The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

clustered towers

with one comment


– photo by Mitch Waxman

November 2nd found Our Lady of the Pentacle and myself waking up in the suburbs of Pittsburgh. As mentioned in Friday’s post, it was a particularly foggy morning, but we had a mission. This trip to the Paris of the Midwest involved finding a rental property for us to land in, and we had a combination of professional realtor and Zillow appointments to oblige. You gotta eat, though, and on our way to a local diner for a heavy breakfast the car was parked in a multi story lot building which sits alongside the streetcar or “T” Red Line.

I know, it’s crazy. The Government types don’t want you to take your car into the city center to alleviate congestion, so they’ve set up for pay parking nearby mass transit lines rather than shaming you for not riding a bike into the City. Lots of people ride bikes here, and use them to commute (there’s bike and scooter share systems), but they’re not the answer to cancer or the cure for baldness like the bicycle people will tell you they are back in NYC.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The T is a smallish transit system, at least as compared to the Subways of NYC. It’s not 24 hour, but it offers fairly frequent service. Pittsburgh, historically, used to have an enormous web of street car or “trolley” systems prior to the age of the automobile, and the Eisenhower era’s Interstate Highway projects. You still see iron trolley poles all over the place, and I’ve read about streetcar lines that went all the way out to the exurbs like Butler – which is about fifty miles to the north of the City Center.

I should mention that I’m just starting to learn about this place which we’ve chosen to make our new home. Ignorance of this new place has been a fascinating experience for one such as myself, who can walk around Brooklyn and Queens and tell you where a building contractor sourced the bricks from for this structure or that one. It’s going to be a lot of fun to learn about Pittsburgh, I tell’s ya.

For instance – driving etiquette is different here. Look up the “Pittsburgh Left” as an example.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

After we quaffed breakfast, we had a half hour or so to kill before our first appointment, and since there was an incredible Roman Catholic Church with a huge graveyard nearby, I drove us into the cemetery to take a quick lookie look.

Everything I’m up to at this stage of the process is basically scouting, but there’s LOTS of photographic opportunity here. After previous visits to the area, we had narrowed our search down to the South Hills area – a series of medium density suburbs found in the 5-10 miles from City Center zone. We felt an affinity for the neighborhoods found in the South Hills Borough of Dormont, in particular, so that’s where our focus point was placed.

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

December 5, 2022 at 11:00 am

One Response

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  1. Mitch – wishing you the best.

    My cuz last lived on Mt Washington and it seemed fab ! – just saying.

    Hank L

    Hank Linhart

    December 5, 2022 at 9:04 pm

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