The Newtown Pentacle

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

On the iron road again! Amtrak isn’t cheap if you’re buying your tickets the day of travel, but when buying tickets well in advance – it’s super affordable. One randomly purchased a round trip ticket in February for the 7th of March. I had to get to Moynihan/Penn Station before sunrise, and left Astoria at something like 4:45 in the morning.

While waiting for a cab, I had an ugly encounter with a drunken asshole here in Astoria, which was a lovely start to my day. Seriously- when you see a dude wearing his Riker’s slippers on the street so as to display his cred, you’ve crossed into the danger zone of stupid.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Of course, I could have taken the subway here, but I had the entire kit with me and didn’t want to chance of having the MTA “MTA” me. Clown shoes, they are, and especially so in the wee hours of the morning when they know they can get away with it.

The good news is that I was happily standing by the departures board at Moynihan in Manhattan in under 30 minutes, waiting for my train’s track to be announced. Amtrak ain’t clown shoes.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The blessed moment came, and soon I was pulsing down into the train. This was a day trip, as mentioned above, and my return to the City would be some 16 hours away.

As is the custom, a conductor checks your ticket and inquires as to your destination. You are then directed to this train car or that one where passengers with a destination common to yours are also seated. I settled in, and set my camera up for shooting out the window.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’ve fashioned a foam collar for my lens, which negates window reflections. ISO is set to “auto” and the aperture opened as wide as it can go. The shutter time was very fast, measured in the thousandths of a second. As is my habit with such shots, I cropped them differently than normal to distinguish them.

These aren’t “composed” shots, rather it’s a random form of shooting out the window as the Amtrak rolls along. In this case, we were heading first west and then south.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I won’t bore you with all that I captured along the way. The one above was from somewhere around Newark.

The train was surprisingly crowded.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My destination for the day is 90 minutes from NYC by train, and it’s America’s consolation prize.

Philadelphia, there I went. 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

April 21, 2022 at 11:00 am

One Response

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  1. Ooh, road trip! Cool!

    Kenneth Furie

    April 21, 2022 at 1:13 pm

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