The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Posts Tagged ‘Financial District

thrillingly suggestive

leave a comment »

Monday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

After exiting the One World Trade Center Observation deck, and having scratched a “I want to do this before I move away” item off of my list, the so called Oculus was also found on that list, so I got it in as well.

Regarding the “congestion pricing” toll that the Governor is about to allow, remember the Oculus when you’re talking about giving the MTA more money to spend, beyond the billions they already consume annually. They are like a raging Californian fire when it comes to spending other people’s money in vainglory – indiscriminate, unaccountable, unpredictable, and irreducible.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’m not sure what they were thinking here… this structure does nothing to improve the experience of – y’know – taking the train. It does offer a shopping mall for the Wall Street guys to buy fancy watches and $11 cups of coffee, so maybe that’s what it’s always all been about.

Silly me, talking about function over form when it involves tax dollars. I should mention that whereas the MTA is an absolute gas, they’re only a side player in the Oculus’s story, as this boondoggle $4 Billion project was handled, designed, and built under the auspices of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and its contractor Skanska. Here’s the whole story on the Oculus at Wikipedia.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Bah!

My plan for getting back to Astoria involved a preferred route – using the NYC Ferry – so one scuttled eastwards through the financial district towards Pier 11 at the foot of Wall Street.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Given that this area is pretty much the HQ of global capitalism as well as the seat of Government for NYC, you’d kind of expect the streets to not be as scummy as they are in Lower Manhattan. I don’t mean that from a moral relativism point of view, by the way. I mean that my shoes were literally sliding around in a black and khaki mix of liquifying trash, weird jellies, and greasy crap as I walked along. Rats were scurrying around during the daylight hours as well, which is really over the top, and signals “peak shithole” – if you ask me.

It’s all rotten. “Someday, a real rain will”… actually, nothing will clean these streets. Sandy didn’t. “What this City needs is a good plague”… ok, that didn’t do it either. Tornado, maybe?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My apologies, lords and ladies… I’m so thoroughly “checked out” at this point that I just can’t care about it anymore. The City is doomed.

We had a window, over the last twenty to thirty years, during which times were good and the City’s coffers were full. It was squandered on handouts to big real estate and political vanity projects. All that’s left for NYC now is a return to the Cinema Verite world of the 1970’s.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Unfortunately, just as I arrived at Pier 11, the Astoria Boat was leaving the pier. That meant I had as long as possible to wait for the next one, so I made a couple of business calls that were on my “to do” list and waited out the interval.

It was a nice day anyway, and it’s never a terrible thing spending time at the East River when you’ve got a camera hanging off of your shoulder.


“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 19, 2022 at 11:00 am

equally silent

leave a comment »

Friday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

On August 19th, one endeavored to scratch another one of the items off of my list of “I really should do this thing before I move away’s.”

Accordingly, I soon found myself in Lower Manhattan and heading for the One World Trade observatory deck. Personally, I’ve been put out since they stopped calling the 1,776 foot tall monument to National Tragedy “The Freedom Tower.”

A quick review of the observatory deck would involve offers of recrimination about reflection, refraction, and the usage of blue tinted glass for a thing designed to offer panoramic views of the greatest city in the history of mankind. The Observation Deck is a fairly difficult spot to shoot from because of those factors, and in comparison – both the Empire State Building and 30 Rock observatories allow you to be outside and unoccluded rather than caged up behind blue glass, so they’re better for the photographically inclined visitor to NYC. I haven’t done Hudson Yards’ overlook thing, and don’t plan to.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I was there in the early morning, about nine or so. The light when I first arrived was fairly abysmal, but it improved as the burning thermonuclear eye of god itself wheeled about in the sky. I don’t know what the time limit is, as far as how long you can linger before getting the boot, but I guess I was up there shooting for about 90 minutes to two hours.

Naturally, the first thing I did was ascertain the location of Newtown Creek and get a wide angle shot of it.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

You’ll see that Tug pictured above and framed by the Brooklyn Bridge at water level in a post later this week. It was the Joker (flagged out of Philadelphia) and she was headed for the Brooklyn Navy Yard with a barge full of what seemed to be sand.

As mentioned, the light began to change a bit as the burning orb moved through the vault of the sky. I also decided that I needed to compensate for the cold blue tint that the windows were causing, as seen above, and jacked up the color temperature on the camera to accomplish that.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Looking northwards across Manhattan from the financial district towards midtown and the Empire State Building, I kept on laughing to myself about the “Midtown Manhattan needs to be denser” rhetorical arguments currently vomiting out of the Gubernatorial and Mayoral mansions.

We’re right on the precipice of “Blade Runner” style development these days. What was the answer to 9/11? Battery Park City and Luxury Condos. What was the answer to Sandy? Hudson Yards and Luxury Condos. Want to guess what NYC’s answer to Covid will be?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

At any rate, looking across the dystopian shithole of residential Manhattan, which a generation of city planners will tell you is the solution rather than problem, and towards the ruinations of Hunters Point and Greenpoint’s intersection with Newtown Creek. In the distance at the top of the shot is Flushing Bay and the northeastern extants of the East River. You can just make out the Whitestone Bridge.

I did a quick lens swap at this point, and whipped out a “long” telephoto one which would allow for more “reach.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The tallest building in the shot, on the LIC or Queens side and roughly at center top, is the “Sven” at Queens Plaza. At dead center of the photo, dwarfed in modernity, is the 1992 Citigroup building – aka the Sapphire Megalith of LIC. Everyone of those giant structures except for the megalith have risen over just the last fifteen years, a build out unaccompanied by a similar rise in the number of Hospital Beds, Libraries, Police Stations, Fire Houses, or any significant increase in Sanitation or Sewerage capability.

Despite the promises of the City Planners, and the Real Estate Developers, despite all of this new inventory coming on line in the last 15 years, rents are at an all time high in NYC.

It’s the problem, not the solution, and if you believe in “trickle down real estate,” I can get you a great deal on the bridge pictured in the third slot on todays post.


“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 16, 2022 at 11:00 am

particular lepidodendron

with one comment

“follow” me on Twitter at @newtownpentacle

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Recent obligations called for me to enter the sense shattering psychic cauldron which is the Financial District of Lower Manhattan, obligations which I was actually quite happy to perform- mind you- but… most of the City is too young to have any ghosts in it. This isn’t the case down on William, once Rose, street. This lane has been known to those of European descent since before the great fire of London.

Buried beneath the despicable and bland veneers of modern day oligarchy lurks an occluded world.

from wikipedia

William Street is a city street in the Financial District of lower Manhattan in New York City in the United States of America. It is one of the oldest streets in Manhattan and can be seen in the 1660 Castello Plan of New Amsterdam. It runs generally southwest to northeast, crossing Wall Street and terminating at Broad Street and Spruce Street, respectively.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I was in the neighborhood for the plainest of reasons, to practice my craft and photograph a party thrown by colleagues and friends and to capture the ceremonial awarding of a plaque to an honoree. In accordance with my custom, an early arrival was sought, but the MTA had other plans. It was lightly raining, and as always the darkness of Lower Manhattan was a palpable and lurking presence. Physical darkness, that is, not spiritual.

There is plenty of the latter in Manhattan, for my part at least, but it was literally a “dark and stormy night.”

from wikipedia

Broadway is a street in the U.S. state of New York. Perhaps best known for the portion that runs through the borough of Manhattan in New York City, it actually runs 15 mi (24 km) through Manhattan and The Bronx, exiting north from the city to run an additional 18 mi (29 km) through the municipalities of Yonkers, Hastings-On-Hudson, Dobbs Ferry, Irvington, Tarrytown and terminating north of Sleepy Hollow in Westchester County. It is the oldest north–south main thoroughfare in New York City, dating to the first New Amsterdam settlement. The name Broadway is the English literal translation of the Dutch name, Breede weg.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Whilst on William Street, the location of a Delmonico’s restaurant was crossed. Having just a moment or two before I was needed at the event, some fiddling around with the camera settings allowed me to capture the above shot. Normally, this is the sort of thing which you’d clearly use a tripod for, but this shot was handheld.

Always plagued by a timorous constitution and tremulous hands, one has been studying the training techniques espoused by the Great Houdini himself over the winter months, in an attempt to develop a steadier grip on both camera and reality.

from wikipedia

In 1929, Oscar Tucci opened a “Delmonico’s” popularly called “Oscar’s Delmonico’s” at the former Delmonico’s location at 2 South William Street (sometimes listed as 56 Beaver Street) in New York. The Tucci incarnation adopted the original menus and recipes, and became distinguished in its own right, continuing to attract prominent politicians and celebrities. It was open continuously until it closed in 1977.

In 1981, a new Delmonico’s was opened at the location by Ed Huber, which operated until 1992.

The building was vacant until 1998, when the Bice Group acquired the property and again opened a Delmonico’s, with Gian Pietro Branchi as executive chef. In 1999, the restaurant was sold to the Ocinomled partnership, which continues to operate Delmonico’s at the South William Street location. The current website lists the address as 56 Beaver Street.

Written by Mitch Waxman

March 5, 2013 at 12:15 am

%d bloggers like this: