The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Archive for August 2022

breathing things

with one comment

Wednesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I was mid span on the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge, a double bascule drawbridge that spans the fabulous Newtown Creek, and photographing a maneuvering tug called “Seeley” when the bridge’s alarm bells began to sound and a NYC DOT employee began motioning for me to get to the other side.

The bridge was about to open!

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’m known, in my middle 50’s, for running down the block and chasing a fire engine while yelling “firemen, firemen” just like I did when I was 5. I get excited about things that other adults consider to be a nuisance.

I love it when a drawbridge opens up, and never miss a chance to grab shots of the action.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I didn’t have time to swap out lenses for the one that fits into the apertures of the chain link fence, so I just fired the shutter anyway.

I prefer a clean shot, but the fence is part of the environmental milieu, so, there you go.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As traffic was stopped for the open bridge, I was able to run across Greenpoint Avenue Bridge without getting squished by traffic.

Found a decent spot, one which long experience dictated as being a good one to shoot from, and followed the Tug Seeley as it headed westwards towards the East River.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’ve grown fairly jaded about this sort of thing in recent years, but the sun was painting the sky with orange and gold.

What a dynamic set of weather conditions it was on August 1st. The fog and mist, the dispersal of the same, and now this sort of saturated color. Wow.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Shortly after these shots were captured, I decided to make a right turn after arriving in Long Island City’s Blissville section and head towards the Kosciuszcko Bridge. Ultimately, that was a bit of wasted effort, bu there you go. Cannot complain, this was an extremely productive day.

Back tomorrow with something different, at this – your Newtown Pentacle.


“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 blurb.com for $30.

Written by Mitch Waxman

August 31, 2022 at 11:00 am

actual anatomy

with 2 comments

Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

So, after taking the train to Long Island City and then walking across the Pulaski Bridge to Brooklyn’s Greenpoint on a misty and foggy day, the atmosphere broke and it was suddenly clear and sunny. I had reconfigured the camera to handheld mode and began scuttling back to Queens.

“Photowalk” is pretty much what it sounds like, as a pursuit. You walk along, head pivoting around. You look up, down, and all around. If something catches your eye, you grab a shot.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One of the casualties of the real estate frenzy are large footprint businesses like supermarkets and gas stations. The speculators buy up these properties and will sit on them for years, hidden away behind green plywood fences. It’s easy to get a permit to demolish something, harder to get one to build. Thereby, properties like this gas station on the corner of McGuinness Blvd. at Greenpoint Avenue can sit empty and unused for years.

The signage on a new development building next door includes the motto “where you are is who you are.” Thereby, residents of this building are a high volume traffic corridor three blocks from a sewer plant and five to six blocks in either direction from a federal superfund site or the Brooklyn Queens Expressway – that’s who they are.

A 2 bedroom in that building is going for $5,900 a month, so also wealthy and dumb. Yes, you read that correctly, the annual rent for a 2 bedroom in Greenpoint on McGuinness Blvd. at Greenpoint Avenue is nearly $71,000.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

This is when you exhale loudly, making some sort of “wow” sound.

You ask why I’m moving out of NYC at the end of this year? The Real Estate people are just getting warmed up. Give it five years and some enterprising politician will begin to suggest having the City or State subsidize the north of $10,000 a month rents that are coming.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There was a Law and Order TV shoot getting ready for an evening’s effort, and I walked through the setting up area. There were a few interesting vehicles that seemed to part of the production, but this pink Jeep limousine was so outré that I couldn’t resist.

As Gene Hackman’s Lex Luthor proclaimed in the classic “Superman 2” movie, however, a humble narrator kept on reminding himself “North, Ms. Tessmacher, north!” A scuttling did I go.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Along my path, I encountered this trio of black cats with yellow eyes. Normally, this is my omen that it’s going to be a good deal for photos, but since I’d been actively shooting for a few hours, I thought my day was pretty much over.

Wrong again, Mr. Waxman.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I never miss a chance to crack out a few shots of the sewer plant in Greenpoint, especially when the light is nice.

Honestly, I thought this was pretty much going to be my last few shots of the day, but that all changed when I was crossing the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge into Queens.

More on that 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 blurb.com for $30.

Written by Mitch Waxman

August 30, 2022 at 11:00 am

never swerved

leave a comment »

Monday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A few more shots from the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn in today’s post. As described, this is one of the areas I’ve been avoiding throughout the pandemic months due to population density. During this interval, an enormous real estate feeding frenzy has taken place and the north western section of the ancient neighborhood has been rendered utterly unrecognizable as compared to its former state.

For context, this shot looks across Newtown Creek at the Hunters Point section of Long Island City where a similar frenzy has occurred.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

While shooting these, the tug Sea Fox thrust rudely into my point of view, and I just cannot help myself from cracking put a few shots in such circumstance.

I was mainly using two zoom lenses for capturing these images, both of which were outfitted with ND or Neutral Density filters. This sort of filter acts as a sunglass for the lens and offers a great deal of creative control over the final appearance of the photo. This sort of device is critical for challenging environments like the foggy and misty afternoon of August 1st.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The filters also allow me to “slow down” the exposure settings, which is how you get the smoothed out water with a somewhat misty character along its tide line. Surreal, I say, surreal.

