The Newtown Pentacle

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Posts Tagged ‘Birds

dimensioned original

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Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A frustrating series of events found a humble narrator staggering about the “Happy Place,” which is what I call industrial Maspeth. It just before sunset, and a bunch of birds were visible, doing bird things.

Every time I try to say what kind of a bird a bird is, I get it wrong, so nowadays I just make up names for them. Hence, the shot of that Crenulated Bean Stealer is offered. This was captured at an open sewer called Maspeth Creek.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Not far away, at the Maspeth Avenue Plank Road, there were two Triple Lobed Blunderbusses. Really, you can’t understand why the Audubon people hate me so much? I mean… seriously… they fundamentally don’t like me. It’s probably because I seldom admit how important their selves are.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The second blunderbuss, which I had described to a friend as a “football standing on one leg,” is pictured above.

While I was shooting these images at Newtown Creek, there was some guy who was casting a fishing line out into the water. He was “catch and releasing” and at one point pulled a foot long striped bass from the water.


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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

August 10, 2021 at 11:00 am

yellowed paper

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Reaching into the archives, in today’s post.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Sidelined as I’ve been for the last few weeks by holiday obligations, food poisoning, and my vulnerability to extreme cold – a humble narrator has little new to share with you today but the show must go on. Reaching into the archives, the shot of a Night Heron above was gathered while in the company of the Audubon Society on North Brother Island in 2012.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A pod of Dolphins surfacing was witnessed while onboard one of the inaugural “Whale watching” trips offered by the American Princess boat company, which hails from Breezey Point, back in 2010.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

In 2013, I met this kitten who was living in the rip rap shoreline of Staten Island, not far from the Staten Island Ferry terminal. Back tomorrow with something a bit more in depth, I hope, at this – your Newtown Pentacle.


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Written by Mitch Waxman

January 4, 2018 at 1:00 pm

Posted in animals, birds, cats

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Today is the Fête du Vodoun in the Republic of Benin.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Shlepping around Astoria one day, my footsteps found me over by Luyster Creek on the forbidden northern shore of Queens. The real estate shit flies have recently been getting pretty active nearby, with medium sized developments that absolutely do not have any connection to local elected officialdom’s blind trusts and out of office legal partnerships. That sort of thing could never happen in modern day NYC, after all. Dimly lit rooms have replaced the smoke filled ones, I’m told, as it’s now impolitique to smoke indoors. I don’t want to talk about any of that this week, however.

I came here for the boids. 

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Another urban waterway in Queens which I describe as a “future superfund site,” Luyster Creek can also be referred to as Steinway Creek – as it adjoins the Steinway piano factory and once upon a time, old man Steinway used to have his mahogany delivered in log form via Bowery Bay and Long Island Sound by floating it into Luyster Creek lumberjack style. One wrote a profile of the waterway at my old Brownstoner Queens column a few years ago, click here for it.

To understand the modern incarnation of the waterway, let’s just say that these shots were captured from a spot at the end of Astoria’s 19th avenue and that I was standing on an open sewer leaking sewage overflow from the nearby Bowery Bay sewer plant. The shorelines on the western side are pretty much all Consolidated Edison property, but as you head north to where it meets Bowery Bay, you’ll encounter a couple of fuel depots on the eastern side. The water smells like bad cheese and goat poop.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Despite all that, it’s still one of the spots where migratory water birds like to hang out during the winter. The shallows seem to host a fairly abundant amount of whatever delicacies they prefer to quaff. I’ve never been sure where “Duck” ends and “Mallard” begins, but there’s a few of one or the other in the shot above.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’m fairly sure that these friggin things are Mute Swans, which as of quite recently (January 1st) are no longer targeted by Department of Environmental Conservation hit squads for being a specie termed “invasive.” The DEC hit squads are nothing to mess around with, incidentally. A team of hard men and and women with combat experience and the “thousand yard stare,” they recently exterminated a group of coyotes in this area with extreme prejudice.

I’ve heard accounts of that operation which sounded like something from a Charles Bronson movie.


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Written by Mitch Waxman

January 10, 2017 at 11:00 am

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A short, and kind of weird, one today.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One has a number of theories about the shot above, captured on Greenpoint’s Manhattan Avenue near the corner of Commercial Street – about one block from the fabulous Newtown Creek. One involves a war in Pigeon Heaven and the stripping away of a rebel eidolon’s wings. Another revolves around an undescribed form of life, or something very much like life, which might lurk in the shadowy recesses of Greenpoint.

The most likely explanation involves feral cats, of course, but what fun is there in pondering that?

Back tomorrow with something a bit more substantial, a post that’ll carry a beat more “meat on the bone.”

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Written by Mitch Waxman

April 27, 2016 at 11:00 am

louder drone

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Holiday pretty pictures, in today’s post.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Found an unfortunate chicken on Newtown Road in Astoria a few years ago. It seemed like a cat had gotten at the upper reaches of the thing, so one decided to focus instead on the feet, since “out of frame” is “out of mind.” The family resemblance to Dinosaurs always seems pretty clear when you look at avian feet, no?

Enjoy the roast dinosaur you’re eating today, accordingly.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s my pal Jiminy the Parrot in the shot above, who will describe to you in fairly perfect English how he’s feeling about this or that. Jiminy often completes sentences started by the primates he hangs around with, which is a bit disconcerting. It’s also weird when he calls you a bird brain, but there you go.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The pigeon above was spotted in Sunnyside one day, and seemed to be considering something massive while a humble narrator clicked away with the camera. For some reason, it made sense that a thanksgiving post at this – your Newtown Pentacle – would be one for the birds.

Remember, you are what you eat, which means that when you start buying presents tomorrow on “Black Friday,” Jiminy the Parrot might call you a turkey or dinosaur – depending on his mood or if he’s green with envy.

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Written by Mitch Waxman

November 26, 2015 at 11:00 am

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