The Newtown Pentacle

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Posts Tagged ‘Manhattan

normal thing

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“follow” me on Twitter at @newtownpentacle

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Nothing earth shattering today, lords and ladies, just a few unrelated shots cracked out in the last couple of weeks. Pictured is an anonymous but industrious dog walker with his pack of charges awaiting the arrival of another companion in Long Island City nearby 21st street.

from wikipedia

Professional dog walkers, both individuals and businesses, are paid by dog owners to walk their dogs for them. Some dog walkers will take many dogs for a walk at once, while others will not. Also growing in popularity is dog running. Dog runners are professionals who will take your dog running, usually between 1 and 10 miles for a set fee, usually not more than 2 dogs at a time. In some jurisdictions dog walking businesses must be licensed and have animal first-aid-trained employees. Professional dog walking services can be obtained locally or thorough online referral services.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Western Queensicans will quickly recognize this joint, housed in the Home Depot parking lot on Northern Blvd. Rocco’s does these absolutely ridiculous sausage sandwiches that are the stuff of cardiologist nightmare, and overstuffed with stewed onion. I was there at night picking up a couple of buckets of joint compound, at Home Depot that is- not Rocco’s, and decided to do some of the low light exercise which has occupied me all winter while running the errand.

from wikipedia

Ready-mixed joint compound is most commonly used in hanging drywall for new or remodeled homes. Application is simple and easy, usually never taking more than three or four coats. When used for new walls, joint compound effectively eliminates all blemishes from the surface of the drywall, such as drilled in screws, hanging tape, or drywall tape. Joint compound can be used to finish gypsum panel joints, corner bead, trim and fasteners, as well as skim coating. In addition, it is also very handy for fixing minor blemishes or damages to walls. It easily patches up holes, bumps, tears, and other minor damages.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

This fruit stand in Manhattan, with hand written signs, was catching a shaft of light which hasn’t been claimed by the upper crust yet. That crazy bokeh blur in the shot is all lens. I’ve been playing around a lot lately with my kit, in accordance with an intention stated a while back to “do a Costanza” and shake up my shooting habits a bit.

from wikipedia

A fruit stand is a primarily open-air business venue that sells seasonal fruit and many fruit products from local business. It might also sell vegetables and various processed items derived from fruit. The fruit stand is a small business structure that is primarily run as an independent sole proprietorship, with very few franchises or branches of larger fruit stand conglomerates.

Written by Mitch Waxman

March 22, 2013 at 12:15 am

luminous aether

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“follow” me on Twitter at @newtownpentacle

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Maritime Sunday is suspended this week in honor of St. Patrick’s day. Last week, I had an opportunity to wave my camera around at St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral in Manhattan, and was allowed to photograph the Irish Language Mass they were conducting. Here’s what I saw…

from oldcathedral.org

Designed by architect Joseph Francois Mangin, St. Patrick’s has great dignity and character in its restrained simplicity. Her sidewalls rise to a height of 75 feet, and the inner vault is 85 feet high. The church is over 120 feet long and 80 feet wide. Near the west wall stands the huge marble altar surrounded by an ornately carved, gold leaf reredos.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

To begin with, these shots are a combination of tripod and handheld. It’s not that bright in the cathedral, but it is lit like a movie set by the interaction of sunlight and stained glass which is augmented by well placed electrical fixtures. Sculptural elements and motifs are plentiful, and it is easy to get lost in photographing small details.

from wikipedia

In 1836, the cathedral was the subject of an attempted sack after tensions between Irish Catholics and anti-Catholic Know-Nothing nativists led to a number of riots and other physical confrontations. The situation worsened when a brain-injured young woman wrote a book telling her “true” story – a Protestant girl who converted to Catholicism, and was then forced by nuns to have sex with priests, with the resulting children being baptized then killed horribly. Despite the book being debunked by a mildly anti-Catholic magazine editor, nativist anger at the story resulted in a decision to attack the cathedral. Loopholes were cut in the church’s outer walls, which had just recently been built, and the building was defended from the rioters with muskets

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Long has one enjoyed the pursuit of photographing ritual spaces of all kinds around the City of New York, but fascination with the era surrounding this cathedral lent a certain nervous excitement to my task. This was the “House of Dagger John“, after all, and its connections with Calvary Cemetery along the Newtown Creek have given it a special status in my eyes.

from wikipedia

John Joseph Hughes (June 24, 1797 – January 3, 1864), was an Irish-born clergyman of the Roman Catholic Church. He was the fourth Bishop and first Archbishop of the Archdiocese of New York, serving between 1842 and his death in 1864.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The plan for the service (and one must remember that a humble narrator was raised in the Hebrew faith as I stumble through this part- I’m not being vague, sarcastic, or anti anything- rather I’m Jewish and have no real idea what the meshuggenah goyem do) was for the Mass to be vocalized in the Irish Language. There was an Organist and a Cantor performing music, and the adherents stood up and sat back down a couple of times while the Priests said things (in Irish).

from wikipedia

Irish was the predominant language of the Irish people for most of their recorded history, and they brought their Gaelic speech with them to other countries, notably Scotland and the Isle of Man, where it gave rise to Scottish Gaelic and Manx. It has the oldest vernacular literature in Western Europe. In the Elizabethan era the Gaelic language was viewed as something barbarian and as a threat to all things English in Ireland. Consequently, it began to decline under English and British rule after the seventeenth century. The nineteenth century saw a dramatic decrease in the number of speakers especially after the Great Famine of 1845–1852 (where Ireland lost 20–25% of its population either to emigration or death). Irish-speaking areas were especially hit hard. By the end of British rule, the language was spoken by less than 15% of the national population. Since then, Irish speakers have been in the minority except in areas collectively known as the Gaeltacht.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I met the fellow on the left earlier in the day, one Msgr. Donald Sakano, who was a very nice fellow. He and the other Priests performed several actions while saying things which I’m sure would be familiar to adherents of the Roman Catholic Church, or at least Irish speakers, but not to this Jewish kid from Brooklyn.

The gaps in my knowledge just astound sometimes, actually, how can I not know every single detail of this altar ceremony?

from urbanomnibus.net

Monsignor Donald Sakano is one of those urbanists who certainly possesses a singular perspective, forged from his work at the intersection of ministry, social work and affordable housing development and policy.

For the past four years, as Pastor of the Basilica of Saint Patrick’s Old Cathedral, he has presided over the restoration and transformation of Old Saint Patrick’s buildings — which include The Old Cathedral, the school, the Parish House, St. Michael’s Chapel, the Youth Center and the iconic wall — into a series of community facilities available for outreach, assembly and cultural events, such as our benefit event, which will begin at the St. Patrick’s Youth Center at 268 Mulberry Street.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It’s funny, as I can bore you to death about Arius, Origen, or Loyola. Want to talk about the Renaissance, Reformation, or Second Great Awakening- I’m all in. Recognizing the common tools and long practiced performance of catholic mass?

No.

I can describe the effects of nearly all the known forms of kryptonite, however.

from wikipedia

The Roman Missal contains the prayers, antiphons and rubrics of the Mass. Earlier editions also contained the Scripture readings, which were then fewer in number. The latest edition of the Roman Missal gives the normal (“ordinary”) form of Mass in the Roman Rite. But, in accordance with the conditions laid down in the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum of 7 July 2007, the 1962 edition of the Roman Missal, the latest of the editions that give what is known as the Tridentine Mass, may be used as an extraordinary form of celebrating the Roman Rite Mass.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The ceremony continued, and I decided that maybe it wouldn’t be that terrible to get lost in some of that architectural detail for a frame or two, and opened up the shutter for a long exposure. The big difficulty encountered, of course, were the dichotomous ambient conditions whose luminous contrast stretched into narrow bands of shadow and light.

from wikipedia

The Eucharistic Prayer, “the centre and high point of the entire celebration”, then begins with a dialogue between priest and people. This dialogue opens with the normal liturgical greeting, “The Lord be with you”, but in view of the special solemnity of the rite now beginning, the priest then exhorts the people: “Lift up your hearts.” The people respond with: “We lift them up to the Lord.” The priest then introduces the great theme of the Eucharist, a word originating in the Greek word for giving thanks: “Let us give thanks to the Lord, our God,” he says. The congregation joins in this sentiment, saying: “It is right and just.”

The priest then continues with one of many Eucharistic Prayer prefaces, which lead to the Sanctus acclamation: “Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts. Heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Following the moment depicted above, the three priests dispersed to the heads of the aisles, whereupon celebrants of the faith formed lines whose reward seemed to be a small cookie or cracker. One presumes that this is “the host” which figures so prominently in the Catholic Mass.

How am I supposed to know, I’m Jewish- by me it’s a cookie.

Happy St. Patrick’s day- and thanks to Jim Garrity and Msgr. Sakano for allowing so poor a specimen as myself to spend the day with them.

from wikipedia

The absence of snakes in Ireland gave rise to the legend that they had all been banished by St. Patrick. chasing them into the sea after they attacked him during a 40-day fast he was undertaking on top of a hill. This hagiographic theme draws on the mythography of the staff of the prophet Moses. In Exodus 7:8–7:13, Moses and Aaron use their staffs in their struggle with Pharaoh’s sorcerers, the staffs of each side morphing into snakes. Aaron’s snake-staff prevails by consuming the other snakes.

particular lepidodendron

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“follow” me on Twitter at @newtownpentacle

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Recent obligations called for me to enter the sense shattering psychic cauldron which is the Financial District of Lower Manhattan, obligations which I was actually quite happy to perform- mind you- but… most of the City is too young to have any ghosts in it. This isn’t the case down on William, once Rose, street. This lane has been known to those of European descent since before the great fire of London.

Buried beneath the despicable and bland veneers of modern day oligarchy lurks an occluded world.

from wikipedia

William Street is a city street in the Financial District of lower Manhattan in New York City in the United States of America. It is one of the oldest streets in Manhattan and can be seen in the 1660 Castello Plan of New Amsterdam. It runs generally southwest to northeast, crossing Wall Street and terminating at Broad Street and Spruce Street, respectively.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I was in the neighborhood for the plainest of reasons, to practice my craft and photograph a party thrown by colleagues and friends and to capture the ceremonial awarding of a plaque to an honoree. In accordance with my custom, an early arrival was sought, but the MTA had other plans. It was lightly raining, and as always the darkness of Lower Manhattan was a palpable and lurking presence. Physical darkness, that is, not spiritual.

There is plenty of the latter in Manhattan, for my part at least, but it was literally a “dark and stormy night.”

from wikipedia

Broadway is a street in the U.S. state of New York. Perhaps best known for the portion that runs through the borough of Manhattan in New York City, it actually runs 15 mi (24 km) through Manhattan and The Bronx, exiting north from the city to run an additional 18 mi (29 km) through the municipalities of Yonkers, Hastings-On-Hudson, Dobbs Ferry, Irvington, Tarrytown and terminating north of Sleepy Hollow in Westchester County. It is the oldest north–south main thoroughfare in New York City, dating to the first New Amsterdam settlement. The name Broadway is the English literal translation of the Dutch name, Breede weg.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Whilst on William Street, the location of a Delmonico’s restaurant was crossed. Having just a moment or two before I was needed at the event, some fiddling around with the camera settings allowed me to capture the above shot. Normally, this is the sort of thing which you’d clearly use a tripod for, but this shot was handheld.

Always plagued by a timorous constitution and tremulous hands, one has been studying the training techniques espoused by the Great Houdini himself over the winter months, in an attempt to develop a steadier grip on both camera and reality.

from wikipedia

In 1929, Oscar Tucci opened a “Delmonico’s” popularly called “Oscar’s Delmonico’s” at the former Delmonico’s location at 2 South William Street (sometimes listed as 56 Beaver Street) in New York. The Tucci incarnation adopted the original menus and recipes, and became distinguished in its own right, continuing to attract prominent politicians and celebrities. It was open continuously until it closed in 1977.

In 1981, a new Delmonico’s was opened at the location by Ed Huber, which operated until 1992.

The building was vacant until 1998, when the Bice Group acquired the property and again opened a Delmonico’s, with Gian Pietro Branchi as executive chef. In 1999, the restaurant was sold to the Ocinomled partnership, which continues to operate Delmonico’s at the South William Street location. The current website lists the address as 56 Beaver Street.

Written by Mitch Waxman

March 5, 2013 at 12:15 am

ornate and exotic

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“follow” me on Twitter at @newtownpentacle

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Maddeningly, lucky captures like the ones featured in today’s posting have been pretty rare for me of late, but here’s three from the proverbial “right place, right time.” Whilst crossing the devastations of Laurel Hill last week, enroute to a meeting in Brooklyn, those dense atmospheric conditions which had all but occluded the visual presence of Manhattan, just an hour earlier, suddenly cleared up. The burning thermonuclear eye of god itself omnipotently bathed the accursed earth in its radiation, driving away the rain laden clouds.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Luckily, I was skulking and scuttling the periphery, along an obscure pavement, of the polyandrion of the Roman Catholic Church- called Calvary. Bearing witness to this sudden explosion of majesty and inadvertent stage lighting, for one such as myself, was fraught with danger. Having grown increasingly nocturnal over the winter months, your humble narrator let slip an audibly fearful hiss when that light- which had traveled 93 million miles in seconds and was aimed directly at me- struck my shadow tempered skin. At once, I was moving eastward- and toward safe harbor in the perennial shadows of DUKBO (Down Under the Kosciuszko Bridge Onramp) scuttled I.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Luckily, as it was late in the day, this luminous event was short lived and the burning thermonuclear eye of god itself now floated low to the horizon in the northwestern sky. Enormous volatility in the air and surrounding cloud systems lent an effusive quality to its emanations, which oddly framed the so called Freedom Tower- a megalith nearing completion on the site of national tragedy and aspiration. To one such as myself, however, such things are better left for others to contemplate, enjoy, and discuss. There is no place for me in the company of others. My place is here, along the Newtown Creek, and amongst the tomb legions.

