The Newtown Pentacle

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more hexagonal

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Thursday is gristle.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As described previously, a humble narrator decided to inspect the Triborough Bridge’s rather well used bike and pedestrian path recently. It’s illegal to take photos up there, as I discovered post facto. When an Government Agency doesn’t want you taking photos somewhere, there’s usually a reason. The reason they give will involve the words “security” and or “terrorism,” whereas the words I’d offer include “corruption, incompetence, or malfeasance.”

So, who uses this pathway? Observationally, a lot of bike riders and pedestrians. What they encounter is an (incredibly) unlit and narrow space with stair cases that just sort of appear in front of you without warning.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The bike rider approaching my position above is also breaking the law, since the MTA Bridges and Tunnels operation instructs that riders on the bike path MUST dismount and walk their bikes. Quite obviously, this isn’t something that happens too often. I saw people riding on electric skateboards and scooters as well.

I’m actually planning on how and with whom I’m going to deal with on this subject. It makes me angry, especially so because Triborough is a toll bridge and fairly flush with maintenance budget cash, unlike the NYC DOT bridges like Queensboro or Brooklyn.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Luckily, just as I git to one of the fairly steep stairs, a couple of riders with profoundly bright LED bike lights appeared. Their colorful light helped paint the picture, as it were, of what’s happening up here. Literally the only light other than automotive headlights was being pumped out by these two bikes. Luckily, I always carry a pocket flashlight, but sheesh.

Something different tomorrow, and this won’t be the last time you hear about this particular situation.


“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 blurb.com for $30.

Written by Mitch Waxman

April 15, 2021 at 1:00 pm

assignable colour

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Tuesday, it’s a fizzle.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A bunch of years ago, a humble narrator was employed by an ad agency called Ogilvy & Mather, specifically their Ogilvy Interactive division. The founder of the company was a guy named David Ogilvy, and one of his maxims was that you should use the products you’re advertising. Selling IBM Typewriters? Buy and use one. Buicks? Guess what you should be driving? It’s actually a fairly good thing to do, getting to know the particular frammistat or whatsis or widget you’re working with or for. Over the years I’ve found myself carrying a FirstUSA credit card, wearing shoes from Nike, or Timberlands, and so on. In my life these days, this takes the form of consuming municipal services.

I’m heavily involved with the whole Newtown Creek thing, therefore I interact with the waterway and the people who work and live along it all the time, as well as the regulators of officialdom. A couple of years ago, my pals at Access Queens and I decided to get smarter about the bus system of Queens so I started riding the bus everywhere I went, often eschewing the much faster mode of transit offered by the subway. If you want to truly understand a product or service, you have to be a customer and a consumer of it first.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

For the last year, I’ve been co-chair of the Queens Community Board 1 Transportation Committee. Recently, I noticed a lot of online chatter about the Triborough Bridge’s bike and pedestrian path, and decided to go investigate the situation for myself. If it comes up, I’d like to have, at least, an informed opinion on the matter. Besides, I’d literally never – ever – walked over Triborough. Kind of crazy when you think about it, given how many other bridges I’ve walked over the last decade, but there you go.

After crossing west of 31st street, Astoria Blvd. becomes Hoyt Avenue. At Hoyt Ave. North and 27th street, there’s a stairway which leads up to the aforementioned path. You’ll encounter a neat metallic bas relief map there, describing the Triborough bridge complex and it’s relationship to Queens, Bronx, Manhattan, and Randalls/Wards Islands. Hidden behind a fence was another sign, one which adjures against the usage of camera equipment on the pathway and threatens strict enforcement, but I’ll swear on a stack of bibles that I didn’t see it until I was exiting the path on my way back to rolling hills of almond eyed Astoria.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There’s a rail for bicyclists to roll their ride down on the stairs, which is in tune with the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority’s rules stating that cyclists need to dismount and walk their bikes over the span. Yes, stairs, on a bike path. Yes, pedestrian and bikes coexisting within a very narrow space…

You want to understand something, use it, Ogilvy indicated.

TBTA, once the crown jewel and center of the “House of Moses,” is now a division of the larger MTA Bridges and Tunnels operation. That’s Moses as in Robert Moses. As much as MTA would enjoy being able to do so, the suspension of First Amendment rights and the specific suppression of photography isn’t something they can do. What they can do is invoke a rule that says “must follow instructions on posted signs.” By their logic, if you encounter a sign that says “jump” and you don’t leap to your death, you’re fair game for prosecution, fines and or tickets. Grrr.

Of course, as mentioned, I didn’t see any posted signs when entering the path since it was hidden and obscured. Ignorance of the law is no defense, they’ll tell you. Thereby – I’m now a villain, a rebel, a pentagenarian delinquent…

Tomorrow – photos from the forbidden zone and my daring foray into the criminal scene of the overworld of the Triborough Bridge, high above Astoria.


