The Newtown Pentacle

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Archive for October 19th, 2022

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

First off – Newtown Creek Alliance will be honoring John Lipscomb of Riverkeeper, Christine Holowacz, and… your humble narrator… this coming Thursday night (the 20th) at the annual “Tidal Toast” fundraising event. Ticketing information can be found here, and the tax deductible donation of your ticket money will help to fund NCA’s ongoing mission to Reveal, Restore, and Revitalize Newtown Creek. NCA has been at the center of my public life over the last 15 years, and I hope you can make it. This is officially my finale, in terms of public facing events, and the end of this chapter of my life.

On the 17th of September, a humble narrator conducted a Newtown Creek walking tour for a group of students from New York University. Our path involved a meetup in Sunnyside along Queens Boulevard, then a walk over the Kosciuszcko Bridge and then through “oil country” in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint section. We then visited the Nature Walk at the sewer plant, and I released the students back into the wild at Manhattan Avenue.

Me? I wandered over the Pulaski Bridge and back to Queens afterwards.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

“Every time might be the last time” is my mantra at the moment, so even if I’ve got a hundred shots of the Queens Midtown Tunnel, I’m going to get in one last exposure of it.

I was heading to LIC for the subway, which is oddly enough one of the things I’m really going to miss. The MTA is shit, but it’s mostly reliable.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The most photogenic of all of NYC’s subway lines is the 7, and that’s a statement I’ll swear to in court. The shot above is from the first of its stations in Queens, the Vernon Jackson stop.

20 years ago, I’d occasionally use Vernon Jackson as an alias when somebody asked me to sign in on something but wasn’t checking ID, but these days LIC has become so populous that the nomen has lost its anonymity. Other names I’ve offered to strangers include Lex Triomani, Septa Katz, and my all time favorite – John Johnson. I used the last one once when talking to a group of Republicans, as they generally like people whose first and last name are the same – Rob Roberts, Tommy Thomson, Mike Michaels – that sort of thing.

The greatest of all Republican names remains that of the former Chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee – Dick Armey. The best way to disperse a group of Republicans – as a note – is to say “Hey, I think I just saw Karl Rove across the street.” They’ll panic, as he’s their bogeyman.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The 18th of September was a Sunday, and I decided to quaff an afternoon pint of Guinness at my local on Astoria’s Broadway in celebration. The fellow pictured above reminded me of a character from a French or Belgian comic and I couldn’t resist cracking out a shot of him passing by on that sweet bike he was riding.

Me? I was getting ready to and girding up to commit professional suicide in the next week.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’ve been a member of, and Transportation Committee chair, Community Board 1 here in Queens for a while. While walking over to the first in person meeting since Covid, I noticed yet another century old utility pole ready to break in half under the weight of the cables which keep the neighborhood connected and electrified. I attended the meeting, and formally offered my resignation during the thing.

Seriously, some of you people are going to have to start reporting things like the utility pole pictured above to 311 or NYC is going to come to a screeching halt when I’m gone.

Anyway, I resigned, people applauded my service, and were secretly or not so secretly happy to see me go.

The next night, I resigned from Access Queens, a transit group I’ve been a member of the executive committee of which advocates for riders of the 7 train. The night after that, I resigned from the Steering Committee of the Newtown Creek CAG, and the night after that I resigned from the board of the Working Harbor Committee.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’ve been unsubscribing from the various NYC email lists and newsletters which have kept me informed over the last decade. Also, several calls have gone out to colleagues and friends. The last thing that I’m still a part of is Newtown Creek Alliance, and I’m going to be resigning there fairly soon as well.

It’s wild to again be free of having to worry about things that I have no control over, and since all of these resignations have been received, I’ve had not one single person offer a reprimand to me that stated “you can’t say that.”

More tomorrow 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

October 19, 2022 at 11:00 am

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