The Newtown Pentacle

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Posts Tagged ‘New York State

untellable secret

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

The next excursion on my September list of places to go involved a wedding in Watertown, New York. Watertown is in the same neighborhood as West Point, and my pal Hank the Elevator Guy was also invited to the affair, so we arranged to meet up with him and he drove Our Lady of the Pentacle and myself there. The trip was pretty straightforward, and once we cleared the 7 or so miles it would take us to get the hell out of NYC, was fast moving.

Triborough to Cross Bronx to George Washington Bridge to Palisades Parkway – I think that’s the basic route. Hank was angrily jumping around in his seat while driving through the choke points leading out of the City. Our Lady was playing with her phone, and I was shooting from the open windows.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

“Upstate” and heading towards the AirBNB lake house we had rented for the weekend. The fellow getting married is one of my oldest and dearest friends. Jim and I misspent a lot of our youth together at biker bars. We used to be fixtures at Coyote Ugly, Hogs and Heifers, Village Idiot and too many irish bars along Third Avenue to mention. For at least half of the stories I tell about those years, Jim is one of the main players. My buddy.

As a note, I believe that’s the Bear Mountain Bridge, crossing the Hudson River.

Jim left NYC a few years ago, after a stint working as a Union Iron worker, after he met his future bride. He’s been living in Watertown for a while now, and is a volunteer fireman in his off hours. Good guy, Jim is.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

When we arrived at the lake house, it was discovered that the lake it adjoined was a bit more of a marsh or swamp than it was advertised as being. This is Beaver Dam Lake, which is in the next town over from Watertown – New Windsor. It’s an artificial waterbody, which was created by a dam to act as a water reservoir, in the 1870’s, for an outfit called the “Arlington Paper Mill.” A few years ago, it seems, it was determined that the dam needed to be rehabilitated to insure against catastrophic failure and consequent flooding so the lake was drained and it became a meadow.

Work on the dam was finalized, and the lake/meadow was allowed to flood again. As the water level goes up, the shoreline vegetation will alter, but for right now there’s this weird swamp along the waterfront.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Given that it’s impossible for me not to photograph everything I see or experience, an alarm was set for early in the morning so I could feed the mosquitos while setting up the tripod and camera.

Another couple from my friend group arrived at the lake/swamp house, and after us getting all “faputzed” we attended the wedding – which ended up being quite the bacchanal. Wouldn’t expect anything different for my buddy Jim’s big day, actually. What surprised me was that nobody rode a Harley in and onto the dance floor.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Seeing the way that the evening was proceeding, I made an early decision not to drink too much. The role of custodian for drunken friends is one that I often found myself in back in the old days, given my particularly high tolerance for intoxicants of all kinds. I’m one of the two people who “talked to the Cops” back during college, thereby, promising the gendarme that I’d get the subject of their ennui home safe and keep them from doing anything untoward on the way. Really – getting me drunk – drunk requires voluminous amounts of booze. I can out drink a Russian if I have to. It’s a life skill. When I get drunk, it’s usually an accident.

A recent example of this sort of accident involved me losing count of how many Gin and Tonics I had quaffed at an Astoria bar, and starting to nod out. It turned out, according to my bartender’s recollection the next day, that I had drank more than a half gallon of Gin and Tonics over a three hour period. Woof, accident. Thing is, with the crowd that I used to run with back in the old days, that sort of volume is considered to be “just getting started” on your weekend.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

We left New Windsor the morning after the wedding, and Hank the Elevator Guy returned Our Lady and myself to Astoria. Relaxation was not on my to do list for this Sunday afternoon, however, as I had to prepare and pack for a week long trip on Amtrak which I would be embarking on early Tuesday morning. I would have to get ready for a long photo oriented solo trip, one which would start at 3:30 in the morning on Monday night/Tuesday morning. Batteries to charge, lenses to clean, how many pairs of socks would I need to take with me?

The adventures continue 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 for $30.

Written by Mitch Waxman

October 12, 2021 at 11:00 am

fairly well

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In today’s post, a Rooster I met who was named Chicken.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Recent endeavor found me at a friends wedding in some vast wooded space, north of the Bronx and south of Albany, which was quite overgrown. There were animals wandering around, which were not rats or cats, and some of them were quite large. It smelled odd there, as well, with little automotive smoke hanging in the air- but the slightest hint of manure was on the breeze- something which made me feel right at home.

One always pines for his beloved creek.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The owner of the parcel informed a humble narrator that this garish descendent of the dinosaurs was hers to care for, although her charge was more often than not quite cocky and demanding. Not pictured, this downy biped was observed feeding from the sort of dish normally used for the wholesome quadrupeds of the canine race. There was something threatening in its demeanor, as if it was attempting to make a conscious display of its strength.

This so called “Chicken” was freaking me out.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

An attempt to describe the odd environment in this place would be made, but an alien landscape such as this is surely beyond the capability of one such as myself to transmit. There were buildings there, spaced widely apart and squamous in aspect, which jutted from an oddly angled terrain which gave the appearance of having been carved and macerated by some titanic force in the not so distant past. Everything showed the effects of water action, and in every direction there rose shallow peaks. Odd intelligences and alien things moved within the woods, uttering unfamiliar cries.

One desired only to return to the regular geometries and relative safety of Queens, rather than stay in this vast tangle where roosters may run free and unabated.

Upcoming Tours

Saturday- September 21, 2013
13 Steps Around Dutch Kills Walking Tour with Atlas Obscura- tickets on sale now.

Saturday- September 28, 2013
Newtown Creek Boat Tour with the Working Harbor Committee- tickets on sale now.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

September 10, 2013 at 7:30 am

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