The Newtown Pentacle

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antique disintegration

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Monday

– 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. Also, I’m working on something rather time consuming that requires 100% of my attention this week since learning the nuances of a new software package is involved. Thusly, you’ll be seeing single shots and regular postings will resume next week.

Pictured above is the aptly named Railroad Avenue in the Blissville section of Long Island City, where a “critter” was assembling the garbage train.

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, October 26th. 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

October 26, 2020 at 1:00 pm

waddled in

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Thursday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Another night, another day. Another walk with the camera through the hinterlands of Long Island City. Another conversation about thwarting the ambitions of the EDC, or the Real Estate People, or the deeper meanings of what some elected official or candidate has just said. Another phone call to somebody to try and get them to help somebody else who has troubles. Another comment offered to the Government people on some plan they’re concocting, another opinion email sent, another night and another day and another walk around LIC with the camera. Another night spent developing photos, another day spent writing, another phone call asking me to do or say something I don’t want to do.

I’m in a rut, and due to the damned pandemic roaring back to life it’s only going to get worse. Ireland just locked down again, and their total death toll since March doesn’t even approach the number of people dying of this bug every single month in the good old U.S. of A.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Anxiety, that’s what I’m experiencing right now. One has made it a point of discussing this fact, which violates several social norms. You’re not supposed to talk about your feelings, especially negative ones that might connote weakness. Mental health is no different from the conditions affecting the rest of your body, in my view, and keeping quiet about it when you’re feeling anxious or scared makes it difficult for others to admit they’re feeling the same sort of insecurity and fear. That’s why I’m making it a point of being open about what I’m experiencing. One of my little mottos is “Say what you do, do what you say.”

I’m not looking forward to the next couple of fortnights.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

What can you do to prepare for the winter of discontent we’re all about to experience?

The only answer I can come up with is to charge the camera battery, put on my hiking shoes, and get ready for yet another walk through Long Island City on yet another afternoon or evening. I can try not to hurt anyone, intentionally or unintentionally. I can aspire to try and help people when they need help. What else can you do?

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, October 19th. 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

October 22, 2020 at 11:00 am

oddly sunburned

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Wednesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Half of everyone I know act like dicks more than half of the time, which is why I like to wander around by myself in the dead of night.

Doesn’t matter what their politics or religious life is like, still “dick” half the time. I know Christians who embrace cruelty and conformity, lefties who want to ensure their own freedoms by attenuating yours, and ideologues abound for every philosophical point and bent. Everybody has a badly formed opinion about everything, or doesn’t care about who gets annoyed as they endlessly beat their drums and drone on about something they haven’t personally dealt with. Everybody, and everything, is so freaking predictable in this behavioral climate that I find it depressing. Actuate an idea, make it real. Otherwise shut up and go along, stop trying to hurt other people in the name of making yourself feel better about the things you see when you look in the mirror. Empathy? Compassion? Bah.

Also, here’s a bit of advice – strategy and tactic are two different things. If you’re “busting a move,” it’s best to keep it to yourself until afterwards. Conservation of energy dictates that if you are, indeed, “busting a move” you should have a goal in mind while doing so. Otherwise you’re just a feeble peacock spreading your feathers and saying “look at me.” “Busting a move” is a tactic, not a strategy.

What wasn’t predictable to one as all wise and knowing as myself was encountering the weird digital looking light pattern cast through a fence by security lights and onto a line of inactive taxi cabs in Long Island City. Neato.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

During this particular photo outing, a humble narrator found himself being “eyeballed” by some guy in a gray sedan. On more than one occasion during my walk, I looked up and there he was, watching me. I smiled and waved, even when he made it a point of pulling up in front of me with his headlights pointed directly into the lens. My response was to walk around his car, while smiling, and then set up on the passenger side of the vehicle. Mood that I’ve been in lately, I was absolutely praying that he got out of the thing and started some shit with me. It’s been a long, long time…

I’m scared of groups of teenagers, not other middle aged men.

If you want to see somebody act like a dick, piss me off. Once I’ve decided – and it’s me who decides, not you – that I no longer have to pretend to be a nice guy with you it ain’t pretty. Full Brooklyn mode is engaged. Should you not wither and die before the verbal assault – and it is an assault – the physical attack is spring loaded and ready. Not bragging here, and it’s not a set of behaviors I’m proud of, but screw with the bull and you get the horns. I live my life in this manner, knowing that lots and lots of people are simmering all the time, just like me, and are ready to pop like a firecracker. Knowing that I’ve got one of those flare up kind of tempers, I’ve gone to great lengths to institute a series of psychological stop gaps in my reactive mind, which is why you’ve never seen me on one of those wanted posters at the Post Office.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

So why do people act like dicks half the time, when we all implicitly know that there are pressure cooker mentalities like mine ready to go off? Not everybody has learned to put a leash on their temper the way I have. Mike Tyson has famously opined that the reason for this is the lack of physical peril offered by the Internet when you say something ugly. You can’t get punched in the nose by Mike Tyson via Twitter. If Mike Tyson is ringing your doorbell, I guarantee you are going to try polity when attempting conflict resolution with him.

