The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

perceptible resemblance

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Thursday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It was my pal Max’s first time in Pittsburgh, so we took a grandiose walk around a downtown area known as the “Golden Triangle,” after crossing the Monongahela River on the South Tenth Street Bridge. We walked crosstown to the Allegheny River and then over a bridge or two to the North Side. That’s the Fort Duquesne Bridge pictured above.

We wandered about for several hours, and feeling a bit thirsty, decided to go looking for a place to sell us a glass or two of beer.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

After crossing the Allegheny River via another span from the north side, we headed for a tavern rich area called “The Strip District,” and passed by this demolition project. I can officially say that this cold storage warehouse had caught my eye the last time I was in town, so seeing it midway through being torn down was a bit of a surprise. It looked like a Godzilla had taken a bite out of it.

There you go.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

This was a Sunday, when these shots were captured, so no work on the project was taking place. There were lots of people milling about wearing Steeler’s colors. There was a preseason game scheduled for the evening, and there were lots of yellow towels being carried around by fans of the “sports ball” franchise.

As mentioned – Sunday.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Sunday is, I’m told, the day that the Goyem go to a church. Accordingly. the doors of St. Stanislaus Kostka R. C. Church were open and inviting signage sat in the aperture.

Well… like a vampire am I. An open door and an invitation? Yes, please.

This Polish church is locally famous, as the future Pope John Paul 2 once randomly showed up here to lead a service, while he was still holding the rank of Cardinal.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Wow. Beautiful sacred space, this.

We asked: Cardinal Karol Józef Wojtyła was in town, as described by some of the lovely people caring for the church, to receive an award from one of the universities. He was staying at the home of a local business magnate who was of Polish ethnicity, and decided that he wanted to lead a mass service locally before attending the awards ceremony, so St. Stanislaus Kostka was suggested to him by his host as it’s the sister church of the one in Poland which Wojtyła’s ministry was based out of.

The modern church people described the encounter with the future Pope to us, which involved a stretch limo arriving in front of the church unannounced, and a red robed Cardinal suddenly getting out and walking in. There’s a small altar set up to the side of the main pulpit, pictured above, which commemorates the visit and event.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The folks at the Church were really nice and friendly, gave us a few tips on other wonders of the Catholic Church in the area that sounded incredible. I was told that there’s a Reliquary on nearby Troy Hill that contains one of the largest collections of such items in North America.

I told them I’d be back in January, and wanted to talk more. I also want to properly photograph this amazing structure at some point.


“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 blurb.com for $30.

Written by Mitch Waxman

September 29, 2022 at 11:00 am

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