The Newtown Pentacle

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Archive for November 12th, 2021

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

An early assignation with Amtrak awaited me, and I was out of my rented Pittsburghian bed by 4:45 in the morning. A quick once over of the AirBNB revealed that I had left the place in the same fettle as I had found it, and after a quick checklist of gear status was accomplished, I grabbed one last shot from the 23rd floor of the Clark Building.

Well, almost the last one.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I stopped off at the garbage room nearby the elevator banks, to discard a bit of trash I’d generated during my stay, and couldn’t resist this shot of the Roberto Clemente and Andy Warhol bridges all lit up.

A visit to a nearby convenience store saw me buying coffee and other travel supplies for a scheduled 7 hour long trip on Amtrak to my next destination. Seriously – if they ever put the rail pass on sale again, I’m grabbing one. All of this travel ultimately cost $299. Best deal, EVER.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

At the train station, the now familiar routine of Amtrak continued. Passengers heading towards the same or similar destinations were directed into appropriate rail cars. Mask on, bags stowed, and onboard America’s railway was a humble narrator.

I settled into my seat, and relaxed. It had been an intense 72 hours. Heck, it had been an intense 100 hours, really, if you count the Washington D.C. leg of this trip in.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

This wasn’t the car I was riding in, actually. This shot was captured when I was making my way back to the cafe car. On my way to Pittsburgh, I rode Amtrak’s Capitol Line from Washington D.C., and now I was on the Pennsylvanian line. Apparently, this car would fill up, when we reached Pennsylvania’s Lancaster County. It seems that Amish and Mennonite people are ok with riding the train, so long as someone else is driving it, and this car would be filled up by citizens from the “Pennsylvania Dutch Country” later on in the day.

Me? I had a long ride ahead of me, and this time around I wasn’t so exhausted that I just passed out, like I did after leaving Washington. I played with my phone, shot a few pics out the window, and spent a lot of time thinking about things while staring out the window.

I think I might buy some U.S. Savings Bonds with a 5 year term to hedge against inflation, that’s one of the things I thought about. Also, I added a couple of bits and bobs that I didn’t know I needed until this last week into my BH Photo shopping cart too. Step up filter rings, my wire cable release stopped working 24 hours into this journey and needed replacement – that sort of stuff. I also pondered whether joining the Postal Service would pay off from a pension point of view given my age. Nice thing about riding the train is the quiet time to think without distractions.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The foam collar I had fashioned to cancel out window reflections was again employed as we hurtled past steel mills and other industrial wonders along the way. Boy, oh boy do I want to spend some time around here with a car, after having socially networked my way into these sort of properties to “do my thing.”

What an amazing part of this country Western Pennsylvania is.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Amtrak passed over a river, and the Google maps app on my phone informed me that we were passing in quite close proximity to the infamous Three Mile Island Nuclear Plant, but I couldn’t see it’s iconic cooling towers. Next time… and with wheels.

Amtrak would be delivering me to my next destination in the late afternoon/evening time of day. My photo time would be severely constrained, a mere three and change hours. I also needed to fill some of that time with purely biological needs – a meal, and a spot where I didn’t have to mask up – as onboard the Amtrak. More on all that next week, at this – your Newtown Pentacle.

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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

November 12, 2021 at 11:00 am

Posted in AMTRAK, railroad

Tagged with , ,

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