The Newtown Pentacle

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Posts Tagged ‘Triborough Bridge

untellable secret

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Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The next excursion on my September list of places to go involved a wedding in Watertown, New York. Watertown is in the same neighborhood as West Point, and my pal Hank the Elevator Guy was also invited to the affair, so we arranged to meet up with him and he drove Our Lady of the Pentacle and myself there. The trip was pretty straightforward, and once we cleared the 7 or so miles it would take us to get the hell out of NYC, was fast moving.

Triborough to Cross Bronx to George Washington Bridge to Palisades Parkway – I think that’s the basic route. Hank was angrily jumping around in his seat while driving through the choke points leading out of the City. Our Lady was playing with her phone, and I was shooting from the open windows.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

“Upstate” and heading towards the AirBNB lake house we had rented for the weekend. The fellow getting married is one of my oldest and dearest friends. Jim and I misspent a lot of our youth together at biker bars. We used to be fixtures at Coyote Ugly, Hogs and Heifers, Village Idiot and too many irish bars along Third Avenue to mention. For at least half of the stories I tell about those years, Jim is one of the main players. My buddy.

As a note, I believe that’s the Bear Mountain Bridge, crossing the Hudson River.

Jim left NYC a few years ago, after a stint working as a Union Iron worker, after he met his future bride. He’s been living in Watertown for a while now, and is a volunteer fireman in his off hours. Good guy, Jim is.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

When we arrived at the lake house, it was discovered that the lake it adjoined was a bit more of a marsh or swamp than it was advertised as being. This is Beaver Dam Lake, which is in the next town over from Watertown – New Windsor. It’s an artificial waterbody, which was created by a dam to act as a water reservoir, in the 1870’s, for an outfit called the “Arlington Paper Mill.” A few years ago, it seems, it was determined that the dam needed to be rehabilitated to insure against catastrophic failure and consequent flooding so the lake was drained and it became a meadow.

Work on the dam was finalized, and the lake/meadow was allowed to flood again. As the water level goes up, the shoreline vegetation will alter, but for right now there’s this weird swamp along the waterfront.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Given that it’s impossible for me not to photograph everything I see or experience, an alarm was set for early in the morning so I could feed the mosquitos while setting up the tripod and camera.

Another couple from my friend group arrived at the lake/swamp house, and after us getting all “faputzed” we attended the wedding – which ended up being quite the bacchanal. Wouldn’t expect anything different for my buddy Jim’s big day, actually. What surprised me was that nobody rode a Harley in and onto the dance floor.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Seeing the way that the evening was proceeding, I made an early decision not to drink too much. The role of custodian for drunken friends is one that I often found myself in back in the old days, given my particularly high tolerance for intoxicants of all kinds. I’m one of the two people who “talked to the Cops” back during college, thereby, promising the gendarme that I’d get the subject of their ennui home safe and keep them from doing anything untoward on the way. Really – getting me drunk – drunk requires voluminous amounts of booze. I can out drink a Russian if I have to. It’s a life skill. When I get drunk, it’s usually an accident.

A recent example of this sort of accident involved me losing count of how many Gin and Tonics I had quaffed at an Astoria bar, and starting to nod out. It turned out, according to my bartender’s recollection the next day, that I had drank more than a half gallon of Gin and Tonics over a three hour period. Woof, accident. Thing is, with the crowd that I used to run with back in the old days, that sort of volume is considered to be “just getting started” on your weekend.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

We left New Windsor the morning after the wedding, and Hank the Elevator Guy returned Our Lady and myself to Astoria. Relaxation was not on my to do list for this Sunday afternoon, however, as I had to prepare and pack for a week long trip on Amtrak which I would be embarking on early Tuesday morning. I would have to get ready for a long photo oriented solo trip, one which would start at 3:30 in the morning on Monday night/Tuesday morning. Batteries to charge, lenses to clean, how many pairs of socks would I need to take with me?

The adventures continue tomorrow – at this – your Newtown Pentacle.


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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

October 12, 2021 at 11:00 am

destroyed individuality

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Friday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A humble narrator is continuing his short break from normal posts this week, and single shots from the archives will be presented.

Pictured above is the Triborough Bridge, shot early in 2021.


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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

July 9, 2021 at 11:00 am

Posted in Triborough Bridge

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glancing backward

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Thursday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One does wish that the pandemic related train cleaning regimen MTA has been observing included the polishing of the window glass on their rolling stock, but there you are. That’s part of the Sunnyside Yards pictured up there, shot through a 7 train window while heading west. A Long Island Rail Road train is at the bottom of the shot, and the owners of the trains parked in the colossal coach yard behind it include New Jersey Transit and Amtrak.

Someday I will get invited to walk around down there. Someday.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Visible from another subway line is this view of the Triborough Bridge. Specifically, it’s the Astoria Blvd. stop on the N/W service. That’s the onramp of the great bridge, and the transitional point where traffic leaves the Grand Central Parkway. Local traffic west of 31st street travels on Hoyt Avenues North and South. East of 31st street, it’s officially the “I-278 Truck Bypass” but we common mortals refer to the travel lanes as Astoria Blvd. N & S.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

At the extreme western end of Sunnyside Yards is the section called “Yard A” or the “Arch Street Yard.” MTA has a train maintenance facility here, and for the last few weeks they’ve been playing around with a new series of LIRR trains which they just got delivered. I’ve noticed them doing “shake down” trips at night with these new units, which I’m told is probably in pursuit of testing their signaling systems. In the foreground is an Amtrak train emerging from the tunnel which allowed it to escape Manhattan.


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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

May 27, 2021 at 11:00 am

more hexagonal

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Thursday is gristle.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As described previously, a humble narrator decided to inspect the Triborough Bridge’s rather well used bike and pedestrian path recently. It’s illegal to take photos up there, as I discovered post facto. When an Government Agency doesn’t want you taking photos somewhere, there’s usually a reason. The reason they give will involve the words “security” and or “terrorism,” whereas the words I’d offer include “corruption, incompetence, or malfeasance.”

So, who uses this pathway? Observationally, a lot of bike riders and pedestrians. What they encounter is an (incredibly) unlit and narrow space with stair cases that just sort of appear in front of you without warning.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The bike rider approaching my position above is also breaking the law, since the MTA Bridges and Tunnels operation instructs that riders on the bike path MUST dismount and walk their bikes. Quite obviously, this isn’t something that happens too often. I saw people riding on electric skateboards and scooters as well.

I’m actually planning on how and with whom I’m going to deal with on this subject. It makes me angry, especially so because Triborough is a toll bridge and fairly flush with maintenance budget cash, unlike the NYC DOT bridges like Queensboro or Brooklyn.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Luckily, just as I git to one of the fairly steep stairs, a couple of riders with profoundly bright LED bike lights appeared. Their colorful light helped paint the picture, as it were, of what’s happening up here. Literally the only light other than automotive headlights was being pumped out by these two bikes. Luckily, I always carry a pocket flashlight, but sheesh.

Something different tomorrow, and this won’t be the last time you hear about this particular situation.


“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 15, 2021 at 1:00 pm

sentiently over

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Wednesdays just drizzle.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As mentioned yesterday, these photos are criminal in nature. Post 911, a lot of NYC became “no photo” zones. The press photographer’s association actually sued the MTA to guarantee the right to take photos in the subways, and as far as the East River and Hudson bridges go – they’re largely owned by three entities – Port Authority, NYC DOT, and MTA Bridges and Tunnels. PA and DOT were out of the banning photography business by 2008 or so, although you still encounter the odd Cop or Security Guard who’d aggressively inquire “why are you taking pictures”?

MTA, on the other hand never explicitly banned photography, instead they invoke some obscure “NY State Authorities” rule which offers the opinion that facilities like the Triborough Bridge are a) private property, b) that whether you’re on the thing or even around them you must follow all instructions on posted signs – even if the sign is missing or you’re not on “their” property. Technically speaking, everybody who’s taken a photo in Astoria Park of a kid’s birthday party which the Triborough is in the background of is a potential member of Al Quaeda to MTA. Remember them? Haven’t thought about Al Quaeda in years. Who’s the enemy nowadays?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Now, to my point of view, if the Government – and specifically the political patronage mill section of it called the MTA – doesn’t want you to take pictures of something, that’s precisely what you should be taking pictures of. To wit, you’re looking at the unlit and unmarked pedestrian/bike path of the Triborough above.

In some ways I was kind of hoping a cop would show up and ticket me for this, as I’d make a whole megillah out of it. Glad one didn’t, but if photography is such a burning security issue here where were the MTA cops? One way or another, I’m going to start talking about this with the people who sign MTA’s checks soon.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There isn’t a splash of glitter paint anywhere near the unlit stairwells which just appear in front of you in the dark. The path is set in such a manner that the headlights of oncoming bridge traffic are at eye level while you’re walking in deep shadow. There’s zero path lighting – a string of xmas LED lights secured to the deck would vastly improve things. Then there’s the section over the East River where the “Suicide Fencing” stops and you’re suddenly experiencing a waist high rail as the only thing standing between you and a 105 foot drop to the waters of Hells Gate…

Yeah, I bet there’s a bunch of reason they don’t want cameras up here.


“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 14, 2021 at 1:30 pm

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