The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

wandering pittsburgh

with 3 comments


– photo by Mitch Waxman

The sun sets rather quickly in Pittsburgh, due to its inherent geology, and especially so due to a prominence called Mount Washington. When the burning thermonuclear eye of God itself descends behind it, Mount Washington begins casting a deep shadow across the combined valley of the three rivers. Couple that in with the famously cloudy skies of the place, and you’ve got maybe twenty to forty minutes when there’s color in the sky. Big difference from the oceanic skies I’ve known my entire life.

I slowly navigated my way towards the location where Our Lady of the Pentacle was enjoying her afternoon at the Convention Center, making random rights and lefts and building a mental map of the golden triangle. That’s what they call the peninsular center of the City where the skyscrapers are found.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Rail infrastructure is everywhere here, and you regularly see freight trains hauling minerals and chemicals about. Notice that there aren’t abundances of illegally dumped crap, or graffiti. This is something which keeps on jumping out at me in Pittsburgh.

The other thing which is absolutely foreign to me is the fact that I can just walk into any old shop or restaurant and ask to use the bathroom – whereupon they look at me like I’m crazy and say “it’s right over there.” I’ve also encountered – get this – Porta Potties that are installed nearby public transportation. It’s nuts… they actually acknowledge human biology here. Wow. You don’t have to piss in the street like a dog.

A humble narrator kept on truckin, and rolled about on Pittsburgh’s Allegheny coastline just as the sky got pretty.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’ve walked over that bridge, during one of several prior trips I took out here in 2022. Future exploration of this area, with its crazy terrain, might just involve me purchasing some sort of electric bike or something which I can keep in the back of the car. A shuttle craft, if you would, which I can break out of the main “ship” when I want a better point of view. I’ve felt hampered by being tied to the car, when out with the camera.

Whereas the car is a genuine boon, and allows me to cover enormous areas quickly, I definitely miss the granularity of being on the street with the camera. It’s a “photowalk” not a “photodrive” which makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something on any given day. The problem is that you have to get back to where you parked, and the solution just might be a shuttle craft.

Yeah, everything comes back to Star Trek with me.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The hour was growing late, and my assignation with Our Lady grew near. I was still early, so I kept on shooting.

The area I was in clearly used to be steel production related, but many of these enormous industrial structures in this area have been repurposed towards other usage including theatrical production. Pittsburgh has, apparently, a fairly thriving TV and Movie industry.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Closer to the center of the City, and I was shooting through a fence hole over the demolished remains of a cold storage warehouse towards the Allegheny River and the Sixteenth Street Bridge. I had to wait a few minutes for a large crowd of either Amish or Mennonite Steelers fans to vacate the sidewalk, as a note.

That is a whole side of Western Pennsylvania that I am eager to find out more about, incidentally. You see a lot of people roaming around with home made hats in this part of the American universe.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The low lying building on the left is the Pittsburgh Medical Examiners Office and City Morgue, and on the next block is one where I’m told is the “lowest point” in the area as it’s the HQ of the local sewer people, and the City’s “ultimate” drain is located somewhere deep below their facility.

Finally, the appointed time arrived and I picked up Our Lady. Back to Dormont we went, and another day in this new place had ended.

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

January 4, 2023 at 11:00 am

Posted in Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh

Tagged with

3 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. ‘The sun sets rather quickly in Pittsburgh’ Is that a subconscious euphemism for Pittsburgh’s social evenings, as compared to NYC?


    January 4, 2023 at 2:34 pm

  2. more on homemade hats!

    Pat Dorfman

    January 4, 2023 at 2:50 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: