The Newtown Pentacle

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Posts Tagged ‘ny harbor

vanished morning

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Friday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

What with the looming move to Pittsburgh coming up in just one week, and with Thanksgiving and everything else going on at the moment, a humble narrator is forced into taking a bit of a break this week. Single images will be greeting you, thereby.

Hopefully – next week, “normal” posts will return, but there’s a possibility that during the first week of December you very well might still be seeing single images here. As mentioned – a lot of balls are in the air and are being actively juggled at the moment. At any rate, I’ll definitely be posting about NYC and Newtown Creek through the end of the year, and possibly a couple of weeks into the new one. I’ve really been all over hill and dale, and the blasted heaths and concrete devastations, in the last month. Everybody is asking, so – yes, I plan on continuing to post here at Newtown Pentacle and no – I’m not changing the name. Things will transition over to Pittsburgh, and I’m hoping that y’all will stick with me as I learn about and experience my new home. It’s an extremely interesting place.

Pictured above is a Tugboat on the Hudson River – competing in the 2019 Great North River Tugboat Race and Competition. As it turns out, this was my last rodeo at the Tug Race. Covid, the death of Working Harbor Committee’s prime movers… dissolution and depression… The Working Harbor Committee is marshaling itself for next year to attempt to pull off this event again for 2023, but I won’t be a part of it.


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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

November 25, 2022 at 11:00 am

sovereign assembly

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Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

What with the looming move to Pittsburgh coming up in just one week, and with Thanksgiving and everything else going on at the moment, a humble narrator is forced into taking a bit of a break this week. Single images will be greeting you, thereby.

Hopefully – next week, “normal” posts will return, but there’s a possibility that during the first week of December you very well might still be seeing single images here. As mentioned – a lot of balls are in the air and are being actively juggled at the moment. At any rate, I’ll definitely be posting about NYC and Newtown Creek through the end of the year, and possibly a couple of weeks into the new one. I’ve really been all over hill and dale, and the blasted heaths and concrete devastations, in the last month. Everybody is asking, so – yes, I plan on continuing to post here at Newtown Pentacle and no – I’m not changing the name. Things will transition over to Pittsburgh, and I’m hoping that y’all will stick with me as I learn about and experience my new home. It’s an extremely interesting place.

Pictured above is the FDNY Fireboat Three Forty Three – and this is my second most pirated image. A few years ago, some guy in Ohio started selling prints of it, and he claimed that he had shot it. Pfah! I got this one back in 2011 at a Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance gala event which included a “parade of boats,” at Chelsea Piers on the Hudson River.


“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

November 22, 2022 at 11:00 am

thumping rattle

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Thursday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

October 20th and a humble narrator had just received the most critical bit of equipment needed to enable his “escape from New York.” A car.

All of these years in Queens, I’ve been a dedicated pedestrian and married to mass transit. I’ve always opined that having a car in Astoria is more of a curse than a boon. It was actually cheaper for me to use ride shares or cabs when I needed a ride than it was to own one.

I’m moving to America, and quite literally to “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood,” where you cannot exist on the continent without a vehicle so I had to drop the hammer. Placed the order in July, and got a fresh from the factory new car in late October.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Since becoming hyper mobile and independent of the geographic restrictions which are governed by how far my feet can scuttle, as well as the physical constraints of how long I can carry my photo kit, one has been ranging all over the city. Saying that, what is being missed out on now are the little things that you can’t see when driving along as you’re moving too fast.

After getting my driver’s license reinstated earlier this year, I rented a few different vehicles from Avis and Hertz, looking for a good fit for Our Lady of the Pentacle and myself. The Toyota RAV4 Hybrids rose to the top of my list, and we ordered one from one of the new car dealerships on Northern Boulevard. My accountant opined that even if I bought the thing in Alaska, NYS would still bill me for sales tax since my legal address would still here at the time of purchase, so I bit the bullet. Hopefully, this will be my last really large contribution to the black hole that Albany throws our earnings into to finance its dysfunction.

One of the bits of advice I offer is “if you’re thinking about buying a car, rent the model for a week first, and see if you like it.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

October 21st saw me taking advantage of this new mobility to get a few shots from an area that has always been a little too far off the grid for me to walk around, the coast lines of College Point and Whitestone.

