The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

nebulous shadow

with 5 comments


– photo by Mitch Waxman

June 14th found a humble narrator in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint section for a Newtown Creek Alliance board meeting. What happens at this sort of meeting is that the group’s Executive Director discusses their ongoing management of the organization’s various projects, the financial state of the entity, and then makes the board members aware of any issues they’ve encountered. The board members then weigh in on whatever the issue is, offer guidance or material help, and we vote on “this” or discuss “that.” The meeting took place in the evening, and we were at HQ at 520 Kingsland Avenue in Brooklyn for sunset and moonrise.

I snuck away a couple of times to wave the camera around.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

This was coincidentally one of the nights where a so called “supermoon” was meant to occur, which is an astronomical anomaly wherein the position of the moon relative to the horizon creates an optical lensing effect that makes the moon seem larger and brighter than it typically is. Next one is in July, I think.

There’s the so called “Strawberry Supermoon” rising over the fabulous Newtown Creek, from the Kingsland Wildflower Roof at 520 Kingsland Avenue.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Once the meeting ended, and since I was already in the neighborhood, a humble narrator got busy down on the industrial streets surrounding Newtown Creek. The guy who couldn’t help but stand in the middle of my shot was Donnie, a security guard for a recycling company owned by a guy named Mike, and Donnie was desperately waiting for his “Doordash” dinner delivery.

What can I tell you, I talk to strangers.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

At the end of what would be North Henry Street is a small barge slip, called “Unnamed Canal” by the Coast Guard, and I was lucky enough to be there when the Crystal Cutler tug was towing a fuel barge eastwards on Newtown Creek. If you click through to the high res version of the shot at Flickr, you’ll see the silhouette of the Captain in the wheelhouse, who may or may not have been named Bruce Cutler.

I’m very pleased with myself, regarding the shot above.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

On my way back to Queens, I decided to get a bit “artsy fartsy” with the sewer plant views. This is one of the shots where I captured three distinct images with different focus points – at distinct moments in the rotating “red, white, blue” colors that the DEP projects onto the stainless steel digester eggs. I’m pleased with myself about this shot too.

After this one, I switched the rig back into handheld mode and started scuttling back towards Queens.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

While crossing Newtown Creek via the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge, I noticed the MTA’s “Bus of the Dead” rolling up on me, no doubt heading to Calvary Cemetery with its spectral riders. Wonder if they’ve got a fare evasion problem on this line? Wonder if the Mayor can send out a group of ghost cops if they do.

Back tomorrow with more…

“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.

5 Responses

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  1. The Crystal Cutler shot: in the lower right corner are some kind of floating boxes of greenery. Protected by netting. A mad scientist’s garden? A coven’s henbane crops?

    • That’s a Newtown Creek Alliance project. A floating dock, essentially, which hosts baskets of plantings (native species like saw grass) whose roots hang into the water and provide habitat space for critters. We’re going to be rolling out more of this sort of thing in coming years, basically portable green infrastructure.

      Mitch Waxman

      July 18, 2022 at 4:15 pm

      • In Fort Pond (Montauk) concerned locals float “islands” of plants which consume nitrogen and phosphorus, attempting to reduce algae blooms. That would be the least of Newtown Creek’s problems. Witchcraft would be a more suitable remedy.


        July 18, 2022 at 4:45 pm

      • Lol. The idea behind this is to create benthic space for clutches of invertebrates eggs and hiding spots for little fishies. Billion Puster project is also working with NCA, which promises to create a significant bio filtration network to absorb up a lot of the free floating nutrient that the sewers pump in. An oyster processes something like 60 gallons an hour.

        Mitch Waxman

        July 18, 2022 at 5:00 pm

  2. Great photos! Supermoon isn’t an “optical lensing effect”, it happens “when [the] Earth-Moon-Sun system occurs with the perigee [ie nearest to the earth] side of the Moon facing us, and the Moon happens to be on the opposite side of Earth from the Sun, we get what’s called a perigee-syzygy. That causes the Moon to appear much bigger and brighter in our sky than usual, and it’s referred to as a supermoon – or more technically, a perigee moon.”
    Have some fresh strawberries!
    Great pic of the tugboat in its still waters.


    July 18, 2022 at 8:32 pm

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