The Newtown Pentacle

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particularly alien

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Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It was quite an afternoon for a long walk, Sunday the 25th of April was, here amongst the rolling hills of Astoria. Speaking of, 21st Avenue at 43rd street seems to be the highest “natural” prominence on the north side of the neighborhood. Someday, I’d love to see a 3D topographical map of Astoria sometime. It’s fairly flat, yes, but there’s a series of shallow hill and valley formations encountered after crossing Astoria Blvd. while heading north. I like to imagine that they’re ridges of mud and stone deposited hydrologically in some unrecorded era of yore. I’ve never seen this elevation change between 20th Avenue and Astoria Blvd. described on a map, but there has to be a 40-50 foot differential.

That’s Astoria’s Luyster Creek pictured above. It’s also sporadically described in maps. A friend of mine who is an expert in the cartographic arts has been looking into the subject of this particular waterway for me, which has been immensely helpful.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

After scuttling from HQ on the other side of the neighborhood, a humble narrator found himself next wandering about at Hells Gate nearby Astoria Park. For once, I was lucky enough to get there just as a train was passing over the eponymous bridge spanning this, the Hells Gate section of the East River.

Based on the reactions of passerby, my appearance must be shocking. Old ladies were clutching at their pearls, children cried, dogs growled. I saw a group of older Hellenic men preparing torches.

One decided to get out of the area quickly. The Greeks invented “peasant mob chases monster with torches” along with most other things.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

While escaping the attentions of the mob, one noticed this particularly weathered fire alarm box mounted on a pole. The graffiti would indicate that this is a silent alarm… get it? Omertà… silence…

I have fun.


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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

May 18, 2021 at 2:00 pm

bandied about

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Monday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One found himself wandering through the happy place, as Industrial Maspeth – here in the Borough of Queens – is often referred to at Newtown Pentacle HQ, and transfixed by the patriotic vehicle wrap adorning the concrete mixer truck pictured above. It’s a Kenworth, but I’ll be damned if I could tell you what model or year it is. Recently, one was informed by a reader here at Newtown Pentacle that the concrete industrial complex here in NYC is in the process of consolidating under a single corporate umbrella. Given that the last time a single conglomerate controlled this sector was during the late 1980’s with the head office either a coffee shop/social club on Mulberry Street or a certain Mansion on Staten Island, what could go wrong? I know. I’ve seen too many movies. Everything that’s happened in the past didn’t really happen except when it fits into a modern political narrative.

I often muse about the somewhat obscure history of Queens, and how it’s a puzzle if you don’t understand the predicates of the surrounding world which created the modern day milieu.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

In Industrial Maspeth, you can find literal pieces of the puzzle just sitting there on the sidewalk waiting for you to notice them. Seriously, this thing was just sitting there, and was about the size of a dinner plate.

Part of the modern narrative in NYC describes the boiling pot of real estate development. With a straight face, developers will tell you that the modern era is challenging for them financially, despite the booming economies of demolition and construction as well as the expanding heavy equipment rental business. NYC has been in high gear for about twenty five years now, construction wise. Why is that? Can it be that the old “tax” imposed on the real estate people by a certain group of people is now a margin pocketable by these developers personally? How did this anchor weighing down the glorious rapacity of capitalism find itself ameliorated? The answer doesn’t fit the narrative, meaning that the puzzle pieces are anomalous to modern eyes.

There are certain “rackets” which made their margin off of sins – gambling, prostitution, drugs, and loan sharking. The rackets which really paid the bills involved the Kosher meats trade, newspaper printing and delivery, the garment industry, the Ports, the construction trades. Trucking, both local and interstate, also was particularly profitable. A few pennies from every kosher chicken, a couple of bucks from every stick of lumber, a c-note for a ton of concrete, a buck or two from every window replacement at a NYCHA building can make you rich quick. The trades are the best business out of them all. Couple that with indirectly owning a bunch of all cash businesses where you could change the dirty money to untraceable clean cash – pizzerias, bakeries, newsstands, laundromats – NYC was a working class thief’s paradise until about thirty years ago. That’s when the Lawyers and Politicians muscled the working class gangsters out and set their own people up instead. That’s why they call the loan shark biz “payday loans” today instead of shystering.

