The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Archive for June 2nd, 2022

peradventure may

with 5 comments


– photo by Mitch Waxman

The estimable bridge tenders of the NYC DOT were on station at the Pulaski Bridge when a humble narrator scuttled by. What makes them “estimable” is that if you see them hanging around a draw bridge, odds are that the bridge will be opening soon, hence you can estimate.

These are more photos from an extremely productive walk I took on the 12th of April. Six photo posts have been offered here for awhile now, as I’m trying to “catch up” with the real world calendar.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Pulaski Bridge is the first crossing of Newtown Creek you encounter when navigating in from the East River. Constructed in 1954 at the behest of Robert Moses’s DOT, Pulaski Bridge carries five lanes of auto traffic as well as dedicated pedestrian and bike lanes. It’s a double bascule draw bridge, electrically powered, and is part of the NYC DOT’s portfolio of movable bridges. It connects Greenpoint’s McGuinness Blvd. with LIC’s 11th street.

One thereby scuttled across “the red one” to Paidge Avenue in Brooklyn, which allowed me to enter the Newtown Creek Nature Walk.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The sewer plant in Greenpoint was reconstructed beginning in the early 1990’s, and the NYC DEP was compelled to comply with the NYC Charter requirement of “1% for art,” which sets aside a percentile of every municipal construction project for art or public space. The Nature Walk, thereby, wraps around the sewer plant and is accessible via either Kingsland Avenue or Paidge Avenue between dawn and dusk. It’s proven to be quite a popular destination for Greenpointers.

As I arrived, I spotted two tugboats at work.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Sea Lion, pictured above, was towing a recycling barge from the SimsMetal dock found on the Queens side of Newtown Creek. Sims does a lot of maritime shipping from this dock. They handle recyclables collected by DSNY, crushed cars, and all sorts of scrap metal here. The materials are brought in by truck, but shipped out by barge. A maritime barge carries the equivalent cargo of 38 heavy trucks.

Sea Lion is a harbor tug, as in its fairly small in size at 64.7 feet in length, but the 1980 vintage vessel is mighty – she produces 1,400 HP, which is more than that railroad engine I showed you the other day. Ocean going tugs are fairly enormous.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A larger class tug, the Seeley, was waiting patiently for the bridge tenders to open up Pulaski Bridge. Sea Lion didn’t need the bridge to open, as the height of her conning tower and antennae were well below the bridge’s double bascule undersides.

The horns began to blow, and then the chiming of the signal arms sounded, and then traffic stopped flowing over the Pulaski Bridge for an interval so that a different type of traffic could pass.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Seeley navigated through, and although I’m incapable of the emotional state called “happy,” a humble narrator was slightly less miserable than normal for a few minutes.

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

June 2, 2022 at 11:00 am

%d bloggers like this: