Saturday, September 19, 2015

Somewhere between spooky and romantic: images of Queens in the dark


We're looking at "the Long Island Expressway’s 106 foot trussed apex over the Dutch Kills tributary of the fabled Newtown Creek," according to Mitch Waxman, who took this picture (click to enlarge), which is included in today's Newtown Pentacle post, "could furnish."

by Ken

I love this picture -- not least, I think, for the upside-down reflection of the LIE overpass, which is more vivid, I guess being nearer, than the right-side-up original, except for the cool starburst lights adorning the real thing, but their creekly reflection not so much. Then there's the mind-confounding combination of subject matters and moods. Is it concretely imposing? Alluringly mysterious? Starkly romantic? Yes, and dark too!

"This happens every so often to a humble narrator," Mitch explains in the blogpost "could furnish."
Circadian rhythms short circuit somehow, and a distinctly nocturnal phase occurs. Desire to record scenes observed remains, however, and specialized kit is required. Queens looks so interesting at night, as the concrete devastations are generally well lit.
Mitch notes that today, like yesterday, while we've been sleeping, he's been "out working." In yesterday's post, "joined to," he reported: "One seems to have caught the “night shooting” bug again, and my various bits of camera support have been dusted off," and led off with this shot, "captured one recent evening during a thunderstorm," made with a 15-second interval. "NYC never looks better than it does during the rain," he noted. (There was also a gorgeous shot of a thunderstorming sky which he described as "cloud porn" -- "it doesn’t deliver anything other than a puerile thrill and doesn’t say much.")

Today's nocturnal post features two striking shots in addition to the LIE overpass up top -- the first featuring more spectral reflections in Dutch Kills, then this one of the overpass over Sunnyside Yards for the No. 7 subway line ("notorious for its multitudinous and unexplained delays"), newly risen from underground, atop which he chanced to find an actual train "just sitting there waiting for a humble narrator to record it." (Again, click to enlarge.)

In both yesterday's and today's posts Mitch provides some interesting technical notes on how a number of the photos were shot.


A Mitch's-eye view of Greenpoint, Brooklyn

I had intended to toss in a plug here for Mitch's Brooklyn Brainery walking tour this Sunday, "Glittering Realms: A Walking Tour of Greenpoint," Greenpoint being the hunk of land on the Brooklyn (i.e., southern) side of the mouth of Mitch's beloved Newtown Creek. I have multiple schedule conflicts for Sunday, but clicked through to get the link on the Brooklyn Brainery website, I discovered that the tour is all filled up -- though you can get on the waiting list. (Don't say I suggested it, but since the tour description does include the meeting point, if a person happened to show up there at the appointed time flashing the appropriate amount of cash, who's to say that something might not be worked out?)

Let this be a lesson to us all to keep track of Mitch's upcoming activities via the update at the end of each day's Newtown Pentacle post. Meanwhile, take a look at the tour description, and keep it in mind as you watch for it to be offered again.

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