The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Archive for the ‘Hudson River’ Category

enervated experience

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- photo by Mitch Waxman

Apologies for the mid day update, lords and ladies. Today’s Maritime Sunday post focuses in on an event which occurred several years ago. Mundane and ordinary, it all started when I saw the Carnival Miracle cruise ship maneuvered up the Hudson by the tug Miriam Moran.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

The cruise ship piers on the Hudson, which are analogous to the West 40’s street grid in Manhattan, offer berthing opportunity to the gargantuan vessels of the modern cruise industry. Like a game of horizontal Tetris, however, these ships have to be rotated into position before they can lock into place.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Functionally, this is not unlike wrestling a floating Chrysler Building into place, while fighting not just wind but river current as well. Such is the life of a tug captain and harbor pilot, of course, and their long experience in such matters make it seem commonplace.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

This is the Miriam Moran post facto on the Hudson, after having accomplished its task.

Written by Mitch Waxman

March 10, 2013 at 3:22 pm

mountain freedom

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- photo by Mitch Waxman

Mayan Apocalypse Countdown: just 5 days left until the 13th b’ak’tun ends, initiating the Mayan Apocalypse on December 21st. Tick, tock.

Luckily, since the world’s end is upon us, America is possessed of an enormous military capability. Even our littoral fleet is larger than most national navies, armed heavily, and staffed by expert marksmen. It is comforting to know that if the Mayan Apocalypse proceeds on schedule- we go down fighting.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Here at Newtown Pentacle HQ, preparations are under way. Our Lady of the Pentacle is sharpening knives, the dog has grown used to the bladed Kevlar body armor, and your humble narrator has crafted a quite fashionable series of tin foil hats. Of course, a recent announcement made the case that such chapeaus actually increase the efficacy of broadcast spectrum mind control radiation rather than providing prophylactic effect. Regardless, they are quite comfortable.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Down in the vast sub astorian bunkers excavated by Our Lady (during the really hot months of the summer), she used teaspoons for this endeavor by the way, we have a pretty nice set of digs. It was simple to dispose of the tailings from her mining using the “Great Escape” method. We opted out of the “Zion esthetic” from the Matrix movies and went for a “Hobbiton” Lord of the Rings sort of thing. Lots of faux wood and sconce lighting, with stacks and stacks of canned beans and dog food. The bunker is quite sound, and on the hatch is a sign that says “Gas, grass, or ass- no one survives for free”.

Obviously, this penultimate Maritime Sunday post is dedicated to Americas fighting men and women, and all our ships at sea.

groveling obeisance

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- photo by Mitch Waxman

As mentioned in yesterday’s post, a short interval of puffy individual shots is being presented over the holiday weekend. Partially, this is owed to a debilitating back injury suffered last week which has reduced your humble narrator to the uniform of the house bound invalid- sweat pants and bathrobe- the other is that every now and then an individual image presented earlier in the year got swallowed by the post it was published in. To wit, the storied John J. Harvey fireboat upon the Hudson during the Op Sail event in late spring of 2012. A bizarre atmospheric light is captured therein, wherein storm clouds literally opened around the procession of ships and provided a somewhat eerie atmosphere. Those of us in the Working Harbor Committee ascribe such events to the otherworldly abilities of our own Captain Doswell, referring to the phenomena as “The Doswell Effect”.

20th annual Great North River Tugboat Race

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Last Sunday, the race was run on the Hudson River. Your humble narrator was onboard the “officials” boat and the following slideshow is what was captured on the day of. How’s that for a “Maritime Sunday”?

20th Annual Great North River Tugboat Race & Competition

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- photo by Mitch Waxman

Just starting the “develop” process on the shots gathered at today’s Working Harbor Committee event, the running of the 20th annual Great North River Tugboat Race and Competition. The winner of the race is pictured above and below. That’s Kirby Marine’s Lincoln Sea.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

It will be a couple of days before the entire set of photos is ready, but I figured that it made sense to rush a couple out for today. Happy Labor Day.

20th annual North River Tugboat Race- September 2, 2012

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- photo by Mitch Waxman

An upcoming and entirely wholesome opportunity for diversion and entertainment is upon us, as the 20th annual running of the Great North River Tugboat Race will be conducted on the 2nd of September. There are two components to the event which should be considered.

from workingharbor.com

20th Annual Great North River Tugboat Race and Competition to draw more than a dozen tugboats and hundreds of spectators to Hudson River Park

Sunday, September 2, 9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m., Hudson River Park Pier 84 at West 44th Street, Manhattan

Events include a tugboat parade, a river-churning race, nose-to-nose pushing contests, line-throwing, spinach-eating and tattoo competitions. A Circle Line spectator boat will follow the on-the-water action. Good viewing from shore along the West Side riverfront and at Pier 84

- photo by Mitch Waxman

The Working Harbor Committee (WHC), a nonprofit group for which I serve on the Steering Committee and which I am tasked with certain duties as its official photographer, conducts the race. This year a large number of tugs, more than 15 at this writing, will be participating.

from workingharbor.com

The Great North River Tugboat Race and Competition – one of New York City’s most popular Labor Day weekend events – returns for the 20th year on Sunday, September 2. More than a dozen tugboats, the maritime 18-wheelers that normally dock ships and push barges, are expected to participate.

The race, on a one-nautical-mile Hudson River course that extends from the West 70s to West 44th Street, typically draws thousands of spectators, some watching from shore; others getting right in the middle of the action aboard a Circle Line spectator boat that travels alongside the tugs.

The tugs come because it’s a chance to show off. “New Yorkers sometimes forget they are surrounded by water and that there is a whole maritime industry working here. This tug competition is the one time a year people can really see what we do,” said Craig Rising of McAllister Towing and Transportation, one of the largest and oldest tug companies in the nation. It is also a field day for the crews who pack their boats with family and friends and enjoy a chance to play on the water and win bragging rights over the competition. “It’s a great way for our families to see a slice of our lives,” said Glen Miller, president of Millers Launch, who plans to enter three tugs in the competition this year.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

WHC will, as always, be running a special spectator excursion onboard a comfortable Circle Line ship. Ticketing information is included below. The spectator boat offers uncommon views of the action, and allows enthusiasts and photographers a chance to get close to the fun. Additionally, there will be a free festival of events happening on Pier 84.

from workingharbor.com

When he came up with the idea of a tugboat race in the 1980s, chief judge Jerry Roberts, then a curator at the Intrepid Museum and now executive director of the Connecticut River Museum, didn’t know what to expect. “At that first race I did not know if we were going to get three tugs or six, or any at all,” he recalled. “We got 10, and I knew this was going to work. Twenty years later, the race has become an institution. In an age when New York Harbor has become more and more detached from its maritime roots, this a chance for the men and woman who make their living on the water to show their stuff, and their pride to us landlubbers who live on one of the greatest harbors on earth but don’t even know it.”

Festivities begin at 9:30 a.m. when the spectator boat leaves its dock and the tugs gather off Pier 84 to check in with the race committee and get ready to parade—beauty-pageant style—to the starting line near 79th St. At 10:30, the boats, which typically range in size from 100-foot, 5,000-horsepower monsters to 25-foot, 200-horsepower workboats, get in position behind the starting line. At the sound of a horn, they’re off: engines roaring and smoke belching, as their massive wakes make the river look like an angry ocean.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

A family oriented event, the 20th annual Great North River Tugboat Race will have several interesting moments- including a spinach eating contest (all sailors eat their spinach), an unparalleled view of the line toss contests, and an opportunity to interact with the crews of the tugboats which will dock at the pier after the race.

from workingharbor.com

Immediately following the race, the tugs challenge each other to bow-to-bow pushing duels—the nautical version of arm wrestling. Then in what is the toughest test of all, captains steer close to the pier while deckhands attempt to lasso a bollard on Pier 84. The task, which makes horse wrangling seem tame, is something working tugboat crews perform daily, but it requires incredible coordination between captain and crew.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

WHC will be sponsoring several interactive activities for all ages, including line toss contests, and there will be food vendors and other diversions. The culmination of the day will include the award of the coveted winners trophy- which will guarantee on the crews bragging rights for the next year, and awards will be granted for best maritime pet, best sailor tattoo, and other achievements.

from workingharbor.com

At about noon, the tugs tie up to Pier 84 while judges tally the races results and choose the best-looking tug, best vintage tug, best-dressed crew, best crew tattoo and best mascot. The public is invited to get into the action on the pier in spinach-eating and line-tossing contests for both kids and adults. The awards ceremony begins at 1 p.m.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

The best way to participate is clearly onboard the spectator boat- ticketing and departure details are listed below. I’ll be there, how about you?

from workingharbor.com

Circle Line Manhattan will depart at 9:30 from Circle Line’s Pier 83 at 43rd Street and 12th Avenue (boarding will begin at 9 a.m.), and it will return at 11:30 a.m., so that passengers can walk just one block to the events on Pier 84. Tickets are $30 adults/$25 children. Free for ages 4 and under. Tickets can be purchased in advance online at www.workingharbor.org or by calling 212-757-1600.

Admission to the Pier 84 events is free.

The race is organized by the Working Harbor Committee, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to spreading the word about the rich history, current vitality and future potential of the New York/New Jersey Harbor. The organization also provides Hidden Harbor Tours® and runs an extensive youth educational program. Full information is available at www.workingharbor.com. Thanks to co-sponsor Friends of Hudson River Park and major supporters Circle Line and the NYC Economic Development Corp.

curious customs

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- photo by Mitch Waxman

The Marie J. Turecamo tug presented itself to a humble narrator recently, framing iconic views of the harbor for your perusal on this week’s “Maritime Sunday”. Periodically, when some magazine art buyer or advertising stalwart is looking for a harbor shot, my phone will ring and someone will ask for “a tugboat moving past the Statue of Liberty” or something similar. Invariably, the caller is seeking out free usage of the shot.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Other photographers get angry with me when I allow free usage of this shot or that to various personages or groups, accusing me of devaluing the craft. “Information wants to be free” is my normal reply, and “an image too dearly held has no intrinsic valuation” is the follow up. This is when I’m called a schmuck, and informed that I’m being “taken advantage of”. Allow me to set the record straight on this subject, lords and ladies.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

A regular beneficiary of my largesse, whether it be the estimable Working Harbor Committee or the Newtown Creek Alliance or any of the other “worthy” harbor groups whom I regularly supply images to, receives a limited license to the photo. They cannot, for instance, use my shots in a manner which I haven’t specified or agreed to- web usage versus printed material. A byline is required, and if at any time I decide to ask them to pull the shot, this is my right as I’m retaining the image copyright and full usage rights. In advertising lingo, the shots are offered and licensed as “stock”, and the compensation asked for use of them is somewhat asymmetrical and seldom monetary.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

What I’m ultimately after is photographic access to people, places, and situations which are normally unattainable. I’ve been inside the Manhattan Bridge, walked on a Queensboro bridge completely devoid of traffic, been privy to dozens of situations that “press” photographers would have killed to get near. I’ve been to off limits spots all around the harbor, delved into the deepest recesses of the City, ascended to unattainable and high vantages, and seen things that most living New Yorkers barely suspect. If a group is doing something worth doing, as in the case of WHC with its education programs and senior citizen programming, or NCA’s quest to save the Newtown Creek from sophistry- I’m happy to donate the usage of a few images. On the other hand, if you see something you’d like a print of, or would like to license an image or two for commercial usage- contact me here.

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