There’s a new public space along this waterfront, dubbed the Greenpoint Landing Esplanade, which offers commanding views of the Manhattan skyline and Long Island City.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Of all the new construction, the one project I find architectural interest in is this pair of cantilevered buildings. The development is called 227 West Street, and those are 30 and 40 story towers. My usual critique of the banal luxury towers in this “zone” sounds like this: glass rhombuses thrust rudely at the sky. This cantilever deal is visually interesting.

Given all of the recent construction in the area, and the huge investments involved from both private and governmental entities, it’s a shame that there’s only one project hereabouts where you say “hey, look at that.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Just before the burning thermonuclear eye of god itself descended behind New Jersey, the fog and mist suddenly began to break up and rise into the clouds.

I cracked out a few more exposures with the camera set up for the prior foggy atmospherics and then prepared to move on with the gear set up for handheld “photo walk” mode.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

You could actually see the humidity rising up out of Manhattan’s canyons and forming into low clouds.

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 blurb.com for $30.

Written by Mitch Waxman

August 29, 2022 at 11:00 am

silly reasons

leave a comment »

Friday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A low lying deck of clouds and fog had accompanied the arrival of a cold front in the superheated atmosphere of August 1st. NYC had been in the grip of a heat wave for the week prior, and a second interval of high temperature and humidity was forecast to begin within 24 hours.

I cannot resist a foggy or misty day, as it makes for interesting photography weather.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My strategy for the last few years has been to avoid crowded places where the human infestation is impossible to avoid. Accordingly, while I’ve been avoiding crowds, Greenpoint’s Western shoreline has been transformed by the real estate people.

Honestly, it’s shocking how much has changed here. That’s Commercial Street pictured above, looking west towards Franklin Avenue and the East River. There’s even a new series of waterfront paths and esplanades that have accompanied this new construction. The development scheme is called “Greenpoint Landing.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Looking across Newtown Creek at Long Island City from one of these new paths, that construction site will be a new hospital. Just kidding, it’s going to be more luxury apartment buildings.

That construction area used to be a thriving Asian supermarket warehousing business, the home of “God’s Love We Deliver” which collected unused restaurant food and redistributed it to the needy, and the garages for NBC Television News’ broadcast vehicle fleet. We need more luxury housing, they say, which will cause the wealthy to move out of tenement buildings and thereby free up those spaces for the less wealthy.

Trickle down real estate.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Did you know that the United States destroys millions of gallons of dairy milk annually in order to keep the dairy industry and milk prices from collapsing under their own industriousness and over supply? In light of that, has the price of milk ever gone down in your lifetime, despite the abundance of supply? Just saying.

That’s a new luxury tower rising on the former site of the Jack Frost sugar factory in Queens, right at the intersection of current superfund site Newtown Creek and future superfund site East River.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It’s all so depressing.

I should mention that it’s a real pickle capturing this sort of misty and foggy atmosphere, photography wise.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Every few minutes, a bank of fog would crack open and piss down a few rain drips. Drips, not drops.

Saying that, as I was shooting, it was growing brighter and brighter and a mild bit of breeze began to pop up. More next week, at this – your Newtown Pentacle.


“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 blurb.com for $30.

Written by Mitch Waxman

August 26, 2022 at 11:00 am

judging from

leave a comment »

Thursday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The weather forecast on August 1st wasn’t promising anything pleasant for the days immediately following it, and there was a lot of fog and mist in the air…

How can a humble narrator be expected to ignore atmospheric diffusion? Pfah. One shlepped over to the N train, and away I went.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

At Queens Plaza, I transferred my allegiances from the N to the 7, and took that line two stops to Hunters Point Avenue.

I had a plan in mind for the foggy afternoon, one which would find me over in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint section.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

DUPBO – Down Under the Pulaski Bridge Onramp – was part of my plan. In the late afternoons during weekdays, the Long Island Railroad people deploy a train set about every half hour from the Hunters Point Yard. The trains move under the Pulaski Bridge, cross Borden Avenue, and then go off to parts that are unknown but fairly guessable.

My plan involved crossing the Pulaski Bridge on foot, of course, but I wouldn’t be “me” if I didn’t crack out a few shots of a passing locomotive.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Y’know, I know – intellectually – that they’re going to blow the train horn when they approach a grade crossing. Doesn’t change the fact that I’m startled by the sound each and every time they do it.

It’s what’s known as an autonomic reaction to environmental stimuli.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

After getting my LIRR shots, and then inspecting the waterside area under the bridge, I headed over to the steep and well traveled stairs of the Pulaski Bridge.

I guess that about 20 minutes had elapsed while I was wandering around down there.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Just as I got to the top of the stairs, a second train was released into the wild by the LIRR an I was lucky enough to get another shot.

Pedantic? Maybe? Fun? Yes.


“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 blurb.com for $30.

%d bloggers like this: