The Newtown Pentacle

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tinsel emptiness

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Friday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The 11th of July was meant to be a “Manhattanhenge” night, and despite the gloomy weather a humble narrator decided to throw the dice and see what could be seen from up on the Kosciuszcko Bridge. The weather precluded any sort of henge, but what – I’m not going to set up the tripod and get busy after shlepping over here from Astoria?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Obviously, this shot was gathered a bit earlier than the first one. Heavy humidity and low flying clouds marred the astronomical phenomena of Manhattanhenge, wherein the burning thermonuclear eye of god itself’s transit through the sky aligns neatly with the street grid of NYC’s master cylinder. Regardless, I was digging the fact that the skyscrapers were actually scraping sky.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The bum foot and pulled muscle in my back resulted in me waiting for yet another cab to carry my sorry butt back to HQ in Astoria. I’ve discovered that if you stand on the Maspeth side of the street, as opposed to the LIC side, Lyft knocks a few bucks off the fare. That’s a pro tip for y’all.

See you next week. Vote Quimby.


“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

July 23, 2021 at 11:00 am

rocky slope

with 3 comments

Wednesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

An afternoon shot from up on the Kosciuszcko Bridge, looking downwards at the always fabulous Newtown Creek. As mentioned, one is making it a point of getting out and into the direct radiates of the burning thermonuclear eye of god itself. On this particular day, I was meeting and then taking a walk with a friend from Brooklyn and catching up on the latest nuances of political struggle and activist community innuendo in Greenpoint. It’s a pressure cooker over there.

Why not crack out a few shots along the way?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Since I wasn’t “considering and composing” these shots should be considered to be “snap shots” rather than photographs. Since 99% of the people reading this wouldn’t care about the artsy fartsy distinction between the two, I shouldn’t even mention it.

There’s a lot of nuance which goes into even a “snap shot” for me, but there’s a real difference in how you approach the capture. If that was a “photograph” I would have used a neutral density filter (and tripod) to slow down the exposure speed, which would have rendered the water as looking like a mirror rather than allowing all of those water ripples to form a distracting “busy” area. As mentioned, however, I was there to chat and any photos that fell out of the encounter were just a bonus.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

On my way back home, one scuttled through LIC and past Dutch Kills where possible evidences of “it” were observed. “It” is something that was described to me last year by some of the street people whom I converse with. In fact, I’ve got a small legion of people who irregularly report things about Newtown Creek to me. This particular methodology is something I picked up from Sherlock Holmes and the Batman comics.

You’d be surprised at what someone will tell you for the price of a bottle of cold beer and a bag of Fritos. Hidden knowledge is cheap these days.


“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 9, 2021 at 11:00 am

horrible familiarity

with 13 comments

Wednesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The only times I’m actually happy are when I’m operating the camera. Accordingly, one found himself lingering about on the Koscisuzcko Bridge recently awaiting the occlusion of the burning thermonuclear eye of god itself behind the Manhattan shield wall. I had the whole kit and kaboodle with me for a change, and figured to make good use of the tripod I had been laboriously carrying around.

Funny thing about the new camera is that I really don’t need the tripod that often anymore and only carry it with me when a specific shot that requires it is in mind, such as the first image in today’s post.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Having accomplished my goal of “getting a nice sunset shot of the creek” after hanging around on the Kosciuszcko Bridge for awhile, I broke down the tripod setup and got back to normal handheld shooting. There’s a couple of other shooters I see up there periodically, an older guy who carries a Nikon and a young woman who favors the Sony system. My guess is that they’re both Greenpoint people. I’ve tried to chat about camera stuff briefly with the old guy, but there’s a language barrier we keep running into. The woman always has headphones on, which is a “tell” saying “I don’t want to chat.” Read the room, huh?

At any rate, gear safely stored for carrying, I pointed my toes towards Queens and began scuttling back towards home.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Naturally – thereby – after I had packed everything up and affixed a non zoom lens to the camera, the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge opened up about 3/4 of a mile to the west. Sigh.

More tomorrow 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

June 2, 2021 at 1:00 pm

condemn all

with one comment

Wednesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s the Kosciuszcko Bridge all lit up in red. It carries the Brooklyn Queens Expressway high over Newtown Creek, and this shot was gathered in a neighborhood I call “Down Under the Grand Street Bridge Onramp.” DUGSBO is where the extreme south end of Industrial Maspeth oozes into the joint where Newtown Creek’s East Branch and English Kills tributaries go their own ways, and where you’ll encounter the currently undefended border of Brooklyn and Queens.

If hostilities were to erupt, one wonders who would have the advantage. According to the 2020 Census, Brooklyn has 2,648,403 residents whereas Queens has 2,212,360 residents, so Brooklyn probably wins in a fist fight. Brooklyn also has Fort Hamilton over in Bay Ridge, but a bit of quick googling reveals that Queens hosts several other military offices and units, in addition to the small armies of crack security Port Authority employs at the airports. You’ve got a pretty high percentile of Brooklyn residents who have served in the military, but Queens also has large populations of not just Veterans but also people recently arrived from parts of the world where their Third Grade curriculum included the handling of mortars and small arms.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There are a few artillery units stationed out in Whitestone whom I’d suggest we station on the hills in Calvary Cemetery and Maspeth, as well as along Bushwick‘s border with Ridgewood. That’s what the British did during the Revolutionary War. Brooklyn’s multitudes wouldn’t survive an infantry charge across the Grand Street Bridge if you’ve got artillery trained on it from above, and the terrain of Williamsburg and Greenpoint slope roughly down towards the East River so advantage lies with Queens’ defenders.

The porous upland borders from Mile 3 here in DUGSBO back to the DMZ along the Nassau County border will be the worst kind of conflict though. Gritty urban warfare, house to house fighting with small arms and bladed weapons. It will likely be Nassau County that settles the conflict, weighing in on one side or another. Hopefully, given the existential realities of their rail and highway system as well as historical associations, Nassau Marines will swarm over the border and crush the Latte drinking hordes of Brooklyn beneath their booted heels. Queens 4eva, brü.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

See what I’m saying about needing to take long walks in daylight again? Sheesh. This is the part of my inner narrative that I’m willing to actually write down, it’s barely even touching on the crazy stuff. Coo-coo.

More missives from the Happy Place of Industrial Maspeth, eventually. Tomorrow, 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

May 12, 2021 at 11:00 am

designs graven

with 3 comments

Wednesday is a shocking realization, to some.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My beloved Creek. Unfortunate truths for the wandering mendicant and itinerant photographer include the fact that if you want to accomplish a shot of something you have to go get it, and the weather be damned. That’s why I often find myself out in storms, heat waves, or cold snaps. Luckily, I’ve learned how to be prepared for the inclement. On the evening revolving about getting the shot above, it had just finished snowing and the air temperature was in the high 20’s. It was also fairly windy, and quite uncomfortable despite my having worn several layers of insulating garments beneath the filthy black raincoat.

Truth be told, what lured me out of HQ was the presence of snow on the ground, and the visual possibilities thereof. Part of my governance, philosophy wise, is to only shoot things as I encounter them. No set ups, no lights, no “move it a few inches into frame” or any other alteration to circumstance is allowed. Trust in the Newtown Creek and especially the Borough of Queens, they’ll show you something interesting every time.

Of course, on this particular evening I was crossing Newtown Creek on the Kosciuszcko Bridge and heading into Brooklyn – Greenpoint specifically.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Graffiti truck is still sitting down there, in Greenpoint, so at least there’s some consistency left in this world. One thing about smashing about in industrial zones in the dead of night is that you want to pick your path carefully. Twist your ankle or fall in a hole on a Friday night, it won’t be until early Monday morning that somebody shows up and notices you. When snow is fresh and ice has newly formed, I will often leave the house with a cane in hand. The third point of contact with the ground changes your walking equation when it’s slippery.

Ideally, when my physical degeneracy and advancing age have robbed me of such mobility, I’d like to ride around in something resembling the Martian Tripods from Wells’ War of the Worlds. Scaled down to a two seater, my commuter tripod would be referred to as the “mobile oppression platform” and be street legal to park in front of HQ. Wait till the bike people see the tripods, huh?

Two wheels good, four wheels bad, but what’s best is three legs with a heat ray that can melt armored vehicles on the ground and cook war planes out of the sky.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One debarked the Kosciuszcko Bridge, found a semi private spot to release some water back into the environment which I had been internally filtering since leaving Astoria, and looped around to the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge crossing of Newtown Creek about 3/4 of a mile west of the larger Kosciuszcko. One thing about the Annum Pandemicum which is seldom commented upon, except by me seemingly, is the nagging problem of human biology versus these sanitarian prophylaxis rules. Where do you piss?

As a bloke, this isn’t too much of an issue for me. There’s always a couple of trucks you can find some temporary privacy between. The old system, wherein you’d walk into a diner or something and order a cuppa joe and ask to use the terlet doesn’t exist anymore due to the COVID rules.

Me? I’ve been painting the town yellow for the last year. You?

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, March 15th. 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

March 17, 2021 at 11:00 am

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