The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

adroitly pumped

with 4 comments

Wednesday has happened again.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Still on Randalls/Wards Island, but looking wistfully towards Astoria Park and Queens whilst under the Triborough Bridge, imagine my joy at the sudden arrival of an NYPD Harbor Unit vessel which pushed through the scene. There’s a base and berth for the gendarmes on the Harlem River side of the island, but I don’t know if that’s where they coming from or going to.

One refuses to use the secondary name for Triborough Bridge, or for the Queensboro, until they rename the Brooklyn Bridge as the Michael Bloomberg Bridge. Sounds crazy, huh? Renaming Mighty Triborough or the majestic Queensboro after other politicians doesn’t? No respect, I tell ya, no respect.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There’s no possibility that something like what you see above can cross in front of my lens with me not being drawn to capture it. I’ve talked about this many times during tours conducted on the Soundview Ferry line, but Triborough is one of the great historical feats of civil engineering and industrial power. There’s a theory which postulates that this bridge is the reason that WW2 went as well as it did for the United States, offering that the Triborough operations orders for steel alone restarted that entire sector of the American economy during the darkest years of the Great Depression. Factor in the labor, the concrete, the forest of wood needed for scaffolds…

That’s something to consider, while looking forward at the next few years.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Randalls/Wards Island offers an up close and personal look at another one of NYC’s wonders, the Hells Gate Bridge. Carrying railroad tracks rather than vehicle lanes, as Triborough does, this arch bridge is thought to be the most permanent structure in the entire city. Supposedly, long after the Empire State Building has collapsed and the other East River bridges have been reduced down to masonry piers with no span between them, the Hells Gate will still be more or less intact.

In the foot steps of giants we do walk.

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, July 20th. 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 here, 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.

“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.

4 Responses

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  1. Wonderful post, as always. I have a query: I see you are using “Hells Gate”, rather than Hell Gate, or Hellgate, or Hell’s Gate, etc. Do you know which name is ‘correct’?

    Eric Cohen

    July 22, 2020 at 12:56 pm

    • It’s debatable. Hell Gate, Hells Gate… depends on when and who said it. It’s Hell Gate Bridge, for sure. The water is Hells Gate. I screw it up all the time. It comes from the old Dutch Hellegaat – meaning whirlpools

      Mitch Waxman

      July 22, 2020 at 1:06 pm

      • Mitch: double check that “whirlpools” translation please.

        georgetheatheist . . . hells bells

        July 22, 2020 at 3:31 pm

  2. Mitch, you’ve outdone yourself. These pictures are incredible. If only you can go on top of the Hells Gate to see that. It is one of my dreams.

    George Hrysanthopoulos

    July 22, 2020 at 2:02 pm

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