The Newtown Pentacle

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those obeisances

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Wednesdays happen, buddy.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Already this week have I described to you my plan to line the banks of Dutch Kills with carnivore vegetables and a squirming menagerie of giant spiders, bats, and a truly diverse group of reptiles. Additionally, my plans to acquire and live within a massive battle tank called the “Mobile Oppression Platform” have been discussed.

All of this walking around at night over the last year in particular got me curious about all of these empty “not in service” buses I saw roaming around and inquiries were made. These buses, as it turns out, ain’t empty.

Today, I will reveal a deeply concealed municipal secret – the fact that the MTA provides late night bus service for ghosts, phantoms, and spectral entities. They don’t discriminate based on what sort of disembodied intelligence you might manifest as, the MTA doesn’t, in accordance with NYS law.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The route starts in Brooklyn, at the Cemetery of the Evergreens, and it stops nearby each and every one of the green islands that compose the “Cemetery Belt.” Last stop and turnaround occurs at St. Michael’s in Astoria. It’s a strictly dusk to dawn route, naturally. It seems that the newly minted MTA, shortly after it was created by Governor Nelson Rockefeller back in 1965, discovered that one of the private several bus companies it absorbed was a charter service employed by a Brownsville based Theosophical Society. The line is funded by a covenanted trust fund which this organization had set up back in the mid 1920’s. Contractually speaking, whomsoever the owners of this bus route end up being at any time in the future, they are obliged to run nocturnal service between the various polyandrions of Brooklyn and Queens if they desire access to the surprisingly large amount of money managed by this trust. NYS Law respects covenants and contracts deeply, and financial covenants are virtually immortal. So too, are certain commuters.

As to the veiled purpose, intent, or goals of the Brownsville Theosophical Society or the identity of its mysterious acolytes – that’s lost to time. A century later, MTA is still shuttling the spirits of our ancestors about at night, doing the bidding of the long disbanded BTS. Internally, MTA drops the “Theosophical” from BTS’s Brownsville Theosophical Society designation, and they refer to the line as the “Q-BS.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The “not in service” banner on the bus route display screens are just there to keep the living from getting too interested, and the last thing you’d want to do is ride the haunted bus anyway. Haven’t you heard that demon possession is way up since the pandemic hit? I have. Word has it that the driver’s Union demands hazard pay for their members assigned to this route, and that the operator’s booth is armored with medallions, amulets, holy symbols, even garlands of garlic.

Now… the real question is why you would want to create easy egress for the tomb legions to communicate with each other. What benefits are arrived at from this ghastly congress? Where does the bus go for maintenance and how can they know whether or not some distaff spirit hasn’t decided to just stay onboard? How do you handle fare control and ticketing? Who were the BTS?


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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

April 21, 2021 at 11:00 am

eye holes

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Tuesday, inevitably.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

All of this walking is a drag. What a humble narrator wants, nay needs, is a set of wheels. I don’t want one of your Camry’s or Buick’s either, what I want is a truly onerous vehicle. The sort of thing George Peppard and Ernest Borgnine would roll around with after a nuclear apocalypse in a 1970’s movie of the week. A vehicle with a dashboard switch for electrifying the fenders, puncture and bullet proof tires, and some sort of sonic deterrent anti-crowd mechanism mounted on the roof. I’d call it my “mobile oppression platform” or “MOP.” It would be a mighty vehicle, armored enough to drive through schools, and the entire thing would be outfitted with cameras to record the indignation of those unlucky enough to exist outside of it.

Within, I’d recreate a 1960’s American split level ranch house. Decor wise, it would look a great deal like Mike and Carol Brady’s place on the old tv show about their bunch, but with odd panels of knobs and blinking lights which control the external defensive mechanisms – flame throwers, barbed wire whips, steam jets.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Me and the MOP would be constantly moving, mainly to avoid answering the NYPD’s questions about the puddles of scarlet viscera we’d be scattering. Hull armor notwithstanding, personal security is no joke. “Van Life” has become a “thing” and particularly so during the pandemic. I’m seeing literally hundreds of RV’s and specially kitted out cargo vans that people are living in all over Brooklyn and Queens these days. Go to YouTube and type “van life” into the search bar and you’ll soon discover that this is a “thing.”

Obviously, none of these people are from Brooklyn, where certain habits acquired during the 1980’s saw people like me breaking glass bottles and cementing them to the window’s outside sills to keep the crackheads out. Inside, you’d keep a collection of hollow metal things which would make a clattering sound should someone knock them over while climbing through your window – allowing you enough time to grab one of the many weapons you had hidden around the apartment for easy use. What? You don’t have a pipe dressed up in electrical tape sticking out from under your mattress? What are you, some kind of hippie?

Nobody, and I mean nobody, will make it into the Mobile Oppression Platform uninvited. I’ll have trained guard Ferrets with fricking lasers mounted on their heads inside. Moe, Larry, Curly – three of them.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’d really like the MOP to have some sort of anti-gravity plate mounted on the bottom, as such kit would allow me to float about Damnation Alley with nary a care. Wheeled vehicles are stuck to the ground, after all, which means they consume a lot of fuel. Despite the fantastic amount of energy a nuclear reactor would offer, you still need a considerable amount of ancillary equipment to convert that energy into available electric or mechanical energy and that would impede the MOP’s mid century modern decor within. I’d like to install an engine thereby which spews as much pollution as possible, and burns bricks of sulphur just for effect.

I imagine the MOP as being about the length of three city buses, and about twenty five feet in height. There would be antennae as well, but you can always rig those back. This wouldn’t be a vehicle, this would be an Iron Man suit you sit inside of, my Mobile Oppression Platform.