That’s the Bronx Whitestone Bridge pictured above and below.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Funnily enough, I’ve got more shots of this bridge from the Bronx side than I do the Queens one, due to there being a ferry stop on the Soundview NYC Ferry line in the former location.

I tooled around the area, exploiting several points of view which I had previously scouted out on Google maps. The Google Maps app is a great tool as far as finding potential points of view in areas which are either tangentially known or are complete mysteries. I never would have thought to visit the “Whitestone Bridge Observatory” otherwise, or even suspected such a roundabout street end existed.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Whitestone seems to be a super wealthy community, with expansive homes that border on “mansion” nestled right up against the water. It looks more like a suburb than it does NYC. You don’t see piles of cast off garbage or debased humans lying in the street, for instance.

I had several photo set ups planned for the day, and since I was in a car, didn’t mind carrying all of the heavy kit which would normally create a limit on how far and wide I could range.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There aren’t too many Sandy beaches on the East River. I think it’s about 6 or 7, that I know about at least. That’s one of them, above, at Francis Lewis Park. Nice spot.

One kept on heading eastwards, right up and sometimes over the City/Nassau County line.

More on that tomorrow at your – now – hard driving 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

November 17, 2022 at 11:00 am

forward slumping

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Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The thing which a humble narrator is currently obsessing about, while you’re reading this, involves finding a job in the Pittsburgh area. There’s entire sections of my work life that are simple to describe – there’s a “Madison Avenue” advertising resume I can present, and I used to write and draw comic books as well as package other people’s stuff for publication so there’s that too. My photographer resume ain’t terribly shabby, nor is my tour guide one, and I can write stuff too. The question I’m struggling with is how to combine all of what I can do under a single job title, and does that position even exist in Pittsburgh? How on earth do I describe Newtown Creek Alliance and the constellation of federal and state agencies I help deal with all the time?

According to Jerry Seinfeld, most Americans would rather die than speak in public. Me? Easiest thing in the world, if you have something worth saying.

Existential crises are best experienced in September, I believe. Sweatshirt weather.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I like pondering things while I’m shooting photos, always have.

That’s the tug Joker that I pointed out in last Friday’s post, in an aerial shot captured at the One World Trade Center Observation Deck. Joker was docked at the concrete company which operates along the Williamsburg waterfront at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The barge full of sand makes a lot of sense, thereby.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There was also an agglutination of maritime cranes and all sorts of heavy equipment on display at the Navy Yard as the NYC Ferry’s Astoria line boat which I was riding on made one of its appointed stops at the venerable campus. It was a pretty nice day, if memory serves – August 19th. Fairly hot, but not horrific.

I’ve announced to anybody who will listen that I have no intention whatsoever of getting close to anything remotely non-profit or governmental in Pittsburgh, but that probably means that… crap.

Really, I just want a normal gig where I do mildly interesting photoshop stuff for some company all day, and then go home. Collect a salary 9-5, live for the weekends. An American sort of life.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

What we have here in NYC is not an American form of life. NYC is an archipelago nation state that’s found off the coast of America, not an American City. Life here is quick and often fun, but it’s also mean and short. In America, there’s no “finding an open bodega” at 3 a.m. Transit, as we know it in NYC, does not exist beyond a daytime schedule and is extremely limited in scope. Adapting my frenetic “get it done” energy to the local frequencies on the other side of my move is going to one a real challenge.

Luckily, I feel like I’m a thousand years old and a medium strong wind will shatter me into sand particles. I could end up like Manhattan’s East River Park, pictured above. Annihilated.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Just the other night, somebody said to me that “of course, you’re going to be coming back regularly to do Newtown Creek tours.” That part of my life is over, I’m afraid. I’m planning on doing one last burst of them in October and November, but no.

I have to remember to include being a NYC Parade Marshal for the centennials of Queensboro, Manhattan, Hunters Point Avenue, and Madison Avenue bridges on my resume. Oh yeah, the Community Board thing too, as well as the non profit stuff too.

Dear Nelly, who am I? What am I? Why am I?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As I mentioned, existential wonderings are on the menu right now.

The NYC Ferry dropped me off in Astoria, nearby Hallets Cove. My foot was hurting, so I limped over to a nearby bus stop and rode the thing back to HQ. Planes, trains, automobiles – that’s me.