pleasures and pains

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“follow” me on Twitter at @newtownpentacle

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A photographer friend of mine, an esteemed and award winning fellow whose career began before I was out of diapers, tells me that the shot above is the best capture I’ve ever managed to pull off. It depicts a moment from the Working Harbor Committee’s “Great North River Tugboat Race of 2010”, specifically the line toss competition. Who am I to argue with a seasoned pro, especially on Maritime Sunday?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

This is actually my favorite part of the Tug Race, wherein competitors attempt to throw the rope over a bollard on the dock. They have three tries, but the entire vessel must make a full pass every time. As of right now, it looks like there will be another tug race at the end of the summer, by the way, so hold tight for more rope tossing shots in 2013.

Written by Mitch Waxman

March 3, 2013 at 12:56 am

rhythmical promise

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“follow” me on Twitter at @newtownpentacle

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Recently, occasion carried me down to Long Island City, where my stated goal was to catch the venerable East River Ferry and attend a meeting in Brooklyn Heights. It is somewhat ironic, to me at least, that the only mass transit pathway between two points on the western tip of Long Island that doesn’t involve transversing Manhattan is to use a ferry service set up to carry folks from the former to the latter. Unfortunately, just as I arrived at the dock, the boat was leaving, which in many ways is a metaphor for my entire life.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It was no tragedy, as it offered an opportunity to linger and play around with some of that night photography I was talking about at the start of the week. Manhattan can be quite lovely when viewed from outside of itself, and some effort went into the endeavor. The Empire State Building, a shining beacon of hope erected during the deep despair of the Great Depression, never disappoints.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

For some reason, the Freedom Tower will always be the name I call the building at One World Trade Center. Future generations will just call it whatever name they inherit from us, and Freedom Tower reminds me of those early days of the Terror War when terms like “blowback”, “freedom fries”, and “new normal” were coined. I think it’s important to remember that time, and that some symbolism is valuable even for the jaded mindset of modernity.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Such ruminations came to end, when the East River Ferry showed up. Their service has really matured in the last year, although the dock at Long Island City is in dire condition. It is temporary, of course, as the Hunters Point South development project surrounds and engulfs all in a shroud of ongoing construction.

death pleasing

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“follow” me on Twitter at @newtownpentacle

– photo by Mitch Waxman

This post was written a couple of days ago, and scheduled (via the WordPress dashboard) for automated dissemination. Our Lady of the Pentacle, our little dog, and myself are already sealed up tight in the sub astorian bunker described in yesterday’s posting. We will miss the world above, Astoria was always a particularly lovely place.

Mayan Apocalypse Countdown: just 1 days left until the 13th b’ak’tun ends, initiating the Mayan Apocalypse on December 21st. Tick, tock.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

On the whole, our regrets are few. It is a shame that the lovely tableaus offered by the megalopolis will soon be replaced by those of a radioactive wasteland, scarred and altered by the arrival of the rogue planet Nibiru. Surely, the world will be reborn, as this fits in neatly with the Mayan conception of reality- the 14th b’ak’tun begins on the 23rd.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

According to the vast hive minds of the Internet, of course, the Mayan cosmology will be just one of the many myth cycle eschatological pay offs which those of you “up top” will experience. Expect to see Loki onboard Hel’s ship on the East River, Dark Angels in the sky, and something akin to a mixing of Monguls and Werewolves riding lizard horses down Broadway. Out in the harbor… let’s just say that something which has been waiting in its tomb- dreaming, but not dead- will awake.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Look to the northern sky, for Nibiru. It should begin to brighten things up around ten or eleven. Remember to stock up on iodine and duct tape, lords and ladies. The living will envy the dead, and all that…

Written by Mitch Waxman

December 20, 2012 at 12:15 am

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