Russian Air Force Tupolev Tu-154 flies over Boston

I have seen my share of unique airplanes over the skies of greater Boston in my decades of work as a Boston Herald news photographer. I saw a Russian surveillance plane, a Russian Air Force Tupolev Tu-154, flying over Boston yesterday. That was a first. It all started Thursday when I saw a Washington Post story about a Russian surveillance plane flying low over Washington DC. That story piqued my interest. Yesterday, while doing assignment editor, photodesk duty at the Boston Herald, I saw a tweet from FlightRadar24. The tweet read: “stay with us for radar coverage of the Russian surveillance flight.” I tracked this plane from Dayton,OH to New York State to Warwick,RI where it then took a sharp right turn. I then noticed it flying a circle over Newport,RI and then headed directly north, toward Boston. I ran out of the Herald’s offices and onto Southie’s D St. and got in my car and drove to East 1st st. I looked to my left as I was driving and there it was, flying over the old Edison plant on L St. FlightRadar had it at a low 3600′. I had little time to grab a Canon 800mm lens, which had a 1.4 extender attached. I parked, jumped out of the car, and must’ve struck a curious pose to passers-by as I pointed my “bazooka” skyward. My only regret is that I did not have time to photograph the plane with the Boston skyline, to put it into context to where it was.
**Ed note** This is a sanctioned flight. The US is able to do it over Russia as well. The reciprocal agreement is called “Open Skies.” More from the Boston Herald. More here from the Dayton Daily News, where the plane is being housed.
More from CNN, with one of the first stories, over Washington,DC.

August 11, 2017- Boston,MA. An unarmed Russian jet, sanctioned to fly over the USA, is seen over Boston during the noon hour. Staff photo by Mark Garfinkel

August 11, 2017- Boston,MA. An unarmed Russian jet, sanctioned to fly over the USA, is seen over Boston during the noon hour. Staff photo by Mark Garfinkel

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Boston fire Lt. Steven Minehan died 23 years ago today.

On June 24, 1994 Boston fire Lieutenant Steven F. Minehan, of Boylston street’s Ladder 15, died in a 9-alarm fire  in Charlestown after he became trapped in a large warehouse while searching for other  firefighters who had become trapped. I had been a staff photographer at the Boston Herald for almost 15 months that night when, police/fire radio scanners broke the silence of what had been a quiet evening. John Landers Jr., then Herald night desk photo editor, and I heard the initial call for help from Minehan as he dispatched me to the scene. Below are my photos from that night and from Lt. Minehan’s funeral. Over the years I have been lucky to be able to call Lt. Minehan’s wife Kathy a friend. She is a very kind and considerate soul. RIP Lt. Minehan. My photos from that night are seen below. The photo of Lt. Minehan, at bottom of page, is courtesy of Bill Noonan. 

Boston,MA Fire 1994

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I photographed several Boston storms that day, 6 years ago. I did not go out to the hard hit areas of western Massachusetts, but I did see some tremendous lightning in and around Boston. The top two photos were snapped between 9-10pm from Medford. The bottom photo was snapped in the mid-afternoon from East Boston. The Coast Guard station lightning bolt looks totally fake, or “photoshopped.” Lucky for me, I had another camera rolling video (at bottom) of the same strike.

CLICK here for lightning video of same photo

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Neil Fingleton, “Game of Thrones” actor and one of the tallest people in the world at 7 feet 7 inches, died yesterday at the age of 36, reportedly of a heart attack. See Worcester Telegram story here. In 1999, I spent several weeks with Neil as he completed his senior season on Worcester’s Holy Name High School basketball team. I had heard about Neil and wanted to do a picture story/photo essay about him for the Boston Herald. I took my idea and petitioned his coach, Worcester sport’s legend J.P. Ricciardi, who later became a Major League Baseball executive. I met with Coach Ricciardi at a coffee shop in Worcester. He made it clear that he did not want Neil’s height to be exploited. I was given a thumbs up to meet Neil and to get his blessing on the project. He was all in. Neil was a bit shy at first, but we quickly took a liking to each other. The last time I spoke to him, he had called me at the Herald in 2007 or 2008 and alerted me to his new career in the entertainment business. He said he was traveling to Boston to promote a show he was in, and asked if I wanted to cover the event for the Herald. We never connected. Below are my photographs from my time with Neil. May he rest in peace. 