These days, all you need is an MBA and a Realtor’s license to be a gangster.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Everybody asks me if I’ve seen bodies floating in Newtown Creek or seen a corpse with cement overshoes there. They make a weird face when I tell them that only an idiot like that Serial Killer who got caught (Joel Rifkin) would try and dump a body in Newtown Creek, or the East River, for that matter. Newbie.

There’s barely any current in these waters, and the body would just stay there waiting for the Cops to notice it. If you wanted, or needed, to dispose of a corpse you’d want to use the Hudson or Jamaica Bay due to the strong currents. As far as the former, you’re taking a real chance that your victim might wash up in Staten Island or Bay Ridge before getting swept out to sea. It’s also a pretty busy shipping channel, which magnifies your chances of getting attention from the aforementioned Cops. If you’re “criming” you really want to worry about Cops, which seems obvious, but having witnessed how godawful and blatant Millennials are at crime this bears mentioning. You don’t want the body found, period. I’d rather you didn’t “crime,” either, but you do you.

In my old neighborhood, they would cut your victim up after draining the blood out, then put the pieces into paper grocery bags and wing them out the window on the Belt Parkway for the crabs and rats to take care of. Larger chunks got disposed of at the Fountain Avenue Landfill nearby Starrett City.


“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

May 10, 2021 at 11:00 am

quasihexagonal pedestals

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Wednesday?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Fragility and weakness plague a humble narrator, and often it feels as if my bones could shatter or even begin to powderize if somebody plays their music too loudly around me. I feel the pressure of sunlight, and a stiff breeze just might be enough to end it all. My team of Doctors shore me up with a raft of medications, but all I can do is just keep walking. Endeavor found me visiting Astoria’s Luyster Creek several times last month in preparation of a shoreline cleanup effort which I helped a bunch of the neighbors to organize. You can read about all that here.

Special thanks are offered to the NYC DEP for sending us a dumpster to collect the trash and litter, and especially for bundling it into their organizational trash handling system. Additionally, kudos to the thirty or so volunteers who got sweaty and dirty doing the job. Personally, I somehow survived leaving the clean room bubble back here at HQ.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That toe I broke in 2019 has never been the same, so my troubadour tales of woe and infirmity begin where the left foot touches the ground. Like the doom squirrel of Norse Myth that climbs up and down Yggdrasil the World Tree, my list of maladies and complaints shift about and are contingent to different times of day. Luckily, pooping and peeing hasn’t been affected by my general physical decline, but I’m sure that’s coming next. Adult diapers, weird looking orthopedic shoes, weird ointment smells… it’s all just around the corner, I fear. Over the years, I’ve not treated my physical carriage well, and burnt the candle at both ends. My grandmother warned me about this.

My plan for getting out of this trap involves “mad science” and creating a younger clone body which I can transfer myself into. Since I’ve never been much of a “specimen,” I’m hopeful that my mad sciencing can find a method that would allow me to transfer my consciousness into a more robust body. At the very least, I’d like to be a couple of inches taller, since I currently have to stand on a step stool to change light bulbs. When your bones have the consistency of wet Papier-mâché it’s a good idea to avoid ladders.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The Frankenstein Monster’s name was Adam. Adam Frankenstein sounds pretty Brooklyn Jewish to me, it’s the name of a Tax Professional or a Bond Trader from Midwood to my ears. The Waxman monster, should my plans for immortality not work out in some ironically comical fashion, would choose its own name since it’s going to have to live with it for a while. The awful truth of my plan, however, is that there would be two of me for a bit. This is the problem with cloning yourself and then backing your brain up into the new model. I’d continue on in painful degeneracy and eventually collapse into the inevitable pile of fecund jellies, while the new man would go striding into the 21st century. I’m such an asshole that I’d look at me (clone me looking at regular me, that is) and say “he had his chance, my turn” and move on. I hope clone me would at least hose down the decaying snot that used to be regular me before somebody slipped on it.

I wonder if I could find a way to give the clone me extra thumbs on the anterior side of the hands. I’d also like to re-examine the set up of the calfs and feet, and introduce some Kangaroo genetics into that area. A bit of armoring for the spine would be nice, as would a far better set of teeth than the ones I got. Hey… if you’re mad sciencing yourself a new body, might as well try to improve on what Mother Nature gave you.


“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

May 5, 2021 at 1:00 pm

those obeisances

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Wednesdays happen, buddy.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Already this week have I described to you my plan to line the banks of Dutch Kills with carnivore vegetables and a squirming menagerie of giant spiders, bats, and a truly diverse group of reptiles. Additionally, my plans to acquire and live within a massive battle tank called the “Mobile Oppression Platform” have been discussed.

All of this walking around at night over the last year in particular got me curious about all of these empty “not in service” buses I saw roaming around and inquiries were made. These buses, as it turns out, ain’t empty.

Today, I will reveal a deeply concealed municipal secret – the fact that the MTA provides late night bus service for ghosts, phantoms, and spectral entities. They don’t discriminate based on what sort of disembodied intelligence you might manifest as, the MTA doesn’t, in accordance with NYS law.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The route starts in Brooklyn, at the Cemetery of the Evergreens, and it stops nearby each and every one of the green islands that compose the “Cemetery Belt.” Last stop and turnaround occurs at St. Michael’s in Astoria. It’s a strictly dusk to dawn route, naturally. It seems that the newly minted MTA, shortly after it was created by Governor Nelson Rockefeller back in 1965, discovered that one of the private several bus companies it absorbed was a charter service employed by a Brownsville based Theosophical Society. The line is funded by a covenanted trust fund which this organization had set up back in the mid 1920’s. Contractually speaking, whomsoever the owners of this bus route end up being at any time in the future, they are obliged to run nocturnal service between the various polyandrions of Brooklyn and Queens if they desire access to the surprisingly large amount of money managed by this trust. NYS Law respects covenants and contracts deeply, and financial covenants are virtually immortal. So too, are certain commuters.

As to the veiled purpose, intent, or goals of the Brownsville Theosophical Society or the identity of its mysterious acolytes – that’s lost to time. A century later, MTA is still shuttling the spirits of our ancestors about at night, doing the bidding of the long disbanded BTS. Internally, MTA drops the “Theosophical” from BTS’s Brownsville Theosophical Society designation, and they refer to the line as the “Q-BS.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The “not in service” banner on the bus route display screens are just there to keep the living from getting too interested, and the last thing you’d want to do is ride the haunted bus anyway. Haven’t you heard that demon possession is way up since the pandemic hit? I have. Word has it that the driver’s Union demands hazard pay for their members assigned to this route, and that the operator’s booth is armored with medallions, amulets, holy symbols, even garlands of garlic.

Now… the real question is why you would want to create easy egress for the tomb legions to communicate with each other. What benefits are arrived at from this ghastly congress? Where does the bus go for maintenance and how can they know whether or not some distaff spirit hasn’t decided to just stay onboard? How do you handle fare control and ticketing? Who were the BTS?


“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

April 21, 2021 at 11:00 am

more hexagonal

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Thursday is gristle.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As described previously, a humble narrator decided to inspect the Triborough Bridge’s rather well used bike and pedestrian path recently. It’s illegal to take photos up there, as I discovered post facto. When an Government Agency doesn’t want you taking photos somewhere, there’s usually a reason. The reason they give will involve the words “security” and or “terrorism,” whereas the words I’d offer include “corruption, incompetence, or malfeasance.”

So, who uses this pathway? Observationally, a lot of bike riders and pedestrians. What they encounter is an (incredibly) unlit and narrow space with stair cases that just sort of appear in front of you without warning.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The bike rider approaching my position above is also breaking the law, since the MTA Bridges and Tunnels operation instructs that riders on the bike path MUST dismount and walk their bikes. Quite obviously, this isn’t something that happens too often. I saw people riding on electric skateboards and scooters as well.

I’m actually planning on how and with whom I’m going to deal with on this subject. It makes me angry, especially so because Triborough is a toll bridge and fairly flush with maintenance budget cash, unlike the NYC DOT bridges like Queensboro or Brooklyn.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Luckily, just as I git to one of the fairly steep stairs, a couple of riders with profoundly bright LED bike lights appeared. Their colorful light helped paint the picture, as it were, of what’s happening up here. Literally the only light other than automotive headlights was being pumped out by these two bikes. Luckily, I always carry a pocket flashlight, but sheesh.

Something different tomorrow, and this won’t be the last time you hear about this particular situation.


“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

April 15, 2021 at 1:00 pm

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