The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Archive for the ‘Brooklyn’ Category

nameless summit

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Wednesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A humble narrator is continuing his short break from normal posts this week, and single shots from the archives will be presented.

Pictured above is the WIlliamsburg Bridge, shot back in 2017.


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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

July 7, 2021 at 11:00 am

equally himself

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Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Wandering disdainfully through the universe’s garden spot, Brooklyn’s Greenpoint section, one struggles to maintain any sort of hope for the future. Jack ass Real Estate enthusiasts masquerading as altruists are the latest addition to the milieu that I have to deal with. Their entire point of view is built around a single disingenuous issue – “affordable housing” for people earning over $100,000 a year. When you point out that every bit of societal infrastructure (power, water, transit, education, healthcare) required to maintain a growing populace is currently failing and the installation of much of it dates back to an era before women were able to vote, they grow indignant. Everything is connected. NYC is complicated. The five boroughs are virtually a nation state unto themselves, and the NYPD’s headcount is larger than most country’s actual militaries. As an example, there are fewer active duty Royal Marines employed by the United Kingdom than there are NYPD officers. There’s 36,000 cops in NYC’s 5 boroughs versus 7,760 Royal Marines for all of Great Britain. I should mention that a Royal Marine is generally considered to be worth 20 regular soldiers, and that NYPD is trained for an entirely different mission so the numerical difference isn’t offered to suggest that the NYPD would win a fight with the British Royal Marines.

The entire British military establishment numbers about 200,000 active duty personnel. Their job is to protect the roughly 67 million people who live on the actual island, and the various bases and territories left over from the time of Empire. The Royal Marines are “tip of the spear” troops, meaning they are the equivalent of America’s Green Berets, Navy Seals, or Army Rangers in terms of training and lethality.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Where does “it” go when you flush your affordable toilet in your new condo? Who pays for the pipe and the sewer plant and what happens to “it” after it gets there? See those four pipes in the photo above? Largest single source of greenhouse gas in Brooklyn, bigger than all the highways and tunnels put together. What powers this sewer plant in Greenpoint and who does it serve? The answer to the former is a bit complex, but the latter is Manhattan below 96th street.

Much will be made of the “need” for affordable housing built close to the urban core along the East River. Few will discuss the need to build new and to fortify existing mass transit. If you understand NYC history, you can say with zero qualification that the Government is shit at building housing. Conversely, Government is great at building roads and train lines and sewer plants. Let’s talk about getting the Government out of the real estate business, and back into the building schools and hospitals and transit space.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Everything in NYC is interrelated. Nothing exists in a solitary silo. A new luxury apartment building, using modern construction technique, isn’t built here – it’s assembled here. Prefabricated sections are brought to the job site from a distant factory and lifted by crane into the correct spot. Those “wide load” sections have to get “here” from somewhere else. How do you do that, when the Real Estate people have eliminated port and rail infrastructure across the five boroughs in a systematic manner over the last fifty years? By heavy truck, of course. In a vastly interconnected system like NYC, a small change in one place causes ripples through others.

Those trucks, coming from distant factories, have to move through other people’s neighborhoods. They encounter obstacles like the elevated tracks of the 7 line on Queens Blvd. or the overpasses of highways. Since everyone is a fucking environmentalist these days, how about we calculate the amount of carbon these truck trips spend while idling in traffic in upper Manhattan on their way to the Triborough?


“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

June 1, 2021 at 11:00 am

have unlocked

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Wednesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Tired and overwhelmed is a humble narrator, who is out taking pictures of the greatest city in the history of mankind this week and not attending any Zoom meetings or frankly doing anything he doesn’t want to do. Thereby, this week you’ll be encountering single images here at Newtown Pentacle, in pursuance of taking a short break from the normal blather.

Pictured above is the eastern terminus of the fabulous Newtown Creek, found some 3.8 miles back from the East River in Bushwick/East WIlliamsburg.


“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

April 28, 2021 at 11:00 am

nitrous vault

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Friday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A few final Friday photos from the far away Gowanus greet you this morning. The shot above looks towards the Union Street Bridge from the Carroll Street Bridge.

Uncharacteristically, I’m sort of at a loss of words today. Obvious reasons, read the news. It’s not like this wasn’t obviously going to happen sooner or later.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s Carroll Street Bridge, which is one of only two retractile bridges in the entire City. The other is Borden Avenue Bridge, crossing the Dutch Kills tributary of Newtown Creek in Long Island City.

I cannot fathom the attempts on social media to rebrand the group of white supremacists who stormed the Capitol as “Antifa.” You broke it, you bought it. Assholes. When you lie down in the street with wild dogs, you get bit.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

On the way home, a quick stop was made to get the shot above, depicting three DSNY trucks on a ramp with the Gowanus Expressway in the background.

Good times, these.

Note: I’m writing this and several of the posts you’re going to see for the next week at the beginning of the week of Monday, January 4th. My plan is to continue doing my solo photo walks around LIC and the Newtown Creek in the dead of night as long as that’s feasible. If you continue to see regular updates here, that means everything is kosher as far as health and well being. If the blog stops updating, it means that things have gone badly for a humble narrator.


“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

January 8, 2021 at 2:00 pm

outrageous conclusions

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Thursday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A few more from the Gowanus Dredging operation today, and since the pursuance of getting these shots required no small amount of physical hardship for a humble narrator, we’re staying on the subject for a bit longer.

As mentioned earlier in the week, one woke up a couple of hours before sunrise in Astoria on the literal other side of a very Long Island, then suffered frigid middle December conditions on the East River to get here, and having dodged heavy trucks the entire morning on the streets of Red Hook and Sunset Park, the two eggs with ham and swiss on a roll which I had for breakfast had long ago burned away. It had also been multiple hours since I had drank anything, and the combination of fatigue and an empty fuel tank were beginning to set in. The diesel exhaust didn’t help.

I go to these places so you don’t have to, Lords and Ladies.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The material being scooped out of the Gowanus Canal gets shipped elsewhere for processing. The Superfund people at EPA aren’t exactly forthcoming about where the material gets sent, but I’d venture a guess about that as being somewhere in New Jersey and likely not too far from Bayonne. I can offer a conjectured description about what happens to it afterwards, though.

First, excess moisture will be mechanically removed either by centrifuge or compression. The freed liquid is fed into a wastewater treatment process, one not dissimilar to what happens at a sewer plant. Pollutants and contaminants are filtered out, the water is cleaned up, and then released. The filtered contaminants are combined with the dewatered solids. Secondly, the solids are sterilized, dried, and combined with an inert material like concrete. The concrete is formed into blocks, the blocks get shipped off somewhere for disposal. That somewhere is likely a tapped out underground mine which will be sealed off once full of these now inert blocks.

When Newtown Creek’s process begins to manifest physically, it will look a lot like the shots in this week’s post, just on a grander scale.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The shot above is included, one which I’m fairly sure is of the Third Street Bridge, as I’ve never seen this particular span open before. This didn’t seem to be part of the dredge operation, rather it looked like the NYC DOT (owners of the thing) were performing some sort of maintenance on the thing.

A bit more of this Southwest Brooklyn action tomorrow.

Note: I’m writing this and several of the posts you’re going to see for the next week at the beginning of the week of Monday, January 4th. My plan is to continue doing my solo photo walks around LIC and the Newtown Creek in the dead of night as long as that’s feasible. If you continue to see regular updates here, that means everything is kosher as far as health and well being. If the blog stops updating, it means that things have gone badly for a humble narrator.


“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

January 7, 2021 at 11:00 am

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