I’m waiting for my stimulus check from the Patriarchy to arrive, then heading over to Northern Blvd. to go MOP shopping.


“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 20, 2021 at 11:30 am

undreamed of

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It’s called Thursday, if you’re bold enough to speak its name.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It’s Gas Station day at Newtown Pentacle. The one above is the first thing you see when entering Long Island City after crossing Newtown Creek on the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge and it’s in the Blissville neighborhood. Remember the long gas lines after Hurricane Sandy back in 2012? They sure do at this gas station, as a 2012 customer lost their patience when the pumps got shut off, produced a firearm and proceeded to murder somebody who worked here. I think there’s different owners for the franchise location, and if memory serves – I don’t think it used to be a Gulf filling station. Might have been a Sunoco. Have to look in my archives.

Motherflowers. People walk around like they’re safe or something… what this City really needs is a good plague… oh… whoopsies

Wonder how many of the other things we used to say while milling about in front of CBGB’s will come true someday.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One hasn’t got a murder story to tell about this gas station, found at the corner of 49th and Greenpoint Avenues at the risible border of Blissville and Sunnyside, nearby the Long Island Expressway. A Mobil franchised filling station, this is a deucedly difficult setup to photograph. Something about the contrasty lighting and “red, white, and blue” neon brand colors necessitates a complicated and somewhat contradictory exposure triangle for the capture.

49th Avenue proceeds in a generally westerly direction, transversing from the altitudinal prominence of Laurel Hill, which Greenpoint Avenue rides along and Calvary Cemetery sits atop. 49th Avenue crosses Van Dam Street, and in doing so transmogrifies into Hunters Point Avenue shortly before crossing the Dutch Kills tributary of Newtown Creek, and then regains it’s numerical dub at 21st street nearby the 7 train station.

It’s all very complicated.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

When you start with homicide, that’s all people want to hear about. This Sunnyside/LIC gas station on Queens Boulevard also sports a car wash, but I don’t have any tales of death or dismemberment associated with it in my quiver.

Another one of the weighty questions I’ve got about Queens is “where does LIC stop and Sunnyside begin”? I kind of place “proper” Sunnyside at no farther west than 36th or 37th street along Queens Blvd. If you’re south of Queens Blvd., however, Sunnyside continues all the way to the LIE. The eastern border is definitely Woodside Avenue/58th street, and Northern Blvd. provides another hard border for the area. Saying that, I consider Northern Blvd. to be an “LIC corridor” just like Skillman Avenue west of 39th street is, all the way from 31st street to Broadway.

Of course, any neighborhood in Queens whose zip code starts with a “111” is part of the historic municipality of Long Island City, which actually includes all of Astoria and most of Sunnyside – or at least the 11104 part of it.

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, March 15th. 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 here, 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.


“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

March 18, 2021 at 11:00 am

mystical pretensions

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Wednesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A humble narrator is taking a break this week, as his anxiety and or stress levels have become absolutely maxed out. Thusly, you’ll be seeing single shots and regular postings will resume next week.

Pictured above is a gas station found in Long Island City’s Blissville section.

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, February 15th. 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 here, 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.


“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

February 17, 2021 at 11:00 am

country legends

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Thursday, and how I almost broke my neck.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Maspeth is quite hilly. I’ve always opined that walking up 69th street, leading up from Queens Blvd. to Borden Avenue, is not unlike visiting one of the Mayan pyramids and that there should be similarly be a chain laid down on the sidewalk to grab onto and aid you in climbing the ascent. The reason behind this steep elevation is geological, as the terminal moraine of Long Island’s western extent begins in Maspeth (at Mt. Olivette cemetery) whereas the lower declination closer to the East River are a sort of glacial mud puddle. When you’re in a boat on Newtown Creek, you can easily visualize the ridge which gives Ridgewood its name, and see the geologic “soup bowl.” In the shot above, you can discern the radical change in elevation of Maspeth which is encountered in just one city block, an ascent of something like three building stories of height.

While walking down this hill, I slipped on a chunk of metal, while holding the camera tripod in front of me in a posture not unlike that of carrying a rifle. I found myself propelled forward head first, and rather than try to fight gravity, my instinctual response was instead to sprint into the fall. Running allowed me to regain my balance, which was lucky. If I hadn’t saved myself here, it would have been a tooth breaking face plant on the sidewalk, and my torso would have smashed the camera and tripod into the pavement. As it is, it took me running all the way to that utility pole in the shot above before I regained proper walking balance. It was actually quite comical.

Gravity and momentum, they affect us all, bro.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Luckily, I managed to pull a muscle in my back and the act of locking up my abdomen and chest to maintain an erect running posture caused my neck and shoulders to cramp up, but that’s what it’s like being in your early 50’s. These are also the sort of banal adventures which an intrepid urban explorer encounters while walking around on anything but flood planes. In my defense, neighborhoods in my county of origin had names like “Flatlands” and “Flatbush.”

I expect that there’s some security guy who had a good laugh watching the cctv footage of this particular moment the next morning. The word you’re looking for is “klutz.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Back to those “corridors” mentioned yesterday, one set out for hq along the 43rd street/Laurel Hill Blvd. corridor. This entails a fairly terrifying walk along a sidewalk which barely has a curb and which adjoins the onramp of the Brooklyn Queens Expressway leading onto the Kosciuszcko Bridge. Tire tracks left behind by automobiles and trucks on this sidewalk provide efficacy of the commitment to street safety which is offered by the NYC DOT.

I plan on calling Thrive NYC to discuss my worries about all of this. Chirlane will know what I should think.

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, January 18th. 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 here, 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.


“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

January 21, 2021 at 11:00 am

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