The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Shiver, me timbers

with 4 comments


– photo by Mitch Waxman

Pictured above is a typical street in the part of Pittsburgh that HQ is now located in, in the section dubbed as “Dormont.” After a week long interval of wintry weather, a day long break without freezing rain or snow occurred and despite the temperature being in the 20’s – a humble narrator needed to get out and take himself a nice long walk. I left the snow covered car parked in the driveway at HQ, and used the T light rail to get from Dormont to Downtown Pittsburgh, which is called “Dahntahn” by the born -N- bred types. There is, I should mention, a fascinating regional accent here in Pittsburgh.

The T costs $2.75 to ride into downtown from Dormont. It’s about a 20 minute ride, and after running on regular streets alongside vehicular traffic for a bit, the light rail moves first onto an exclusive to its use steel bridge, and then it shares a closed roadway with several bus lines. I’m still trying to figure all this out, as a note.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Infrastructure, infrastructure. At the left hand side of the photo above, shot through the window of the T while it was traveling on the elevated trackway mentioned above, is the entrance to the Liberty Tunnel which carries automotive traffic from the South Hills under Mount Washington and to the Liberty Bridge over the Monongahela River. The tunnel is fed by a series of primary and secondary arterial roadways which are in turn supplied with traffic by the local streets, as well as providing interchanges with high speed roads which are classified as local, State, and Interstate. Pittsburgh sits at one of those points in the interstate system where several major roads cross or combine.

The T carried me into Downtown Pittsburgh, and I disembarked the service at the Gateway Center stop. I was desirous to scout a bit in the business and governmental center of the City, on foot. There is an abundance of interesting “robber baron” era architecture found in Pittsburgh.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Navigating the streets of Pittsburgh is something I’m getting better at. It’s confusing for this transplanted New Yorker, as they didn’t lay this place out using a grid system. The streets are often long helixes or curvilinear, traveling around the footprint of long gone factory and mill complexes, or railroads which are no longer there.

The shot above looks towards the ice and snow covered Mount Washington, on the other side of the Monongahela River, and the Duquesne Incline.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My goal for the day, and of course it was only about 20 degrees out, was to scuttle over the Fort Pitt Bridge’s pedestrian walkway. One has a stunning admission to offer here – I wasn’t wearing the filthy black raincoat, or as I refer to it “the street cassock,” on this walk. It’s just not warm enough, the raincoat, and one has been forced to buy an actual winter coat. I purchased a brand which I’ve noticed most of the Pittsburgh blokes favor, a Carhartt, at one of the local sporting goods stores. It’s toasty warm, a bit too warm for certain situations actually, and one was wrapped up tight. I had the whole winter layers outfit on underneath the coat, with long johns and winter boots and everything.

Don’t worry, the new coat is black in coloration. I haven’t gone native.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There’s a ramp at Point State Park which allows egress to the pedestrian walkway of the Fort Pitt Bridge, so one maneuvered himself in that direction. There’s a bunch of early American history at work within the whole Fort Pitt and Fort Duquesne thing, which involves George Washington and the French and Indian War.

As far as the atmosphere goes, it was overcast, which is somewhat typical for Pittsburgh – the 5th cloudiest City in these United States. Once I was scuttling along at a good pace, the temperature wasn’t too hard to handle, and I wasn’t even wearing gloves at this point. Wearing gloves when you’re all bundled up isn’t always the best idea, since your body needs to vent heat from somewhere and you don’t want to start getting sweaty under all those layers.

As mentioned above – it’s a pretty warm coat, the Carhartt.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I found the walkway path right where the internet said it would be. It wasn’t a trick.

Tomorrow, a walk over the Fort Pitt Bridge.

“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

February 6, 2023 at 11:00 am

4 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. “Robber baron”? Why not “captain of industry”?

    georgetheatheist . . . entrepreneurial endeavor

    February 6, 2023 at 11:37 am

  2. If you’re so inclined to visit the theater in Pittsburgh, look out for my former brother-in-law, Cotter Smith. I don’t know if he’s in or working on anything but he too makes Pittsburgh his HQ


    February 7, 2023 at 8:16 pm

  3. “The streets are often long helixes” – wow!


    February 11, 2023 at 8:59 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 )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter 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: