The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Posts Tagged ‘Hell Gate Bridge

whisper leeringly

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Monday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

On April 13th, I found myself at a rooftop bar on the east side of Manhattan, one which offered somewhat sweeping views of the East River. Queensboro Bridge was large and in charge, of course. In the lower right foreground, that’s “Four Freedoms Park” on Roosevelt Island. You’re looking in the general direction of Astoria, diagonally towards LaGuardia airport.

There you go, that’s what that looks like, and you didn’t have to pay $20 for an “old fashioned” to see it.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

On April 17th, a humble narrator felt like doing some shooting but didn’t want to return to Newtown Creek again, so Shore Blvd. alongside Astoria Park and the Hells Gate section of the East River was decided upon as a destination for the evening’s effort.

I’ve actually been trying to make it a point of being present during sunsets of late, as you may have noticed.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Hell Gate Bridge is to the north, Mighty Triborough to the south. These waters are still pretty complicated from a maritime point of view – strong currents and eddies. The United States Army Corps of Engineers blew this part of the river up “back in the day” to cure up the navigation issues, but it’s still a part of the harbor that requires a bit of skill on the part of whomsoever is driving the boat.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I set myself up for “landscape mode” with the tripod and an ND filter and started capturing a series of longish exposures. It was so bright out, in fact, that even with the filter on I was getting no more than ten seconds worth of exposure time.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As I’ve mentioned several times, high flying clouds turn colorful during sunsets. No guarantee you’re going to get scarlets and crimsons, but when you do…

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I hung around until it got dark, then got scared by the presence of teenagers in Astoria Park so I rapid scuttled away from the area in a paroxysm of terror. One flew through the streets, his brain awash in the steroids of panic. Teenagers… brrr… no impulse control.

At HQ, I barred the doors behind me, and commanded Our Lady of the Pentacle to descend into the storm bunker with me and hunker down in case the adolescents had followed me home.


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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

June 6, 2022 at 11:00 am

somewhat shamefaced

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Monday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Camera in hand, lonely and friendless, filthy black raincoat snapping about in the hard wind of late winter. Sometimes I’m on a boat.

Having grown up in southeast Brooklyn (Canarsie/Flatlands), one’s native speech pattern is best described by recitations of the “Brooklyn Alphabet.” “Fuckin A, Fuckin B, go fuck yourself C, kiss my ass D” and so on. This is part of my heritage, and the Brooklyn accent of my parents would pronounce common words such as birds as “boids,” toilet as “terlet,” and oil as “erl.” As an adult, an attempt is made to show a finer veneer to all of the fancy pants people I meet. Dis is da struggol you gots when’s you growed up in Brooklyn.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Thereby, one has embraced creative expressions of surprise for my daily use that don’t include the use of Brooklyn vernacular. Lately, I’m embracing ones like “by the misty mountains of Kuala Lampur” or “Great galloping Ganesh.” I don’t know if Kuala Lampur actually has mountains or not, or whether the beloved Hindu deity is known to gallop – but since Ganesh is an elephant, it probably would have a certain proclivity towards the occasional gallop – if only for shits and giggles.

“Holy jumping Jesus” is also another one of my refrains although scripture never mentions the Christian Savior as leaping about. My Lebanese buddy Sal has instructed me in the many possible usages of Allah u Akbar (god is great), which is the Islamic equivalent of Aloha or Shalom in terms of being an omnivorous response one is able to deploy in a variety of circumstances. New Baby? Allah U Akbar! Your mom died? Allah U Akbar… Sal has informed me that it’s all about inflection.

Saying all that, whether Ganesh or Allah or Jesus, you’re probably accidentally pissing someone off with an off hand religious reference, so “by the misty mountains of Kuala Lampur” it is.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Riding back home on the NYC ferry from the Bronx, I got to exclaim “Holy Homeland Security” when I spotted this NYPD Harbor unit boat performing that particular mission for our ferry boat. Not too long ago, I was riding on the Staten Island Ferry and a couple of tourist types asked me why the Coast Guard was following our big orange boat with machine guns deployed while we navigated from Manhattan to… Staten Island…

They really couldn’t put it together about how big a target a ferry boat might be for the bad guys. I’d tell you who the villains are, but I’m not really sure anymore. Are we still mad at the Arabs? If so, I’ll let Sal know. As mentioned, he’s Lebanese, so not too big a fan of the Arabs.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It was nearly sunset, and an executive decision was arrived at to debark the boat at East 90th street, alongside Gracie Mansion, and find a spot to get set up with the tripod as the burning thermonuclear eye of god itself dipped behind New Jersey.

Along the way, I couldn’t help but get a shot or two of the natural light painting occurring on the Hell Gate and Triborough Bridges.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

At East 90th, I took a minute to sit down and chill for a minute, then got busy again. If you set up a camera on a tripod and say “Eric Adams” three times, there’s a 40/60 chance he’ll appear, just like Candyman or Bloody Mary. Didn’t work this time, though.

This area at E 90th, by the way, is more or less the famous spot where the old Astoria Route ferry dock was found. The one that Robert Moses destroyed, an incident which Robert Caro wrote about in Power Broker.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The burning thermonuclear eye of god itself was already beginning to disappear behind New Jersey as I found and claimed my spot.

From the looks I was getting from the passerby, you’d think that I had just released a kite into a thunderstormwhile laughing maniacally, in preparation of bringing a homemade monster to life. Really?

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 11, 2022 at 11:00 am

hidden byway

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Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Having accomplished the “distant foggy” shots which drew me out of HQ, a humble narrator began the scuttle back home but I was far from done with the evening’s exertions. For those keeping score – the walk to Astoria Park and the waterfront adjoining Shore Boulevard from HQ and back is found somewhere on the dividing line between a “long” and a “short” walk for me. Basically, it’s further away than you perceive it to be when leaving the house, but not all that far, really.

At least it’s mostly flat. I’m pretty sensitive to discrete changes in altitude and declination for some reason. If you pay attention to the “lay of the land” it’s possible to ignore the built environment’s masonry distractions and “see” what the actual topography is like.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Obviously, the area surrounding the early 20th century vintage Hells Gate and Triborough Bridges had been thoroughly worked over by crews of laborers. There was an “Astoria Park” prior to the modern shaping, which you can observe on old maps from the 19th century, but it was nothing like the modern park other than location.

One hung around the park for a bit, shooting from various spots, but I won’t bore you with those photos since they really weren’t anything special. The fog had started thinning out in anticipation of a forthcoming bout of rain, so I pointed my toes back towards HQ.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Good golly, do I ever enjoy the weird lighting offered by food trucks for some reason. It’s funny the way that you suddenly become entranced by something that was formerly ignored. Throughout the pandemic months, I’ve found myself noticing things – gas stations, for instance – that I used to just scuttle right past.

Tomorrow – something completely different 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

February 15, 2022 at 11:00 am

puerile kind

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Monday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Now that’s what I call fog, baby. A promising weather report drew me over to the East River’s Hells Gate section, which paid off for a humble narrator. For these shots, I was using the Ultrapod camera support that I’ve mentioned in the past. Said device is a metal plate with four feet under it, and a tripod ball head mounted right in its center on top. This gizmo allows me to place the camera into fairly odd places, including right down on the sidewalk or onto the ledge of the Shore Blvd. retaining wall. Don’t worry, the camera’s strap was still firmly attached to my person.

That’s the Hell Gate Bridge, as if you didn’t already know that.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

When an NYC Ferry boat, operating on the Soundview Route, came speeding by I quickly readjusted what the camera was pointed at and changed my lens. I was quick enough to catch the displacement wave of the ferry’s passing impacting the shoreline here in Astoria. It’s dark down there, so I set the exposure to about 30 seconds, which is why the wave water looks like smoke or mist in the shot above.

The fog helped me with this shot, as a note, since it allowed for the diffusion of illuminated light coming from Randall’s/Wards Island and the Triborough Bridge.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Speaking of mighty Triborough…

This is, of course, just a part of the bridge complex known as Triborough and it’s specifically the East River suspension bridge section.

Fog, baby, fog.


“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 14, 2022 at 11:00 am

sputtering attorney

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Friday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Another day, and this time I was out at sunset here in Astoria. Shore Road, alongside Astoria Park, offers commanding views of the Hells Gate section of the East River and the two bridges spanning it.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Triborough Bridge’s East River Suspension Bridge section is in the fore, and the Hell Gate Railroad Bridge is in the rear. I’m purposely letting the photos speak for themselves today rather than describing the tableau, by the way.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It was actually a lucky stroke for me to be here on this particular evening, as the sunset colors were explosively saturated.

Back next week.


“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

December 10, 2021 at 11:00 am

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