The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Archive for January 20th, 2011

vainly striving

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

Trapped by ice and cold, during that time of the year when the burning thermonuclear eye of god itself shines bright but carries no warmth, your humble narrator is bored-bored-bored. Crippled by vulnerability to cold, I’ve been appeasing myself- during those long hours when sleep is impossible- with long exposures and incessant hand wringing.

Your historical nugget for the day is: This is that time of the year when the ancient colony of Newtown was beset by wolves, and the Sheriff was required to distribute gunshot and powder from his stores to the local gentry- so as the the population of these livestock killing predators around Dutch Kills as well as a nearby swampy area (which would someday be called Queens Plaza) might be reduced.

Wolves.

from wikipedia

Cabin fever is an idiomatic term for a claustrophobic reaction that takes place when a person or group is isolated and/or shut in, in a small space, with nothing to do, for an extended period (as in a simple country vacation cottage during a long rain or snow). Symptoms include restlessness, irritability, irrational frustration with everyday objects, forgetfulness, laughter, excessive sleeping, distrust of anyone they are with, and an urge to go outside even in the rain, snow or dark.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Making Lemonade from waste fruit is a specialty of mine, however, so the long exposures mentioned above have been of the photographic kind rather than some shocking and lewd behavior.

For the shots above and below, I used my trusty Canon G10 rigged with a specialized mount. A friend here in Astoria found this contraption for me, after I complained about the annoyances of using traditional camera mounts like tripods on the street. A sturdy Croat, he found the device at a hardware store and described it as “a laser level’s magnetic tripod”, which just happens to have a standard .25 inch tripod mounting screw. This thing just kind of “klangs” onto anything magnetic, which opens up a lot of possible places to steady mount the camera- Cars, fire hydrants, fences, signposts- you name it.

You wouldn’t believe how many individual shots it took to achieve the one above, as passing cars or changing traffic signal lights kept on screwing me up.

from wikipedia

Symptoms of SAD may consist of difficulty waking up in the morning, morning sickness, tendency to oversleep as well as to overeat, and especially a craving for carbohydrates, which leads to weight gain. Other symptoms include a lack of energy, difficulty concentrating on completing tasks, and withdrawal from friends, family, and social activities. All of this leads to the depression, pessimistic feelings of hopelessness, and lack of pleasure which characterize a person suffering from this disorder.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Problem is that despite its many merits, the G10 is ultimately a point and shoot which Canon has placed certain limits on (specifically the limitation in exposure to 15 seconds), and the magnetic doohickey described above is not stout enough for the weight of a DSLR and lens (which is capable of manual exposure times, supposedly the shutter can be left open for quite some time). Luckily, Astoria offers many opportunities for night photography, despite its omnipresent automotive traffic.

Bored.

from forgotten-ny.com

On June 8, 1875 eight individuals met and organized the Long Island City Turn Verein at Koch’s Hall, N.E. Corner of Broadway and 9th Avenue [today’s 38th St] in Long Island City, N.Y. for the sole purpose of introducing and furthering German Turnerism (which embraces the philosophy of building a “Sound Mind in a Sound Body” fostered by Friedrich Ludwig Jahn in Germany). The society’s purpose was to educate its membership physically and mentally through gymnastic exercises and by encouraging use of the German language.

The present building was constructed in 1928 and sold in the mid-1970s. The society is now based in Nassau County.

Written by Mitch Waxman

January 20, 2011 at 1:45 am

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