The Newtown Pentacle

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Posts Tagged ‘photowalk

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Monday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

March 22nd. That’s what we’re up to in today’s post! Finally getting a bit caught up, and I won’t be running the risk of showing you photos in June that have snow on the ground. As mentioned – one has been unusually prolific in 2022 – which is likely a reaction to all of the lockdown dealies and restrictions from the last couple of years, and thereby the posts here at Newtown Pentacle have been carrying double the normal number of photos.

So, on March 22nd, I was riding on the ferry again and decided to get off the thing nearby the Brooklyn Bridge.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It was going to be about an hour before the burning thermonuclear eye of God itself tucked itself away behind New Jersey, so I set up my tripod and claimed a spot. There were a few other shooters at the waterfront park where I did my “set up.”

Most of them seemed to be packing Sony camera systems, and from the look of what they were up to – shooting time lapse sequences.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Personally, I wasn’t there with anything specific – shot wise – in mind. Catch as catch can days are my favorites, as a humble narrator enjoys serendipity.

Over to the southwest, a bit of a hullabaloo seemed to be underway in Jersey…

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I later found out that a plastics recycling plant in Bayonne experienced a pretty serious fire, which is unfortunately a pretty common occurrence for recycling plants in Bayonne.

Remember when the Chlorine Bleach factory in Jersey City was burning during the winter? I called my buddy in Kearny that night, and gave him very specific instructions to follow should he notice a greenish mist wafting along the streets. Chlorine gas is heavier than the normal atmospheric gases, so if you find yourself in the path of some, get up to the second or third floors and wait it out. Whatever you do, do not turn on the water faucet. The gas and liquid will instantly combine and form a cloud of hydrochloric acid, which will dissolve you and yours.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Who else watches the YouTube channel for the National Chemical Safety Board? What? Just me? Sheiste.

The sky started getting interesting, but didn’t go all crimson and orange as I had hoped it would.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Regardless, the scenery was still pretty choice, especially when the lights started coming on for the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan behind it. I decided to hang around, and blow off some stupid Zoom meeting that I was supposed to attend.

Apparently, and this is a direct response to my realization that “Nothing Matters and Nobody Cares,” I no longer give any shits whatsoever.


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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

May 16, 2022 at 11:30 am

opiate peace

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Friday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

So, the NYC Ferry has started a new service, one that starts on… Staten Island… and then proceeds up the Hudson River to midtown. Now… why on earth would you introduce a paid service that’s meant to compete with the free one?

Answer is that the free one goes to lower Manhattan, leaving you nearby the Battery and Wall Street, whereas the new paid service takes you to the high west 30’s along the west side of the City.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The new boat route really allows the ferry captains to open up the throttle, I would mention, and the boat is bouncing along on the waves. It leaves from St. George, makes a stop nearby Battery Park City at Vesey Street, then heads all the way up to west 39th street.

Talking to people from Staten Island riding the thing revealed that they didn’t mind paying for it, given that using the Staten Island Ferry to get to Manhattan would see them paying a subway fare. This way, they get to be on the water the whole way.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The burning thermonuclear eye of god itself was dipping down behind New Jersey as I was riding the ferry, and there’s a Coast Guard rule that demands that anyone with a camera has to take a picture of the Statue of Liberty under such circumstance, so…

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I had a meeting which I was meant to call in to just as the moon began to manifest. Something Newtown Creek related, which is probably quite a surprise, huh?

I am very, very tired of going to meetings.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’ve always found the Hudson River pretty boring, truth be told. You’ve got three or four nice shots along the way, but two of them have been absolutely ruined by catastrophic architectural decisions.

I don’t actually mind those two cantilevered buildings, as a note.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As soon as I hit land, I called into my meeting, which I attended via my headphones while still shooting.

Back next week with more wonders, 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

May 13, 2022 at 11:00 am

ugly trifles

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Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Nothing matters. Nobody cares.

One has been keeping an eye on the collapsing bulkheads of Newtown Creek’s Dutch Kill tributary along 29th street in LIC for a while now. We’ve activated the politicians and officialdom. Right now, they’re arguing over which agency is at fault, and the land continues to crumble into the water and undermine the roadway.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’ve been wondering, what if I was to buy a few cans of green paint and fake a bike lane here? That would get some action out of the powers that be, I imagine. Bike lane, after all…

Is there some way to spin a collapsing street as racist, or phobic about sexual orientations?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There was something alive in that hole, incidentally. It was hissing and growling at me while I was shooting these. No, really.

Probably a mama raccoon or something, or at least I hope that’s what it was.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It’s all so god damned depressing. This City has a budget larger than the GDP of most nation states, and NY State’s annual budget is competitive with those of countries with significant military footprints. With all that cash flying around, they can’t even swing putting out a few bollards and some caution tape of the road side of this.

Nothing. Matters. Nobody. Cares.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Bah. One continued one with his long walk along a short creek. I headed over to Hunters Point Avenue and its eponymous bridge.

I was operating the camera entirely handheld, incidentally, as I didn’t want to slow myself down while “futzing” about with gear.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

At least my beloved little tree of paradise still stands, and continues to stretch towards the sky from under a factory wall.

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

May 10, 2022 at 11:00 am

crystal lakelet

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Friday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Scuttling along the Schuylkill River trail in Philadelphia, my extensive shot list included the two bridges pictured above. The smaller one, which passes under the larger specimen, is called the West River Drive Bridge, and the larger one above is the Spring Garden Bridge.

I found this section, which adjoins the Philadelphia Museum of Art, quite visually intriguing. It might have been the hunger and thirst, however. I had left HQ in Astoria before dark, boarded an Amtrak and travelled to Philadelphia where I encountered a quite warm morning, and started getting busy by about 8 a.m. The last drops of my Gatorade bottle were swallowed by 10.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Regardless, a fellow suffers for his art. This heavily oxidized span over the Schuylkill River is – as mentioned above – the West River Drive Bridge and it’s one year older than I am, having been built in 1966. West River Drive has subsequently been renamed as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive but the bridge is still identified by its original name.

The West River Drive Bridge is 701.1 feet long, and 36.1 feet wide, constructed of steel girder and concrete, and it’s supported by two piers. It carries local traffic.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Above it is the Spring Garden Street Bridge, which carries highway bound traffic over first railroad tracks, then the Schuylkill River, and then Schuylkill Expressway. This is the 4th bridge to stand at this spot, with the first one being an all wooden 1812 giant called “The Colossus” which burned away in 1838.

I found the interplay between the two structures – as mentioned above – very interesting visually.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One of the things which caught my eye was the presence of big chunks of lumber and driftwood that had managed to jam themselves into the arrangement. This was still a part of the Philadelphia section of Schuylkill River Trail, incidentally. The River itself flows all the way down from Pottsville in the north, eventually joining into the Delaware River to the south. The trail, apparently, will one day stretch from the Delaware River in Philadelphia to Pottsville.

I was continually reminded of the central role that Philadelphia played in the formation of this country, from a civil engineering point of view, on this walk. Of course, when the Erie Canal opened in 1817, the East Coast crown of mercantile and financial dominance was seized by NYC and the slow decline in “importance” of both Boston and Philadelphia began. This is something that didn’t really become apparent until the decades after the Civil War, of course. If you were taking bets in 1800 on which one of the three would end up becoming the dominar “best in class” on the East Coast, NYC would have been a long shot.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

They really must get some crazy floods moving through here during storms and springtime thaws to deposit huge logs like those onto the bridges. Wow.

My ambitious shot list began to look more and more impossible by this particular moment, and all I could think about was finding a place to sit down for an hour and eat a meal while drinking gallons of water.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Saying that, the shot list had one more Schuylkill River destination on it – the Fairmount Water Works – that I needed to handle. They’ve got a 19th century dam/fish ladder here, and there was no damn way I’d miss that, lords and ladies.

More next week, from Philadelphia, 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

April 29, 2022 at 11:00 am

longer known

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Thursday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One enjoyed a momentary sit down for a couple of minutes after the CSX train passed me by, along the Schuylkill River Trail in Philadelphia. I guess that I’m an Internet troll, as this photo was captured from under a bridge…

The point of view is looking (presumptively) south at the path we’ve explored over the last few posts, with the JFK Blvd. bridge, the Market Street Bridge, and a bit of the Walnut Street Bridge peeking through.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The stout masonry bridge which I was taking five under is a railroad bridge, which I understand to be called the SEPTA Schuylkill River Bridge. It carries four sets of tracks into 30th street Station. SEPTA is Philly’s MTA – the South Eastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority. The bridge, I’m told, is 385 feet long and 125 feet wide.

Apparently, this span is part of something called the “Center City Commuter Connection.” The history of this bridge is somewhat obscured by several urban renewal projects, but I’ve found a source or two that dates the structure to July of 1903.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Heading north (presumptively) and the sky began to noticeably darken while the wind was picking up speed. Whereas there had been occasional gusts all morning, the wind had now grown steady and in some moments – quite blustery. The forecast had indicated rain for later in the day, but things began to look dire a bit earlier than the prediction indicated.

This section of the Schuylkill River is a bit wider than the one which I had been walking along all morning. It had to be “lunchtime” by now, and a humble narrator had long ago consumed any liquids purchased at 7:30 a.m. when I had arrived in Philadelphia.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s the Vine Street Expressway Bridge, pictured above. Built in 1959, and rehabilitated in 1989, Vine Street carries Interstate 676/US 30. It’s fairly huge, with a total length of 887.2 feet and a width of 83 feet. There are three steel spans which are supported by 2 piers.

Highway traffic is fed onto the Schuylkill Expressway (I-76), and onto local streets at JFK Boulevard at 30th street. It carries about 60,000 vehicle trips annually.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As far as that ambitious shot list I had scribbled down, I was about an hour behind my extremely optimistic schedule at this point. I was also extremely thirsty and getting quite peckish for a bit of luncheon. Luckily, I always have a pack of gum with me. The gum helped the “spit start flowing” and the peppermint flavoring of the stuff ameliorated the desire for sustenance.

Saying that, I had accomplished most of the Schuylkill section of my list, but I wasn’t done yet. I happened upon another opportune spot to have a quick sit down as I continued heading north.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

While sitting down, I soon realized that this seemed to be one of those urban areas where sensitive young men meet to discuss art and jazz with each other, in a somewhat private setting, not unlike the rambles section of Central Park. Being an insensitive old man, I got back to walking along the waterfront. To each his own I always opine. Mazel tov.

North, ever north (I think) scuttled a humble narrator through the city of Brotherly Love, and I now understood why they call it that.


“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 28, 2022 at 11:00 am

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