The Newtown Pentacle

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Posts Tagged ‘Manhattan

effigies sculptured

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Friday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A recent visit to the Empire State Building observation deck cost me $41, plus subway fares. That’s the price you pay to see things. We all have a price, and problems we can’t solve. Luckily, there’s often someone willing to sell you what you want. I’ve been wanting perspective, and to “get high.”

Superman has super problems, I’ve always thought. The big guy has to spend a lot of time restraining himself. He can burn somebody by looking at them too hard, and probably cause cancer if he stares at you with those X-Ray eyes of his. When Superman is stopping a bank robbery, it must be excruciating to exercise the care involved in not killing everything he touches while moving at super speed. Superman punching someone in the nose, and not having that someone’s head explode into a cloud of red mist, represents a significant amount of martial restraint.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As the burning thermonuclear eye of god itself slid down behind New Jersey (I’m told there’s a cavern in Pennsylvania it slots into), a humble narrator got busy with the camera and the clicking and the whirring. What stirred me into dropping the cash on this visit was the recent revelation that all of the “master shots” of Newtown Creek from this perspective in my image library depicted the old Kosciuszcko Bridge.

Superman can famously walk about on the plasma shell of the sun, burrow through Earth’s mantle and visit the molten core of the planet, divert the course of mighty rivers, and withstand all sorts of hellacious situations. I’ve often wondered if he’s just numb. If you’re Superman, how far do you need to go to just feel something? Imagine if he’s disguised himself as one of us and attends a concert, gets overwhelmed by an emotional response to the performance and absentmindedly begins to loudly applaud. Superman clapping his hands loudly would likely result in a mass casualty event.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

This is one of the classic Empire State Building shots, depicting the Flatiron – or Fuller Brush – Building at the intersection of 23rd street and Fifth Avenue/Broadway. The other nearby landmark is Madison Square Park, which used to be a Potters Field cemetery for the poor.

Something which I’ve never been able to reconcile regarding the Man of Steel is the amount of time he spends pretending to be human. You have to figure that every minute of every day, he should be out there saving lives. This guy could handle large scale desert irrigation projects, literally moving mountains, and he’s spending his days 9-5 working at a newspaper? Sure, the pen is mightier than the sword, but… Superman.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A very similar shot, compositionally, was in yesterday’s post – depicting the angle of view towards the Queensboro Bridge with Astoria in the distance. That’s the Chrysler Building in the foreground.

If you were actually able to leap over tall buildings in a single bound, you’d likely be leaving craters in the sidewalk when jumping. The physics of Superman are daunting. As mentioned above, he’d have to take exquisite care not to atomize people while crime fighting. Presuming Superman is about 200 pounds of pure muscle, that means his foot would need to exert enough force on the ground to propel 200 pounds a thousand or more feet in the air. Superman is never portrayed as having freakishly large feet, so let’s presume it’s a normal size 11 or 12 shoe that he would wear. That means he’s focusing multiple tons worth of force into a 4-5 inch patch of sidewalk, and that the cement paving would essentially turn into a powder of particles. These particles dispersing into the atmosphere would appear to us, to be an explosion.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Looking westwards towards the hideous Hudson Yards complex, with the burning thermonuclear eye of god itself nearly occluded behind New Jersey.

“Faster than a speeding bullet” also points out another angle which this Kryptonian Weapon of Mass Destruction would have to be extremely careful about. The fastest of our modern bullets moves at about 2,600 feet a second, which is just about Mach 2. Comic writers have established that our boy can move far faster than that, and within the atmosphere at that. Imagine the firestorm of friction heated air Superman has to be pulling behind him when he’s in a hurry. He’d be leaving horizontal fire tornados all over the sky everytime there was an emergency in China.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One last shot just as proper night was setting in, looking southwards towards the Freedom Tower over Lower Manhattan, from the Empire State Building Observation Deck.

Up, up, and away.


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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

June 25, 2021 at 11:05 am

denizens thereof

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Monday is arisen, and risible.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The first two shots in today’s post were gathered during a quick visit to Astoria’s Luyster Creek, found on the forbidden northern shore of Queens. I’m told that the rotting wooden structure in the one above used to be a dock. Personally, I don’t have any reason to argue with that. As you can tell, it was low tide when I was waving the camera about and all of the exquisite petrochemical and human excrement smells normally subsumed by the waters of the East River and Bowery Bay were available for easy sniffing.

Y’know, when you’ve taken the deep dive into all of the Newtown Creek “superfun” that I have, your head gets filled up with all sorts of regulatory terms. “NAPL” is non aqueous phase liquid, for instance. “VOC’s” are volatile organic chemicals. What those five dollar terms indicate is that VOC’s – or petroleum derived products – mixing with VOC’s – basically raw sewage – is pretty bad. All this yuck settles down out of the water column and builds up a bed of sediments – called “Black Mayonnaise.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The flowing water found at the head of the canal, here at Luyster Creek, is a bit of mystery. I’ve asked my pals at the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation if they have any clue as to where this water is coming from. The theory is that it’s a natural spring being fed by “pore” or ground water, but that’s their best guess. The 20th century did a real job to the forbidden northern shore of Queens.

I’ve added Luyster Creek to my list of waterways, by the way. A group of us are going to head out here this weekend to do a shoreline cleanup, hopefully the first of many such endeavors. The good news is that some of my friends who work for the City are going to help out by letting us dispose of the collected trash in their bins.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Seriously, I haven’t been in Manhattan more than once or twice in the last year. This shot was collected when I was walking home from getting my first vaccination shot at a hospital on the Upper East Side. What a pleasure it was, I tell you, to walk home on a pleasantly warm day and catch that unoccluded East River afternoon sunshine. Sure, you have to dodge out of the way of people riding motorcycles in the bike lanes, which the bicycle people will tell me I’m imagining.

I’m a fan of the bike people’s push to turn the north side of Queensboro’s lower level current ped/bike lane into purely bike, while dedicating the south path for purely pedestrian access. Did you know that the south side lower level roadway used to be a trolley route? The streetcars would exit from the bridge and proceed up Northern Blvd. all the way to Woodside Avenue.


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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

April 5, 2021 at 11:00 am

exotic delicacy

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Wednesday? Now you’re talkin…

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Last week, occasion found one standing atop a NYC Ferry heading towards Lower Manhattan. Along the way, two Vane tugs were noticed as they moved in opposite directions along the East River. Both were towing fuel barges, and you’ll notice that the background one is riding considerably higher in the water than the foreground one. The one in the background, heading south, had therefore already delivered its cargo, whereas the barge being towed by the Charleston Tug in the foreground is full. Whether the tug is pulling or pushing, it’s called “towing.” It was all very exciting.

I like a good tugboat shot, I do.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

This senior citizen of the harbor was docked at the Brooklyn Navy Yard when the ferry made its stop at the facility.

I ended up taking the subway home from Manhattan for a variety of reasons. Partially it was due to going fairly far afield of the River in pursuit of luncheon, a journey which carried me all the way to East Broadway for some pretty Dyn-O-Mite Chinese food at a sit outside table somewhere in the surviving tenements of the lower east side. Good times, we’re lucky to have them, good times.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It was nice being in Manhattan again, for a change. That’s not something I’d normally say, given my antipathy to the place in recent years.

The extant tenements of lower Manhattan, found south east of Bowery and north of the Brooklyn Bridge, absolutely fascinate me. A general wander trough this neighborhood is definitely in the cards for me sometime in the next month. Planning stage, me. I’m going to hit the same Chinese place again for lunch, I think. Tastiest meal I’ve had in months.

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

Note: I’m writing this and several of the posts you’re going to see for the next week at the beginning of the week of Monday, September 21st. My plan is to continue doing my solo photo walks around LIC and the Newtown Creek in the dead of night as long as that’s feasible. If you continue to see regular updates here, that means everything is kosher as far as health and well being. If the blog stops updating, it means that things have gone badly for a humble narrator.


“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, 2020 at 11:00 am

tremendous resolution

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Thursday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It’s all still there! Despite what the television said, the hot war between Antifa and the Boogaloos hasn’t actually burned the City away and left it looking like Dresden. Son of a gun! That’s the Helen Laraway Tug, spotted as it passed by an old fruit pier in lower Manhattan which has been converted over to a vehicle maintenance facility for the DSNY in modernity. That’s where the proverbial banana boat used to dock, that pier, and it’s the one that your grandmother would accuse new neighbors of having arrived into NYC via.

