The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

psychopathic institution

with 3 comments


– photo by Mitch Waxman

So, a few weeks back, a barge sunk into the gelatinous waters of the gregarious Newtown Creek. This isn’t the first time, won’t be the last, this sort of thing happens. Nothing nasty got released into the water, the barge was filled with rock and sand. Saying all that, it’s quite the pickle raising a barge sitting under 20-30 feet of water, and it requires specialized gear and a crew of experts. Luckily, NY Harbor being NY Harbor, there are a couple of outfits which will rent you the equipment and help you hire the experts needed to operate their stuff.

That’s capitalism for ya, huh? There’s a solution to every problem, if the price is right. Given the times we live in – that’s not a critique of our grandiose economic system, rather it’s an appreciative comment on a part of its feature set.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Lucky for a humble narrator, this particular barge went down in a spot nearby a location which I’ve got access to over in the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn. After attending a Newtown Creek Alliance press event in Maspeth earlier in the day, which involved a couple of Congress members and a gaggle of local “electeds,” I hitched a ride back to Greenpoint and got busy.

It was the worst time of day for light during the winter – right around noon o’clock – but I was prepared for that, and the tripod was deployed with an ND Filter affixed to the lens to slow things down and control the amount of light a bit. I got “a-clicking.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It seems that there was a diver in the water, who was attaching ropes and airbags and all sorts of arcane hoses to the sunken barge. That hit of motion blur on the crane’s arm betrays the process – with the diver and laborers moving ropes and chains around and under the sunken barge. Every now and then, you’d see the diver’s helmet pop up out of the drink.

How exciting.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

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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

March 8, 2022 at 11:00 am

3 Responses

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  1. He takes a licking and keeps on clicking.

    georgetheatheist . . . timex mitch

    March 8, 2022 at 11:57 am

  2. Very exciting indeed. Diver operations like that are not simple.


    March 8, 2022 at 8:59 pm

  3. […] “psychopathic institution” details what I saw in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint section after receiving word that a barge had sunk in Newtown Creek. “perilous disposition” is one of dozens of posts which focused in on the Dutch Kills tributary of Newtown Creek in Long Island City. Another Dutch Kills post, “harmless stupidity,” emanates from the time that I decided to shoot the place at sunrise, on what would turn out to be the second coldest day of 2022 in NYC. […]

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