The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Fort Pitt Bridge, part 2

with 3 comments


– photo by Mitch Waxman

As described yesterday, one required a bit of exercise and thereby the Fort Pitt Bridge’s extremely icy pedestrian walkway beckoned. It was literally below freezing out, but a humble narrator was wrapped up tight in winter garb, including a brand new winter coat. A conscious decision was made to travel a bit lighter than usual, with just two lenses and no tripods or other extraneous gear to slow me down. As it turns out, I only needed the one lens (24-105mm).

After crossing over the Monongahela River, the walkway is set onto an elliptical path which eventually brings one back to the sidewalk nearby Pittsburgh’s famous Duquesne Incline.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Alluding to Tolkien – one lens to rule them all – is what I’ve been missing on the Canon RF mount since I upgraded from my old rig, which was a Canon 7D. The Canon R6 I’m using these days is in all ways a superior digital appliance to the former camera, but there are few if any third party lenses available for it. On the 7D, which is a “crop sensor” model, I almost always had a Sigma 18-300mm zoom lens attached to it for general “photowalk” usage. That lens, and several others in my kit, are designed specifically for the crop sensor and not the full frame chip inside of the R6. This sort of “all in one” range suggests that it would be a crappy lens, but I liked it for its versatility and once you got to know the thing and where and when it failed, it was actually pretty reliable. I find myself using the 24-105 a lot here in Pittsburgh.

Saying that, I’m not unhappy with what I’m getting from the 24-105mm – I mean, it’s a Canon L series lens with a red band and everything – but I miss the option of going from ultra wide to telephoto with just a twist of the lens barrel. Supposedly Canon isn’t licensing the RF mount to anyone right now. That’s a shame, since there’s some pretty amazing glass out there from Sigma and others in the Nikon and Sony mount spaces.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s the Fort Pitt Tunnel that the vehicle traffic is hurtling into. Right around this spot is where I ended up conversing with some bloke about the news of the day and we both landed on how cold it was. There wasn’t too much in the way of pedestrian or bike traffic on this particular afternoon, but it was – after all – January in Pittsburgh.

It has been fairly difficult to get out for my every other day walks for the last couple of weeks due to the January factor. Rain, snow, snow showers, rain, polar vortex, rain…

– photo by Mitch Waxman

When time and opportunity present, though, I get my butt moving! The plan for the rest of the afternoon involved scuttling down the Monongahela River shoreline towards the Station Square “T” light rail stop. This pathway leads into a connection with the Three Rivers Heritage Trail, which is another one of the many (fantastic) rail-to-trail pathways that snake around the city. A couple of weeks ago, the Great Allegheny Passage’s trail in Homestead was discussed – part 1, part 2, part 3.

Just the other day, I was walking down the other side of the Monongahela River, on the golden triangle/city side. You’ll see those shots next week, but that’s where the waterfront trail’s path goes nowhere near the water and you’re separated from it by a massive highway and several waterfront industrial and commercial parcels. I was ecstatic about this, of course, since I got to walk around and photograph the footings of bridges and highways. I’ll show you all that next week, I think.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

We are just about done with the moving process at this point. Furniture is in the house, I’ve now got a Pennsylvania Driver’s License, and have learned about seasonally available regional baked goods. Ever had a Pączki? One is looking forward to spring, exuberantly. The moving process consumed my entire autumn and winter. Y’know, you’d think moving from one state to another would be simple, huh?

The last major process we have to handle involves transferring my car registration and plates over to Pennsylvania ones. When that’s done, major combat operations will have concluded and I will realize the peace dividend of having fewer “have-to’s” listed in my column on a white board somewhere.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I kept on hoping for a train to roll through, which would have really made the shot above sing. As continually repeated – I’m scouting right now. Figuring out where the shots are, how I get there, what time of day would be best – all that. So far, I haven’t had very much luck as far as timing goes when it comes to freight rail traffic. I’m no train spotter, or railfan as it were, but damn… I wish there had been a CSX train set rolling through for this one.

Tomorrow, a few more shots from my walk along the Monongahela River here in the Paris of Appalachia.

“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

February 8, 2023 at 11:45 am

3 Responses

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  1. I was in Pittsburgh for the first time about 1 1/2 years ago for the 3rd round of the D-I NCCA men’s soccer game at Pitt. Your narration & photos make me want to go back for an extended period of time—when it’s warmer.


    February 8, 2023 at 2:50 pm

  2. […] That gray line on the otherwise yellow steel of the Fort Pitt Bridge is the pedestrian pathway that I walked over, which was described in two posts this week – Part 1, and Part 2. […]

  3. I too love examining the footings of bridges and highways. Looking forward to your experiences.


    February 11, 2023 at 8:38 pm

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