The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Archive for the ‘bee’ Category

unknown spheres

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Archive.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Shouldn’t have spoken so soon about wandering around with the camera the other night, as one ended up drinking a bit too much wine and went to bed early instead. Accordingly, a few shots from the Newtown Pentacle archives are on offer today. I did go for a short walk last night, but didn’t do too much shooting.

That’s a bee that was having itself a sunflower party in Astoria on a warm summer day a few years ago when I encountered it, one of the many hundreds of visually interesting things you might encounter here in the ancient village. Astoria is quite buzzy.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A different day, while walking home from somewhere, I encountered a chicken corpse lying in the gutter. Did this chicken lead a dissolute life? Was this chicken a dick? Was it merely an escapee from one fo the local “Pollo Vivo” abattoirs? Did it not pay its debts? Who can guess?

Lots of mysteries here in Astoria, can’t begin to solve them all. I’m told by the local gendarmes that at least once a week somebody flips their car over within the confines of the 114th pct. Further, as I did inquire, it’s not the same person who is flipping their car over and over. Instead it’s a heterogenous population of lousy drivers.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I like riding the Staten Island Ferry. One of the things which a humble narrator enjoys during these intervals on the big orange boat are the acrobatics of the seabirds which take advantage of its slipstream for a free ride between Manhattan and… Staten Island. Hitch hikers.

That’s some kind of gull pictured above, but one is always more than hesitant to offer speciation or classification for the avians. I will invariably get it wrong, which then invalidates every other statement I’ve ever made. Thereupon, I will be strung up and pilloried. There is no in between.

Note: I’m writing this and several of the posts you’re going to see for the next week at the beginning of the week of Monday, May 11th. My plan is to continue doing my solo photo walks around LIC and the Newtown Creek in the dead of night as long as that’s feasible. If you continue to see regular updates as we move into April and beyond, that means everything is kosher as far as health and well being. If the blog stops updating, it means that things have gone badly for a humble narrator.


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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 blurb.com for $30.

Written by Mitch Waxman

May 14, 2020 at 11:00 am

time at

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A splash of color for a gray world.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A humble narrator is not having a good week, and as it’s only Tuesday, portent does not offer much in the way of hope. The weather isn’t helping, either. This gray, misty, and unseasonably warm climate is depressing. Accordingly, since I haven’t been doing too much in the way of shooting for the last week or two, the archives have been accessed in pursuit of color and polychrome light. Consider this a public service from your Newtown Pentacle.

Or don’t, I’m too numb to care.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

This whole climate change business seems fairly obvious now, don’t it? The butterfly in the shot above is the one responsible, and I was there when it flapped its wings.

I should be living inside a hoodie sweatshirt by this time of the year, damnit.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It feels like we didn’t get a “spring” in 2018, and that the summer was composed merely of the uncomfortably humid and hot days and punctuated by rain. Bah!


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Written by Mitch Waxman

October 9, 2018 at 1:00 pm

muffled evidences

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It’s National Trail Mix Day, in these United States.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A humble narrator is indulging in a bit of down time this week, and single images will be greeting you from now until Labor Day on September 4th. I should mention that I, and the rest of the Working Harbor Committee, will be spending the week preparing for and organizing the 25th Annual Great North River Tugboat Race on the morning of September 3rd. The festivities will be occurring at Pier 43 over in Manhattan (nearby the Intrepid museum) and there’s an opportunity to get out on the water during the race onboard a Circleline Spectator boat if that’s your bag. For full details visit the workingharbor site.


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Written by Mitch Waxman

August 31, 2017 at 11:00 am

Posted in bee, insects

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scarcely envisage

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The future is smaller than you’d think it is, in today’s post.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Since I’m in a bit of a Kafkaesque mood today, I figured I’d run a few pictures of some bugs I’ve met over the years. Bugs are like little war machines, and I’ve never been able to understand why the MIT types go to such pains reinventing the wheel when building robots and drones instead of just following nature’s solution. Why build one big hard to replace war robot when what you really want are a swarm of little cheap guys to do your nefarious bidding?

Also, bugs like that wasp pictured above might be a lot easier to enslave than you’d think. Imagine, what could you get done with an army of millions of ants doing your bidding? You’d certainly be able to “move that rubber tree plant,” despite the pop cultural aphorisms. If we could get control over the Termites, they could potentially build homes and cities for us.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

“Big Agra” is what my environmentalist buddies would call a company like Monsanto, who are the ExxonMobil of planting things and feeding animals. I’m sure they’ve got a staffer working on changing the preferences of this butterfly specie, or that one, so that instead of liking to visit and fertilize Milkweed or other pest crops, they would instead prefer to visit rye or wheat stalks. They’re also likely working on military applications for their butterfly technology. Butterflies who spy, or Butterlfies who disseminate toxins to an enemy’s fields?

Imagine a United States Marines Tactical Butterfly unit. I’d like to think the insect’s wings would be a camouflage pattern.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Weaponizing the bees and hornets would likely be the easiest thing to do. Everything I’ve ever read about bees suggest that just like termite mounds and ant nests, you have to consider the hive as being the living organism rather than consideing members of the community as individuals. A bee, or ant, isn’t very formidable on its own. When their Queen excretes the right sequence of pheromone triggers, however, the hive operates as a single organism. What you’re looking at above is actually a single cell of a far larger entity, programmed by an intelligence not its own to perform a task.

I would hope that the Marines get the tactical Butterflies, and that the Army gets the weaponized Bees.


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Written by Mitch Waxman

October 20, 2016 at 11:00 am

admixture or connection

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Busy, busy, buzzy.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Another one of those annoyances which distract one from productive pursuits is a certain inclination corporate America has developed in the last few years. It seems that just as our elected and municipal officials seem to have largely forgotten whom their constituents actually are, so too have our corporate entities developed a lack of understanding as to what the nature of the “customer/services provider” relationship entails. A certain amount of pique, therefore, drove my steps as I headed over to a storefront outpost of a certain bank which has enjoyed collecting the fees associated with my various bits of financial business for nearly three decades in order to identify myself. The fact that they were able to reach me on the phone, and send me mail, was immaterial.

It seems that some new set of internal rules which their drones had determined as being necessary to safeguard the world from terror was missing from my account information, and it was the duty of the customer (me) to come to them and dot their “i’s” and cross their “t’s.” The consequences for not doing so would be dire, with accounts closed and an inability to remove my limited funds from their institution without supplying them with the information which they so recently decided was required anyway.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It should be mentioned that the account in question was opened in 1987, an era when a young Joe Piscopo taught America how to laugh and Saint Reagan was in office down in Washington. Upon arriving at the bank, the manager I sat down with (they don’t wear suits and ties anymore, these bank managers. Rather it’s corporate branded polo shirts) was informed that since his institution was wasting my time in a vociferous fashion, so too would this process take as long as it possibly could for him. I apologized in advance and got started.

One launched into an extensive conversation about the history of colonial Woodside and Maspeth, the trade relationships between the Nieuwe Stadt and Boswijck colonies along Newtown Creek during the Dutch colonial period, my thoughts about the current Mayor, and my opposition to the Mayor’s proposed Sunnyside Yards development. Discussion of the current state of the Mets, where to get a good egg sandwich in Astoria, and the relative merits of the Marvel Cinematic Universe ensued.

After wasting after forty minutes of the gentleman’s time, I decided that I was satisfied and supplied him with the requested paperwork. He disappeared into the back room to make photocopies for their files and then returned telling me “you’re all set.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Happily ensconced in the comfort of knowing that my accounts were not going to be frozen for the sin of not supplying 2015 era information to the institution back in 1987, one found himself wandering back in the general direction of HQ for around 15 minutes. That’s when my phone rang, and the manager announced that his photocopier had malfunctioned. A second trip to the bank was then called for, and this time I opted not to take it easy on them.

Using my tour guide voice to ensure that everybody in the bank, and likely in neighboring store fronts, could hear me – a long soliloquy began. This time I covered subjects ranging from the Rockefellers to LeCorbusier, mentioned a few bits about Robert Moses and the construction of the Whitestone Bridge, the declining quality of Italian style food in Western Queens, and how much enjoyment I find watching “The Strain” television show on the FX network which tells the story of a vampire takeover of NYC. Ending with the analogy that large financial institutions like the one I started a checking account with back in 1987 are in fact the true vampires of our modern age, I was handed back my paperwork and told “you’re all set.”

You waste my time, I’m going to waste yours.

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Written by Mitch Waxman

August 10, 2015 at 11:00 am

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