The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

uncovered pit

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Getting high over Newtown Creek.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Saturday last, a humble narrator scuttled southwards towards that lugubrious ribbon of urban neglect which the children of Brooklyn and Queens call the Newtown Creek. My destination was the Kosciuszcko Bridge, with its new pedestrian and bicycle lane offering spectacular and formerly impossible to capture views of the waterway and the industrial zone surrounding it, framed up by the heroic skyline of the Shining City of Manhattan. One will be spending quite a bit of time up there in the coming months, and at different times of day. In the case of the shots in today’s post, they’re from the last two hours or so prior to sunset, with the burning thermonuclear eye of god itself transiting to the southwest – late summer and early fall skies.

It was an unimpressive sunset on Saturday, and I plan on handling that set of shots when the weather and sky is right. My next outing will be early in the morning, for sunrise with the light coming from the east behind me, and the bridge casting shadows on the water.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Other people go to the beach on Labor Day weekend, or BBQ. Me? I walk back and forth over bridges for a few hours with a tripod and a camera. Literally, there were hundreds of photos on the camera’s memory card when I came home from this exploratory outing. Exploratory? Why, yes.

One thing I’ve learned over the years is that you have to chase after photos, and that preparation and expectation are critical. You have to be “prepared” in terms of your gear being ready for duty, and “expectation” is all about having some sort of pre scouted plan in place as far as time of day, point of view, and conditions you need to work around. The new K Bridge does have a bit of vibration transmission from the BQE traffic, for instance, so… steps are taken.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The vantage point of these shots is roughly two miles from the Newtown Creek’s intersection with the East River. The original Penny Bridge landings at the end of Greenpoint’s Meeker Avenue and Blissville’s intersection of Laurel Hill Blvd. and Review Avenue are more or less at the center of the shot. The white tanks on the left hand, or Brooklyn side, are at Apollo Street. The green space on the right side of the shot is First Calvary Cemetery in LIC’s Blissville section. Manhattan is on the horizon, with the Empire State building prominently at center top.

Whew, this is probably the happiest I’ve been in a year or two. Thanks NYS DOT.

“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.

5 Responses

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  1. I was astonished with the great photo’s of Newtown creek I got from the new Kosciuszko Bridge pedestrian walkway. I got lucky.

    I appreciate what you said about “chasing a photo.”


    dan scolnick

    September 4, 2019 at 11:51 am

  2. How do you handle the chain-link fencing on the walkway that you have to shoot through? You put the lens right up to the link and then crop that off in the final presented image? That’s what I do.

    georgethe atheist . . . thirsting for knowledge

    September 5, 2019 at 8:56 am

    • not chain link

      Mitch Waxman

      September 5, 2019 at 9:41 am

      • Me bad. Vertical bars . . but you still can’t put your lens through those. So what to do?

        georgethe atheist . . . thirsting for knowledge

        September 5, 2019 at 11:38 am

      • actually, you can. Remember how I was on the Stakeholders Advisory Committee? The slats are 90mm apart. I made sure of that.

        Mitch Waxman

        September 5, 2019 at 11:40 am

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