As mentioned yesterday, a long-standing resolution of mine has been to get the hell out of Queens for an afternoon and go ride on the ferries. This is the first year in more than a decade that I haven’t spent a good number of my summertime evenings riding around on boats and photographing the maritime world, so I had to do something about that before it turns cold and dark again.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Brooklyn Bridge – still there. Lower Manhattan too.

My plan for the day was to a) spend as little as possible and b) get as far away from Queens as was feasible. The Astoria line NYC Ferry travels south along the East River. Its new north terminal stop is at 90th st. in Manhattan, then there’s Astoria, Roosevelt Island, LIC North, 34th st., Brooklyn Navy Yard, and the southern terminal stop is at Pier 11 Wall Street in lower Manhattan. From there, the Staten Island Ferry is about a ten minute walk away.

The NYC Ferry Fair was $2.75, and the Staten Island Ferry is free. That’s “A.” Staten Island accomplished “B.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Upon debarking from the NYC Ferry, a dredging operation being committed by the DonJon company was noticed. This is just south of Pier 11, and I can make several presumptions as to who, when, what, where, and why. Thing is that I’d just be speculating that; the EDC, in some time prior to March, decided to expand Ferry operational capabilities here at the foot of Wall Street, to please their masters in the real estate industry. Speculation, however, so don’t take that to the bank.

Tomorrow – what I saw from onboard the big orange boat.

Note: I’m writing this and several of the posts you’re going to see for the next week at the beginning of the week of Monday, September 7th. My plan is to continue doing my solo photo walks around LIC and the Newtown Creek in the dead of night as long as that’s feasible. If you continue to see regular updates here, that means everything is kosher as far as health and well being. If the blog stops updating, it means that things have gone badly for a humble narrator.


“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 10, 2020 at 1:00 pm

under catechism

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Once more, the breach is a Monday, so unto it.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One week ago today did a humble narrator ride the subway for the first time in 140 days. An appointment for an inquisition about my homeostasis required a visit to the island of Manhattan, where a team of medical professionals awaited me with forms and needles. One was measured, weighed, scrutinized closely. At one point, a woman walked into the room and jabbed a barb into my left arm. Vials, she filled, with my blood. Test results were arrived at, and the Doctor intoned that one might just keep on living, for just a little while longer. One of the tests was for Covid, which confirmed my assertion that – so far – I’ve been lucky enough to avoid infection.

The subway ride was uneventful, but for the chin mask guy who alternated between grasping the subway pole and jamming his fingers into the various mucous membrane lined holes on his head.

Seriously, I’ve always wondered about the characters in Zombie movies who a) either pretend that what they’re seeing isn’t happening, b) hide the fact that they’ve been bitten and are infected, c) start fights over unrelated to the crisis issues which end up getting everybody killed. Then, along comes Covid, and…

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One wandered a short few blocks after being the subject of scientific scrutiny, and a decision to splurge a bit was arrived at. Instead of climbing back down into the sweating concrete bunkers of the MTA, with their piston driven clouds of disgust, one instead summoned a ride back to Astoria. Mask on, windows open, one rode back to Queens in the manner of a big fellow. The driver’s name was Mohammed, he hailed from Pakistan originally, and we had a long conversation about the relative virtues of several Halal Food Carts which we were both familiar with. I still recommend the guy in the food truck on Steinway and 34th for that particular fix.

I have not missed Manhattan at all, thought I.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As is my habit, since I try to take advantage of the fact that I’m actually paying for the ride, the camera was busy as we exited the island of Manhattan and crossed over the spectacular Queensboro Bridge. As you can see, last Monday was one of the hot hazy and humid days which have plagued the Megalopolis for the last week or so. At least here in Queens, nobody grasps my arm and pops holes in it to draw out my blood.

Tomorrow, some shots from the City bringing the show directly to my front door.

Note: I’m writing this and several of the posts you’re going to see for the next week at the beginning of the week of Monday, July 27th. My plan is to continue doing my solo photo walks around LIC and the Newtown Creek in the dead of night as long as that’s feasible. If you continue to see regular updates here, that means everything is kosher as far as health and well being. If the blog stops updating, it means that things have gone badly for a humble narrator.


“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

July 27, 2020 at 1:00 pm

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