The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Archive for April 21st, 2020

unaltered bone

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A bit of detail at Dutch Kills.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One tries to shoot a few abstracted shots in between the sweeping landscape stuff when the camera is up on the tripod. At Dutch Kills the other night, I reminded myself to do so a few times. Check out yesterday’s post for the overview shots, and today’s for the “points of interest” ones. The bulkheads along the 29th street side of the canal have been collapsing into the water for a year or two now, and one particular event carried a self seeded tree down into the water column along with the rip rap and concrete.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The peculiar color of the water at Dutch Kills has always fascinated. I once had a City Council Member in Maspeth ask if I had manipulated an image I was showing her to make it look radioactive, which I should have been offended by the accusation thereof, but given the martian landscape of Newtown Creek… No, I assured Liz Crowley, this is what it looks like. Why she didn’t know that herself, I can only wonder. I have to say, if I was a Council Member, I’d know every square inch of my district like the back of my hand just in the name of not being surprised by anything.

Back to yesterday’s post, I mentioned the abandoned fuel barges at Dutch Kills, one of which is pictured above.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Here’s a different view of that collapsed bulkhead, which is a bit of exposed archaeology as to how they filled in and reclaimed land at the start of the 20th century. This area was known as “the Waste Meadows” until the start of the modern era, a tidal wetland renowned for its ability to produce vast clouds of mosquitoes and breed other pests. When the Pennsylvania Railroad Company got busy draining and reclaiming the land which they’d carve the Sunnyside Yards into, the waste meadows were bought up by a real estate speculator and construction guru named Michael Degnon.

The industrial park surrounding Dutch Kills was created, and called the Degnon Terminal. Via Dutch Kills, there was water access, and Degnon built ship to rail facilities which allowed for the transference of cargo from one to the other.

Note: I’m writing this and several of the posts you’re going to see for the next week at the beginning of the week of Monday, April 13th. My plan is to continue doing my solo photo walks around LIC and the Newtown Creek in the dead of night as long as that’s feasible. If you continue to see regular updates as we move into April and beyond, that means everything is kosher as far as health and well being. If the blog stops updating, it means that things have gone badly for a humble narrator.


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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 blurb.com for $30.

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