Two years ago 18 year old Neil Fingleton traveled to Worcester,MA. from his home in Durham, England to learn a game he had never played. In several days he will have come full circle when he announces his decision to accept a full Basketball scholarship to the University of North Carolina.

Running sprints in the hallways of Holy Name High in Worcester into the night…

Legendary Worcester area athlete and former Celt’s player Togo Palazzi works with Neil. Togo says about the “work in progress”, “it’s a labor of love” (working with Neil) .

“Doin’ Steps” is the term affectionately known for the exercise that was developed by school strength coach Tony Elia.

In his room which has a taste of home Union Jack flag on the wall, hours after deciding on a full scholarship to University of North Carolina, Neil receives congratulations from a friend. 

Hours before choosing UNC over Wake Forest, Neil consults with Asst. Holy Name hoop coach Tom Clark (Left) and head coach J.P Ricciardi.

Long hours at the gym have paid off for Neil as he dunks during practice.

Going thru the workout developed by Holy Name strength coach Tony Elia, teammates of Neil’s come up short during a flexibility drill.

Neil Fingleton going thru the training paces with fellow teammate A.J. at Holy Name High in Worcester.

Neil relaxes with friends in the Holy Name Cafeteria hours before the first game of the season. 

Before his 1st game of the Holy Name High School schedule, Neil gathers his thoughts alone in the locker room.

1st game of the year vs Worcester South.

Neil leaves school the day after making his choice to accept a full scholarship at University of North Carolina.

 

 

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The Emirates Airbus 380 landed at Boston’s Logan International airport, Thursday January 26. It was billed as a “one-off” according to a tweet by the airline. The airport has renovated a section of Terminal E, their international terminal, so that the tall, double-decker aircraft can fit properly. Here are my photos of the arrival and departure. Lenses used were a Canon 800mm and a 100-400mm.

January 26, 2017-Boston,MA For Emirates Airlines social media platforms Call 617-212-5898/email megarf@gmail.com (Mark Garfinkel/ Pictureboston.com)

                                   

                                                                                (Mark Garfinkel)                                                                                                               (megarf@gmail.com)

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I was a witness to many memorable events in 2016, from several nasty building fires, to extreme weather, to a tragic trench collapse. Here are some of these moments. Photos taken on and off my Boston Herald news photographer shift. Thank you to the Herald, and to my subjects, many of whom are first responders.

December 16, 2016-Boston,MA. Firefighters battle fire and ice during this morning’s frigid 6 alarm fire in Boston’s Charlestown neighborhood.

ABOVE: 04/28/2016-Boston,MA. A Boston firefighter stretches a hose toward a large brush fire in the Fenway section of the city, at the rear of City of Boston’s fire alarm office.

ABOVE: October 21, 2016-Boston,MA. Construction worker Steven Smith pleads for help from others shortly after two workers were buried under water and soot as a trench collapse and water leak filled the hole they were working in on Boston’s Dartmouth St., Friday afternoon. The two workers were killed.

ABOVE: 05/26/2016-Boston,MA. Students peer at some of the 410 Charcoal drawings of the graduating seniors of Boston Latin’s Class of 2016, as they hang in the halls of the school. Philip Sossou, a graduating senior from Roslindale, started working on the drawings in February

ABOVE: 07/14/2016. The evening commute, Boston Logan style.

ABOVE: 05/19/2016-Boston,MA. The ocean liner Anthem of the Seas enters Boston Harbor, just after Thursday morning’s sunrise.

ABOVE: 04/21/2016-Winthrop,MA The sunrises as the moon sets over the city of Boston.

ABOVE: 04/02/2016-Winthrop,MA. Rooftop arrival.

ABOVE: 02/24/2016-Boston,MA Boston EMS’ Manuel Tejeda helps the victim of a car accident on D St.

ABOVE: 07/26/2016-Boston,MA. A Boston firefighter takes a breather at Tuesday afternoon’s multiple alarm fire at 87 Sawyer Ave. in Dorchester.

ABOVE: 08/09/2016- Sammy, of Winthrop,MA

ABOVE: 06/04/2016. Belmont,MA A turkey strolls along Belmont Hill.

