The Newtown Pentacle

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Posts Tagged ‘Pier 17

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The changing face of NY Harbor, in today’s post.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As Johnny Cash used to say – “I been everywhere, man, I been everywhere.” The bizarre ideation which one such as myself call “life” carries me back and forth, forth and back, across this human infested megalopolis continually. Always an outsider, always an observer. Spectating the vast changes in the East River corridor which have been underway for the last decade or so has largely involved watching the coast of Long Island being weighted down with residential towers, a process that the folks in Manhattan have been largely indifferent about.

Now, the wave of urban rebuilding and wholesale loss of neighborhood character is starting to happen to them, and the city people are all in a panic.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The shot above is from February of 2013. It depicts the Pier 17 building of the South Street Seaport complex. Surely the worst shopping mall in the local vicinity, it nevertheless hosted several small businesses and employed many people. The decision, pre Sandy, was made to eliminate this structure and replace it with a shiny mirror box of a hotel. Post Sandy, it became a paramount of municipal importance to replace the building, because… Hurricane Sandy and Terrorism… or whatever they use to scare us into doing things we don’t want to do these days.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As this 2014 shot depicts, the demolition process of Pier 17 is quite far along at this point. The Howard Hughes corporation owns the spot, it’s private property and they can do whatever they want with it. Also, Lower Manhattan is somewhat under utilized. The hotel which will be built here will provide jobs to first construction workers and then to hotel employees. It will buoy up the local economy and act as an anchor for other businesses.

This is exactly the sort of sophistry that the powers which be have been selling us in Brooklyn and Queens over the last 20 years, while the residents of the Shining City sat on their hands watching the condos rise to the east. It’s happening to them now, and they are pissed off.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The question is not whether or not the Pier 17 structure deserved preservation or not (it didn’t). There is no room for debate regarding “growth” or “development” in the City of Greater New York (it is inevitable and unending). The question is one of empathy, and whether or not we should feel sorry for an entitled group who have finally felt a well used hammer smashing their particular nail?

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There’s a Newtown Creek walking tour, and a Magic Lantern show, coming up.

Wednesday, June 11th, Newtown Creek Magic Lantern Show with Brooklyn Brainery.
Click here for tickets and more info.

Sunday, June 15th, DUPBO – Down Under the Pulaski Bridge Onramp
A FREE tour, courtesy of Green Shores NYC, click here for rsvp info

Written by Mitch Waxman

June 11, 2014 at 12:04 pm

max impact

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

Moving through the squamous and tourist choked streets of accursed Lower Manhattan, and heading for a rendezvous with a boat trip at South Street Seaport, a rhythmical thumping began to filter through my headphones.

The closer I got to Pier 16, the louder it became, and that’s when I encountered Max Impact.

from usafband.af.mil

Max Impact is the premier rock band of the United States Air Force. Commissioned in 2005, the band’s seven members perform exciting original music, rock, country, patriotic favorites as well as classic and current pop hits. In addition to entertaining military and civilian audiences in the United States, Max Impact has thrilled troops with their hard-rocking energy and amazing musical versatility at forward deployed locations including Iraq and Afghanistan.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A military band, Max Impact was playing a medley of rock anthems to an interested crowd of European and Chinese tourists which didn’t quite know what to make of a group of American military personnel performing Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing”.

Your humble narrator too, found this a bit odd, but no less so than any of the other bizarre allocations that my tax dollars go to.

also from usafband.af.mil

Technical Sgt. Matthew R. Geist is a guitarist with Max Impact, The United States Air Force Band, Washington, D.C. In addition to his performing duties, he serves as music director for his flight. Originally from Chicago, his career in the Air Force began in 1995 when he served in the Band of the West, Lackland AFB, Texas. From 2004-06 he served with the Band of Liberty, Hanscom AFB, Mass.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

They were actually pretty good- technically precise- in the manner of studio musicians. They didn’t miss a beat, and were perfectly in tune with each other. Of course, this is what soldiers do. Max Impact is officially part of the United States Air Force Military Band.

It seems there are several “units” within the band, specialized into music genre or style operations- classical, jazz, country etc.

also from usafband.af.mil

Master Sgt. Shani Prewitt is a vocalist with the Max Impact, The United States Air Force Band, Washington, D.C. In addition to her performance duties, Sergeant Prewitt is the assistant noncommissioned officer in charge of the Singing Sergeants. Originally from Staunton, Va., her career in the Air Force began in 1990.

Before joining the Air Force, Sergeant Prewitt was a vocalist at Kings Dominion, Busch Gardens, Opryland and Disneyland.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A little online research afterward revealed that this unit performs for troops deployed oversea and here at home, and seems to be particularly popular with front line soldiers. In the case of the Air Force, front line means their Special Operations tactical units (analogous to other Special Forces like the Green Berets or Seals in the Army or Navy).

from usafband.af.mil

Master Sgt. Ryan L. Carson is a vocalist with Max Impact, The United States Air Force Band, Washington, D.C. In addition to his performance duties, Sergeant Carson is the Air Force District of Washington/11th Wing protocol liaison for the Band’s Outreach office. He is originally from Rapid City, S.D.

A 1999 graduate of the University of Wyoming, Sergeant Carson earned a Bachelor of Music degree, specializing in voice performance. While there, he garnered a first place award at the Colorado/Wyoming National Association of Teachers of Singing Competition, and was also named Outstanding Male Vocal Jazz Soloist at the University of Northern Colorado Jazz Festival. Sergeant Carson was also a Distinguished Graduate and Commandant Award Finalist at the Non-Commissioned Officers Academy in 2003.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

They went from playing pop music over to their own compositions, which were a bit edgier.

You already paid for them, so might as well download a sampling of Max Impact’s recordings, which can be accessed at this page

additionally, here’s a Max Impact video produced for the Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC.)

Written by Mitch Waxman

September 6, 2012 at 12:15 am

Another Lucky shot

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

Social gatherings and year end meetings consume the evening hours of twilit December, and recently, I had occasion to be at the Pier 17 complex at South Street Seaport. Upon arriving at my destination in the cavernous building, this scene greeted me.

Luckily, I had my trusty “old” camera- the Canon G10 with its magnetic tripod gadget attached which allows me to make “on the fly” long exposures. Even so, this was a lucky shot.

A 15 second exposure, looking north along the East River at the Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Williamsburg Bridges, on December 7th, 2010 at 7:50 PM.

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