“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 20, 2022 at 11:00 am

neurotic virtuosi

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Monday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

May 9th, after spending a day riding on the NYC Ferry back and forth across the harbor, one set up his tripod in Lower Manhattan at sunset in the vicinity of the Brooklyn Bridge. On both sides of the river, you’ll notice photographers agglutinating along the fences about an hour before the burning thermonuclear eye of God itself descends.

I had a funny encounter with some kid who doesn’t understand the way things work – etiquette wise – in photo circles.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Part of my “get there early and stay late” thing revolves around claiming a vantage spot which I’ve chosen. In the unspoken etiquette of the picture taking community, that means that if I got there before you – you have to find another spot. This kid, who was in his late teens or early twenties, says to me “excuse me, are you doing a time lapse” and then indicates that his goal is to shoot such a sequence of images. I say “no” and he asks me to move so that he can. Now… I am pretty amenable to helping a guy out, but since he was being a dick…

I say to him “just to get this straight, you’re telling me you want me to get out of your way because you couldn’t be bothered to be here earlier.” The kid says “yes.” I say to him “Tell you what, I’m going to be a nice guy and move two steps over, but you do realize how special an asshole you are, and that you should seek medical advice about this malignant narcissism you display, right?” Being a child of his generation, he said “yes,” not understanding what I was saying to him. He didn’t care, he got what he wanted.

I stepped two side steps to the right so that he could have his time lapse position, and just stared directly at him with my heat vision eyes until his soul curdled and he sulked away. He didn’t shoot a time lapse during this interval, instead he waved his little Sony A3 with a kit lens on it at the river like the camera was a little flag. Guarantee he was set to “auto” or “program” mode, as not once did he adjust his settings.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Take my word on this one… for the sorts of shots you commonly see here at Newtown Pentacle, the difference of a few yards right or left in terms of the “POV” is seldom an issue. It’s the Manhattan Bridge you’re looking at there, and said mega infrastructure offers one several POV locations. The notion that this kid had to be standing exactly in the spot I occupied was simply annoying, and its positional unimportance as compared to another spot two steps away is staggering.

There’s a few “narrow” POV spots which I wouldn’t abandon once I’d already set up the tripod… but here? At the edge of South Street Seaport? This isn’t even the best view of the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges, I just didn’t want to head any further uptown from Pier 11, and end up having to take the subway instead of the ferry home to Astoria.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Speaking of the NYC Ferry, I boarded the Astoria bound boat shortly after the sunset ebbed away into dusk. My lenses were swapped – day kit stored away and night kit deployed – and I kept on shooting.

The nice thing about shooting digital is that you can just keep on going, experimenting, shooting until either the battery is spent or you’ve run out of storage space on the camera’s memory cards. I’ve got two spare batteries in my bag, and an empty set of backup memory cards with me at all times. Last summer, I managed to shoot for four straight dawn to dusk days without having to install the backup cards, and seldom if ever needed to do a battery change in the field.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Logistical issues abound, however, when returning from a day long photo expedition like this. Night shots, captured from a moving boat and depicting highly detailed scenery like the Manhattan skyline and Brooklyn Bridge above, have a fairly high failure rate. By failure, I mean they’re not optimally sharp or the focus landed on the subject in an unanticipated fashion. Thereby, I’ll crack out nine or ten exposures of the same basic shot and choose one to keep. The rest get trashed.

Again, the benefit of shooting digital. I came home this particular night (after riding the ferry all day between Astoria, Manhattan, Rockaway, and back to Astoria) with something like a thousand shots on my memory cards. My habit is to do the first pass on a set of images the same day I shoot them, and before I went to bed the group had been reduced down to about 250. By the next evening, I had edited out all but 130. Something like 100 ended up getting uploaded to Flickr.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

If you click through to see the original of the photo above at Flickr, you’ll be able to see the structure of the steel of the Queensboro Bridge in the shot, which was captured at f2 at ISO 128,000 from a moving ferry boat at night. Because of the f2/High ISO you can’t quite see the rivets and this image is also heavily cropped in on. Still, you do what you can with where you are when you can.

“Are you shooting a time lapse”…


“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 27, 2022 at 11:00 am

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