The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

incoherent falsetto

with 3 comments


– photo by Mitch Waxman

Everybody has a dream. Mine is to maintain zero stock in my underwear or sock drawers, and instead have Amazon deliver fresh underclothes to me everyday. Imagine it – my skivvies get freshly manufactured in east Asia, then flown into NYC on a cargo jet, and delivered by truck to my house for usage every 24 hours. At the end of the day, I’d layer the soiled garments – along with all of the one time use plastics which I consumed sugar water from that day – on an automobile tire, in a bike lane. Then I’d light the whole thing on fire and watch it all burn away in a blue gray cloud… sigh… I can dream, can’t I? I think that I could personally warm the atmosphere by a degree or two within a few years by spewing carbon into the air thusly, hastening the arrival of environmental collapse and the end of life as we know it. That’ll show ya.

Pictured above is the Allegheny River in Pennsylvania’s Pittsburgh, as seen from the waterfront nearby the municipality’s convention center.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The first weekend of December saw Our Lady of the Pentacle and myself visiting this fine place. This was my second visit to Pittsburgh in 2021, and the circumstance of these shots being gathered revolved around Our Lady of the Pentacle discovering that a craft fair was being held at the aforementioned convention center. Our Lady likes arts, she enjoys crafts, and loves fairs that combine the two. Suffice to say that I had about an hour and change to kill while she was within.

I did a fairly exhaustive series of posts after my September visit to the Steel City. Granular descriptions of infrastructure and circumstance were offered in multiple postings back in October and November. Truth be told, I never really left the center of Pittsburgh during that excursion or on this one, but there you are.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Pittsburgh postings from my autumnal visit, listed in chronological order – Great Elms, Gnarled Orchards, Ancient Walls, Lower Meadows, Choked Fissure, Human Clothing, Other Constellations, Certain Circumstances, Terrestrial Gravity, Needed Form, Without Dissolution, Calculations Would, Grave Doubt, Luckily Obtainable, Abnormal Toughness, Prodigious Time, Unexampled Flight, Earthward Dreams, and finally Bacterial Agent.

I should also mention that I have no special knowledge of the place, I just find it fascinating, and think that Pittsburgh is a bit of a gem in the northeastern United States as far as “post industrial usage” goes. They do and have done a lot more, with significantly fewer resources, than NYC does, plans to do, or has done to accept and adapt to the changing climatological conditions of the 21st century.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There are multiple possibilities in Pittsburgh for super villains and mad scientists to set up lairs. A notable location on Liberty Avenue is the Keenan Building, with its crown shaped cupola. I’m not the only one to have thought “super villain,” incidentally. Check out this post from the Pittsburgh City Paper for more on the lair.

I had walked Our Lady of the Pentacle around some of the scenic areas which were visited back in September, and we had purchased boat tickets on their version of the Circle Line – called the Gateway Clipper – so we headed over to the docks and got on board for a bit of sightseeing. Really, don’t be afraid to do tourist things when traveling, not everything needs to be “bespoke.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Given that I had ridden on this boat tour the last time I was here, when and whereupon I did my usual “catalog” shooting, the focus was on details this time around. A long lens was attached on the camera, and I made it a point of zooming in on things that piqued my interest. I’m not sure what or who is housed in the building pictured above, but that sky lobby/atrium caught my attentions. That’s some Avengers/Justice League kind of action right there. Maybe even Fantastic Four.

Look, if you’ve got villains living in crown shaped cupolas, you’ve got to have somewhere to house the heroes too. This is, I’m told, the 33 story “Tower at PNC Plaza,” a 2014 building that is designed with environmental benefit in mind. Seriously, click that link, there’s some cool technology incorporated into this tower. It’s the sort of thing that would be possible in NYC if our government wasn’t owned outright by big real estate.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Luckily, I caught a shot of the Pittsburgh “T” light rail exiting the city center, and crossing the Monongahela River over to the Mt. Washington side of town. There was a Steelers game scheduled for the next day, and the City was positively overrun by folks wearing black and gold shirts and hats. In fact, the boat we were on was fairly packed with Steelers fans, whom, despite the fearsome reputation this particular group of sporting enthusiasts have – were really nice.

More 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

January 18, 2022 at 11:00 am

Posted in AMTRAK, railroad

Tagged with ,

3 Responses

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  1. while i don’t have the same dream as you, as an extensive user of bike lanes, i understand and appreciate it.

    Dan Scolnick

    January 18, 2022 at 11:06 am

  2. […] incoherent falsetto […]

  3. You might be interested in this historical video. Once it gets past the Silver Bridge discussion (a horrible tragedy) it discusses the similar but superior earlier design of the “Three Sisters” suspension bridges over the Allegheny River in Pittsburgh.

    Your Pittsburgh travelogue is wonderful. Much appreciated.


    February 9, 2022 at 8:44 pm

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