The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

dawning love

with 3 comments


– photo by Mitch Waxman

Luckily, I thought to gather these shots after eating dinner. Our Lady of the Pentacle and myself had enjoyed a weekend away in Pennsylvania’s Pittsburgh and our marquis event meal was at a white table cloth restaurant on the prominence of Mount Washington – a ritzy section which I believe to be called “Duquesne Heights.” Fiendishly expensive, but worth every penny, the restaurant where we ate was set up in a structure perched on what seemed to be the highest point of Mt. Washington. They had floor to ceiling windows, and I’m told the views were epic as I sipped an “Old Fashioned” and shoveled steak into my face hole. I would have noticed them, but I was gazing lovingly at Our Lady. After dinner, I begged indulgence, and Our Lady graciously allowed a few minutes for me to get busy with the camera.

I try not impinge on such evenings with my obsessive need to photograph everything I see… but… just look at that view…

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The entire reason we were able to get a table at this particular establishment on short notice was that what seemed like the population of the entire City of Pittsburgh was either within, or focused upon, Heinz Stadium, where the Pittsburgh Steelers were playing that night. This shot was my “money shot” of the day, although despite calling it that I didn’t and haven’t made a dime off the image.

As mentioned in posts last week, our plan for the weekend’s ending was to divide and conquer on our way back to NYC, traveling home using different modes. She was going to be leaving the following afternoon, a Monday, and I was meant to board an early morning Amtrak train on Tuesday morning. My plan, therefore, was to spend Monday night in a bacchanal of photographic pursuit and therefore I was trying to restrain myself while we were still keeping company.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Our Lady is long suffering, however, but nevertheless allowed me about a half hour’s time to “do my thing.” This shot looks up the Allegheny River.

I had set up the tripod, and was doing my landscape thing. That means low ISO settings coupled with a narrow lens aperture and hyperfocal lensing. It depends on the lens, ultimately, but what “hyperfocal” means is that anything sitting between a certain distance in the foreground and optical infinity will be in sharp focus. It’s a bit more complicated than that, but there you go – technical jargon. This is why she’s “long suffering,” if you were wondering.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

What I was actually doing while getting these shots was planning out what I wanted to do the next night when I didn’t feel any time pressure or was worrying that Our Lady was growing bored or impatient with my pursuits. It was a good plan.

I’ll talk about the way that went “ass over tits” for me later on in the week, but for now… I’m glad I got these when I did.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There’s a weird statue found at this “POV,” depicting whom I believe to be George Washington squatting and staring at a Native American guy who is also staring and squatting. Probably something “French and Indian War” related, given that that’s a significant moment in Pittsburgh’s history. I mentally pronounce “Duquesne” as “Dookesknee” so I’m the wrong guy to guess as to the sculptor’s messaging. I’ll bet the intentions of the sculptor’s meaning and intent was entirely different from the way we see or read this sort of representation today. The smart thing to do for the Native American would have been to slaughter the Europeans as quickly as possible and never allow them any further beachheads, but that’s hindsight.

Anyway, we were stuffed and wanted to head back to the AirBNB we were staying at, so I broke down the rig and went back to hand held night shooting mode with this shot.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I felt pretty confident about my Monday night plan, after all, and looked forward to “doing my thing.” Vainglory.

We headed back to the room, settled in, and watched a bit of that Beatles documentary on Disney+. I soon lost consciousness, and hallucinated wildly for about seven hours. Upon regaining my composure the next morning, we set out for one last set of Pittsburgh adventures and explorations. 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 24, 2022 at 11:00 am

Posted in AMTRAK, railroad

Tagged with ,

3 Responses

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  1. I sometimes rue the day that autofocus lenses came into being. I cut some teeth on manually focusing lenses with their beautiful depth of field scales printed right on the lens barrel. What exists now is skimpy and laughable.

    georgetheatheist . . . extended range

    January 24, 2022 at 12:01 pm

  2. Awesome photos. Thank you for making me look up and learn about Guyasuta.


    January 24, 2022 at 2:14 pm

  3. […] me to travel out and explore the place again, and write about what I was seeing, as in the post “dawning love” from the end of January. By this point, Our Lady of the Pentacle and I knew we wanted to move […]

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