The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

swam curiously

with 4 comments

From Hells Gate.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Whilst wiggling about and adjusting the camera settings to capture the image above, a humble narrator was photographed by the occupants of a passing minivan (which slowed down to do so) on Shore Bouelvard alongside Astoria Park last Sunday. The largish iPhone brandished at me skillfully ignored all the folks engaged in romantic congress in the front seats of their cars, or the small army of marijuana enthusiasts who were similarly situated in the parking lane. Clearly, the iPhone person had uncovered some nefarious activity being committed by a strange old man in a filthy black raincoat, and would be reporting so to the proper authorities. I was waiting for the goon squad to arrive and kick in my front door back at HQ later that night.

Mighty Triborough, and the Hell Gate Bridge, in today’s dark light post.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There is just something about camera equipment that sets off the accent crowd here in Astoria which I’ll never understand. It’s kosher to wave your phone around wherever you go, but if they see a DSLR, it’s regarded with the same sort of caution and concern that you’d expect for brandishing an assault rifle. Given that the times I’m not carrying a camera are so rare that they are statistically irrelevant, it means that I get stared at a lot.

I’d get stared at a lot even if I wasn’t carrying the camera, as a note.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Children gasp or cry, dogs growl, old ladies clutch at their purses… all things that happen when one such as myself scuttles past. Men puff themselves up and assume aggressive posture, police slow down and observe, security cameras pivot on their swivels. The only living creatures which do not react negatively to me are birds, and one can walk through a flock of them pecking away at the ground with nary a ruffled feather.

A few years ago, whilst wandering about, I snapped a quick photo of the facade of a local Greek church – St. Irene’s. A small mob of old Greek ladies suddenly appeared and literally chased me for about 3/4 of a mile.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I favor atmospherics like fog for these kind of shots, normally, but for structures as massive and far reaching as Triborough and Hell Gate – fog and mist get in the way and obscure too much detail. It’s particularly dark on this section of the East River as well, which causes any sort of artificial lighting to flare due to the contrast.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

In my never ending quest to break habits, a rare vertical or portrait format shot from the “House of Moses.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I walked into Astoria Park to get this final shot of Hell Gate. I do wish Amtrak would light this bridge up at night.


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Written by Mitch Waxman

February 23, 2018 at 11:00 am

4 Responses

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  1. Really nice shots! See you again on a walk.

    luddy83

    February 23, 2018 at 3:20 pm

  2. Mitch…Just this past week I had to do some business at a Queens court. I had my DSLR in my briefcase and after passing through the metal detectors and getting the briefcase xrayed, the guards said I couldn’t take the camera into the innards of the court and would have to leave it with them until I left. They made me fill out a form and handed me a copy. I had my iPad with me with its camera function and I asked why they didn’t take that as well. I also pointed out that most people in the inside of the court had cameras on their iPhones.. Everyone of them could take photographs clandestinely inside the building. And of course, no one stopped them from entering with these devices. . The guard admitted sheepishly the contradiction in what was going on, but said it was the orders of the administrative judge to sequester camera-looking type cameras. So I was admitted to the building having my forbidden camera quarantined but with a permitted camera on my person nevertheless.

    This happened once before when I reported for jury-duty at Borough Hall. Is this nuts or what?

    georgetheatheist . . . say cheese

    February 24, 2018 at 2:00 am

    • I had the same experience with jury duty a few years back.

      Mitch Waxman

      February 24, 2018 at 6:49 am

      • The guard also told me that up until a few years ago iPhones were also not permitted into the building and had to be sequestered with all the necessary paperwork. But because of the ubiquity of these contraptions and the logistical paperwork nightmare in cataloging them at the courthouse entrance, they’re now permitted. So bringing in a “real” camera gives the guards something to do, no?

        georgetheatheist . . . Frosty the Snowman

        February 24, 2018 at 9:23 am


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