The Newtown Pentacle

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Posts Tagged ‘photowalk

crystal stream

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Friday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

On Halloween, Our Lady of the Pentacle and myself went to the local saloon here in Astoria for a spooky drink, and then headed back to HQ for the now daily ritual of packing boxes for our impending escape from New York.

It was raining, and one set out to capture the local milieu from up on the porch. That’s the bodega across the street from me here in Astoria, which I’ve shown you countless images of over the last decade. I couldn’t put much time into this sort of pursuit this time around, as on November 1st I’d be climbing in behind the wheel of the new car and driving it to Pittsburgh. We had a week’s worth of real estate listings to see, and the goal was to sign a lease in Pittsburgh before we came back to NYC.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The 1st of November was a travel day. With piss breaks and a meal or two factored in, the 370 miles or so to Pittsburgh from Queens is about a 7-8 hour long day of driving. 90% of that interval are highway hours, on fairly good roads with 70 MPH speed limits. From Astoria in Queens, it’s Triborough to the GW Bridge, and crossing the heavy road volumes of the Hudson River coastline of New Jersey will cost you a minimum of an hour’s worth of stop and go traffic. Once you’re about a third of the way into New Jersey heading west, it’s pretty clear sailing. The only thing that makes the drive concerning are the numbers of semi trucks encountered and the reckless abandon of about 50% of your fellow drivers who think 70 MPH isn’t fast enough.

Long story short, we drove to Pittsburgh. We stayed in an AirBNB, which we arrived at after picking up some groceries at a convenience store, drank a bunch of the wine we bought at the aforementioned shop, and woke up very early the next morning – November 2nd – to a heavy blanket of 1/4 mile visibility fog which had suffused into Pittsburgh and it’s suburbs.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

While drinking my morning coffee, I couldn’t help but record the scene from the AirBNB’s back yard deck. This was in an area which I’m told is called “the South Hills,” which is basically the sloping side of the highest point of elevation in the city’s center – Mount Washington.

We had a full day’s worth of realtor meetings, Zillow appointments, and all sorts of far flung destinations to visit. We literally had to drive to Moon, and Mars, and I had the desire to visit Carnegie sometime during the week’s time we’d be here.

More to come next week, from the misty mysteries of Pittsburgh.


“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

December 2, 2022 at 11:00 am

humming music

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Thursday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The John J Harvey Fireboat stopped at the dock in Blissville, along Newtown Creek, where we picked up the majority of the people who accompanied me on my last navigation of the waterway. The crowd debarked, although some of us stayed onboard for the ride back to Manhattan’s West Side. The Greenpoint Avenue Bridge had opened again, and allowed us to pass.

The Captain of the Fireboat, Huntley Gill, decided to offer me a salute and fired the water monitors onboard the Harvey for a display.

My pal Scott Wolpow managed to grab some video of that, here it is:

– video by Scott Wolpow

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I managed to get one or two last shots from the water on our way back to the East River, and eventual docking on the Hudson at Manhattan’s Pier 66. That’s the recycling company which I got rid of all my electronic and metallic junk at, dubbed Allocco Recycling, by the way.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Newtown Creek was a masters class in environmentalism, government, and the non profit business world for me. I learned so much, from so many smart people. I stayed honest here, even when I had to compromise, which is something I’m proud to say. Unfortunately, a definitive answer to the only question that truly matters was never arrived at. The question?

Who can guess, all that there is, which might be buried down there – in the sedimentary black mayonnaise – underlying the lugubrious waters of the fabulous Newtown Creek?


“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

December 1, 2022 at 11:00 am

sunlight lies

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Wednesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Captain Huntley Gill and the crew of the John J Harvey Fireboat navigated their vessel some three miles back from the East River into English Kills, a tributary of Newtown Creek, and executed a turnaround nearby the Metropolitan Avenue Bridge. We started heading westwards then, and back towards the East River.

To say that a humble narrator’s emotional state was complicated would be a bit of an understatement. It’s not always apparent when the cover closes on a chapter of your life.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It’s really all over, now. Especially right now.

As you’re reading this post, which published at 11 am on November 30th, Our Lady of the Pentacle and I are currently driving to Pittsburgh. Literally – right now – and as of 11 am, I’ve been on the road for about 5 hours. We’ve got a car full of the sort of things that you don’t entrust to a mover – cameras, computers, valuables – with us. Tomorrow morning, we’re taking possession of our new digs and starting the “moving in” process.

This wasn’t – as it turned out – the last time I’d be on the Fireboat, but it was the last time that I’d be taking a group out on Newtown Creek. More on my last trip on the Harvey in a future post.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

To everything there is a season, huh?

More tomorrow.


“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 30, 2022 at 11:00 am

proper edge

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Monday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

October 27th found a humble narrator driving back from an assignation in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint section. As part of the big move to Pittsburgh, one decided to inventory literally every possession and scrap of paper which has accumulated into HQ over the years and decide whether or not I wanted to move it 400 miles west with me or not. This process revealed a staggering amount of electronics waste – cables, old computers which I’d been keeping for parts, gizmos and gadgets. Lots of stuff made of metal also didn’t make the cut. Thereby, several carloads of gear were transported to one of the local scrapyards for recycling or whatever. There’s also a lot of paper which went to a different recycling company found along Newtown Creek.

On my way back to Astoria from one of these junk yards one recent afternoon, one decided to try and grab a few last shots of places familiar and loved. The first two are from “DUPBO” or “Down Under the Pulaski Bridge Onramp.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Said onramp is pictured above. I get asked all the time about the off ramp to nowhere on the Pulaski, which I’m told was originally meant to connect to the Long Island Expressway. Apparently they ran out of money to complete that, in the late 1950’s when this bridge was erected.

Wish I could have lingered, but there’s been so much to do.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

On my way back to Astoria, I did find a minute or two while waiting at traffic lights to stick the camera up through the car’s moon roof.

Depicted above, the Queensboro Bridge and the nearby TerraCotta House, as seen from Vernon Boulevard.

More tomorrow.


“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 28, 2022 at 11:00 am

furry sea

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Thursday

– 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 a Roosevelt Avenue based FDNY Firebox – which is one of those mundane bits of “street furniture” which are ubiquitous. Ubiquitous things exist in liminal space, which is owned by no one and only occupied temporarily by those passing through it. The brain does a lot of processing when you’re walking around, and the things you “notice” are ones which the brain has assigned a high spot in its visual pecking order to. Sex, danger, food – that’s what the brain wants you to look for. Attractive strangers, the weird guy in the army coat, that taco truck – that’s the normal thing to focus on. I’ve always made it a point of examining things which the brain renders invisible – ubiquitous stuff like fireboxes.


“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 24, 2022 at 11:00 am

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