The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

Temperature inversion with an extremely high atmospheric dew point? Yes, please. Seriously, this sort of statement from the TV weather people is electrifying. As soon as it’s uttered, one gathers up his old kit bag and smiles, smiles, smiles. Fog, and in particular – peas soup fog – is the order of the day. Given NYC’s relationship to the ocean, most of our foggy days are actually “precipitating mist” days, which are ruinous for photographic pursuit. You can’t keep the lens clean due to the precipitant part of that condition.

Proper fog is fairly rare in these parts, and when it comes, a narrator humble hits the streets and heads off in the direction of something both visually interesting and distant. On my way I couldn’t resist an exposure of this “Matthew’s Model Flat” rounded corner. I’m told that the street level shop was historically a candy store. Today, I believe it sells Santeria oriented potions and charms.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Hell’s Gate was my destination, which is one of the things I enjoy saying out loud as it makes me sound spooky and mysterious. A quick scuttling found me on Hoyt Avenue North, alongside mighty Triborough and heading towards the turgid waters of the East River.

The air was thick, and it smelled like a combination of sewer gas and petroleum exhaust, with a hint of cinnamon. There was also a nearly imperceptible hint of thyme as well, but somebody nearby was probably roasting a chicken. You smell a lot of things in Astoria, but mostly weed. Astoria smells like college most days.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My path carried me through Astoria Park’s parking lot, which definitely smelled like weed. Weed, and Tinder/Grindr hook ups. I kept my head on a swivel, as the saying goes. Lots of weird shit happens in Astoria Park at night, of the sort which you don’t want to be involved in. It’s dark, and there’s small groups of people everywhere. Some have malign intent, some are just looking for a place to sleep where they won’t be hassled, others are looking to fill their pockets with whatever you might have in your own.

Saying all that, made it through the park in fine fettle and nobody messed with me. Got myself down to Shore Road and made myself conspicuous by whipping out the camera and getting busy with it. Unfortunately for you, lords and ladies, you’ll have to wait till next week to see what I saw.

“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

February 11, 2022 at 11:00 am

One Response

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  1. Thank you for making me look up Mathews Model Flats, very interesting.


    February 11, 2022 at 11:34 am

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