The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Posts Tagged ‘penny bridge

sprang suddenly

leave a comment »

Tiamat be praised, it’s Thursday.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A visit to the Penny Bridge site in Greenpoint, said site pictured above, qualified as my turn around point for a fairly long walk last weekend. “Turning points” are critical for me when out on one of my photo walks, since if you choose the wrong one you’re walking through a boring residential neighborhood. Nothing wrong with residential, of course, but I don’t like taking pictures of people’s houses. I do like taking pictures of “the People’s house” as in our commonly held properties like Government facilities or various privately held but often publicly traded industrial locations. I like a good waste transfer station or the odd oil terminal, I tell ya.

Luckily for me, the new Kosciuszcko Bridge hosts a pedestrian and bicycle lane, so instead of having to walk all the way to Grand Street to cross back into Queens I can reattach at Laurel Hill Blvd. and get home via Sunnyside’s 43rd street rather than having to loop through Maspeth and Woodside.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The view from up on the Kosciuszcko Bridge is commanding, and worthy of your attention if you haven’t been up there yet. You can pick up the pedestrian/bike lane on Laurel Hill Blvd. in Queens, or Meeker Avenue in Brooklyn. A couple of new playground/parks will soon be opening under the bridge in both boroughs.

I’ve mentioned this a few times during the recent tribulations – the communities surrounding Newtown Creek have found their way to the waterway during the pandemic, and I’ve seen far more people than normal just walking around or riding their bikes in recent months. Does a humble narrator good seeing this, but… joggers in Industrial Maspeth? Yikes.

Be careful, I tell them all, Newtown Creek is an easy place to get dead.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

High above it though, lots and lots of people are enjoying pleasant strolls across and over the Newtown Creek. Seriously, if you haven’t walked over the new bridge at sunset/dusk, you’re missing one of the best free shows in NYC. If you get lucky, there’s a chance that tugboats and or rail traffic might be moving around. I like me a good scenic overlook, I does.

May all your Thursdays be happy days, back tomorrow.

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, June 15th. 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 as we move into April and beyond, 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

June 18, 2020 at 1:00 pm

undone once

with 2 comments

Whoop-dee-doo, it’s Wednesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It took a bit of hustle, but one got to Penny Bridge just in time for dusk. Found at the northern terminus of Meeker Avenue in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint section, the Penny Bridge site is – as the name would imply – the former locale wherein one would, prior to 1939, encounter a movable bridge crossing Newtown Creek whose toll was famously a penny. The Penny Bridge’s purpose was negated by construction of the original Kosciuszcko Bridge, which was originally called the Meeker Avenue or New Penny Bridge. The Penny Bridge site has received a terrific amount of attention from my colleagues at Newtown Creek Alliance over the last few years. There are plantings, regular cleanups of illegal dumping, and there’s even a picnic table there. Check it out sometime, if you find yourself in the neighborhood. The deeded owner of the spot is actually the New York City Department of Transportation – the DOT – so it’s actually your property since they are merely our collective employees.

Get to Penny Bridge at the right time, and the shot above is one of the views you’ll receive.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Looking eastwards from Penny Bridge, you’ll see the new Kosciuszcko Bridge, with its unearthly chromatic radiation. The Brooklyn shore is on the right hand side of the shot, with Queens filling most of the frame. The Kosciuszcko Bridge marks the delineation between the Blissville section of Long Island City and the West Maspeth/Berlin section of Maspeth. The bridge carries the Brooklyn Queens Expressway over the Newtown Creek, and is found 2.1 miles from the East River.

The lighting package installed on the Kosciuszcko Bridge is currently rotating through a chromatic scale – yellow, green, blue, purple, red. One has been trying to discern if there’s a hidden message embedded in the frequencies of light and the order and speed of their repetitions. Often when staring at the weird colorations, a sudden irresistible desire to purchase NYS Savings Bonds rises in me.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Careful attention is paid to the shadowed shorelines. Sooner or later, I will get a photo of something, something impossible. Again – rumor and innuendo, nothing solid enough to pass on. Yet.

Who can guess, all there is, that might be buried down there?

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, June 15th. 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 as we move into April and beyond, 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

June 17, 2020 at 11:00 am

last message

leave a comment »

Night shots from the Penny Bridge.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s the brand new Kosciuszcko Bridge in the shot above, which has recently replaced a 1939 model that was originally christened as the “New Penny Bridge.” The shot was gathered at the surviving masonry of the 1894 model Penny Bridge, aka the Meeker Avenue Street End. I’m increasingly concerned, incidentally, at how bright the decorative lighting of the new bridge is. Light pollution is a “thing,” after all.

On cloudy nights, you can spot the column of light rising from it miles away, back in Astoria.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The LED lighting the NYS DOT installed for the new bridge is weird and unnatural, which spews out artificial looking wavelengths of unbelievably saturated purples and blues bouncing all over the place. The good news about this odd ambience is that I’m able to focus in on that unmarked sewer which drains Calvary Cemetery over on the Queens side, but I wonder what the long term effects will be on critters living in the water column and on migratory birds.

When the second bridge opens and doubles the illumination, it’s going to look like a comic book around here at night.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A longer shot, both in terms of exposure and camera sensitivity, again looking towards the Queens side of the former Penny Bridge. The mirror like quality of the water isn’t due solely to the long exposure, it was positively still out. Unseasonably warm, there was virtually zero wind or breeze.

You could actually discern changes in air pressure just by paying attention to the behavior of your ear drums.


“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

February 15, 2018 at 11:00 am

heavy rumble

with 9 comments

It’s National Creme Brulee Day, in these United States.

x
– photo by Mitch Waxman

We’re breaking with normal Newtown Pentacle tradition today, and there will be multiple posts coming your way all day, devoted to the seismic events on Newtown Creek which saw the central truss of the Kosciuszko Bridge lowered and carted away over the last couple of days. First up is a timelapse video of the process, which compresses around eight hours of activity into twenty seven seconds.

Documenting this project has been a long standing project of mine – this 2012 post tells you everything you could want to know about Robert Moses, Fiorella LaGuardia, and the origins of the 1939 model Kosciuszko Bridge. Just before construction started, I swept through both the Brooklyn and Queens sides of Newtown Creek in the area I call “DUKBO” – Down Under the Kosciuszko Bridge Onramp. Here’s a 2014 post, and another, showing what things used to look like on the Brooklyn side, and one dating back to 2010, and from 2012 discussing the Queens side – this. Construction started, and this 2014 post offers a look at things. There’s shots from the water of Newtown Creek, in this June 2015 post, and in this September 2015 post, which shows the bridge support towers rising. Additionally, this post from March of 2016 detailed the action on the Queens side. Most recently, here’s one from May of 2016, and one from June of the same year. Here’s one from August of 2016the December 2016 one, one from March of 2017 which discusses the demolition of the 1939 bridge.

Most recently – a post showing what I saw during a pre opening walk through in early April of 2017, and the fanfare surrounding the opening of half of the new bridge in April of 2017, and a walk through of the Brooklyn side job site in June of 2017. Lastly, here’s some night shots from early July of 2017.


Upcoming Tours and events

The Insalubrious Valley of the Newtown Creek Walking Tour, with Newtown Creek Alliance – Saturday August 5th, 11 a.m. – 1;30 p.m.

Century old movable bridges, the remains of a 19th century highway between Brooklyn and Queens, and explore two of the lesser known tributaries of the troubled Newtown Creek watershed. For the vulgarly curious, Conrad Wissell’s Dead Animal and Night Soil wharf will be seen and described, with NCA Historian Mitch Waxman details here.

Brooklyn Waterfront Boat Tour, with Working Harbor Committee – Saturday August 12th, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Explore the coastline of Brooklyn from Newtown Creek to Sunset Park, with NCA Historian Mitch Waxman, Andrew Gustafson of Turnstile Tours, and Gordon Cooper of Working Harbor Committee on the narrating about Brooklyn’s industrial past and rapidly changing present. details here.

The Poison Cauldron of the Newtown Creek Walking Tour, with Newtown Creek Alliance – Sunday August 13th, 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Explore the hellish waste transfer and petroleum districts of North Brooklyn on this daring walk towards the doomed Kosciuszko Bridge, with NCA Historian Mitch Waxman details here.

Two Newtown Creek Boat Tours, with Newtown Creek Alliance and Open House NY – Wednesday August 16th, 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.

The neighborhoods surrounding Newtown Creek are home to the densest collection of these garbage facilities anywhere in the city and collectively, the waste transfer stations around and along Newtown Creek handle almost 40% of the waste that moves through New York. Join Newtown Creek Alliance’s Mitch Waxman and Willis Elkins  to learn about the ongoing efforts to address the environmental burden that this “clustering” has caused. details here.


“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

%d bloggers like this: