The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

nimbus over

with 2 comments


– photo by Mitch Waxman

Mentioned yesterday, the building pictured above sits on the site of the first large scale petroleum refinery in the United States. It later became known as the Standard Oil Queens County Oil Works, but the original 1854 facility and its founder are described in this post from 2014.

Truth be told, on this particular evening, I wasn’t in “history” mode, instead I was focused in on taking pretty pictures of ugly things.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

This shot looks north, across Newtown Creek and at Queens, along the line which the Brooklyn Queens Expressway travels along between LIC’s Blissville section on the left, and Maspeth’s “West Maspeth” section on the right.

The BQE is sited along what was formerly (1870-1898) the legal line between the municipality of Long Island City and Newtown’s Village of Maspeth. Maybe it was already the “Town of Maspeth” back in the late 19th and early 20th centuries… something I’m not sure of, speaking in a purely calendrical manner.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Back on the walkway of the Kosciuszcko Bridge, and once again setup with the tripod and all the other gear, I got busy.

You have never ending vibration problems up there, due to the Brooklyn Queens Expressway traffic running behind you.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

You can really feel it when a heavy truck rolls by at speed up there, and mid span there’s a discernible flex when one shouts by. It’s not at all disconcerting, but it’s a factor if you’re doing a longish exposure up there as the vibration can transmit up the tripod and shake the camera.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

For some reason… ahem… the bridge’s fences offer apertures just big enough for me to slide my favorite lens through… ahem…

There’s a trick to shooting up here which revolves around making sure that neither the tripod legs nor the lens are making the slightest physical contact with the fence, as it transmits the traffic vibration.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Satisfied that I had actually made it worth getting up that morning by doing something useful and fun, I packed up the bag and headed back to HQ.

More tomorrow.

“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.

Written by Mitch Waxman

May 24, 2022 at 11:00 am

2 Responses

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  1. Great photos, full of hidden energy.


    May 25, 2022 at 8:43 pm

  2. […] May started off with a visit to Philadelphia’s Schuykill River and downtown area. Back home in Queens, Dutch Kills and its collapsing bulkhead received one of what would end up being weekly inspections by me in “ugly trifles.” One did his fair share of riding the NYC Ferry, as in “ivied antique.” Long Island City’s Newtown Creek coastlines became a particular point of focus, as in “torture of.” I made it a point of collecting sunset shots around Newtown Creek all year, as in “nimbus over.” […]

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