The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Posts Tagged ‘Freedom Tower

delighted astonishment

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A short trip off of a Long Island to… Staten Island.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Over at the St. George Ferry terminal, on the… Staten Island… side of the harbor, one is treated to magnificent views of Lower Manhattan and it’s a pretty sure bet that you’ll see some maritime traffic. Pictured above is the Vane Brothers Sassafras towing a fuel barge, for instance.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One such as myself is always eager to witness a DEP Sludge Boat splashing by. That’s the MV North River heading towards the Port Richmond sewer plant found a mile or so up the Kill Van Kull.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Marjorie B. McAllister also happened by, and the bright red tug was towing a fuel barge. Even when it seems that a tug is pushing a barge, it’s still called “towing.”

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rattling and beating

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Meshuggenehs, all of us.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

An interesting exercise was undertaken recently, which involved the peeling back of hardened scabs and callouses. Whilst browsing the vast interwebs recently, a link carried me over to YouTube. A recording of “The Howard Stern show,” which was broadcasting live during the September 11th attacks, was perused. The reactions of Howard and his crew to the attacks as they happened put me in touch with my own experiences that day, and opened up an old wound. This touched off a spate of reviewing broadcasts, both news and scripted drama, produced in the aftermath of the attacks. One remembers the emotional numbness of the time, when it seemed that nothing would ever be funny again, and the paramount question of that moment in time – raised over and over – was “why do they hate us.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

All these years later, the answers offered by the entertainment industry – whether asked by the hosts of what passes for news in our nation or as interpreted by dramaturges – boiled down to “freedom.” Aside from a childish lack of knowledge about the actual foreign policy of, and an unvarnished look at the actions of the United States in the second half of the 20th century, what struck me was the notion we held about ourselves back then. The general gist of what folks wanted in the months following the attacks was to “unleash” the CIA, and to teach the rest of the world “who’s the boss.” I guess we’ve got that now – with our fleets of flying robot assassins, institutional torture, and a gulag in Cuba. If you’ve got the time, I suggest you scan the web in a similar fashion, as it’s an interesting thing to see what our world was once like and how far we’ve travelled in a very short time. Remember “freedom fries”?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

An urban myth is put to rest, incidentally, in the shot above. “Ever notice how you never see a dead pidgeon” is the particular yarn, something I’ve heard repeated over and over. I see a LOT of dead pidgeons, and have photos to prove it. An urban myth which the September 11th attacks actually put to bed was the efficacy of the so called “Emergency Alert System,” whose tests interrupted television and radio broadcast throughout my childhood. It was nowhere to be found on 911, despite there being an actual emergency in my area. Additionally, the Emergency Alert System didn’t seem to activate during Hurricane Sandy either.

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enormous circumference

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Bruce Wayne, Tony Stark, or perhaps Goldfinger’s yacht, I would presume…

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Last weekend, a humble narrator was out on the water, and this luxury yacht was encountered nearby the Statue of Liberty. Painted on the hull is the legend “Altessa IV,” which a bit of googling has revealed as being the property of a fellow named Dennis Washington. A Montana businessman of some note, calling Mr. Washington’s vessel a mere yacht does the thing a disservice. This is an incredible ship (an accurate description, as Altessa lV can actually launch two smaller vessels from within her hold). Also, there’s a helicopter deck.

Apparently, Mr. Washington lent the thing to Bill Gates for a family vacation to Belize back in 2012.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

To me, it looks like this ship is ready to jump into the air and transform into some sort of giant fighting robot, but I’m an idiot.

Forbes got onboard, and there’s a great set of shots by Neil Rabinowitz that detail the interior spaces onboard here. Boatinternational.com also hosts a set of images from the same photographer, which can be viewed here.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Luxury yachts are not normally something I point out, but the Altessa lV was a striking ship. As to what I was doing on the water, suffice it to say that I was circumnavigating Staten Island with the Working Harbor Committee and let’s leave it at that.

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Upcoming Walking Tours-

Saturday, October 25th, Glittering Realms
Walking Tour with Atlas Obscura, click here for tickets and more info.

Written by Mitch Waxman

October 23, 2014 at 11:00 am

no exit

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Maritime Sunday leaves every thirty minutes.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The seldom considered Staten Island Ferry – the most popular tourist destination in New York City – transiting forth and back from St. George on… Staten Island… to the Whitehall terminal located on the island of Manhattan. This shot from the archives depicts the latter leg of the transit, and provides for the opportunity to offer a rousing Maritime Sunday “huzzah” to the crews that handle the job.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Happy Labor Day

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It took a whole lot of labor to build this thing.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Don’t get sunburned, eat too much, or too drunk today. I got all those things out of the way yesterday, during and after the Tugboat Race on the Hudson.

Written by Mitch Waxman

September 2, 2013 at 10:36 am

facets glisten

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From the Kill Van Kull.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A singlet today, lords and ladies, acting as a placeholder in lieu of a real posting. Your humble narrator is behind on several schedules, not the least of which is the one guiding this- your Newtown Pentacle. Nixon said it best with “never complain, never explain” so I’ll leave it at that.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Want to see something cool? Summer 2013 Walking Tours-

Kill Van Kull Saturday, August 10, 2013
Staten Island walking tour with Mitch Waxman and Working Harbor Committee, tickets now on sale.

13 Steps around Dutch Kills Saturday, August 17, 2013
Newtown Creek walking tour with Mitch Waxman and Newtown Creek Alliance, tickets now on sale.

Written by Mitch Waxman

July 24, 2013 at 10:03 am

objectless writhing

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In today’s post, the tallest manmade thing in the western hemisphere is noticed.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It’s actually starting to grow on me. Third tallest thing on earth at 104 stories, One World Trade (aka the Freedom Tower) has been steadily dominating or demanding my attentions of late. Generally, I’m not a fan of this style of architecture, but the effect that the structure conveys is one of awe. A lot of it has to do with the mirror like surface, and some of it is associated with the way that the building seems to interact with the environment.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Its visible from pretty much everywhere around the archipelago now, and big enough to be masked, obscured, and offered perspective by atmosphere alone. The mirror surface pulses with light, which in turn makes altitudinal mist and ambient humidity in the air glow, imparting to the structure a sort of halo. The reflective surface offers the same luminosity enjoyed by the sky to the Freedom Tower, which is an interesting caprice.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

This shot was gathered a week or so ago during heavy weather whilst onboard one of the “Working Harbor: Beyond Sandy” boat tours, and depicts the lower Manhattan skyline at sunset as a thunderstorm moves north and east behind it. The scene looks photoshopped, but this is what it actually looked like. The sky was in a dynamic mood with the setting sun low on the horizon. It was dark and bright orange all at the same time.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Want to see something cool? Summer 2013 Walking Tours-

Kill Van Kull– Saturday, June 22, 2013
Staten Island walking tour with Mitch Waxman and Working Harbor Committee, tickets now on sale.

The Insalubrious Valley Saturday, June 29, 2013
Newtown Creek walking tour with Mitch Waxman and Newtown Creek Alliance, tickets now on sale.

Modern Corridor- Saturday, July 13, 2013
Newtown Creek walking tour with Mitch Waxman and Atlas Obscura, tickets on sale soon.

Written by Mitch Waxman

June 20, 2013 at 12:15 am

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