The Newtown Pentacle

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

One arrived back at where my day had truly begun – Philadelphia’s 30th street Station, with a good 40-50 minutes to spare before my trip on Amtrak back to NYC was scheduled to occur.

I set myself up for a few long exposure shots while I was waiting, using the “Ultrapod” camera support system which is little bit less conspicuous than the tripod is.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The junkies of Philadelphia seem to gather here at night, which is something I observed the last time I was passing through. These are “professional junkies,” sly and scheming creatures of the street who see everyone – including their own – through a lens of exploitation. If they thought they could get away with killing you and then boiling the body down to sell off the elements you’re composed of, they would.

While marinating in a paranoid 360 degree hyper awareness of my surroundings, and tracking every living human within ten steps of my immediate location, I got busy.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

You can say what you want, and be as free thinking and liberal as you desire to be, but where that shit all falls apart is on the street. If you don’t spend time on the streets alone at night, just shut up, you don’t understand what you’re talking about.

There were a lot of eyes watching me. Two or three different people approached, asking for change or whatever. They weren’t interested in coinage, rather they were sizing me up to see what they could get away with. Of course, these junkies are from Philadelphia. I, on the other hand, am from Brooklyn. For one such as myself, all I have to do is stare deeply into their eyes and repeat whatever they say to me back at them in a loud monotone, and they soon realize that there is easier prey which will be found elsewhere.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’m not saying that I’m some sort of tough guy, incidentally. I’m not. However, the Brooklyn way is the Brooklyn way, and this is freaking Philadelphia – America’s consolation prize. The city you remember to mention after you’ve rolled through San Diego, Minneapolis, and Denver. Christ, I think Toronto is a tougher town than Phillie is.

Freaking junkies…

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Finally, it was time to head down to the tracks, and Amtrak arrived only about five minutes late. I was tired, having woken up at 4:45 a.m. and spent the day marching about while operating the camera.

Other than the thunderstorms which had arrived in Philadelphia about 5:30 p.m. following me home, the trip was uneventful.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

We got to NYC more or less on time, and a quick breath of maskless air was gulped on 8th Avenue before I boarded a Queens bound E train. A quick transfer at Queens Plaza soon saw me scuttling about in Astoria.

Our Lady of the Pentacle had made a lasagna, and a hearty meal greeted me back at HQ. Next week – something different, at this – your Newtown Pentacle.

“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

May 6, 2022 at 11:00 am

One Response

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  1. Beautiful pics, what a grand building is the 30th St Station! Thank you for braving the elements, the creeps and zombies to bring us your fascinating travelogue.


    May 6, 2022 at 8:37 pm

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