The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Posts Tagged ‘Midtown

grim purpose

with one comment

Getting out of dodge, in today’s post.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As detailed yesterday, one is not exactly in love with Manhatan these days. What can I tell you, having grown up in a Jewish family whose roots are in the “pale,” bitching and moaning comes naturally to me; and having grown up in Brooklyn – I’m fairly well convinced that my opinion actually matters for something. I was in town for a social engagement, and above is another shot from that rooftop I ended yesterday’s post on. This one is looking south towards the battery, from the Tenderloin district along Manhattan’s Broadway at 27th street.

The social engagement was fun, and we ate a form of food which I actually had to joke about with one of my doctors whom I had a scheduled checkup with a couple of days later. The place we went to, called “Hog Pit,” served “chicken fried bacon,” and I backed that up with a chicken fried steak that came with mashed potatoes which had been drowned in biscuit gravy.

Yep. That’s Bacon that gets fried, then dipped in fried chicken batter, and then refried. One was actually quite ill after arriving back home, and I ended up regurgitating gallons of what seemed like cooking oil.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Overstuffed with fatty southern fare, with what seemed like a two gallon can of lard coursing through my gut, it was a stroke of luck that my pal Hank the elevator guy had actually driven to the gathering at the chicken fried bacon place. We jumped in his pickup and despite the bloating and nausea I was beginning to experience, the camera was kept busy as he drove us back to Queens.

As a note, there was absolutely nothing wrong with the meal, it’s just that since I adhere to a fairly low fat diet due to my various maladies and physical weaknesses I don’t have the stomach biota on staff which would be necessary for the processing of this sort of meal. Normally the furthest off the rails I go – saturated fat wise – is a once a month cheeseburger, the rest of the time I’m working off of the sort of diet which a sheep or rabbit would enjoy.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It wasn’t the “new lens,” which I’ve been rattling on about, affixed to the camera for these shots.

It was a Sigma lens, but not the new 50-100 one, rather it was my 18-35 f1.8 wide angle one. One continues to be impressed with the engineering of these new Sigma optics, but the choice to use the 18-35 revolved around it being a bit “smarter” than the 50-100 in terms of mechanically acquiring focus. It’s daunting and a bit of a “worst case scenario” photo situation – serious darkness, contrasting light sources, and in a vehicle moving at a fairly high rate of speed – trying to capture a shot worth presenting.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There’s just something that happens, however, whenever I pass over the legal border between the two boroughs. Suddenly, my spine seems to relax, and the knots in my gut begin to loosen.

That’s worrying, however, when you’ve got a belly full of chicken fried bacon.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Luckily, Hank the elevator guy was able to return us quickly to Queens and before I knew it I was back in the bosom of raven haired Astoria and at home. After depositing my gear, it was time for the dog – who smelled bacon on me and was suspicious as to where I was. A tasty dog treat was offered.

Zuzu the dog was suddenly ecstatic, and we decided to celebrate our reunion by going out on the porch to relax a bit before retiring to the bedchamber – for what would prove to be a fitful and non relaxing session of sleep due to indigestion.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As soon as the door to the porch opened, however, Zuzu the dog lost her mind in a fit of pique.

It seems that some sort of friggin thing had taken my absence, and that of Zuzu’s, as an opportunity and was exploring the various flower pots and plantings which are maintained by Our Lady of the Pentacle.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Astoria, Queens seems to be infested by Opossums. Friggin things.

Upcoming tours and events:


“First Calvary Cemetery” walking tour
with Brooklyn Brainery, Saturday, October 8th from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Click here for tickets.


