The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

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with 4 comments

Well, it’s Monday again, ain’t it?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Recent endeavor found one marching home from Brooklyn’s Greenpoint, via LIC’s Blissville section, to the gently rolling hills of Astoria here in the Borough of Queens. The connective tissue, as it were, between the two boroughs for this particular perambulatory pursuit takes concrete form in the shape of the JJ Byrne Memorial Bridge – a double bascule drawbridge spanning the notorious Newtown Creek, which is known colloquially as the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge. Having fully armed myself before leaving HQ with photographic ephemera and tools, some time was spent in pursuit of recording the scene.

To wit, the shots above and below.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One has been attempting to pull off a thirty second long exposure of the scene visible from the center of the bridge for months and months, at the center spot where the cyclopean roadway bascules meet, but have been constantly frustrated by the abundance of heavy traffic crossing the bridge. Even the passing of a normal automotive sedan will cause ruinous vibrations to transmit into the camera, blurring the shot, whereas the quaking cavitations offered up by the passage of a heavy truck or city bus over the bridge have more than once caused my hand to grasp my top heavy tripod in order to vouchsafe against it falling over. What I’ve gleaned from this experience is that you cannot find a thirty second interval in which traffic is not passing over this bridge, other than when it opens to provide passage east or west for maritime traffic.

That’s goofy.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

On another night last week, one was involved in a different endeavor in the financial district if Lower Manhattan when one of the many bands of precipitation which have been painting the City in recent weeks erupted. This event was one of the two or three times a year when you might observe a humble narrator wearing ritual garb. “Ritual Garb” is what I call a suit and tie. I often wish that our society favored feathered headdresses or Maori style piercings, as western formal wear is stupid. It’s composed of easily damaged fabrics, uncomfortable to wear, unsuitable for any sort of actual work or activity other than standing still or sitting down, involves wearing shoes that provide zero ankle support, and you’ve literally got a noose tied around your neck. Also, secure pockets are not part of the equation.

I like a good (velcro sealed or buttonable) secure pocket. Actually I like a whole lot of them.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Buy a book!

In the Shadows at Newtown Creek,” an 88 page softcover 8.5×11 magazine format photo book by Mitch Waxman, is now on sale at for $30.

Written by Mitch Waxman

May 20, 2019 at 11:00 am

4 Responses

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  1. How about an open necked Polo shirt with a gold chain under a sport jacket? (Much more comfy and loose from the waist on up.)

    georgetheatheist . . . clothes make the man

    May 20, 2019 at 11:38 am

  2. As a body who is not compelled to have to wear anything to work on an +85° day beyond shorts and a tee-shirt, I am quite grateful and in agreement with your sentiments on formal work wear!

    Tommy Efreeti

    May 20, 2019 at 11:44 am

  3. In the first picture, the building on the left is from the Andrews Lead company. Not much on Google on it other than they were a lead product and processing company. Last year Google had a result with all their products on sale. I can’t find it now. The building is at least 100 years old. I love this building. In my opinion is a beautiful example of industrial minimalist beauty. I like how it looks from the tracks down below also. I wish I could go inside one day and see what it looks like. However, being a lead manufacturer, I wonder how much lead contamination is in there. I sometimes park across the street on Review Avenue and watch the sunset over the City.


    May 24, 2019 at 12:32 am

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