The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

whirling fancy

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Thursday has stumbled in again.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One found himself in the “happy place,” as I refer to industrial Maspeth, during an extremely low tide. Pictured above is Maspeth Creek, with its exposed mounds of Black Mayonnaise. Maspeth Creek is one of the sections of the larger Newtown Creek which I’d like to see “delisted” as a navigable waterway (according to Coast Guard) and reclassified as an “environmental benefit” area. All of us at Newtown Creek Alliance can talk endlessly about the benefits that such a conversion would bring not just to the entire Newtown Creek waterway but also the industrial business zone surrounding it. Essentially, creating a tidal salt marsh environment here would be so beneficial that it could help offset the impact that the many, many truck based heavy industries of Maspeth create. A guy can dream, huh?

It was aromatic, to say the least, when this shot was gathered.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A few blocks away, at the Maspeth Plank Road site, you can actually see how low this tide was. It looks like you could just walk out and touch the wooden artifacts of the bridge which once crossed the Newtown Creek between Furman Island and Greenpoint’s Maspeth Avenue, but I would have sunk to mid thigh into the mire. Normally, all of that pebbly sediment is sitting under a few feet of water.

Wish I could say that I planned on hitting this low tide, but it was pure luck and coincidence – I was just out taking a long walk in a place with a virtually zero night time population.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

For the photography curious, these are all handheld shots. The newish camera I’m sporting these days, the Canon R6, coupled with a couple of fairly “bright” lenses is allowing me to leave the tripod at home when I don’t intend on doing either long exposures or any of the fancy pants focus stacking stuff. I’m not leaving all that behind, of course, but it’s been great fun to leave HQ with just two prime lenses and a camera in tow.

That, lords and ladies, is your Newtown Pentacle Thursday installment.


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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.

shifting hints

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Wednesday… sigh.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My weekly walk to Dutch Kills, or the “happy hunting grounds” as I call them, allowed for another shot of that tenacious little tree I’m obsessed with. Dutch Kills is a tributary of the larger Newtown Creek, which itself is a tributary of the East River, which is in turn an estuarial tributary where the Hudson River and Long Island Sound combine. Dutch Kills is contained entirely within Long Island City’s Degnon Terminal section, here in Queens.

This area has been my “go-to” for many years, and never so much as during the Pandemic year.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

If my intentions play out this week as planned, I won’t be visiting Dutch Kills, rather I’m out wandering around the City as I’m supposedly fully vaxxed by now – some 14-15 days after the second Pfizer shot made me start to think about X-Boxes all the time.

That little mud flat is part of a NYC DEP experiment in creating wetland environmental plantings here. There’s a few spots on Dutch Kills in which a staggering amount of money was spent in pursuance of planting native speciations, with the hope that it would provide environmental anchoring for shellfish and other critters.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

At the far end of the canal, you find a turning basin, which introduces a “T” shape to the northern extent of Dutch Kills. A turning basin is an area where a ship or tug and barge combination has an opportunity to reverse course by turning their bow to the direction they’re going in, which is a lot more efficient than reversing course.

Back tomorrow.


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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 7, 2021 at 11:00 am

perfumed jungles

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Awww, it’s only Tuesday.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

To start – it was just weird to be out during the daylight and taking pictures while walking back from Manhattan via the Queensboro Bridge about a month ago. It’s been so long that I had to constantly remind myself to check my exposure settings. The night time stuff which has been on offer for the last year, the solitude thereof having been necessitated by obvious concerns, is comparatively “one and done” in terms of exposure and ISO sensitivity due to the somewhat predictable levels of nocturnal street lighting. Sure, I have to dial the shutter speed around here and there or up the ISO sensitivity, but… it’s been a long time since I had to worry about the deep shadows and blown out highlights encountered due to the burning thermonuclear eye of god itself bobbing about in the afternoon sky.

Luckily, the Roosevelt Island Tram was still there. I plan on riding on this thing sometime this week, actually. Hope I get a chance to wipe a clean spot on its window before boarding. If you haven’t been, there’s commanding views of the Queensboro Bridge to be experienced from up there, and it’s “one of those NYC things to check off your list.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Other goals and destinations abound. I’m also planning on visiting the Empire State Building’s observation deck soon. I’m hoping they’re still offering discounts. Getting high in Manhattan is often a problem, since a) you either have to know somebody who can let you in and get you to a window, b) there’s an in person meeting happening in a cool place, or c) you have an opportunity to trespass without being jailed. Getting high refers to altitude, of course, since the other meaning of it is no longer illegal.

My goodness, I’ve actually lived long enough to see the most onerous of the Rockefeller drug laws in New York State done away with.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Back at home, a couple of days later, I was lucky enough to catch the Amtrak people leaving the door to the Acela maintenance building open. As I’ve mentioned more times than I can remember, the Sunnyside Yards people have been poking new holes in their fences at a rapid pace. It seems like every day I find a new surveyor’s hole or some the after effect of some construction worker’s need to push a hose or a cable down to the rail yard.

Back tomorrow, at this – your Newtown Pentacle.


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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 6, 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.


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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 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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