“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

October 5, 2016 at 11:00 am

golden valley

with 2 comments

Free is free, McGee.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One of my photographer buddies, the notorious John Skelson, emailed me to inform that Chrysler Camera would be performing free camera maintenance and checkups over at BH Photo (I’ve always thought that the BH stands for Beards and Hats, it doesn’t) on 34th street last week. As my rig spends most of its time swinging about in a superfund situation, or out on the brackish waters of NY Harbor, this sounded pretty good to me. Negotiations resulted in a plan for us to meet up over in the shining city from our respective corners of the world at the camera shop.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As is my habit and curse, one arrived a bit too early and I decided to saunter around the hellish neighborhood surrounding Penn Station and Madison Square Garden for a bit. Hellish? Why, yes it is. This neighborhood has to host one of the largest accumulations of scabby, boil you down to sell you for elements, old school junkies left in in Manhattan. My footsteps carried me, however, over to a largish construction site. While there, I observed an enormous piece of construction equipment at work – which I understand as being called a “beam launcher.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The purpose and operation of this device is explained succinctly in this constructionspecifier.com post, which also offers the story of the various challenges faced by the Real Estate Industrial Complex regarding the exploitation of this parcel of midtown Manhattan at 33rd and 9th. Happily, the endemic junkies and scalliwags who populate the streets here will soon have a brand new and baked in population of office workers and condominium dwellers to prey upon when the project is completed.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My viewpoint on the neighborhood surrounding “Beards and Hats” is based on personal experience, incidentally, not out of some dilettante distaste or opinion and it sure as hell ain’t “politically correct.” There are two areas in Midtown where I’m actively looking over my shoulder for fear of getting jumped. The 34th street zone around 9th and 10th, and the 40’s around 11th avenue are well populated with a criminal underclass of indigents, addicts, and good old fashioned criminals. The residential populations of affluent New Yorkers who have been moving into this former industrial zone along the Hudson look upon this group with pitying and sympathetic eyes, and will tell me to “lighten up, they’re just homeless and down on their luck. They just need a helping hand.” If you believe that, then this malign grouping has already made a mark out of you.

In the end, however, my camera came out of its maintenance session clean and shiny and I headed back to the rolling hills of almond eyed Astoria, where I belong. Christ almighty, do I hate Manhattan or what?

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

December 23, 2014 at 10:55 am

exhausted form

with one comment

“follow” me on Twitter at @newtownpentacle

– photo by Mitch Waxman

18 days till the Mayan Apocalypse, and only 20 until Festivus on the 23rd (there’s also that Christmas thing a couple of days later, but the holidays are really all about the end times and feats of strength). Apprehension is alleviated by looking back at photos of earlier times. These shots are from last year, gathered while wandering around Manhattan in April.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

If your humble narrator was some artsy fartsy “photographer” type, an attempt would be made to describe street photography and its many virtues. Misanthrope, I detest crowds of anti savant shoppers and demimonde tourists, eschewing any interaction with the great human hive unless absolutely necessary. A meeting at the Working Harbor Committee offices drew me to the City this day, and I decided to give this street photographer thing a whirl.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’ve met people who wander around looking for fights, pre focus their cameras and then shoot blindly in Times Square, all sorts of techniques are employed in this pursuit. Personally speaking, I like taking pictures of poop floating in antifreeze green water in Brooklyn and Queens, so I’m qualified to decide if this sort of thing is wholesome or not.

Look- a fireman with a drum.

Written by Mitch Waxman

December 3, 2012 at 12:15 am

unvocal waves

leave a comment »

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Recent business carried me into Manhattan, to a meeting where the alcohol flowed freely and afterwards your humble narrator found himself more than a little tipsy. In prior times of plenty, a taxi might have been hired to carry my besotted husk back to Astoria, but as dire financial circumstances demand- it would be the subway that would ferry me home.

The assignation that night was right in the middle of rich people country, Lexington Avenue in the high 30’s, so the drinks were far better than the usual swill I quaff.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Making my way through Times Square, by this point more than just a little tipsy and edging on drunk, the notion of attempting a few night shots entered my fevered mind. As mentioned in several prior posts, this is something “I’m working on”. A difficult endeavor under normal circumstance, low light photography is especially interesting after several cocktails have been imbibed over a short interval.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Luckily, I’ve never felt inhibited taking “street shots” of strangers, and have often been chided for walking right up to people and just starting to click away. Of course, embarrassment ruled over me the next morning, as I found a series of cliche “Times Square Street Photography” shots had been captured in my stupor.

Back to the sobering realities of the Newtown Creek for me.

____________________________________________________________________________

Click for details on Mitch Waxman’s
Upcoming walking and boat tours of Newtown Creek, and Staten Island’s Kill Van Kull

June 30th, 2012- Working Harbor Committee Kill Van Kull walk

for June 30th tickets, click here for the Working Harbor Committee ticketing page

July 8th, 2012- Atlas Obscura Walking Tour- The Insalubrious Valley

for July 8th tickets, click here for the Atlas Obscura ticketing page

July 22nd, 2012- Working Harbor Committee Newtown Creek Boat Tour

Written by Mitch Waxman

June 28, 2012 at 12:15 am

%d bloggers like this: