The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Archive for the ‘newtown creek’ Category

curiously articulated

with one comment

Thursday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A quick one today. That’s the composition I had planned for the tribute in lights shot, but for whatever reason they didn’t have them on. C’est la vie, huh?

Still, I’m pretty happy with the shot above.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

From a bit earlier in the evening, and looking across the Whale Creek tributary of Newtown Creek towards the shield wall of Manhattan.

At least the Empire State Building people decided to light things up appropriately.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Looking down at the places I normally inhabit: sewer plants, waste transfer stations, the mean streets of Brooklyn.

Back tomorrow, lords and ladies, with something COMPLETELY different. I have actually been outside of NYC for the last few weeks! Vacation, all I ever wanted…


“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

September 23, 2021 at 11:00 am

amidst throngs

with 3 comments

Wednesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

After sheltering within, trying to avoid the punishing late afternoon radiates of the burning thermonuclear eye of god itself, a humble narrator reemerged onto the Kingsland Wildflowers Green Roof at 520 Kingsland Avenue in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint section. The aforementioned eye was finally in the process of tucking itself away behind New Jersey and the light got nice.

The camera was mounted on a tripod, a ten stop ND filter was screwed onto the lens, and I got a clicking.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

For those of you who aren’t camera nerds, an ND filter is a sunglass for your lens. It allows you the freedom to do longer than normal exposures during daylight hours. Choosing one of these things is normally a colossal guessing game, as what you see of it is a disc of seemingly opaque black glass. That disc will introduce a color cast, and it doesn’t matter how much you pay for the thing, there will always be a color cast. On my older camera, I had to guess at exposure, whereas the newer one allows me to actually see what the camera sees on a tilt out screen.

There were a couple of times where I marveled at it – shooting at f18 with a ten stop ND filter and being able to see what I was doing. Wow.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As mentioned in prior posts, my goal this particular day involved the desire to capture the 9/11 tribute in lights from up here, but I’ve never been particularly lucky so that didn’t work out. No regrets, however, as I filled my camera card up with lots of other shots.

Back 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

September 22, 2021 at 11:00 am

polychromatic rhythm

with one comment

Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

520 Kingsland Avenue, found along the fabulous Newtown Creek in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, hosts a 26,000 square foot green roof. Green roofs drink storm water and improve an environmental condition called the “Maspeth Urban Heat Island Effect” which can see atmospheric temperatures in unplanted areas rise 10-15 degrees higher than in surrounding neighborhoods. Given that the phenomena was named for another Newtown Creek neighborhood, you see why Newtown Creek Alliance and our allies cared enough to do something about it.

As I often say – I like deeds, not words. Shit gets done on the Creek. Not taking personal credit for that, as a note, we have some pretty dedicated and capable people in our gaggle.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The main section of the roof is dedicated to pollinator plants, whereas other sections have different functions and aren’t designed to be “public facing.” This is what we mean when saying that Newtown Creek must remain industrial, but there’s a simple series of steps that can benefit several factors. 520 Kingsland is a functioning tv studio – which means high paying union wages. It’s an artist studio, and the HQ for non profit entities like Newtown Creek Alliance. It also diverts thousands of gallons of precipitation away from the combined sewer outfalls network of sewer pipes, and lowers the ambient temperatures both inside and outside the building.

It’s this sort of multiphasic approach to urban spaces that can be a game changer for New York City, and provide inspiration for other post industrial American municipalities.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As you may have guessed by now, I’m a fan of this project.

Also, as you may have guessed by now, I was really grooving on the solitude I was enjoying up there to ruminate and contemplate. Unfortunately, as it was a cloudless day, the brutal amount of sunlight raining down on me was taking a toll. The Romans fashioned a god out of this sensation, one whose cult was in a serious competition with Christianity as to who would become the official state religion of their Empire. We’ve still got a Roman Catholic Church two thousand years later, and not many people have ever heard of Sol Invictus – the Warrior Sun – so there you are.


“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

September 21, 2021 at 11:00 am

possible dream

with one comment

Monday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Recent occasion found a humble narrator all by himself for several hours at Newtown Creek Alliance HQ at 520 Kingsland Avenue in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint section. A former Mobil Oil facility, this building is now owned by the Broadway Stages company. Downstairs, they have a working television production studio. I don’t know if it’s supposed to be a secret or something, but this is currently where Queen Latifah is filming “The Equalizer” television show. There’s often craft service leftovers for us to enjoy left in the lobby, and on this afternoon there were donuts. TV donuts.

An artist has a studio on the third floor, and on the fourth and fifth floors you’ll find the Kingsland Wildflowers Green Roof.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As you’d imagine, one such as myself finds his way here regularly for meetings and events and NCA related business. I’m seldom here by myself, and certainly not for the four to five hours interval recently enjoyed. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, no interlopers asking what kind of camera I was using, and I got busy.

I was using filters and everything. It’s not as easy as you’d think to get high around Newtown Creek, after all. Can’t waste the opportunity.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The next few days here at Newtown Pentacle will display shots gathered during this interval. One rolled through his entire bag of tricks this time around. My hope, which was ultimately squashed, was that I’d catch the 911 tribute lights being turned on (which tells you how long ago these shots were captured, so oops). Saying that, I’m still pleased with what I came home with.

Back tomorrow with more, 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

September 20, 2021 at 11:00 am

idiomatic voice

with 4 comments

Friday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

You don’t need to resort to filters or camera tricks to create a perfect mirror out of the waters of Newtown Creek, about three miles back from the East River. One of the core environmental problems back here is “flow.” Historically, there were dozens of small creeks and streams that flowed down out of the hills in Bushwick and Ridgewood and fed fresh water into the English Kills tributary of Newtown Creek, but colonization/industrialization/gentrification has turned them all into underground sewers. Natural springs were either capped or exploited. The water here rises and falls with the East River tide, but there’s virtually zero “laminar” or horizontal flow.

Anything that ends up in the water precipitates vertically down, building a sediment bed which is currently 15-20 feet thick that is referred to as “Black Mayonnaise.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

To combat this lack of current, and the low oxygen levels inherent in still or standing water, the State commanded the City to build an aeration system which seems to be fairly useless. Expensively useless would also be a phrase that applies. I keep on bringing up the creation of small waterfalls, the engineered kind where water flows and splashes down concrete steps. Hydrological engineering for the bulkheads to accommodate the water’s flow via the introduction of compression and expansion zones is something else I ponder.

The concept underlying the latter is that since water has an absolute limit on its top – atmospheric pressure – and another absolute limit at the hard bottom of the waterway, if you compress the water column horizontally the water will flow faster to its only egress. Same principle as holding a thumb over a garden hose’s outlet increases the pressure of the water. If the bulkheads included some sort of repeating scallop shape, it could theoretically create “flow” without having to power up pumps or impellers. That’s the theory, anyway.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

If improving Newtown Creek requires the use of a mechanism that needs to be fueled or powered, the improvement has already failed before it left the design phase. The physics of how water moves over, past, and through certain shapes embedded in its columnar body is what really matters to my eyes. Irrigation and petroleum pipeline professional engineers handle this sort of thing all the time, moving pressurized liquids around to where they’re needed. Pumping is largely accomplished with gravity and pipes that narrow and then widen.

Ehh. What do I know, I’m just some wandering mendicant with a camera.


“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

September 17, 2021 at 11:00 am

%d bloggers like this: