The Newtown Pentacle

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Posts Tagged ‘Woodside

earthly year

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Friday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Recent endeavor found a humble narrator walking a friend back to their Jackson Heights digs, followed by a night time stroll back to Astoria via Woodside. One is generally not enthralled with taking photographs of residential structures, or shops. My preferential subjects are usually heavy and maritime industrial, transportation and related infrastructure, cool cars and trucks, and the occasional angry bird.

Woodside, of course, is heavily residential but it does have its charms.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I don’t know what the scoop is with this apparently abandoned church building, but I’m sure there’s at least one neighborhood ghost story told about it. That’s just the nature of things, or it should be.

C’mon, zoom in on the the windows. Is there a demon staring out at you from behind the glass? Must be. Tell me what you see in there? Spooky!

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’m always fascinated by the polychromatic lighting offered by the various forms of street furniture in Queens. That’s what the professionals call traffic signals and street lamps and all the other gear they install – fire boxes, bike racks, benches, hydrants. Street furniture is kind of a catch all phrase for the stuff which allows us to do our thing. If it’s well deployed, you don’t even notice its presence.

Back next week with more at this – your Newtown Pentacle.


“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

June 11, 2021 at 11:00 am

Posted in Photowalks, Pickman, Woodside

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secrets stood

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Friday, brü.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

So, by the time you’ve received this latest installment, a humble narrator has had to endure about 20-25 hours of Zoom meetings in just the last week. Monday was a swearing in ceremony for Community Board Members, Tuesday was the actual Community Board, Wednesday was the Newtown Creek Community Advisory Group public meeting with EPA, Thursday the Steering Committee for the same organization. Unsurprisingly, the totality of this experience is somewhat Kafkaesque. I feel hollowed out by all of this, for some reason.

Luckily, I had a live and in person “thing” this week, along the fabulous Newtown Creek, in Long Island City’s Blissville section. The Green Asphalt company invited a few of us to attend a meet and greet at their site. Nice folks, good meet up, interesting conversations were engaged in. Real life. Not Zoom. Got caught out in the rain, perfect.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Any photo now, you are going to cross the vaccination threshold with me. It’s been a year of darkness here at Newtown Pentacle, a cavalcade of night time photos gathered in the most socially isolated places that I could describe as being “walking distance” from HQ here in Astoria. Then I got vaccinated, and the camera began turning up in the daylight again. There will still be a lot of night shots in the future, lords and ladies, but for right now…

Let there be light.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s the Sunnyside Yards, nearby Queens Plaza, with a 7 line subway up top on the elevated track and a Long Island Rail Road work train on the tracks below. While I was shooting this, a fellow sucking down a paper bag clad can of beer approached me. His name was Renny, and he described himself as a Physicist originally from Poland. His conversation began with “Einstein was an idiot.”

Back in session.


“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.

frightful guide

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Thursday, uggh.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A human sized Raccoon would be able to decimate any ten men in paw to hand combat. Should these rather fetching cohabitators of the urban space suddenly reach an evolutionary juncture that saw them grow in size… well… we are screwed. Imagine it, a stray container of nuclear waste finds its way into a dumpster of yummy left over McDonald’s waste, six months later there’s six foot tall raccoon boars hanging out on Queens Blvd. knocking old men’s hats off for kicks. The average weight of a regular male Raccoon is about 16-18 pounds and their nose to butt length is between 24 and 38 inches, depending on the individual. Using nuclear waste to mutate one to human size would form up a 100 plus pound six foot tall forty toothed monster, with thumbs.

Giga-Raccoons are scary, but a human sized Rat would be terrifying and virtually unstoppable. Raccoons at least follow a body plan we are somewhat familiar with, a six feet tall at the shoulder Rat would be the size of a small car and weigh a literal ton. Fighting one would be like going up against a super intelligent cow equipped with grasping hands and sharpened shovel blades for a mouth.

This is why we must strive to keep McDonald’s garbage free of nuclear waste contamination. We shouldn’t put radioisotopes in contact with vermin in the name of a) affordable housing, b) bike lanes, c) freedom or any other hot button issue. Just don’t do it. Giant rats bad.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Wandering along one night, a discarded midden of paper caught my eye. It seemed to contain a manual for either abusing a child or for spotting signs of such abuse. Recently, one was required to expose himself to some training materials offered by the City of Greater New York regarding similar ugly topics which adjured against several behavioral practices considered either illegal or immoral by the powers that be.

Now, as is the case when an adolescent strides across the room at 3 in the morning and says “don’t worry, the fire got put out, good night,” the City’s series of admonitions and offered examples of bad behavior raised more questions in me than they answered. Since nearly everything in the “official” communications and practices of NYC has some footing in the past, specifically a legal precedent involving a trial judge determining that the defined sin had in fact occurred and that the City had to ensure that the sin was on the “Do Not Do” list, I want to know a lot more about what led to me being told that “physical or verbal threats, stalking, implied or overt violence” will not be tolerated. What goes on in Lower Manhattan?

I personally advocate for vouchsafing the dumpsters at City Hall as being free of radioisotopes, particle emitting liquids… any example of the mutagens, really. Imagine if the Mayor somehow gained superpowers. Bill and Chirlane begin dressing up in spandex and capes… we could call them the Flying Wilhelms. Term limits notwithstanding, we’d never be rid of these two if they attained super powers.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The pandemic has to have been a great time to be a mad scientist, I believe. Lots of empty industrial properties you could rent for a tiny percentile of normal cost, fewer prying eyes from curious passerby. There has never been a better time to perfect your own race of Atomic Supermen, Mutant Raccoons, Super Mayors, or really any form of mad science enhanced biota, really. I always wonder about mad science.

Theoretically speaking you get your degree accreditation together while still sane, since attaining a PHD is a rather stressful and draining endeavor. There have to be warning signs of the subtle descent into Mad Science. Your first private gene sequencer arrives from Amazon, or Science Depot finally delivers the cloning tank you need. Friends mention that they’re concerned over how many volatile chemicals you’re stockpiling, the way you’re storing bricks of uranium in the garage, the crematorium in your back yard. Madness must be a consequence of sciencing since you never hear anyone refer to someone as a “sane scientist.”

I bet that the NY Post will be running banner headlines by August that NYC has the worst Frankenstein problem we’ve experienced since the 1970’s.


“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 22, 2021 at 11:30 am

waking life

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It’s Thursday. The first rule of Thursday is you dont talk about Thursday.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Another Northern Blvd. gas station, another night for a humble narrator. Presuming that when I went for my vaccination this week (I’m writing this on Sunday, appointment is Tuesday, you’re reading this on Thursday, so who the hell knows what’s happened since Sunday) I didn’t end up in anaphylactic shock or something, I’m now one month away from getting my life back from the Corona Virus Pandemic. Fantasies of good times in the company of human strangers are taking the form of intrusive thoughts for me right now. So’s going back to living a somewhat normal life. Eating in a restaurant, riding the Subway, visiting Staten Island’s North Shore… you take all of this for granted until it’s out of reach, huh?

This has been a fairly brutal 12 months for all of us, hasn’t it? It has been mainly banal and terrifying for me, but conversely, I’ve been insanely lucky as the people in my life who have suffered a COVID infection have all survived it. Perspective, huh?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Perspective seems to be a missing quality these days, with everybody standing on calcified points of view and opinions. You disagree with someone about a nuance of some issue and you’re automatically Hitler. Recidivist elements of the old dialectic, with no chance to learn from mistakes and grow or evolve in the re-education camp, might as well send them to meet their makers. The proverbial “come to Jesus” moment doesn’t seem to exist anymore. One misstep and you’re done, forever. Personally, I’m reminded constantly that my points of view are disingenuous because of my racial identity, or gender, lifestyle, or whatever other drum the person I’m talking to is banging on. This gets old pretty fast, and unfortunately confirms a deeply held belief that people who have suffered oppression at the hands of others will immediately begin to inflict similar harms on others when they get into power. There’s a certain Middle Eastern nation state which comes to mind when I think about that subject, but that’s another story and controversy which I don’t want to get involved with.

