The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

hollowed tree

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Monday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

What with the looming move to Pittsburgh coming up in just one week, and with Thanksgiving and everything else going on at the moment, a humble narrator is forced into taking a bit of a break this week. Single images will be greeting you, thereby.

Hopefully – next week, “normal” posts will return, but there’s a possibility that during the first week of December you very well might still be seeing single images here. As mentioned – a lot of balls are in the air and are being actively juggled at the moment. At any rate, I’ll definitely be posting about NYC and Newtown Creek through the end of the year, and possibly a couple of weeks into the new one. I’ve really been all over hill and dale, and the blasted heaths and concrete devastations, in the last month. Everybody is asking, so – yes, I plan on continuing to post here at Newtown Pentacle and no – I’m not changing the name. Things will transition over to Pittsburgh, and I’m hoping that y’all will stick with me as I learn about and experience my new home. It’s an extremely interesting place.

Pictured above is the Chrysler Building shortly after a wicked series of thunderstorms blew through the Shining City back in 2009. The image above, and a horizontal landscape one shot during the same session, are my most pirated images. There’s seemingly a whole industrial sector in China devoted to exploiting it commercially without paying me for usage rights.


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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

November 21, 2022 at 11:00 am

bodily dislodgement

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Friday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

October 21st, and I was continuing my exploration of a few spots in College Point and Whitestone which seemed promising. These were located during a session I spent with Google Maps’ street view feature. The 1961 Throgs Neck Bridge is what it depicts. The Google map said I was in a dog park, but it was actually just a parking lot alongside a parkway.

The hour was growing a bit late, and plans to meet Our Lady of the Pentacle back in Astoria were in the offing, so I packed up my troubles in the old kit bag. Yes, I did, indeed, “smile, smile, smile.”

For those of you under the age of 1,000, that’s a jokey reference to this song.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

October 22nd saw me in Flushing, at the Queens Botanical Garden.

There were pumpkins.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

October 25th and I was scheduled to spend a day with one of my closest friends driving around Southern Brooklyn, but it was very foggy when I left the house about 8:30 a.m. My ultimate meetup destination was in Park Slope, and there’s an obvious way to get there by car from Astoria, one which unfortunately involves sitting in a lot of Manhattan bound traffic on a certain expressway that connects Brooklyn and Queens.

I decided to go there via the less obvious but more interesting route, by driving to Ridgewood and then hanging a right and then a left or two in Bushwick and then proceeding through that central part of Brooklyn which nobody ever talks about these days. Along my way to the first right in Ridgewood, I crossed Newtown Creek and couldn’t resist a shot or two of the Grand Street Bridge all cloaked up in mist.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The new car has a moon roof. I don’t know what the actual difference between a sun roof and a moon roof is, but there you are. As I was driving along, whenever I got stuck at a light, I’d shove the camera up through the moon roof and turn the camera’s LED screen to a convenient angle so I could compose and record a quick shot.

That’s Brooklyn’s Grand Army Plaza, all fogged up.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I did the same thing with the camera and moon roof on my way home. The fog had cleared by the afternoon, and the burning thermonuclear eye of God itself had burst into view. I was driving down Flatbush Avenue, this time headed in the direction of the aforementioned expressway betwixt Brooklyn and Queens.

I’ve been doing this sort of shot a bunch the last couple of weeks, as I’ve been driving a lot since receiving the car. It’s an interesting perspective for me, since the position of the lens to the car’s roof as it stands relative to the ground – if it were “eye level” – would indicate that I’m about six inches taller than I actually am.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

An errand got me off the expressway and into the Woodside and Jackson Heights zone, where I had to weave an automotive path through the various “improvements” to traffic flow offered by the City in recent years. While driving down Roosevelt Avenue, a splotch of pigeon scat landed on the hood of my car, and I decided that it would be good idea to close the moon roof.

Hey, they say that’s lucky, having a pigeon poop on you.


“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

November 18, 2022 at 11:00 am

thumping rattle

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Thursday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

October 20th and a humble narrator had just received the most critical bit of equipment needed to enable his “escape from New York.” A car.

All of these years in Queens, I’ve been a dedicated pedestrian and married to mass transit. I’ve always opined that having a car in Astoria is more of a curse than a boon. It was actually cheaper for me to use ride shares or cabs when I needed a ride than it was to own one.

I’m moving to America, and quite literally to “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood,” where you cannot exist on the continent without a vehicle so I had to drop the hammer. Placed the order in July, and got a fresh from the factory new car in late October.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Since becoming hyper mobile and independent of the geographic restrictions which are governed by how far my feet can scuttle, as well as the physical constraints of how long I can carry my photo kit, one has been ranging all over the city. Saying that, what is being missed out on now are the little things that you can’t see when driving along as you’re moving too fast.