ABOVE: 07/26/2016-Boston,MA. A tenant of 87 Sawyer Ave. in Dorchester, arrives home in tears, as her home burns Tuesday afternoon.

ABOVE: 06/01/2016-Winthrop,MA The very large Antonov 124 cargo plane, soars over Boston.

ABOVE: 09/08/2016-Winthrop,MA A Hummingbird Moth is seen tonight, refueling on some plants.

ABOVE: 07/20/2016-Boston,MA Boston Light frames tonight’s Super Moon rising.

ABOVE: 12/14/2016-Winthrop,MA. A high altitude airliner flying from Newark to Stockholm flies through a thin layer of haze as tonight’s moon rises. The plane was traveling at 605 knots and at 32,000′.

ABOVE: 10/15/2016-Winthrop,MA. An airliner, departing from Boston’s Logan airport, frames tonight’s Super Moon

ABOVE: 03/30/2016-Boston,MA Morning departure from Boston’s Logan airport as the moon sets in the background.

ABOVE: 09/16/2016-Boston,MA. The full Harvest moon rises over Boston Harbor’s Graves Light Friday evening.

ABOVE: 11/23/2016-Boston,MA. A very happy Paulina Lopez, age 10 years, is released from Franciscan ChildrenÕs in Brighton after being treated for a debilitating case of Acute Flaccid Myelitis. She heads home to celebrate Thanksgiving with her family. With her is her physical therapist Marcela Donat

ABOVE: 11/30/2016-Boston,MA. A man navigates Knapp St.in Boston’s Chinatown neighborhood after a water main break flooded the area, shortly after 5:30am Wednesday morning. The Boston Water & Sewer Commission was in the process of shutting down the leak at 6am.

ABOVE: 12/03/2016-Cambridge,MA. Cambridge and surrounding fire departments battle a ten alarm fire on and around Berkshire street, Saturday afternoon.

ABOVE: 12/03/2016-Cambridge,MA. Cambridge and surrounding fire departments battle a ten alarm fire on and around Berkshire street, Saturday afternoon.

ABOVE: 07/21/2016-Boston,MA. Boston firefighters work at the scene of a 6-alarm fire on Bunker Hill St. in Charlestown, Thursday afternoon.

ABOVE: 12/06/2016-Malden,MA. Firefighters work at a 3 alarm fire at 381 Medford St. late Tuesday morning.

ABOVE: 03/05/16-Boston,MA A worker from a restoration/cleaning company is seen inside a fire-damaged apartment at 380 Talbot Ave. Saturday morning, hours after a fire killed a resident there.

ABOVE: 07/23/2016-Winthrop,MA A severe thunderstorm exits the coast at Winthrop Shore Drive after doing damage to homes, cars, and many trees.

ABOVE: 11/23/2016-Boston,MA. Boston Police, Fire, and EMS personnel work to make comfortable, and then to eventually rescue, this distraught man threatening to jump from a ledge at the MIT Frat house at Commonwealth Ave., and Hereford St., Wednesday afternoon.

ABOVE: 08/14/2016-Winthrop,MA A split-second burst of several lightning bolts is seen over Graves Light during an early morning thunderstorm.

ABOVE: 12/15/2016-Stoneham,MA. Firefighters work at the scene of a 2 alarm fire at 154 North St., late Thursday morning.

ABOVE: 12/16/2016-Boston,MA. Firefighters battle fire and ice during this morning’s frigid 6 alarm fire in Boston’s Charlestown neighborhood.

ABOVE: 03/18/2016. Winthrop,MA. Winter surfing.

ABOVE: 03/26/2016-Boston,MA. Mayor Martin J. Walsh poses for a photo with 6 year old twins Aiden, at left, and Austin, prior to the annual Sisters of Saint Joseph Easter Egg Roll in Brighton, Saturday morning.

ABOVE: 11/17/2016-East Boston. Birds of a feather.

ABOVE: 02/14/2016-Winthrop,MA. Seasmoke rises above the Atlantic as Boston temperatures dipped to several degrees fahrenheit below zero Sunday morning.

ABOVE: 12/16/2016-Boston,MA. Firefighters battle fire and ice during this morning’s frigid 6 alarm fire in Boston’s Charlestown neighborhood.

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Frigid temperatures and a dangerous windchill hampered Boston firefighters yesterday at the scene of a 6-alarm fire. The building housed 11 residents and a laundromat, which was featured in the Ben Affleck movie, “The Town. My photos were part of my coverage as a staff news photographer at the Boston Herald.
Also, two Go-Fund-Me webpages have been established —-> here & here.

December 16, 2016-Boston,MA. Firefighters battle fire and ice during this morning’s frigid 6 alarm fire in Boston’s Charlestown neighborhood.

 

 

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How to purchase my Boston photos as gifts

Thanks to my friends and supporters of my photography. Today I announce my 3rd annual Holiday/Christmas sale. Click here, purchasing site, where photos for personal use (wall art), or for commercial use, can be purchased. This is my non-news photo collection of lighthouse photos, Aviation photography, Boston scenics, including sunsets, moons, sunrise, coastal, etc.
Thank you, Mark
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Cambridge neighborhood burns in 10 alarm fire

I was on assignment for the Boston Herald in East Boston photographing an airliner that had struck a flock of birds on departure from Boston’s Logan airport when the police scanner started cranking out reports of a fire in Cambridge. The Cambridge fire alarm dispatcher mentioned that they were “receiving’ calls” of fire on Berkshire St. I turned around to take a peek at the Boston skyline and there, in vivid tones, was the large smoke plume. I drove toward Cambridge, making it to a point approximately 1/4 mile away from the fire buildings. I decided to park there as to not get blocked in or congest the neighborhood any further. I ran up Cardinal Medeiros Way to York and then to York at Berkshire, to a point directly in front of the former church/converted apartment building that was now being consumed by the large fire volume. I stayed there for almost 90 minutes. Cambridge fire brass was great in allowing me to stay there as was the very friendly Cambridge Police dept. Here are some of my photos from ONLY the firefighting effort, as there was another Herald staffer, as well as reporters, who were roaming the outskirts searching for the other component of this story, the residents of the neighborhood. The fire damaged 18 buildings, destroying several of them. I will end with this. The Cambridge fire and police departments allowed me to stay in my safe perch very close to the fire. Thank you for allowing this. I was impressed (an understatement) by the professionalism and sensitivity of the Cambridge police, fire, and mutual aid fire departments in first fighting the fire, and second taking care of the victims. We are lucky to have these first responders!

How to help.

CLICK HERE —–> GoFundMe Link

Mayor’s Fire Relief Fund

Cambridge City Hall

Cambridge, MA 02139

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December 3, 2016-Cambridge,MA. Cambridge and surrounding fire departments battle a ten alarm fire on and around Berkshire street, Saturday afternoon. Staff photo by Mark Garfinkel

December 3, 2016-Cambridge,MA. Cambridge and surrounding fire departments battle a ten alarm fire on and around Berkshire street, Saturday afternoon. Staff photo by Mark Garfinkel

December 3, 2016-Cambridge,MA. Cambridge and surrounding fire departments battle a ten alarm fire on and around Berkshire street, Saturday afternoon. Staff photo by Mark Garfinkel

December 3, 2016-Cambridge,MA. Cambridge and surrounding fire departments battle a ten alarm fire on and around Berkshire street, Saturday afternoon. Staff photo by Mark Garfinkel

December 3, 2016-Cambridge,MA. Cambridge and surrounding fire departments battle a ten alarm fire on and around Berkshire street, Saturday afternoon. Staff photo by Mark Garfinkel

December 3, 2016-Cambridge,MA. Cambridge and surrounding fire departments battle a ten alarm fire on and around Berkshire street, Saturday afternoon. Staff photo by Mark Garfinkel

December 3, 2016-Cambridge,MA. Cambridge and surrounding fire departments battle a ten alarm fire on and around Berkshire street, Saturday afternoon. Staff photo by Mark Garfinkel

December 3, 2016-Cambridge,MA. Cambridge and surrounding fire departments battle a ten alarm fire on and around Berkshire street, Saturday afternoon. Staff photo by Mark Garfinkel

December 3, 2016-Cambridge,MA. Cambridge and surrounding fire departments battle a ten alarm fire on and around Berkshire street, Saturday afternoon. Staff photo by Mark Garfinkel 

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I’m really proud to share this news. I placed 1st and 2nd in the prestigious AVIATION WEEK Magazine photo contest, with two Boston photos from Boston’s Logan International Airport.
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