The Newtown Pentacle

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Posts Tagged ‘Brooklyn

breathing things

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Wednesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I was mid span on the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge, a double bascule drawbridge that spans the fabulous Newtown Creek, and photographing a maneuvering tug called “Seeley” when the bridge’s alarm bells began to sound and a NYC DOT employee began motioning for me to get to the other side.

The bridge was about to open!

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’m known, in my middle 50’s, for running down the block and chasing a fire engine while yelling “firemen, firemen” just like I did when I was 5. I get excited about things that other adults consider to be a nuisance.

I love it when a drawbridge opens up, and never miss a chance to grab shots of the action.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I didn’t have time to swap out lenses for the one that fits into the apertures of the chain link fence, so I just fired the shutter anyway.

I prefer a clean shot, but the fence is part of the environmental milieu, so, there you go.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As traffic was stopped for the open bridge, I was able to run across Greenpoint Avenue Bridge without getting squished by traffic.

Found a decent spot, one which long experience dictated as being a good one to shoot from, and followed the Tug Seeley as it headed westwards towards the East River.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’ve grown fairly jaded about this sort of thing in recent years, but the sun was painting the sky with orange and gold.

What a dynamic set of weather conditions it was on August 1st. The fog and mist, the dispersal of the same, and now this sort of saturated color. Wow.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Shortly after these shots were captured, I decided to make a right turn after arriving in Long Island City’s Blissville section and head towards the Kosciuszcko Bridge. Ultimately, that was a bit of wasted effort, bu there you go. Cannot complain, this was an extremely productive day.

Back tomorrow with something different, at this – your Newtown Pentacle.


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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

August 31, 2022 at 11:00 am

actual anatomy

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Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

So, after taking the train to Long Island City and then walking across the Pulaski Bridge to Brooklyn’s Greenpoint on a misty and foggy day, the atmosphere broke and it was suddenly clear and sunny. I had reconfigured the camera to handheld mode and began scuttling back to Queens.

“Photowalk” is pretty much what it sounds like, as a pursuit. You walk along, head pivoting around. You look up, down, and all around. If something catches your eye, you grab a shot.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One of the casualties of the real estate frenzy are large footprint businesses like supermarkets and gas stations. The speculators buy up these properties and will sit on them for years, hidden away behind green plywood fences. It’s easy to get a permit to demolish something, harder to get one to build. Thereby, properties like this gas station on the corner of McGuinness Blvd. at Greenpoint Avenue can sit empty and unused for years.

The signage on a new development building next door includes the motto “where you are is who you are.” Thereby, residents of this building are a high volume traffic corridor three blocks from a sewer plant and five to six blocks in either direction from a federal superfund site or the Brooklyn Queens Expressway – that’s who they are.

A 2 bedroom in that building is going for $5,900 a month, so also wealthy and dumb. Yes, you read that correctly, the annual rent for a 2 bedroom in Greenpoint on McGuinness Blvd. at Greenpoint Avenue is nearly $71,000.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

This is when you exhale loudly, making some sort of “wow” sound.

You ask why I’m moving out of NYC at the end of this year? The Real Estate people are just getting warmed up. Give it five years and some enterprising politician will begin to suggest having the City or State subsidize the north of $10,000 a month rents that are coming.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There was a Law and Order TV shoot getting ready for an evening’s effort, and I walked through the setting up area. There were a few interesting vehicles that seemed to part of the production, but this pink Jeep limousine was so outré that I couldn’t resist.

As Gene Hackman’s Lex Luthor proclaimed in the classic “Superman 2” movie, however, a humble narrator kept on reminding himself “North, Ms. Tessmacher, north!” A scuttling did I go.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Along my path, I encountered this trio of black cats with yellow eyes. Normally, this is my omen that it’s going to be a good deal for photos, but since I’d been actively shooting for a few hours, I thought my day was pretty much over.

Wrong again, Mr. Waxman.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I never miss a chance to crack out a few shots of the sewer plant in Greenpoint, especially when the light is nice.

Honestly, I thought this was pretty much going to be my last few shots of the day, but that all changed when I was crossing the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge into Queens.

More on that 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

August 30, 2022 at 11:00 am

never swerved

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Monday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A few more shots from the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn in today’s post. As described, this is one of the areas I’ve been avoiding throughout the pandemic months due to population density. During this interval, an enormous real estate feeding frenzy has taken place and the north western section of the ancient neighborhood has been rendered utterly unrecognizable as compared to its former state.

For context, this shot looks across Newtown Creek at the Hunters Point section of Long Island City where a similar frenzy has occurred.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

While shooting these, the tug Sea Fox thrust rudely into my point of view, and I just cannot help myself from cracking put a few shots in such circumstance.

I was mainly using two zoom lenses for capturing these images, both of which were outfitted with ND or Neutral Density filters. This sort of filter acts as a sunglass for the lens and offers a great deal of creative control over the final appearance of the photo. This sort of device is critical for challenging environments like the foggy and misty afternoon of August 1st.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The filters also allow me to “slow down” the exposure settings, which is how you get the smoothed out water with a somewhat misty character along its tide line. Surreal, I say, surreal.

There’s a new public space along this waterfront, dubbed the Greenpoint Landing Esplanade, which offers commanding views of the Manhattan skyline and Long Island City.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Of all the new construction, the one project I find architectural interest in is this pair of cantilevered buildings. The development is called 227 West Street, and those are 30 and 40 story towers. My usual critique of the banal luxury towers in this “zone” sounds like this: glass rhombuses thrust rudely at the sky. This cantilever deal is visually interesting.

Given all of the recent construction in the area, and the huge investments involved from both private and governmental entities, it’s a shame that there’s only one project hereabouts where you say “hey, look at that.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Just before the burning thermonuclear eye of god itself descended behind New Jersey, the fog and mist suddenly began to break up and rise into the clouds.

I cracked out a few more exposures with the camera set up for the prior foggy atmospherics and then prepared to move on with the gear set up for handheld “photo walk” mode.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

You could actually see the humidity rising up out of Manhattan’s canyons and forming into low clouds.

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

August 29, 2022 at 11:00 am

silly reasons

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Friday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A low lying deck of clouds and fog had accompanied the arrival of a cold front in the superheated atmosphere of August 1st. NYC had been in the grip of a heat wave for the week prior, and a second interval of high temperature and humidity was forecast to begin within 24 hours.

I cannot resist a foggy or misty day, as it makes for interesting photography weather.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My strategy for the last few years has been to avoid crowded places where the human infestation is impossible to avoid. Accordingly, while I’ve been avoiding crowds, Greenpoint’s Western shoreline has been transformed by the real estate people.

Honestly, it’s shocking how much has changed here. That’s Commercial Street pictured above, looking west towards Franklin Avenue and the East River. There’s even a new series of waterfront paths and esplanades that have accompanied this new construction. The development scheme is called “Greenpoint Landing.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Looking across Newtown Creek at Long Island City from one of these new paths, that construction site will be a new hospital. Just kidding, it’s going to be more luxury apartment buildings.

That construction area used to be a thriving Asian supermarket warehousing business, the home of “God’s Love We Deliver” which collected unused restaurant food and redistributed it to the needy, and the garages for NBC Television News’ broadcast vehicle fleet. We need more luxury housing, they say, which will cause the wealthy to move out of tenement buildings and thereby free up those spaces for the less wealthy.

Trickle down real estate.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Did you know that the United States destroys millions of gallons of dairy milk annually in order to keep the dairy industry and milk prices from collapsing under their own industriousness and over supply? In light of that, has the price of milk ever gone down in your lifetime, despite the abundance of supply? Just saying.

That’s a new luxury tower rising on the former site of the Jack Frost sugar factory in Queens, right at the intersection of current superfund site Newtown Creek and future superfund site East River.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It’s all so depressing.

I should mention that it’s a real pickle capturing this sort of misty and foggy atmosphere, photography wise.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Every few minutes, a bank of fog would crack open and piss down a few rain drips. Drips, not drops.

Saying that, as I was shooting, it was growing brighter and brighter and a mild bit of breeze began to pop up. More next week, 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

August 26, 2022 at 11:00 am

unwonted ripples

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Wednesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As you may recall, most of the country – including NYC – experienced a dramatic heat wave in middle and late July. Here in “home sweet hell,” the humidity and dew point levels were as high as they can go without spontaneous rain showers occurring, and the atmospheric temperatures were in the high 90’s and even hit 100 degrees Fahrenheit once or twice during the interval.

I refer to this kind of weather as a “reverse blizzard.” At least during the cold months you can wear extra layers and still get something done – but during this kind of oppressive summer heat – not so much.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My desire to be out and about, when even at night it’s 90 degrees with tropical humidity, absolutely evaporates. One spent an inordinate amount of time in late July at HQ, in direct proximity to an air conditioner. Occasional forays to the porch revealed a torrid soup of thunderstorms and other meteorological consequence of “too much” heat swirling around in the heavens. Yuck.

Thereby, there weren’t too many adventures on the table, and the camera sat unused for several days.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

On Saturday the 23rd, which was a candidate for “hottest day of the year” until Sunday the 24th rolled through, I had to head over to Brooklyn to show my face at a Newtown Creek Alliance event – the Kingsland Wildflowers Festival. An annual event, this one is produced by NCA in conjunction with Broadway Stages, and Alive Structures, amongst others. There’s games for kids, food, and a bunch of activists doing activist things.

I wandered around a bit, caught up with friends, caroused. Then I scuttled off to wave the camera around a bit.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It was a really warm night, but I was desirous of taking a walk and decided that I’d cross the Newtown Creek via the nearby Pulaski Bridge and catch a train back to Astoria. The camera and I both required a bit of exercise. Self lubricating parts and all that…

At my age, if you don’t use a body part it just withers away and falls off. This especially includes the knees. “Assholes and elbows,” as they say in the military, so off I went.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One cut through the Newtown Creek Nature Walk, at the sewer plant in Greenpoint, to get over to the Pulaski Bridge’s staircases on McGuinness Blvd. nearby Box Street. Since “Phase 3” of the Nature Walk opened last year, it’s really cut down the amount of time that it used to take to get from NCA HQ on Kingsland Avenue to the Pulaski. It’s also a visually interesting spot, in my opinion.

My toes were pointed in the correct direction and then I just leaned into it. Regardless, I was “shvitzing.” The palm of my camera hand was positively moist. As an aside, I’ve learned that use of the word “moist” makes millennials and Gen Z people uncomfortable. Exploration of this weird fact also makes them uncomfortable. The same people will happily drop their pants to show off a new tattoo or piercing, openly display their kinks and fetishes in political rooms, but there’s now a list of proscribed adjectives which are considered “problematic.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It had to be just after 8 p.m. when I set out on this walk, as the burning thermonuclear eye of god itself was already prostrating itself behind New Jersey. How predictable, huh?

Back tomorrow with more.


“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

August 17, 2022 at 11:00 am

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