The Newtown Pentacle

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Wood, in today’s post.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

To start, apologies for missing yesterday’s post, but frankly – a humble narrator was completely wiped out from the effort leading up to Wednesday evening’s Fireboat trip on Newtown Creek, which seems to have gone pretty well.

We had about 70 “influential” people onboard, served them BBQ and drinks, and discussed the future of things on the Creek. The Fireboat actually ran aground for a short interval nearby the intersection of the main stem of the Creek with English Kills, as it was low tide and a sediment mound was exposed, but what’s a night out on a historic Fireboat without a bit of adventure?

The shots in today’s post have nothing to do with the excursion, instead, they’re macro shots of parts of a decaying wooden fence which my landlord has decided to remove. The wood is so magnificently weathered, and ridden with wood lice, that I couldn’t resist setting up my “ghetto” lighting rig and doing a few macro shots.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Ghetto lighting is one of terms, btw, for an improvisational setup that doesn’t use “proper” equipment like studio lights with diffuser umbrellas or anything like that. In fact, there’s only two light sources and a flash (set to its extreme low power setting) involved. The cool light comes from a flashlight taped to a small tabletop tripod that’s focused on a transluscent plastic place mat used as an ad hoc diffuser, and the warm one is a flashlight of the same model which has an amber colored pill bottle taped to it. The camera is my trusty old Canon G10, affixed to a magnetic tripod, and the flash was in the camera’s hot shoe.

There’s a reason I call it ghetto lighting.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The funny thing is that these shots were captured while I was stuck at home, on the phone, making final arrangements for the Fireboat excursion. I was literally begging the Borough President of Queens’s office to send out a staffer to come along, but they weren’t terribly interested in attending. The Brooklyn Borough President’s office, on the other hand, wanted to send actual elected officials. I had established a rule on the trip that we didn’t want the actual elected officials onboard, as it would have stifled the conversation and diverted it to other issues, and it was difficult saying no to City Council and Assembly members who wanted to come onboard. Saying that, we had a Deputy Commisioner of the DEP, the show runner of Riverkeeper, and lots of other important folks onboard. I’m VERY happy to say that I actually managed to get representatives from Maspeth, East Williamsburg, Bushwick, LIC, and – of course – Greenpoint on the boat.

One of the failings of the political establishment here in Queens is a general disinterest in Newtown Creek, probably because they really don’t want to open up the whole “post industrial environmental issue” can of worms.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

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Written by Mitch Waxman

September 9, 2016 at 12:30 pm

Posted in Astoria, Broadway

Tagged with , , , ,

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