“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 blurb.com for $30.

Written by Mitch Waxman

April 13, 2021 at 11:00 am

inverse geometry

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Monday is da shizzle.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

What a busy weekend! This vaccinated thing is going great so far. More on that in a subsequent post.

The first two shots in today’s post were gathered in Long Island City, specifically the stretch of Borden Avenue which the Queens Midtown Expressway truss has positively loomed over since 1940, in the beginning of March. I tell you, lords and ladies, that the normal problem here at Newtown Pentacle is not being able to generate images quickly enough. Since I haven’t had as much to do during the pandemic, one thing I’ve kept busy with is shooting photos. I’m a good month ahead of myself these days, which is neat, but as the world starts back up I plan to get a bit more in sync with the seasons and current events.

Fed-Ex, like the other “last mile shipping” companies including Amazon and UPS, have been extremely busy for the last year. They’re also massively expanding their footprint around Newtown Creek. Newtown Creek Alliance recently worked with a graduate student named Geoff Storr on a policy brief about this expansion – which you can check out by clicking here.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Wandering around LIC, one of the things that jumps at me is the absolute sin of the wasted space under the Queens Midtown Expressway section of the Long Island Expressway. Specifically, this is the zone between Van Dam Street and the Queens Midtown Tunnel. Empty, used for illegal parking, illegal dumping, ugly.

There’s gotta be a better way!

A humble narrator is in the early stages of annoying an entirely different branch of the Government than the usual ones about this subject. In this case, the agency of record is the New York State Department of Transportation. I figure that since they’re all done with the Kosciuszcko Bridge project they must be looking for something new to do.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

On my way back to HQ on a particularly pleasant evening, this chunk of construction equipment was noticed. This is part of the same operation which I’ve talked about before, who are working out a contract to bring the crosswalks and corners into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. This involves “rekajiggering” the curb, pouring new concrete for the corner, and installing a “rumble strip” pad to provide tactile feedback to sight compromised or wheelchair users.

It provides me with something to take pictures of, so “win.”

Back tomorrow with more.


“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 blurb.com for $30.

Written by Mitch Waxman

April 12, 2021 at 1:00 pm

denizens thereof

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Monday is arisen, and risible.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The first two shots in today’s post were gathered during a quick visit to Astoria’s Luyster Creek, found on the forbidden northern shore of Queens. I’m told that the rotting wooden structure in the one above used to be a dock. Personally, I don’t have any reason to argue with that. As you can tell, it was low tide when I was waving the camera about and all of the exquisite petrochemical and human excrement smells normally subsumed by the waters of the East River and Bowery Bay were available for easy sniffing.

Y’know, when you’ve taken the deep dive into all of the Newtown Creek “superfun” that I have, your head gets filled up with all sorts of regulatory terms. “NAPL” is non aqueous phase liquid, for instance. “VOC’s” are volatile organic chemicals. What those five dollar terms indicate is that VOC’s – or petroleum derived products – mixing with VOC’s – basically raw sewage – is pretty bad. All this yuck settles down out of the water column and builds up a bed of sediments – called “Black Mayonnaise.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The flowing water found at the head of the canal, here at Luyster Creek, is a bit of mystery. I’ve asked my pals at the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation if they have any clue as to where this water is coming from. The theory is that it’s a natural spring being fed by “pore” or ground water, but that’s their best guess. The 20th century did a real job to the forbidden northern shore of Queens.

I’ve added Luyster Creek to my list of waterways, by the way. A group of us are going to head out here this weekend to do a shoreline cleanup, hopefully the first of many such endeavors. The good news is that some of my friends who work for the City are going to help out by letting us dispose of the collected trash in their bins.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Seriously, I haven’t been in Manhattan more than once or twice in the last year. This shot was collected when I was walking home from getting my first vaccination shot at a hospital on the Upper East Side. What a pleasure it was, I tell you, to walk home on a pleasantly warm day and catch that unoccluded East River afternoon sunshine. Sure, you have to dodge out of the way of people riding motorcycles in the bike lanes, which the bicycle people will tell me I’m imagining.

I’m a fan of the bike people’s push to turn the north side of Queensboro’s lower level current ped/bike lane into purely bike, while dedicating the south path for purely pedestrian access. Did you know that the south side lower level roadway used to be a trolley route? The streetcars would exit from the bridge and proceed up Northern Blvd. all the way to Woodside Avenue.


“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 blurb.com for $30.

Written by Mitch Waxman

April 5, 2021 at 11:00 am

fantastic handiwork

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Again, Friday?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Gaze at your navel, lords and ladies. One found himself in lucky circumstance on the night of a full moon, as the satellite’s relative position to the ancient village of Astoria provided for a line up with the cruciform adorning a local Christian meeting house. I’ve always wondered about why certain sects of Nazarene worship build fortresses as their sacred spaces. Guess it has a lot to do with European culture and history. American variants of Christianity abandon the masonry and curtain walls of these fortress building schemes, preferring instead auditorium style buildings made of wood. I’ve never encountered a church made of straw, nor witnessed a Big Bad Wolf trying to blow down a church, but there’s got to be a connection.

