The Newtown Pentacle

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Posts Tagged ‘Project FIrebox

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Friday, 2021.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Project Firebox used to be a thing here at Newtown Pentacle, owing to my fascination with the things and also to Mayor Bloomberg’s heartfelt desire to eradicate them from the streets of NYC, which is obviously one of several things he was unsuccessful at during his terms as Mayor. I like Fire Alarm boxes for a couple of reasons, but primarily they often serve as a bit of a history lesson. See the one above? This model, with push buttons for bothering FDNY and NYPD, was installed all over the City back during the Koch era. Certain models of this type have an intercom style audio system incorporated into them.

It was a failed experiment, supposedly. FDNY says that most of their false alarm calls come from Fireboxes, and there’s never a Cop around when you need one. At least there’s always a firebox to hide from fire or crime behind.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Regrets? I’ve got a few. Resolutions? I avoid making them.

The only New Year’s resolution I’ve got this year is to drop some weight, as both butt and gut have gotten bigger and softer during the pandemic months and I’m tired of it. Need to get more exercise time in, a humble narrator does. Burn off the fat, get back to being leaner and meaner. Grrr.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Have a good 2021? I’m almost afraid to offer the salutation, for fear that California might break off of the continent and sink into the ocean after 2020.

Back next week, with shots from one of the very few adventures I managed to have in the last 294 days. Stay safe and all that, Lords and Ladies.

Note: I’m writing this and several of the posts you’re going to see for the next week at the beginning of the week of Monday, December 28th. My plan is to continue doing my solo photo walks around LIC and the Newtown Creek in the dead of night as long as that’s feasible. If you continue to see regular updates here, that means everything is kosher as far as health and well being. If the blog stops updating, it means that things have gone badly for a humble narrator.


“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

January 1, 2021 at 11:00 am

term because

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A Monday Firebox.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Running a bit late today – was up late, got up late, and “late” is how I feel. That’s an FDNY Firebox pictured above, one found on the southern edge of Astoria, Queens. Back tomorrow with something a bit more substantial.

Note: I’m writing this and several of the posts you’re going to see for the next week at the beginning of the week of Monday, December 14th. My plan is to continue doing my solo photo walks around LIC and the Newtown Creek in the dead of night as long as that’s feasible. If you continue to see regular updates here, that means everything is kosher as far as health and well being. If the blog stops updating, it means that things have gone badly for a humble narrator.


“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 14, 2020 at 1:30 pm

hitherto veiled

with 4 comments

Flippity floopity, it’s Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One of the subjects which I found impossible to photograph (at night) with my old camera were gas stations. The problem wasn’t with technique, instead it was the limitations of “dynamic range” involving the camera’s sensor. The new camera captures a LOT more information than the older model does, and that means that I’ve been able to capture these little islands of bright color and light. Why, you might ask, am I finding myself motivated towards such activity?

Have you noticed that all the gas stations are beginning to disappear? Same thing with the supermarkets, or any other large lot business? What’s up with that, you ask? These property lots, occupied by businesses (or businesses like them) which have operated on this land in one form or another since the 1940’s or 50’s, are highly sought out and desired as development sites by the jackals and coprophages of the real estate industrial complex.

It won’t be Donald Trump’s self described best friend Larry Silverstein who buys this gas station, instead it will be somebody significantly further down the food chain who does. Have to keep prices low, which won’t happen if the seller realizes the president of REBNY (Real Estate Board of New York) and owner of the World Trade Center is the buyer.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Ever wonder why it is that the real estate people are such ardent supporters of bike lanes, ride share services, the elimination of street parking, and so on? It ain’t because they’re greenies, I’ll tell you that. It’s because NYC has a Planning Dept. requirement that demands they build space for resident parking in new development. Getting rid of everybody else’s parking makes their new development more valuable. Have to drive to Nassau County to fill up your gas tank? Well, remember the Borough Motto of Queens – Welcome to Queens, now go fuck yourself.

Think that sounds paranoid? Stare into a real estate developer’s eyes, and the only thing staring back at you from the depths of their ocular cavities will be an avaricious hunger. There’s a few ideas moving through the political world right now that are labeled as being “progressive.” Given that most think the word “progressive” means “liberal,” I feel obliged to remind others that Robert Moses referred to himself as a progressive. He “progressed” tens of thousands out of their homes to build his highways. See that gas station above? Wait until it’s “mandatory inclusionary housed” or “affordable housed” out of existence. The fact that it’s literally one block from Newtown Creek does not matter.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Wandering, ever wandering, that’s me. It’s best this way. Alone, in the cold night, scuttling about with a camera. Rattling along the fences of cemeteries and highways, poking the lens through brambles and barbed wire, one has always been and must always remain an Outsider. Reflective surfaces must be avoided at all cost, lest I spy the monster that others run away from.

Note: I’m writing this and several of the posts you’re going to see for the next week at the beginning of the week of Monday, December 7th. My plan is to continue doing my solo photo walks around LIC and the Newtown Creek in the dead of night as long as that’s feasible. If you continue to see regular updates here, that means everything is kosher as far as health and well being. If the blog stops updating, it means that things have gone badly for a humble narrator.


“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 8, 2020 at 11:00 am

frenzied letters

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Wednesday photos, from the before time.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

More archive shots, captured during the before times, greet you today. These were captured prior to the Trumpists adopting the banner of the White Hand of Saruman, chopping down the forests at Isengard, and birthing the fighting Uruk Hai. They also predate Antifa joining that rebel army led by that pretty blonde woman with the three dragons, or the sudden revelation that all of the world’s rodents are annoyingly sentient. That press conference led by the rabbits and capybaras blew my mind, yo.

Today, I decided to revisit “Project Firebox.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Project Firebox was something which I spent a decent enough amount of time on when Newtown Pentacle first began to publish. These ubiquitous municipal alarm boxes were under threat back then, in the before time, as the Mayoral administrations of both Giuliani and Bloomberg had decided that the things were unneeded and redundant. After all, “everybody” carries a cell phone now, so why would you need to maintain – expensively – what’s essentially a network of telegraph boxes which are responsible for a high percentage of false alarms?

Both Mayors basically wanted to sack the electricians at FDNY who maintain these pieces of street furniture. Luckily, the current Mayor hasn’t decided that the red boxes are responsible for racism (yet) and thusly isn’t aware of their existence. Of course, the current Mayor is only capable of perceiving things when they fit into his political agendas, and he has not eaten the Eden fruit of the Tree of Good and Evil. This is why he’s often surprised by mundane or common things which the rest of us take for granted.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One has moved on from Project Firebox in recent years, thusly.

As a note, last night I was watching a reality TV series called “Alone” which drops it’s survivalist contestants with a very limited set of tools into rugged wild areas to see what might happen. I found this an interesting cultural artifact of the before times. The fellow I was rooting for was an Air Force search and rescue specialist, who had managed to easily surpass the challenges of living in the wild tundra forest within a week and set up a comfortable, secure, and well fed existence using a pocket knife, saw, and a few fish hooks. After a few weeks, he got bored and called for extraction to the show’s producers. The rest of the cast was starving, stabbing themselves accidentally, or burning down their shelters due to careless attitudes towards fire.

If FDNY ain’t close, pay close attention to open flame, I always say.

Note: I’m writing this and several of the posts you’re going to see for the next week at the beginning of the week of Monday, July 6th. My plan is to continue doing my solo photo walks around LIC and the Newtown Creek in the dead of night as long as that’s feasible. If you continue to see regular updates as we move into April and beyond, that means everything is kosher as far as health and well being. If the blog stops updating, it means that things have gone badly for a humble narrator.


“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

July 8, 2020 at 3:00 pm

flushed and excited

with 3 comments

Come on now, this is just someone messing with my head.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The other day, Friday to be exact, a buddy of mine who is new to the neighborhood was subjected to a short examination of the tripartite borders of Sunnyside, Woodside, and Astoria. We found ourselves on Skillman Avenue headed for Roosevelt Avenue when this scene presented itself. Like some sort of monstrous hybridization of “Project Firebox” and the “Mystery of the Single Shoes,” this mysterious tableau shed its birth caul and revealed itself to us.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As mentioned in the past, a pet theory that there’s a serial killer stalking the concrete devastations of Western Queens and North Brooklyn who leaves single shoes in deserted places has taken root in my mind. Having published several posts about the phenomena at this – your Newtown Pentacle – the sociopath has likely found out that I’ve noticed him and has begun leaving trophies for me to find. The firebox thing makes it obvious. Who else notices fireboxes?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’m going to refer to the hidden menace, who must be an ever watchful and lurking fear, as “The Queens Cobbler” from now one, and and I’m going to double knot the laces of my shoes whenever I leave the house. I will never wear loafers again, and have long avoided the perils of sandal or flip flops. The Queens Cobbler will not drag me partially bare footed into that good night.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

March 10, 2014 at 9:30 am

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