The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

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tinsel emptiness

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Friday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The 11th of July was meant to be a “Manhattanhenge” night, and despite the gloomy weather a humble narrator decided to throw the dice and see what could be seen from up on the Kosciuszcko Bridge. The weather precluded any sort of henge, but what – I’m not going to set up the tripod and get busy after shlepping over here from Astoria?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Obviously, this shot was gathered a bit earlier than the first one. Heavy humidity and low flying clouds marred the astronomical phenomena of Manhattanhenge, wherein the burning thermonuclear eye of god itself’s transit through the sky aligns neatly with the street grid of NYC’s master cylinder. Regardless, I was digging the fact that the skyscrapers were actually scraping sky.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The bum foot and pulled muscle in my back resulted in me waiting for yet another cab to carry my sorry butt back to HQ in Astoria. I’ve discovered that if you stand on the Maspeth side of the street, as opposed to the LIC side, Lyft knocks a few bucks off the fare. That’s a pro tip for y’all.

See you next week. Vote Quimby.


“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

July 23, 2021 at 11:00 am

moving outrageously

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Thursday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The great thing about Astoria is that even on a day when you’re staying in, Queens brings the show right to your front door. The shot above is from May 22nd, when a largish protest group was moving through the neighborhood demonstrating in support of the Palestinian cause. Luckily for me, I was able to shoot them going by from the comfort of an outdoor porch. Here’s the whole set of shots.

Before any of you get started on debating the Israel/Palestine thing… just don’t. I got kicked out of Jewish Summer Camp when I was 11 for my particular set of opinions (yes, I’ve always been like this) on this subject. Suffice to say that there’s a largish number of very poor people who have been stuck between a military death machine and an organized crime family since 1949. Everyone involved is both entirely right and utterly wrong. There is no solution, only intermittent cessation between slaughters. The Romans couldn’t fix this problem with crucifixions. The Turks couldn’t with literal flaying. There is no justice, there is no peace, never will be. End of conversation, as far as I’m concerned.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A Memorial Day shot from Blissville, depicting current Queens Borough President Donovan Richards “speechifying.” There’s a tiny triangle park right at the corner of Van Dam/Greenpoint/Review Ave. dedicated to the memory of Sgt. Daniel Kish. If memory serves, Blissville’s Kish died at the battle of Guadalcanal during WW2. For many years, this memorial was looked after by a nearby American Legion Post, but that organization seems to have aged out and become defunct. The memorial is in poor condition, and Hurricane Sandy claimed the flag pole that used to be here, so City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer just allocated a sizable amount of cash to the Blissville Civic Association to spruce the memorial up and erect a new flagpole there. Jimmy did an event here on some random Thursday to announce the funding, but I couldn’t make that one.

Since this is election season, of course, and Jimmy Van Bramer is running for Borough President against the incumbent Mr. Richards… Holy smokes has the Kish triangle become a political hotbed. At the event which the shot above was captured at, another BP candidate – Liz Crowley – also showed up, as did City Council candidates Brent O’Leary, Julia Forman, Amit Bagga, Emily Sharpe, and there were several others who showed up as well. Here’s the whole set of shots from May 31, 2021.

Man, the amount of effort it takes to get these people to Newtown Creek when it’s not an election cycle… The following week, two other candidates – Jonathan Bailey and Stephen Ragga – did another event here. General consensus is that if the election was just about who has the best hair – Bailey wins. Here’s a few shots from that one.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Last, I was on the R heading to Jackson Heights to make a connection with the 7 so I could hit LIC before the burning thermonuclear eye of god itself slid behind New Jersey when I spotted this little fare dodger sitting on some dude’s shoulder.

Fun times in the ancient villages of Western Queens, I tell’s ya.


“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

June 17, 2021 at 1:00 pm

horrible familiarity

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Wednesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The only times I’m actually happy are when I’m operating the camera. Accordingly, one found himself lingering about on the Koscisuzcko Bridge recently awaiting the occlusion of the burning thermonuclear eye of god itself behind the Manhattan shield wall. I had the whole kit and kaboodle with me for a change, and figured to make good use of the tripod I had been laboriously carrying around.

Funny thing about the new camera is that I really don’t need the tripod that often anymore and only carry it with me when a specific shot that requires it is in mind, such as the first image in today’s post.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Having accomplished my goal of “getting a nice sunset shot of the creek” after hanging around on the Kosciuszcko Bridge for awhile, I broke down the tripod setup and got back to normal handheld shooting. There’s a couple of other shooters I see up there periodically, an older guy who carries a Nikon and a young woman who favors the Sony system. My guess is that they’re both Greenpoint people. I’ve tried to chat about camera stuff briefly with the old guy, but there’s a language barrier we keep running into. The woman always has headphones on, which is a “tell” saying “I don’t want to chat.” Read the room, huh?

At any rate, gear safely stored for carrying, I pointed my toes towards Queens and began scuttling back towards home.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Naturally – thereby – after I had packed everything up and affixed a non zoom lens to the camera, the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge opened up about 3/4 of a mile to the west. Sigh.

More tomorrow 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 blurb.com for $30.

Written by Mitch Waxman

June 2, 2021 at 1:00 pm

cosmic continua

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Monday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

This week’s posts start and end with trains. There’s your “Chekhov’s Gun” for you, laid out all nice and obvious. Pictured above is an out of service Long Island Rail Road train which has been stored at the Blissville Yard in Long Island City’s Blissville section for about a year. It recently received a new coat of graffiti, and I’ve shown it to you in the past when its last iterative coating of street art was applied.

A humble narrator is in a bit of a mood at the moment. Controversy and politics amongst those of us who scurry about trying to pick up the crumbs that drop from the master’s table has broken out. If you’re reading this and know what I’m referring to, I’d opine that you should leave me out of your arguing. Don’t make me come over there.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Stupid, selfish, and self obsessed – that’s how I’d describe the mythological “noble” character of this country of ours in modernity. We’ve always been absolute monsters to each other, despite what the National narrative teaches. An iconoclastic fad is underway at the moment, dedicated to tearing down the firmament of our national sense of self. Extreme ideologies with no grounding in historical custom or law has been loosed upon a poorly educated and incurious population. Take a breath, y’all, huh?

Luckily, summer is coming, which indicates that I’ve got a roughly 60 day long break from having to attend any meetings regarding governmental bullshit nearing. This whole cycle of bullshit we’ve all been dealing with for the last decade or so should be coming to an end within the next couple of weeks, which will kick off a new cycle of bullshit. By the end of June, after the electoral primaries, we’ll know who the new god kings of Queens are going to be and exactly where and when they want their asses to be publicly kissed or when they privately want smoke blown up their alimentary.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

On Railroad Avenue, in the Blissville section of Long Island City, a tree can be observed. It’s the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil on Newtown Creek. Same species as the one in Eden, just not as knowledgable a fruit. Go figure. One recently encountered a cast off fruiting of this tree, just lying there on the side of the road. Like the great shit sandwich that is our culture, I had to take a bite. As a note, there were no serpents slithering about.

No more Mister Nice Guy, that’s what I said once the scales fell from my eyes. I wasn’t that nice to start with, so…


“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

May 31, 2021 at 1:00 pm

hieroglyphed dial

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Monday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The Green Asphalt company operates out of a property in the Blissville section of Long Island City, along the inscrutable Newtown Creek. Green Asphalt is in the recycling business, ultimately. When the NYC DOT or its contractors are resurfacing a road, milling machines are brought in first, which scratch away the top layers of “road armor” which are collected in dump trucks. That road armor is asphalt, which is an admixture of concrete and petroleum oil and tar. It seems that asphalt can be renewed, rather than dumped, using an industrial process involving very hot steam and lots of machinery.

Green Asphalt operates within the regulatory framework of NYC’s 2010 Solid Waste Management policy. They divert literally millions of tons of asphalt from expensively going into landfills. They also employ a lot of Unionized Blue Collar employees. Win.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s some of the equipment they have deployed over in Blissville. My colleagues and I from Newtown Creek Alliance were invited to attend a presentation and open site day the company offered. There was a neat shwag bag on offer, and they gave us coffee and sandwiches during the event. The Deputy Borough President of Queens attended, as did a few of the other “powers that be” here in the World’s Borough.

Overall, some pretty nice people run the show over there, working in an ecologically important role. It’s a heavy industry, yes, and one that’s currently entirely truck based (they’re going to be expanding use of their maritime bulkhead along the Creek soon) but before companies like Green Asphalt came along, NYC used to pay through the nose for dumping asphalt in landfills located in distant places.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

This post, by the way, is where the “adventures of vaccinated Mitch” really start. Like a bat let out of a cage is how I’d describe the last few weeks of activity. These photos were gathered at the end of April, shortly after the second shot had fully soaked in. I’ve been in 4 of the 5 Boroughs just in the last few weeks, traveling on boats and trains and of course by foot.

What’s been really weird for me has been being awake during the daylight hours after the long nocturnal interval.


“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

May 17, 2021 at 1:00 pm

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