It’s good to be angry, and to argue your ideas. Just don’t be a dick about it, and maybe – just maybe – think about what you’re trying to achieve the next time you cancel or shun someone. Maybe it’s better to have somebody be a known quantity whom you can use tactically as part of an overarching strategy. When anybody gets too “woke” with me, I have a Libertarian or two in my social circles whom I unleash on them.

That’s the half of the time when I’m backed into acting like a dick.

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, October 19th. 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

October 21, 2020 at 1:00 pm

infinitely north

with one comment

Monday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One always tries to record the gear he encounters. Sometimes it’s a boat or a ship operated by some municipal agency or military branch, other times it’s a cop car or a some esoteric example of the fire brigade’s arsenal of cool tools. Heading towards home one recent evening, it was an MTA Mobile Wash Unit truck that caught my eye. The great thing about municipal kit is that it is purchased via an open bid process, which the agencies are required to publicly publish, so here’s the spec if you’re interested in manufacturing and selling Mobile Wash Unit vehicles to the State of New York.

I’ve been seeing these trucks all over the place during the pandemic months, presumptively accomplishing the disinfection mandate laid down by our Sith Lord Governor – Darth Cuomo. Have you seen the video of Governor Cuomo’s recent visit to City Hall and his interaction with Bill De Blasio’s staffers? No? Here you go.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Sometimes a guy just needs a little good cheer to lift his spirits, other times you need hydraulics and a forty foot long extendable platform attached to a motorized chassis.

These lift gizmos are cool, and I want one. Were I to adopt this as my personal ride, I’d figure out a way to legally use the bike lanes – they call a lot of things “micro mobility,” nowadays Bro – and just imagine all the cool shots I could get from the extended altitude of that platform. Who needs a drone when you’ve got a “Hildskalf” like Odin. I just need two trained ravens named Hunin and Mugnin to act as spotters.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

This crane has definitively seen better days. It looks like how I feel most of the time. It’s found in a remote corner of the Newtown Creek industrial zone in Long Island City, also just like me. Am I actually a rusty crane? Existential crises abound.

This is a fairly busy week for old Mitch – tonight, Queens Community Board 1’s Transportation Committee will be meeting virtually. Tuesday night, the full CB1 group will be virtually gathered for the monthly meeting. On Wednesday, the Newtown Creek Community Advisory Group will also be meeting virtually. For information on how to attend these public meetings – click here for Queens CB1 and here for the Newtown Creek CAG.

Also coming up – this Tuesday is the fund raiser Gala for the Working Harbor Committee, and October 29th is the Tidal Toast fundraiser for Newtown Creek Alliance.

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, October 19th. 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

October 19, 2020 at 11:00 am

gray quill

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Friday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

After my encounter with the elemental forces of Industrial Maspeth at the Plank Road, wherein a cataract of broken water main fluids sought to sweep me into the Newtown Creek, a humble narrator was feeling pretty haughty. It was a full moon, after all, and here I was in the happy place. Saying that, one was still full of vinegar and a particularly long photowalk continued apace.

By the time I got home to Astoria on this particular night, I had covered about ten miles worth of ground. Only half of it was arduous, as I was walking against the rotation of the planet. Walking is easier if you just let the world turn under your feet. I’ve always wondered if you can move fast enough (in an atmosphere) to just be standing still, while allowing the world to spin around below your shoes. I’ve always wanted to form a fixed point in space/time.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Unfortunately, a humble narrator moves at a fairly predictable speed which aligns neatly with average human walking velocity. I’ve got a whole series of different gaits that are cycled through on my walks. Long strides, quick steps, sauntering… one tries to work different groups of muscles when out for a walk.

Always, though, I’m moving in shadow. I wish and fantasize about some sort of Harry Potter magick cloak which would render me invisible to passerby. Imagine it – you’re doing something and then you suddenly start hearing a DSLR shutter flipping about in a patch of empty space. Of course, there’s no such thing as empty – even the voids of outer space are laced with thinly dispersed energetic particles and molecular remnants. If you think about, stars and planets are ultimately congealed piles of space junk. Romantic, ain’t it?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My path back to Astoria carried me down 43rd street, through the terrifying tunnel sidewalk leading from Blissville to Sunnyside. This is my “put the mask back on” spot, by the way. Generally speaking, once I arrive at an area where there’s nobody else, I pull the thing off. Once an area where you can’t either “distance” or be alone has been reached it’s all mask all the time for me. Read that as 43rd street between the LIE and Skillman/39th Avenue, for instance. I’ve been picking my paths to favor being unmasked for a couple of months now, but again, depends on circumstance.

One thing that’s really been cooking my carrots about the mask thing has been that since my face is covered, excess body heat normally radiated by breathing and the mass of small blood vessels found in the face has forced me to stop wearing the baseball style caps which are normally part of my daily ensembles. It’s the small things which always strike me in times of tumult. Carrying a little bottle of hand sanitizer, which breaks all my rules about having liquids secreted about my person? Not wearing a cap?

The big problem, and I’m not being facetious here, is that I wear glasses full time at my advanced age and the breath fogging introduced to this practice by wearing a mask has found me crossing Queens Boulevard – at night – without a crystal clear view of oncoming traffic. Crossing the boulevard of death without being able to see the reaper coming for you? Brr. See y’all next week at this – your Newtown Pentacle.

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, October 12th. 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

October 16, 2020 at 11:00 am

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