At the moment, I’m seriously considering rolling everything back and retreating into my shell. Ending the Pentacle, resigning from whatever public facing position I hold, and just focusing in on selfish matters. In short, returning to being just another face in the crowd who doesn’t care about anything at all other than his bank account. I don’t mind a fight, but I mind fighting about nothing and the splitting of hairs. This may surprise you, but people in general aren’t terribly nice, and those you meet in the “political world” are often monsters. I’m tired of it all.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Another one of the subjects on my shot list, in addition to gas stations and tire shops, are Chinese Restaurants. I got into a screaming argument about two years ago with somebody about whether or not calling the menu offered at such establishments “Chinese Food” was racist. What a ridiculous waste of time and energy that argument was… but that’s kind of the point. Why oh why would this be something you want to argue for or against? What do you hope to achieve, and have you actually considered the opinions of the people who work and sell this particular cuisine or is it just another talking point on your agenda to prove that the world is corrupt and that you’ve somehow evolved? Conservation of energy, people.

A humble narrator has been narrating humbly for a long time now, and it’s entirely possible that I don’t want to narrate humbly anymore. Grrr.

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, March 1st. 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

March 4, 2021 at 2:00 pm

untrammeled land

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It’s Wednesday again, say its name.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Firebox, firebox, firebox. The one pictured above, encountered on Roosevelt Avenue in Woodside, is telegraphic. You pull the handle, a circuit is broken within the thing, and the bells go off at the local firehouse which brings out the lads and ladies who drive the big red truck. It’s likely a product of the Gamewell Company, which controlled about 95% of the market for this product at the start of the 20th century when the modern day FDNY was being formed and the Tammany crew were writing the checks. This, in my observation, the most common encountered form of fire alarm box you’ll find in NYC. The mount it’s sitting on is far more modern, but the alarm box itself probably dates back to the 1930’s or 40’s.

There are so many features of our New York streets that thoroughly blend into the background, and do it so well that you barely notice them. Manhole or access covers, utility poles, weird antennae… there’s all sorts of gear.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Midnight wanderings, especially with all the bars closing early, can be a lonely affair. What with the quarantine and such, it’s been hard for me to find a few minutes to myself for “psychic butt scratching time.” The phone keeps ringing, Our Lady of the Pentacle requires company, there’s all of these Zoom meetings… I’ve really come to value these little snatches of nocturnal freedom more than I can say. Also, whereas in a spot like the one pictured above I’m quite obviously masked up, it’s been a sincere pleasure to forego the thing while marching about in the cold solitude of a January night.

If everything went to plan this week, as you’re reading this it will have been some 24 hours since a humble narrator received his first of two vaccination shots. If, by this time, you’ve received news of a humble narrator toothsomely tearing into passerby in pursuit of consuming their brains – you’ll know that we have arrived at a Walking Dead sort of scenario and you should avoid me. Who can say?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

During the late 1970’s and throughout the 1980’s, NYC began retiring the old Gamewell Telegraphic Fire Alarm Boxes in favor of a dual duty fire/police telephonic unit. This was during the crime wave which too many of you believe to have been a myth, or caused by “systemic racism,” or whatever other political terms you’re enamored with. People just like you, and Bill De Blasio, were in charge back then too. If crime, and being a victim thereof, is an intellectual concept for you rather than an ironclad memory that involves spitting out the bloody shards of your teeth, you really need to rethink your stances. I’m not advocating for bootlicking, nor for taking the Cops at their word and not holding them to account for every little thing, but very few of you “new people” have any idea what NYC was actually like prior to the current day. These new people have coined new lexicons, so the disconnect is logical.

Allow me to translate the recent past for you – “sex workers” controlled entire blocks, and all night long cars driven by “clients” would trawl around the neighborhood. In the mornings, used condoms and empty or smashed liquor bottles littered the sidewalk. Beyond the skin trade – school playgrounds were covered in broken glass, drug dealers operated with impunity and owned entire blocks, the Mafia controlled construction and private garbage collection as well as a bunch of other things and if you were smart you didn’t pay much attention to them. The cops did nothing but respond to 911 calls, and otherwise wouldn’t leave the safety of their cars to be proactive. The FDNY alarm boxes would alert fire houses of burning buildings, but FDNY wouldn’t be able to start fighting fires until armed Cops showed up to protect them. Rape didn’t involve being made to feel uncomfortable because somebody said something ugly or pointed at you. It was a world without bike lanes, if you can imagine such a thing.

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, March 1st. 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

March 3, 2021 at 11:00 am

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