The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

extinguishing all

with 4 comments


– photo by Mitch Waxman

June 8th, and I was attending a performance of something… avant gardé… I guess. I’m not really sure how to describe a “soundscape” performance, but there I was at the sewer plant in Greenpoint.

Before things got started, I walked over to Newtown Creek to pop out a sunset shot because “why not”?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s Che Chen in the yellow shirt, who was the soundscape artist. His team had microphones and speakers set up, and the event drew quite a crowd. Even Our Lady of the Pentacle was there. It went right over my head, but the crowd was digging the hell out of this.

We actually snuck away early and walked over to a bar on Greenpoint’s Manhattan Avenue to grab a drink, and get dinner.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

June 9th saw me in the company of My Pal Val. Several years ago, I was invited by the NYC Parks Dept. to be part of a group of photographers who would get to spend some time at Fresh Kills. At the time, none of the park had opened to the public yet. I’ve been subsequently asked to come back but was never able to make my schedule work. Given that I’m planning on departing the City at the end of the year… when the invite arrived, I said yes, and managed to get Val on the guest list too.

Val picked me up in Astoria, and we headed off to… Staten Island.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

We actually got there far earlier than we needed to, with the intention of finding some “catch as catch can” shooting opportunities along the way. …Staten Island… is fairly photogenic at its edges. Upland (with a few very notable exceptions), it’s pretty much suburban sprawl – highways, housing developments, and shopping malls – but …Staten Island… has a very interesting waterfront.

Particularly so on its eastern (Verrazano/Narrows), western (Arthur Kill), and northern (Kill Van Kull) coasts. The south coast of …Staten Island… is basically a salt marsh and then a beach.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Looking south along the narrows towards the bridge, those ships belong to the Sandy Hooks Pilots. They escort large vessels into New York Harbor. The horizon buildings behind the ships are in Brooklyn, and found along the Belt Parkway.

We picked our way along the waterfront, heading towards Skelson’s Office.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There’s a spot at the end of Bard Avenue which my dearly departed pal John Skelson used to shoot tugboats passing by on the Kill Van Kull from. Several times we called him out, while passing by on a Hidden Harbor tour with the Working Harbor Committee, and the spot became known as “Skelson’s Office” for all the time that he spent here.

Time began to grow short, and My Pal Val and I decided that it would wise to grab a meal. We shortly found a diner, where I had a fine cheeseburger, and then we continued on our journey to the edge of the known world – Fresh Kills.

“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. […] extinguishing all […]

  2. Enjoying your posts. You got a great photo of Margaret Moran on this one, far and away my favorite tug boat, probably because she was the first tug I ever photographed back in my teenage years. I shared that photo from the mid-1980s on my blog a few months back:

    Daniel Katzive

    July 13, 2022 at 5:15 pm

  3. In your first pic, I guess that new giant, towering over the Chrysler Building, is One Vanderbilt.


    July 13, 2022 at 10:02 pm

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