The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Archive for December 28th, 2021

harmlessly mad

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

A client of mine recently asked for a very specific shot, one that would require me to leave HQ in the dead of night and catch the first ferry out of Astoria just as the burning thermonuclear eye of god itself began to peek out from behind Nassau and Suffolk counties. Coffee was quaffed, a humble narrator was bathed and soon clad in his black sackcloth, and the camera gear was vouchsafed as ready to deploy. A man up early and on a mission, I was there as that first ferry boat arrived at Hallets Cove, and thusly was it boarded with a jaunty step.

The assignment involved the Brooklyn Navy Yard and the NYC Ferry, specifically to get a shot of the latter entering the former at sunrise. The sunrise deal wasn’t part of the original brief/conversation, but from the description of what they wanted, that’s what they wanted.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

What? I’m going to get up at 4:30 in the morning for a job and not get a few in for myself, too? Sheesh, who ya talking to here? Yeah, it was chilly up there on the top deck. Kee-reist, why not just stay at home in your warm bed and whine about the winter? If Marcus Aurelius was here, he’d “tsk tsk” at you. Lazy bones. Sleep when you’re dead.

That’s the Roosevelt Island Bridge at the center of the shot, with the Queensboro in the distance.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The Astoria line NYC Ferry makes a few stops after leaving its former terminal stop nearby the NYCHA Astoria Houses campus at Queens’ Hallets Cove. Former terminal stop, actually, since there’s now a stop on the extremely Upper East Side in Manhattan that supersedes. After the Hallets Cove stop, where I usually board the service, the Ferry goes to Roosevelt Island, LIC North, 34th st. in the City, then Brooklyn Navy Yard, and finally Manhattan’s Pier 11. The ferry ride is a little bit more than a half hour, going from Astoria to the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

I’d offer that this is the one thing that the NYC EDC has done right in the last ten years, the ferry. I won’t give credit to De Blasio, as I personally witnessed the plans for it circulating near the end of third Bloomberg. Word has it that the Dope from Park Slope asked for something “ready to go” when he came into office and they handed him the plan which ended up being called “NYC Ferry.”

More tomorrow, from an early morning on the East River.

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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

December 28, 2021 at 1:00 pm

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