The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Archive for March 7th, 2022

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

Scuttling, always scuttling, camera in hand, filthy black raincoat flapping about, shoes scraping the concrete. That’s my life. Wherever I go, there I am. Nothing ever changes, nothing matters, nobody cares. Everyday, it all starts over again. Sometimes it rains.

Recent endeavor found me friendless, and wandering through Long Island City on my way home to Astoria after a long walk around a short tributary of the fabulous Newtown Creek. An FDNY crew seemed to be taking a break, but this particular ambulance was instead awaiting its turn to enter a gargantuan vehicle services garage that the agency maintains about a block away. I can’t ignore it when the fire people start strobing colored lights around the study area, so…

– photo by Mitch Waxman

You have to pick your route, I always say. There’s so many “corridors” in Long Island City’s still industrial areas that dead end at a rail yard or a highway that you need to put a little thought into whether turning left or right at a particular corner is a good move. Make the wrong choice and you’re suddenly presented with an extra four to five blocks of walking in the cold dark.

Y’know, I never see stray cats or dogs around these parts. You see cats nearby certain industrial sites and shipping warehouses, but they’re generally being “kept” with food, water, and shelter to assist with pest control. You do hear a lot of hawks and falcons, but they are an illusion. The cries of these birds of prey echo about the empty streets, with said utterances being played through roof mounted speaker systems to scare away prey species like gulls, pigeons, and their ilk. The fear induction mechanism is meant to keep these feathery loiterers from nesting on building roofs, and degrading them structurally with guano.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

While scuttling back towards HQ, my empty existence was suddenly illuminated by the appearance of a single shoe, perched along the fencelines of the gargantuan Sunnyside Yards. It would seem that the Queens Cobbler has reemerged from lockdown. A probable serial killer who leaves macabre singular shoe trophies to mock law enforcement and the surrounding communities, the Queens Cobbler has followed me home at least twice – and left behind personalized messages adorning the fence surrounding HQ.

How long will the Queens Cobbler’s reign of terror continue?

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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

March 7, 2022 at 11:00 am

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