The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Posts Tagged ‘Tugboat

breathing things

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Wednesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I was mid span on the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge, a double bascule drawbridge that spans the fabulous Newtown Creek, and photographing a maneuvering tug called “Seeley” when the bridge’s alarm bells began to sound and a NYC DOT employee began motioning for me to get to the other side.

The bridge was about to open!

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’m known, in my middle 50’s, for running down the block and chasing a fire engine while yelling “firemen, firemen” just like I did when I was 5. I get excited about things that other adults consider to be a nuisance.

I love it when a drawbridge opens up, and never miss a chance to grab shots of the action.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I didn’t have time to swap out lenses for the one that fits into the apertures of the chain link fence, so I just fired the shutter anyway.

I prefer a clean shot, but the fence is part of the environmental milieu, so, there you go.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As traffic was stopped for the open bridge, I was able to run across Greenpoint Avenue Bridge without getting squished by traffic.

Found a decent spot, one which long experience dictated as being a good one to shoot from, and followed the Tug Seeley as it headed westwards towards the East River.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’ve grown fairly jaded about this sort of thing in recent years, but the sun was painting the sky with orange and gold.

What a dynamic set of weather conditions it was on August 1st. The fog and mist, the dispersal of the same, and now this sort of saturated color. Wow.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Shortly after these shots were captured, I decided to make a right turn after arriving in Long Island City’s Blissville section and head towards the Kosciuszcko Bridge. Ultimately, that was a bit of wasted effort, bu there you go. Cannot complain, this was an extremely productive day.

Back tomorrow with something different, at this – your Newtown Pentacle.


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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

August 31, 2022 at 11:00 am

locks waving

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Monday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One last set of shots from the 15th of July, depicting the transit of a Tug called “Daisy Mae” through the raised bascules of the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge, spanning the fabulous Newtown Creek.

Coeymans Marine towing operates the tug.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Once upon a time, a humble narrator spent a lot of hours focusing in on NY Harbor and the many vessels which navigate its gelatinous waters.

In recent years, not so much.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Most of my pals whom I used to chase shipping with have either passed away or have retired to greener pastures.

Also, I’ve become jaded.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’ll miss these sort of sights in the coming years, I’m sure.

Saying that, one of the inviolable prerequisites for where I live “next” has involved the statement “there has to be a waterfront.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My beloved Creek.

Everybody I know keeps on saying to me that I can’t leave NYC since I love Newtown Creek so much. It’s time, though. Time for someone else to discover the place and scry its wonders.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Continuity is important to me. It’s one of the few parts of my Jewish upbringing that really “stuck.” If you learn something, write it down for somebody else to use as a starting point.

All in all, it’s all just bricks in the wall.


“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

August 15, 2022 at 11:00 am

extinguishing all

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Wednesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

June 8th, and I was attending a performance of something… avant gardé… I guess. I’m not really sure how to describe a “soundscape” performance, but there I was at the sewer plant in Greenpoint.

Before things got started, I walked over to Newtown Creek to pop out a sunset shot because “why not”?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s Che Chen in the yellow shirt, who was the soundscape artist. His team had microphones and speakers set up, and the event drew quite a crowd. Even Our Lady of the Pentacle was there. It went right over my head, but the crowd was digging the hell out of this.

We actually snuck away early and walked over to a bar on Greenpoint’s Manhattan Avenue to grab a drink, and get dinner.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

June 9th saw me in the company of My Pal Val. Several years ago, I was invited by the NYC Parks Dept. to be part of a group of photographers who would get to spend some time at Fresh Kills. At the time, none of the park had opened to the public yet. I’ve been subsequently asked to come back but was never able to make my schedule work. Given that I’m planning on departing the City at the end of the year… when the invite arrived, I said yes, and managed to get Val on the guest list too.

Val picked me up in Astoria, and we headed off to… Staten Island.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

We actually got there far earlier than we needed to, with the intention of finding some “catch as catch can” shooting opportunities along the way. …Staten Island… is fairly photogenic at its edges. Upland (with a few very notable exceptions), it’s pretty much suburban sprawl – highways, housing developments, and shopping malls – but …Staten Island… has a very interesting waterfront.

Particularly so on its eastern (Verrazano/Narrows), western (Arthur Kill), and northern (Kill Van Kull) coasts. The south coast of …Staten Island… is basically a salt marsh and then a beach.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Looking south along the narrows towards the bridge, those ships belong to the Sandy Hooks Pilots. They escort large vessels into New York Harbor. The horizon buildings behind the ships are in Brooklyn, and found along the Belt Parkway.

We picked our way along the waterfront, heading towards Skelson’s Office.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There’s a spot at the end of Bard Avenue which my dearly departed pal John Skelson used to shoot tugboats passing by on the Kill Van Kull from. Several times we called him out, while passing by on a Hidden Harbor tour with the Working Harbor Committee, and the spot became known as “Skelson’s Office” for all the time that he spent here.

Time began to grow short, and My Pal Val and I decided that it would wise to grab a meal. We shortly found a diner, where I had a fine cheeseburger, and then we continued on our journey to the edge of the known world – Fresh Kills.


“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.

peradventure may

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Thursday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The estimable bridge tenders of the NYC DOT were on station at the Pulaski Bridge when a humble narrator scuttled by. What makes them “estimable” is that if you see them hanging around a draw bridge, odds are that the bridge will be opening soon, hence you can estimate.

These are more photos from an extremely productive walk I took on the 12th of April. Six photo posts have been offered here for awhile now, as I’m trying to “catch up” with the real world calendar.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Pulaski Bridge is the first crossing of Newtown Creek you encounter when navigating in from the East River. Constructed in 1954 at the behest of Robert Moses’s DOT, Pulaski Bridge carries five lanes of auto traffic as well as dedicated pedestrian and bike lanes. It’s a double bascule draw bridge, electrically powered, and is part of the NYC DOT’s portfolio of movable bridges. It connects Greenpoint’s McGuinness Blvd. with LIC’s 11th street.

One thereby scuttled across “the red one” to Paidge Avenue in Brooklyn, which allowed me to enter the Newtown Creek Nature Walk.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The sewer plant in Greenpoint was reconstructed beginning in the early 1990’s, and the NYC DEP was compelled to comply with the NYC Charter requirement of “1% for art,” which sets aside a percentile of every municipal construction project for art or public space. The Nature Walk, thereby, wraps around the sewer plant and is accessible via either Kingsland Avenue or Paidge Avenue between dawn and dusk. It’s proven to be quite a popular destination for Greenpointers.

As I arrived, I spotted two tugboats at work.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Sea Lion, pictured above, was towing a recycling barge from the SimsMetal dock found on the Queens side of Newtown Creek. Sims does a lot of maritime shipping from this dock. They handle recyclables collected by DSNY, crushed cars, and all sorts of scrap metal here. The materials are brought in by truck, but shipped out by barge. A maritime barge carries the equivalent cargo of 38 heavy trucks.

Sea Lion is a harbor tug, as in its fairly small in size at 64.7 feet in length, but the 1980 vintage vessel is mighty – she produces 1,400 HP, which is more than that railroad engine I showed you the other day. Ocean going tugs are fairly enormous.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A larger class tug, the Seeley, was waiting patiently for the bridge tenders to open up Pulaski Bridge. Sea Lion didn’t need the bridge to open, as the height of her conning tower and antennae were well below the bridge’s double bascule undersides.

The horns began to blow, and then the chiming of the signal arms sounded, and then traffic stopped flowing over the Pulaski Bridge for an interval so that a different type of traffic could pass.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Seeley navigated through, and although I’m incapable of the emotional state called “happy,” a humble narrator was slightly less miserable than normal for a few minutes.

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

June 2, 2022 at 11:00 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

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