The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Posts Tagged ‘newtown creek

curiously articulated

with one comment

Thursday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A quick one today. That’s the composition I had planned for the tribute in lights shot, but for whatever reason they didn’t have them on. C’est la vie, huh?

Still, I’m pretty happy with the shot above.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

From a bit earlier in the evening, and looking across the Whale Creek tributary of Newtown Creek towards the shield wall of Manhattan.

At least the Empire State Building people decided to light things up appropriately.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Looking down at the places I normally inhabit: sewer plants, waste transfer stations, the mean streets of Brooklyn.

Back tomorrow, lords and ladies, with something COMPLETELY different. I have actually been outside of NYC for the last few weeks! Vacation, all I ever wanted…


“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, 2021 at 11:00 am

amidst throngs

with 3 comments

Wednesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

After sheltering within, trying to avoid the punishing late afternoon radiates of the burning thermonuclear eye of god itself, a humble narrator reemerged onto the Kingsland Wildflowers Green Roof at 520 Kingsland Avenue in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint section. The aforementioned eye was finally in the process of tucking itself away behind New Jersey and the light got nice.

The camera was mounted on a tripod, a ten stop ND filter was screwed onto the lens, and I got a clicking.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

For those of you who aren’t camera nerds, an ND filter is a sunglass for your lens. It allows you the freedom to do longer than normal exposures during daylight hours. Choosing one of these things is normally a colossal guessing game, as what you see of it is a disc of seemingly opaque black glass. That disc will introduce a color cast, and it doesn’t matter how much you pay for the thing, there will always be a color cast. On my older camera, I had to guess at exposure, whereas the newer one allows me to actually see what the camera sees on a tilt out screen.

There were a couple of times where I marveled at it – shooting at f18 with a ten stop ND filter and being able to see what I was doing. Wow.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As mentioned in prior posts, my goal this particular day involved the desire to capture the 9/11 tribute in lights from up here, but I’ve never been particularly lucky so that didn’t work out. No regrets, however, as I filled my camera card up with lots of other shots.

Back 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

September 22, 2021 at 11:00 am

idiomatic voice

with 4 comments

Friday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

You don’t need to resort to filters or camera tricks to create a perfect mirror out of the waters of Newtown Creek, about three miles back from the East River. One of the core environmental problems back here is “flow.” Historically, there were dozens of small creeks and streams that flowed down out of the hills in Bushwick and Ridgewood and fed fresh water into the English Kills tributary of Newtown Creek, but colonization/industrialization/gentrification has turned them all into underground sewers. Natural springs were either capped or exploited. The water here rises and falls with the East River tide, but there’s virtually zero “laminar” or horizontal flow.

Anything that ends up in the water precipitates vertically down, building a sediment bed which is currently 15-20 feet thick that is referred to as “Black Mayonnaise.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

To combat this lack of current, and the low oxygen levels inherent in still or standing water, the State commanded the City to build an aeration system which seems to be fairly useless. Expensively useless would also be a phrase that applies. I keep on bringing up the creation of small waterfalls, the engineered kind where water flows and splashes down concrete steps. Hydrological engineering for the bulkheads to accommodate the water’s flow via the introduction of compression and expansion zones is something else I ponder.

The concept underlying the latter is that since water has an absolute limit on its top – atmospheric pressure – and another absolute limit at the hard bottom of the waterway, if you compress the water column horizontally the water will flow faster to its only egress. Same principle as holding a thumb over a garden hose’s outlet increases the pressure of the water. If the bulkheads included some sort of repeating scallop shape, it could theoretically create “flow” without having to power up pumps or impellers. That’s the theory, anyway.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

If improving Newtown Creek requires the use of a mechanism that needs to be fueled or powered, the improvement has already failed before it left the design phase. The physics of how water moves over, past, and through certain shapes embedded in its columnar body is what really matters to my eyes. Irrigation and petroleum pipeline professional engineers handle this sort of thing all the time, moving pressurized liquids around to where they’re needed. Pumping is largely accomplished with gravity and pipes that narrow and then widen.

Ehh. What do I know, I’m just some wandering mendicant with a camera.


“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 17, 2021 at 11:00 am

apologetic hesitancy

with 2 comments

Thursday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s the Grand Street Bridge pictured above, which I’d suggest you photograph soon if you were planning in doing so. The NYC DOT is going to be replacing it in the very near future, and this crossing of yet another Newtown Creek tributary – the East Branch – is going to look very different in just a few years time.

Oddly enough, at the start of the 20th and end of the 19th centuries, this was a very popular spot to commit suicide. There was a Catholic priest who did so here in his full ritual vestments, carrying his Mitre and everything. What?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Speaking of self destructive ideations, this sort of graffiti has been turning up all around the Creeklands in recent weeks. Allow me to decode this one for you – a “fat” lie plays into a certain political dog whistle which states that the only people who get sick or die from Covid are either overweight or already burdened with comorbidity factors like diabetes or heart disease. The “rugged individualism” types push this out there to let you know that they are too morally and physically strong for the virus to find a foothold in them. It’s like lord of the flies, I tell you.

Other lines from the same crowd include “I’ll get the shot when the illegals get it,” and “I’d gladly sacrifice my grandmother’s life for the sake of the economy.” As I’ve been opining for nearly two years now, don’t listen to Politicians about anything. Instead, observe what the most risk averse corporation in America does. Watch Disney.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Did you know that nobody has ever died on Disney property in either Florida’s Disneyworld or at any of their global parks, resorts, and cruise lines? A monorail operator employee of theirs was decapitated in an accident in Florida, and Disney’s EMT’s kept the guy’s heart beating until the stretcher wasn’t on their property anymore. He died in Orlando, not Disneyworld. Like I said, “risk averse.”

The chair pictured above was discovered on the approach to the Grand Street Bridge, and it was covered in barnacles (here’s a close up). The logical supposition is that somebody pulled this thing out of Newtown Creek. The good news is that there seem to be barnacles in the water.


“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, 2021 at 11:00 am

portentous meanings

leave a comment »

Wednesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One found himself at the Maspeth Avenue Plank Road site recently, attending and photographing a Newtown Creek Alliance cleanup event that occurred on a lovely Saturday afternoon. One of the property owners nearby this site has recently been compelled to do some remodeling of their shoreline. I’ve known about this for a bit, but given that I’m usually here either at sunset or after dark, haven’t explored the new situation.

It’s not a good idea to be poking around in the bushes after dark in Industrial Maspeth, and especially so if you’re on foot and alone. Given that NCA had a fairly large group here, scooping garbage and debris off of the shoreline, I figured “why not?”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The shoreline in this spot has been fairly impassable during my years at Newtown Creek, and largely ignored by the industrial operation which worked busily on the other side of a large concrete and steel fence. An artist I know had briefly set up a small structure back here which he used as a hangout and ad hoc painting studio. That structure had been taken over by some mendicant in the last year or two. Artist, structure, and mendicant are all gone now and there’s all sorts of geographically appropriate plantings here now.

This is where I got into the fight with a raccoon back in 2020, during which I had to poke at the thing with my tripod.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s the mouth of English Kills, the Newtown Creek tributary that flows all the way back to Johnson Avenue in Bushwick. It’s also where water quality along the Creek sharply drops off. If you think Newtown Creek is bad, as everybody including the Federal Government does, you should see English Kills. Yuck.

Back tomorrow with more from my beloved Creek.


“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 15, 2021 at 11:00 am

%d bloggers like this: