The Newtown Pentacle

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Posts Tagged ‘Greenpoint

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.


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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

extinguishing all

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Wednesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

June 8th, and I was attending a performance of something… avant gardé… I guess. I’m not really sure how to describe a “soundscape” performance, but there I was at the sewer plant in Greenpoint.

Before things got started, I walked over to Newtown Creek to pop out a sunset shot because “why not”?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s Che Chen in the yellow shirt, who was the soundscape artist. His team had microphones and speakers set up, and the event drew quite a crowd. Even Our Lady of the Pentacle was there. It went right over my head, but the crowd was digging the hell out of this.

We actually snuck away early and walked over to a bar on Greenpoint’s Manhattan Avenue to grab a drink, and get dinner.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

June 9th saw me in the company of My Pal Val. Several years ago, I was invited by the NYC Parks Dept. to be part of a group of photographers who would get to spend some time at Fresh Kills. At the time, none of the park had opened to the public yet. I’ve been subsequently asked to come back but was never able to make my schedule work. Given that I’m planning on departing the City at the end of the year… when the invite arrived, I said yes, and managed to get Val on the guest list too.

Val picked me up in Astoria, and we headed off to… Staten Island.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

We actually got there far earlier than we needed to, with the intention of finding some “catch as catch can” shooting opportunities along the way. …Staten Island… is fairly photogenic at its edges. Upland (with a few very notable exceptions), it’s pretty much suburban sprawl – highways, housing developments, and shopping malls – but …Staten Island… has a very interesting waterfront.

Particularly so on its eastern (Verrazano/Narrows), western (Arthur Kill), and northern (Kill Van Kull) coasts. The south coast of …Staten Island… is basically a salt marsh and then a beach.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Looking south along the narrows towards the bridge, those ships belong to the Sandy Hooks Pilots. They escort large vessels into New York Harbor. The horizon buildings behind the ships are in Brooklyn, and found along the Belt Parkway.

We picked our way along the waterfront, heading towards Skelson’s Office.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There’s a spot at the end of Bard Avenue which my dearly departed pal John Skelson used to shoot tugboats passing by on the Kill Van Kull from. Several times we called him out, while passing by on a Hidden Harbor tour with the Working Harbor Committee, and the spot became known as “Skelson’s Office” for all the time that he spent here.

Time began to grow short, and My Pal Val and I decided that it would wise to grab a meal. We shortly found a diner, where I had a fine cheeseburger, and then we continued on our journey to the edge of the known world – Fresh Kills.


“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.

hidden pneumatics

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Wednesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

May 15th was a busy day for me, with a Newtown Creek Alliance event in the morning that I helped out on and an astronomical anomaly in the evening. The approaching lunar eclipse saw me planning and plotting, but as it turned out – the weather had other ideas.

I managed to get set up and execute a test shot before a solid sheet of clouds obscured the body. Said test shot is above.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As mentioned several times, Newtown Creek Alliance HQ is found atop a television production studio in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint section. Downstairs, they’ve been shooting “The Equalizer” tv show, but I still haven’t gotten to meet Queen Latifa.

Upstairs, however, is the Kingsland Wildflower roof, which I enjoy access to. A couple of phone calls to my peeps to arrange, and I’m up top with fairly unparalleled and unique views. The plan, which was extremely well thought out, was to get the blood/eclipsed moon hovering over the sewer plant. C’est la vie.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I had actually rented a Zip Car on this evening, given that I’m again a licensed driver according to New York State. The investment in the rental was to ensure that I could quickly dart around and “get” the shot from a variety of locations but with the moon occluded by clouds…

What? I was just going to go home? You kidding? Who am I?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

We have waterfront access at HQ, so I headed down to the bulkheads after locking the doors up on the roof. The tripod was deployed and I waved the camera around a bit.

It’s a very weird sensation hanging around the Newtown Creek waterfront at night and all alone. This is normally one of the busiest places in the entire City.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A humble narrator was quite frustrated by the whole weather thing, and it seemed that whenever I was ready to shoot – nothing was happening. You can’t control serendipity, however.

I was also annoyed that I had dropped $100 I don’t have on renting a vehicle which I didn’t make terribly good usage of. Truth be told, I spent two hours just driving around and enjoying the mobility of a car. It’s been a long time, and I used to absolutely love driving. Turns out that I still do.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I didn’t get caught out for drunk driving or any sort of violations, before you ask. I just stupidly missed the window for renewal of the document, and then it became a “thing” to do so. I avoid dealing with “things” assiduously until I have to, but since the plan for the next year involves moving out of NYC to “America” – you need to have a car in America, so I had to deal with the “thing.” I had to essentially attend a Driver’s Education class and take a road test, so sweet memories of High School were in the air for me earlier this year.

Insult to injury section: just as I broke down the camera from its tripod mount and was heading towards the gates, a tug approached the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge and the span opened for it. Missed it.

Serendipity, it affects us all.


“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 29, 2022 at 11:00 am

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