 at 11:00 am

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