The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Archive for the ‘Manhattan’ Category

ivied antique

with one comment

Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As mentioned yesterday, one set the camera up along the Brooklyn waterfront on a warm evening in late March and got busy with the clicking and the whirring.

Special attention was paid to the Brooklyn Bridge, and to the weird lighting which descended on the East River at dusk.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It had been overcast and rain was threatening all day, but once the burning thermonuclear eye of god itself disappeared, the sky was dark but colored with electric blues. This only lasted a few minutes, but wow.

I had been out of sync with the ferry schedule all day, perpetually arriving at a dock just as a ferry was pulling away from it. Given that it was growing late, I intended on being on time for the boat that would be visiting this particular stop nearby Fulton Landing before heading north on the river towards Long Island City.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

While waiting for the boat to arrive, I converted the operation away from its “landscape/tripod” configuration over to the “handheld/low light” one. I’ve described this in the past, it’s mainly swapping out certain lenses for other ones and safely tying off the tripod onto my knapsack.

The boat arrived, I flashed the ticket on my phone to the deckhand, and soon I was snugly ensconced on the NYC Ferry heading north.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

If you haven’t ridden the ferry at night… well, I don’t care, you should get out more and watch less television.

The real world is so much more interesting than fiction, if you ask me.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Last stop before Long Island City’s “LIC Landing” stop is 34th street in Manhattan, where you get to see the shot above.

What is it with all the people who move into the newly constructed condos along the East River who don’t seem to have drapes, curtains, or Venetian blinds? Conspicuously consume much, you oligarchic fucks?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Speaking of no drapes, I wonder if they don’t have carpets either (drum shot, please). As you might be able to discern right now, I’m just dripping with sarcasm and hatred at the moment. Something about edging towards a Civil War in a country that’s as armed to the teeth as we are just sets me off.

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.

opiate peace

leave a comment »

Friday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

So, the NYC Ferry has started a new service, one that starts on… Staten Island… and then proceeds up the Hudson River to midtown. Now… why on earth would you introduce a paid service that’s meant to compete with the free one?

Answer is that the free one goes to lower Manhattan, leaving you nearby the Battery and Wall Street, whereas the new paid service takes you to the high west 30’s along the west side of the City.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The new boat route really allows the ferry captains to open up the throttle, I would mention, and the boat is bouncing along on the waves. It leaves from St. George, makes a stop nearby Battery Park City at Vesey Street, then heads all the way up to west 39th street.

Talking to people from Staten Island riding the thing revealed that they didn’t mind paying for it, given that using the Staten Island Ferry to get to Manhattan would see them paying a subway fare. This way, they get to be on the water the whole way.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The burning thermonuclear eye of god itself was dipping down behind New Jersey as I was riding the ferry, and there’s a Coast Guard rule that demands that anyone with a camera has to take a picture of the Statue of Liberty under such circumstance, so…

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I had a meeting which I was meant to call in to just as the moon began to manifest. Something Newtown Creek related, which is probably quite a surprise, huh?

I am very, very tired of going to meetings.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’ve always found the Hudson River pretty boring, truth be told. You’ve got three or four nice shots along the way, but two of them have been absolutely ruined by catastrophic architectural decisions.

I don’t actually mind those two cantilevered buildings, as a note.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As soon as I hit land, I called into my meeting, which I attended via my headphones while still shooting.

Back next week with more wonders, 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 13, 2022 at 11:00 am

fleecy flocks

with one comment

Thursday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

On the iron road again! Amtrak isn’t cheap if you’re buying your tickets the day of travel, but when buying tickets well in advance – it’s super affordable. One randomly purchased a round trip ticket in February for the 7th of March. I had to get to Moynihan/Penn Station before sunrise, and left Astoria at something like 4:45 in the morning.

While waiting for a cab, I had an ugly encounter with a drunken asshole here in Astoria, which was a lovely start to my day. Seriously- when you see a dude wearing his Riker’s slippers on the street so as to display his cred, you’ve crossed into the danger zone of stupid.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Of course, I could have taken the subway here, but I had the entire kit with me and didn’t want to chance of having the MTA “MTA” me. Clown shoes, they are, and especially so in the wee hours of the morning when they know they can get away with it.

The good news is that I was happily standing by the departures board at Moynihan in Manhattan in under 30 minutes, waiting for my train’s track to be announced. Amtrak ain’t clown shoes.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The blessed moment came, and soon I was pulsing down into the train. This was a day trip, as mentioned above, and my return to the City would be some 16 hours away.

As is the custom, a conductor checks your ticket and inquires as to your destination. You are then directed to this train car or that one where passengers with a destination common to yours are also seated. I settled in, and set my camera up for shooting out the window.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’ve fashioned a foam collar for my lens, which negates window reflections. ISO is set to “auto” and the aperture opened as wide as it can go. The shutter time was very fast, measured in the thousandths of a second. As is my habit with such shots, I cropped them differently than normal to distinguish them.

These aren’t “composed” shots, rather it’s a random form of shooting out the window as the Amtrak rolls along. In this case, we were heading first west and then south.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I won’t bore you with all that I captured along the way. The one above was from somewhere around Newark.

The train was surprisingly crowded.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My destination for the day is 90 minutes from NYC by train, and it’s America’s consolation prize.

Philadelphia, there I went. 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

April 21, 2022 at 11:00 am

turned restlessly

leave a comment »

Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As it turned out, February 23rd was a three Borough day for me. Woke up in Queens, hit the Bronx and then Manhattan, and then went back to sleep in Queens. I’ve since had a four Borough day which you’ll see in a couple of weeks. There’s also a two City day in the mix. When it’s reliably warm again, I plan on a 5 Borough day which will involve the entire solar cycle. Given how far ahead of schedule my photos are at this point – you’ll probably be seeing that in late June.

I had an unusually prolific and mission oriented winter and early springtime this year. I’m making up for lost time during the pandemic, and there’s something else on the horizon which is going to be pretty major and is going to absolutely rock my world. That’s something I’m going to be talking about a bit later on in the year.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s a pedestrian bridge, officially called the Wards Island Bridge (aka the 103rd street Pedestrian Bridge) which spans the Harlem River. It’s a vertical lift bridge which allows Manhattanites access to Randall’s/Wards Island. The Harlem River is a tidal strait connecting the Hudson River and East River. The bridge opened for use in 1951.

The light began to fail, as Manhattan’s long shadows began to envelop the waters of the East and Harlem Rivers.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

You always hope that you’re going to get a “real” sunset with oranges and crimson painting the vault of the sky, but nine times out of ten you don’t. Damned oceanic climate zone…

Oh well, might as well make the best of it.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Since I was all set up for a long exposure sunset, one set upon capturing a few shots of the type seen above and below.

Since I’m often asked to do presentations on this or that subject, photos which I can set type onto are oft needed. Thereby, my shots list always includes capturing ones with large fields of color that I can fill up with the sort of drivel that a scholastic audience expects.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It had been a long and kind of fun day for me, and right after the shot above was captured, the kit was packed up and the camera reset back to handheld shooting mode.

For the curious – remove the filter from the lens, as well as the shutter release cable, turn the lens stabilization system back on, pack up the tripod.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A quick ferry ride from East 90th street to Astoria occurred, and soon I was standing alongside Hallets Cove here in Queens. A half hour of scuttling brought me back to HQ.

Tomorrow – something different at thisyour 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

April 12, 2022 at 11:00 am

simpering inanities

with 2 comments

Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A brief stop over in Pennsylvania’s Harrisburg saw Amtrak change out the crew on my Pittsburgh to NYC journey. Pennsylvania’s Capitol, Harrisburg, offered a 15 minute or so “leg stretch” and “smoke ‘em if you’ve got ‘em” interval, and half the train staggered out into the daylight to do one thing or the other and sometimes both. We had collectively boarded the train at 7:15 in the morning, after all.

After the bells rang and we all filed back onboard, an announcement that the cafe car was reopened occurred, and a humble narrator purchased a range of comestibles for luncheon and settled back into the seat I had been assigned. After quaffing some coffee and eating an Amtrak Hot Dog, I got back to pondering my fate and staring out the window while watching America roll past. The camera was gathered out of its sack, and I got back to looking for interesting sights.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The landscape in Pennsylvania fascinates me. The Appalachian Mountain range and plateau is incredibly ancient, is a geologic feature which Pennsylvania is situated on the northern reaches of, and it dates back some 480 million years to the Ordovician Period – which is when ocean critters first started exploring dry land. Formed by the action of tectonic plate compression when the super continent Pangaea begin to split up, the Appalachia once rose as high as the Alps or Rockies do today. They’re referred to as “folded mountains” and the reason that all that coal is buried in them is due to their presence during the highly forested Carboniferous era (that’s when the giant dragonflies were around, and you had centipedes the size of school buses sliding around in the swamps). An absolutely staggering amount of effort and expenditure in the 19th and 20th century saw Americans burrowing and mining into, blasting rights of way through, and building upon and around the Appalachia Range.

Fascinating. Really. Mountains older than the dinosaurs.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

At 30th street Station in Philadelphia the now familiar dance of changing out the locomotive engine from the diesel powered model to the electrified “coGen” unit used for the Northeast Corridor was enacted by the Amtrak people. They did their thing, and waved lanterns at each other, and then it was time to get back onboard again and head back to “home sweet hell.” This was another “stretch your legs” break and a good number of people onboard took advantage of it.

A humble narrator settled back into the assigned seat, and picked up the camera. I affixed the foam collar to my lens and began passing the time by shooting through the windows again.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s Philadelphia, America’s consolation prize, pictured above.

After spending an entire day on the train, and eating two Amtrak meals along the way, I was quite ready to return to the grinding existential nightmare of a dystopian shithole which I call “home.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Upon my return to Penn Station, I ducked outside onto 8th avenue to breathe a bit of what passes for fresh air in Midtown before heading back to Astoria on the subway. It was rush hour, and despite Covid, the subways were quite busy. Unlike the last time I exited from that door pictured above, this time I didn’t see anyone masturbating into a street grate. There was a guy who offered to sell me something, but I’m not sure what he was offering. Could have been a gold chain, or crack, or sex. Wasn’t interested, me.

A quick ride on the E line got me out of Dodge, and soon I was at Queens Plaza. As is usually the case with me, as soon as the train entered Queens, I felt a rush of energy.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The final leg of my long journey arrived at Queens Plaza just as I did, a local R line which would carry me to Astoria.

Our Lady of the Pentacle had arrived home the night before, and had graciously obtained food stuffs which were waiting for me back at HQ. I tore into a bagel like it had done something to my mom, and began downloading all of the photos you’ve been looking at for the last two weeks onto the computer for processing.

I felt a need, and a desire, to listen to this song while setting myself up for the labor of developing them.


“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

February 1, 2022 at 11:00 am

%d bloggers like this: