The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

alarmed envy

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

It’s important to acknowledge, when viewing a place or person for the final time, the gravity of the moment. I don’t plan on coming back to NYC anytime soon, and by soon I possibly mean “ever.” People have asked – is it the politics? Are you leaving because of rising crime, or the unaffordable cost of living, or what? It’s all of those things, and none of those things. It’s about “Act 3” and wanting something better for Our Lady of the Pentacle and myself in our declining years.

I would mention that this is the second version of this post you’re reading. Version 1 strayed into exactly the sort of soliloquy about NYC that I’ve sworn I wouldn’t write or publish. Suffice to say that New York is a City for the young and wealthy to enjoy and that I’m neither of those things.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Speaking of not being young, all of the exertions of the move to Pittsburgh have taken a toll. Shortly after arriving in Pennsylvania after my twice back and forth 1,600 miles of driving, one contracted a wicked cold with a productive cough (not Covid), and one of the many small wounds on my hands (from carrying boxes, packing boxes, unpacking boxes etc.) has developed a sweet infection. An actual Google search I conducted this morning was “What is Pus”? This led to an interesting internet rabbit hole which included medieval medical thought and theory.

Turns out the stuff is composed of white blood cells and other immune system bits. According to the medical consensus from the days before the germ theory of disease became generally accepted – if it’s white pus, you’re probably going to be ok. Yellow, or green, or god forbid black pus, you likely want to get your self bled by a doctor and do it quick. That’s what the Google tells me, anyway. Luckily, I already unpacked the box that had the Duane Reade triple antibiotic topical goo in it.

Overall, I feel like I got into a bar fight at the moment, and have lost badly to several large and sadistic men. That’s officially the end of me whining about how tired and depleted I feel right now. It’ll be ok in a couple of days. I need a whole lot of regular sleep coupled with proper meals.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

On the way to Pittsburgh, one drove the Mobile Oppression Platform (my pet name for the car) through some extremely rural areas wherein fealty to a former President – you know, the orange one who tried to overthrow the Government – runs strong. I saw a hand painted sign on a decaying barn along route 28 south that read “Biden bad, he spend you earn, no socialism.” I’m not sure what these people think “socialism” means, nor where they learned basic grammar. Personally, I roll with what the dictionary says words mean, rather than what some bloke with a busted down barn which he’s doing voluntary advertising for a NYC landlord on, alongside a highway in rural Pennsylvania, thinks.

I actually blame the school system’s cowardice, in terms of discussing modern day political issues, for this era we live in. When I was in public school in the 70’s and 80’s, history officially ended at World War 2 since they didn’t want to tread into all of the “controversial Civil Rights or Cold War stuff.” You get the same thing on the other side of the political fence, with a misunderstanding or misrepresentation of the word “socialism” means in particular, but also with popular usage of “progressive” or “liberal.”


– photo by Mitch Waxman

At any rate, back on the NYC Ferry, which is where I was before I started rambling on about how beat up I am and the weird things I’ve seen here in Pennsylvania – which I’m still working on being able to reliably spell…

My pal Val and I rode the Astoria line of the service to the Pier 11 Wall Street stop over in Lower Manhattan. We had a brief lay over while waiting for the Soundview line boat to arrive. Soundview is a great ride, heading up the west side of the East River towards 34th street, and then past Roosevelt Island where it makes a stop nearby Gracie Mansion at East 90th street. From there it proceeds north through Hells Gate to Bowery Bay and ultimately to Soundview in the Bronx, which is where the footings of the Whitestone and Throgs Neck Bridges sit.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One had timed the trip for late afternoon, hoping to catch some orange and gold light for this – my last ferry ride.

For the journey north, I deployed a long lens which allowed a 70-300 mm zoom range. It’s not my best piece of glass, this unit, but it does allow for a great deal of reach. On the way south, I had used a wider 24-105 mm zoom lens.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The hoped for light show started just as the Soundview bound ferry debarked from Pier 11, as predicted. We were heading north, and this ended up being the last time I’d be seeing or taking a photo of the Manhattan Bridge. Bwah!

More tomorrow, at 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

December 20, 2022 at 11:00 am

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