The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Posts Tagged ‘Whale Creek

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.


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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.

smiling dromedary

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Friday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My long walk around a short creek continued, and the Newtown Creek Nature walk allowed me an easy path through Brooklyn’s Greenpoint section. Pictured above is one of the lesser known tributaries of Newtown Creek – Whale Creek – and that’s a NYC DEP “Sludge Boat” docked along it.

Sludge Boats transport the processed/treatment sewer solids from the 12 sewer plants to the 13th one on Randall’s/Wards Island where it’s dewatered in centrifuges.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Kingsland Avenue hugs the fences of the sewer plants, and it’s also where Newtown Creek Alliance HQ is found (520 Kingsland).

It’s a pretty crappy experience on foot, have to say.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Those cylinders are exhaust pipes for the sewer plant, which burn off the methane produced by the treatment process, directly into the atmosphere. That makes the Department of Environmental Protection the single largest and most constant source of greenhouse gases in the entire Borough of Brooklyn.

Remember that when Eric Adams mandates that you need to spend $100,000 to convert your house over to electric from whatever you use to heat and cook in it right now.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Kingsland Avenue carried my carcass to Greenpoint Avenue and it’s eponymous bridge. This shot is looking east along Newtown Creek. Brooklyn is on the right, Queens on the left.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Things were getting pretty surreal, sky wise. Everything was painted in saturated radiates as the burning thermonuclear eye of God itself descended into whatever the hell might be on the other side of New Jersey.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My very productive day wasn’t over yet, I’d mention.

Cannot tell you how many times this exact same route has disappointed. Part of the reason I walk it so often are days like the 12th of April.

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.

scoundrel out

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Friday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My beloved Creek. Pictured above and below are sections of the Whale Creek tributary of the fabulous Newtown Creek. This canalized section of the greater waterway is contained entirely within the confines of the Department of Environmental Protection’s Newtown Creek Waste Water Treatment and Resource Recovery Plant – or simply, the sewer plant in Greenpoint. The DEP has part of its small navy here, utilizing these boats to execute the mandate laid out for it by NYC’s charter. The blue vessel at the right of the shot is one of DEP’s skimmer boats.

There’s a conveyor belt apparatus which dips down into the water as the Skimmer Boat navigates along, and this mechanism allows them to harvest “floatable” trash and garbage as well as flotsam and jetsam from the rivers and creeks of NYC. They have several variations on this design in their inventory, in addition to the larger “Sludge Boats” which are more commonly noticed.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One enjoys creating long exposure photos of this material swirling around in the eddy currents at the end of the canals. Nothing fancies up a shot like garbage in the water, I always opine.

Blah, blah, blah. I talk myself blue in the face about this issue and nobody cares. Litter on the street becomes litter in the water because of the combined sewer blah blah blah. Nothing changes, nobody cares, nothing matters except ‘Affordable housing’ (which is now going to be referred to as “deeply affordable housing,” if you want a preview of politic talk in 2022) and bike lanes.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It’s been quite a week, with Thanksgiving and all, huh? Personally, I’m getting prepared for another “away game.”

Another bit of travel is on my horizon, and I’m going to be passing through Pittsburgh again in the next couple of weeks. This time around, I’m hoping to pull off a few night time shots when I’m there.

Back next week with more, 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.

open rage

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Monday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Since returning to NYC from my travels, one has not allowed any dust to accumulate upon the camera. Situational need has found me in all sorts of interesting places. Pictured above is the largest single point source of greenhouse gases in Brooklyn, for instance, which are burned off into the atmosphere by the NYC Department of Environmental Protection. Those four pipes carry methane from within the bioreactor eggs of the sewer plant up to venturi apparatuses where the fiery immolation occurs. The machinery is tuned to keep the flames invisible.

