The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Under the on and off

with one comment


– photo by Mitch Waxman

I know, I’m obsessed. To be fair, though, I’ve been showing you all pictures of highway and expressway ramps for better than a decade now. LIE, BQE, Grand Central etc., all back in NYC. I’ve got new ones to puzzle over now.

Once I walked past the interchange pictured above, on a more or less eastward path, the entire streetscape suddenly altered. As mentioned yesterday, these highway on and off ramps are serving many masters. Interstates, local roads, even the approaches leading to bridges and tunnels – all were set into long arcing shapes suspended above the ground. There had to be a spot where the overflying concrete and steel occluded the burning thermonuclear eye of god itself and supernal darkness could be found.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There’s a few blocks of ‘forever shadows,’ which are used as parking lots, but this might be a great place to grow mushrooms too. There’s private parking spaces associated with this business or that hotel, but it seemed that most of the space down here was of the ‘park all day’ type. Of course, the Steelers stadium was behind me and the Pirates stadium lay ahead, so yeah – you’d need a serious inventory of lot parking in a sports town like Pittsburgh.

Truth be told, I was kind of expecting to see homeless encampments down here, or at least some sort of messy condition reminiscent of what I saw under the BQE in North Brooklyn back at the start of 2022. Nope. Barely even any graffiti.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Scuttling along towards my eventual crossing of the Allegheny River, which would bring me onto the so called ‘Golden Triangle,’ which forms the city of Pittsburgh’s corporate and political center. From there, my planned route would carry me to a crossing of the Monongahela River to the south. There’s a local street moving at ground level between the ramps, one which I’ve driven down a few times and can’t really recommend.

That’s another post, for another day, however. Back next week with more from Pittsburgh 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

May 19, 2023 at 11:00 am

One Response

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  1. There’s beauty in these giant concrete forms, no entry fee, free parking.


    May 19, 2023 at 9:52 pm

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