Ask a physicist to calculate it, since a humble narrator is shit at basic arithmetic let alone higher mathematics, but I’ve often wondered how many mega jeules of energy Yahweh must have channeled through the atmosphere to resurrect junior. The rest of the Bible indicates that with a few exceptions, Yahweh operates within the internal rules of it’s own universal constants. Didn’t just dissolve reality with a snap in the Noah story, Yahweh used a global flood instead. Sodom and Gomorrah were taken down using an obviously volcanic mechanism as well.

Let’s presume it’s all true, this predicate…

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Potential energy is what’s contained, chemically speaking, in all of Yahweh’s compounds and elements. Gasoline, by weight, holds a higher potentiality than a similar amount of wood or stone. It also doesn’t take too much in the way of added energy to get gasoline to begin releasing its chemically stored energy – just a spark will ignite it and get the process going. You want to burn wood, or stone? Both require significantly higher amounts of energy to get the ball rolling. Theoretically, the universal “Big Bang” started when a single particle encountered a spark powerful enough to detonate its chemical bonds. (I know it’s a lot more complicated than that)

This is why gasoline is good to use as fuel. Since this relationship between matter and energy – from a believer’s point of view – is all part of god’s plan, that indicates that the law of thermodynamics and the other theoretical underpinnings of Empirical thought are also revelatory as far as how that extra dimensional creature’s design for the universe was intended to operate. As mentioned above, the book which many say chronicles humanity’s interactions and observations with this supreme being backs up the idea that within the confines of its created universe – at least – Yahweh follows its own set of rules. Water is wet, fire is hot, energy cannot be created nor destroyed, objects set into motion will continue to move until another force acts on them. It’s quite simple, really. Newton was a deist, and the Catholic Church actually does fairly interesting Astronomy work these days, so I’m not wandering too far afield of the prelates here.

The homunculus which Yahweh spawned and was incarnated as within a human woman, presuming the virgin birth storyline is accurate, would have required a lightning bolt worth of introduced energy to begin gametogenesis, but that could have been redirected from atmospheric static electricity or universal background radiation – child’s play for the architect of mountain ranges and oceans. After the crucifixion, however, reanimating what was likely 130-150 pounds of dead human tissue would require nuclear bomb levels of energy to achieve a state of fine fettle. Factor in Jesus transporting around the Middle East to visit the apostles after the resurrection and it’s easy to explain why they all said he was glowing and that they smelled roses.

Since Yahweh sits “outside the fishbowl” as it were, this wouldn’t be too much work. After all, this is the entity that created the magnetic bubble containing the sun and who set the planets and asteroids traveling in interdependent helixes. Back then, Lucifer still worked for Yahweh, of course. You can get a lot done when the sons of fire are your construction crew, especially so when your foreman is Lucifer.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Fire fixes everything – I say that a lot. The only way to make sure something is totally gone is to burn it. Saying that, when you set your car on fire you’re not actually getting rid of it, rather you’re converting matter from one form to another by releasing the energy contained in its chemical bonds by introducing thermal energy into its equation. The matter disincorporates, forming particles of smoke. Again, this is consistent with empirical thought. The materials in your car which have chemical bonds too strong to break with the relatively paltry amount of energy represented by an oxygen based fire stay behind. You’d need a fantastic amount of introduced energy to vaporize or particalize iron and steel. I think it needs to be nuclear detonation, or even “reanimate Jesus” levels of energy.

In information technology circles, you encounter the concept of a “super user” or system administrator. As a regular “user” you’re logged into the system and have certain permissions associated with your login password. Most corporate systems allow the user to operate with some freedom, but there’s certain things which only the super user or admin can do. This is sensible. The admin sits outside the fishbowl, and has a mechanism for compiling complaints and requests for help from the regular “users.” Everything the admin does has to be internally consistent with both maintaining the users and underlying technologies which allow them to perform their various functions. Often, a system administrator will set themselves up with a user account to test their setups in a protected partition called a “sandbox.”

Since Yahweh is thereby effectively a system administrator for the universe, perhaps the reason why certain sects of Christians build their churches to look like fortresses is because they’re sandboxes? Is Lucifer thereby a hacker, trying to hijack the system?

Think about that this Easter weekend, since the doors of St. Peter’s chapel in Rome will be locked as they always are between Good Friday and Easter Sunday, as the throne of heaven sits ritually empty on Saturday. Easter Saturday is the devil’s day, according to occult tradition.


“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 blurb.com for $30.

Written by Mitch Waxman

April 2, 2021 at 2:00 pm

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