After getting my driver’s license reinstated earlier this year, I rented a few different vehicles from Avis and Hertz, looking for a good fit for Our Lady of the Pentacle and myself. The Toyota RAV4 Hybrids rose to the top of my list, and we ordered one from one of the new car dealerships on Northern Boulevard. My accountant opined that even if I bought the thing in Alaska, NYS would still bill me for sales tax since my legal address would still here at the time of purchase, so I bit the bullet. Hopefully, this will be my last really large contribution to the black hole that Albany throws our earnings into to finance its dysfunction.

One of the bits of advice I offer is “if you’re thinking about buying a car, rent the model for a week first, and see if you like it.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

October 21st saw me taking advantage of this new mobility to get a few shots from an area that has always been a little too far off the grid for me to walk around, the coast lines of College Point and Whitestone.

That’s the Bronx Whitestone Bridge pictured above and below.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Funnily enough, I’ve got more shots of this bridge from the Bronx side than I do the Queens one, due to there being a ferry stop on the Soundview NYC Ferry line in the former location.

I tooled around the area, exploiting several points of view which I had previously scouted out on Google maps. The Google Maps app is a great tool as far as finding potential points of view in areas which are either tangentially known or are complete mysteries. I never would have thought to visit the “Whitestone Bridge Observatory” otherwise, or even suspected such a roundabout street end existed.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Whitestone seems to be a super wealthy community, with expansive homes that border on “mansion” nestled right up against the water. It looks more like a suburb than it does NYC. You don’t see piles of cast off garbage or debased humans lying in the street, for instance.

I had several photo set ups planned for the day, and since I was in a car, didn’t mind carrying all of the heavy kit which would normally create a limit on how far and wide I could range.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There aren’t too many Sandy beaches on the East River. I think it’s about 6 or 7, that I know about at least. That’s one of them, above, at Francis Lewis Park. Nice spot.

One kept on heading eastwards, right up and sometimes over the City/Nassau County line.

More on that tomorrow at your – now – hard driving 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

November 17, 2022 at 11:00 am

disreputably nourished

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Wednesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

October 11th saw me conducting a small walking tour for a couple of friends of First Calvary Cemetery.

I haven’t been able to conduct any commercial tours of Calvary for quite a while now, due to a cease and desist letter which the Roman Catholic Church sent me. I actually consider that to be a feather in my cap.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

October 13th was a rainy day, and night, so I lingered at HQ and shot a few portraits of the Bodega across the street from my porch.

I had an invite to a fundraiser party in Williamsburg the next day, and planned on getting to Brooklyn the long way around.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

October 17th, one left HQ and started trekking towards Brooklyn. I didn’t have too much else going on, so a photowalk was on order for the day. The rain was coming and going, but I had an umbrella.

My plan was to walk for three or four subway stops to Court Square, and then use the G line subway to complete the trip.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I could have taken the train the whole way from Astoria and just transferred – but where’s the fun in that?

I actually wandered pretty far afield of my intended path, and ended up – as usual – in the neighborhood surrounding Dutch Kills in LIC on my way.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Foliage. That’s my excuse. Fall foliage.

The party I was heading to was for the Evergreen outfit, which is one of the groups that Newtown Creek Alliance is allies with. They’re a “BID” or Business Improvement District group which advocates for the industrial zone of North Brooklyn. Nice bunch of people, and it was a good party with lots of friends in attendance. In the end, I just walked to Williamsburg from LIC.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

At some point after the party, the rain became somewhat intense, so I made my way to the subway and caught the G.

Y’know what? That was probably the last time that I’d ever be riding the G train. After all, my entire world changed a couple of days later.


“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

November 16, 2022 at 11:00 am

noxious heap

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Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Continuing with the sights witnessed along a longish scuttle on October 8th, a humble narrator found himself crossing the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge and heading towards Brooklyn’s Greenpoint section.

That’s my beloved Newtown Creek in the shot above. About 1.3 miles back from the East River.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Kingsland Avenue is in the process of being redesigned in response to the opening of Phase 3 of the Newtown Creek Nature Walk at the sewer plant, which has brought lots and lots of pedestrian and bike traffic to the former entirely industrial street. As always seems to be the case these days, NYC DOT’s traffic engineers has managed to imagine up the worst possible design, and implemented it in a piecemeal and inconsistently thought out fashion.

Somebody else’s problem now. I’m done fighting City Hall.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

At the Nature Walk, which hugs the water facing side of the Sewer Plant, the Pulaski Bridge opening for a passing tug was observed.

Somebody recognized me, and I was having a conversation with them while climbing on a fence. They were clearly afraid that I was going to fall in the water while doing so, but there you are.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The next section of my walk involved attaining the Pulaski Bridge’s pedestrian path. Which carried me back out of Brooklyn and into Queens’ Long Island City section.

One briefly considered hopping on the subway, but it was a beautiful day and I just kept on scuttling.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One headed eastwards on Jackson Avenue, heading towards Astoria.

“Every time might be the last time.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Queens Plaza has become absolutely unrecognizable at this point. The few remaining industrial buildings and warehouses which survived the reconstruction of the area have finally been consumed by the real estate frenzy.

Tomorrow – something a bit different, 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.

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