Fossil fuel companies are singularly responsible for everything horrible, of course, and not the government which historically encouraged them to do those horrible things – since Governmental agencies and officials are inherently good. The latter entity, however, has engaged with an exemplar of the former – specifically the National Grid outfit – to harvest and filter the gases produced at the sewer plant and sell them to you under the product branding of “natural gas” and “resource recovery.” The Government hopes for a net profit on the process, as does National Grid, but only the latter is evil. The project is scheduled to be up and running about five years ago, and isn’t up and running yet because of the salubrious Government’s red tape, but there you are. Do as I say, not as I do.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That yellow building just to the left of center in the shot above is where the evil fossil fuel industry first set itself up in the modern sense in 1854, manufacturing “coal oil” under the brand name “Kerosene.” The company that started the operation was acquired first by Charles Pratt’s Astral Oil, and then by John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil, and eventually by the Standard Oil Company of New York after the whole Sherman Antitrust Teddy Roosevelt dealie (TR used to be good because progressive, but now he’s evil because racism and colonialism).

The evil Standard Oil Company of New York, or SOCONY, rebranded as Vacuum Oil, and eventually decided they wanted to be trademarked as Mobil Oil. Mobil would one day merge with the evil Standard Oil Company of New Jersey in the 1990’s, after SOCONJ had changed its name first to ESSO and then later to Exxon. The evil Exxon Mobil consented to a decree by the obviously good natured New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, dictating that the corporate behemoth will need to siphon an unknown amount of “product” out of the ground at that location pictured above.

Right across the water on the Brooklyn side of Newtown Creek, the inherently good Attorney General of NYS, Andrew Cuomo, forced the inherently evil Exxon Mobil to clean up an oil spill left behind by the similarly proscribed Mobil/SOCONY. Cuomo has since been redefined as an evil scion of sex sins and a corrupt and false eidolon who was mean to the other politicians – just as evil as the fossil fuel companies are, with all of their capitalism and carbon – or like any who might question the validity of “affordable housing” or bike lanes probably are. The dichotomy offered is that someone can be good once and bad later, which is confusing. How can anyone employed by the government be, in any way, bad? I mean… just ask any politician how virtuous and vetted they all are. They’ll tell you exactly how noble, and free of corrupting industrial and financial influences, modern day politics are due to oversight committees staffed by their own colleagues.

It’s not like Tammany Hall is still running the City, right? Those patriarchal rascals were the ones who made the devil’s bargain with the inherently evil capitalists, right? Not at all like the modern day reformers, progressives, or all of the other inherently good politicians who operate in a closed loop of leadership ladder climbing that’s funded and curated by the Real Estate Industrial Complex.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The reason that our ancestors called it “Tammany Hall” was in homage to a legendary “Sachem,” or Chief of the Lenape, named Taminend. Leaders of Tammany like Boss Tweed and Dick Croker were called the “Grand Sachem” of the political club. You remember the Lenape, of course, whose land our inherently good government stole, and who were then resettled in forested areas nobody else wanted by the same do gooders? They’re called the Delaware these days, those Lenape people who survived the inherent goodness of the political state.

Founded in 1790, Tammany Hall really came into its own in 1854 with the election of Mayor Fernando Wood. Wood seriously considered having NYC secede from the Union with the Confederacy, given the amount of slave related business NYC was involved in. Cotton was a commodity bought and sold on Wall Street, and the East River coast of Manhattan is where a large number of the slave ships, which provided a labor force for the Cotton Plantations, were built. It was a risky business, slaving, but you could safely invest in it by buying shares in a slave ship from a broker to spread out the risk, or by putting your money into insurance funds which guaranteed other people’s investments in slavery. It wasn’t difficult to find a way to invest in slaving, as Wall Street handled most of it all in the early 19th century, allowing investors to act shocked at the barbarity of the practice after the Civil War. By then, the smart money was in railroads, anyway.

Coincidence on the 1854 thing, huh? The inherently evil capitalists of the petroleum industry setting up shop here at Newtown Creek, while the inherently good government of Tammany Hall was encouraging slaveholding, armed insurrection, and cotton plantations in the American South? Gosh.


“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

November 22, 2021 at 11:30 am

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