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Queens Blvd. at 63rd Avenue
& 62nd Drive; Rego Park
Photo Gallery: Queens Blvd

Death Blvd
west 1
Since many visitors think the world of Rego Park begins and ends at 63rd Drive, the two cross streets that meet just a block to the west can operate in relative obscurity. Their meeting zone, however, is always jumping with vehicular activity. As we see here, there is no shortage of express lane eastbounders encountering their first traffic light since 57th Avenue in Elmhurst. They are just chomping at the bit to get on their way. Westbounders have a left turn signal south onto 63rd Avenue, although it is also red now. Many heading for stores on 63rd Drive make their turn here on their way to find parking along the side streets. Conversely, those seeking to escape the Sears Mall, and many simply entering the neighborhood from the precincts of 108th Street far to the northeast, use 63rd Avenue's northeastern alter ego 62nd Drive to bring them hence to Death Boulevard. Both Avenue and Drive are super-wide one-way streets, keeping to Rego Park's maniacal habit of using only the narrowest, hilliest strips as two-away avenues.

west 2
Well, I don't have to tell you what season it is, but if it helps, this was February 24th, 2001. The brick building on the right, a block to the west, with the orange and yellow banners, is Lost Battalion Hall, a depression era public gym. As 62nd Avenue readers already know, I was mugged outside there in 1971. Uh oh! The car behind the one with the open door has a little orange parking ticket nestled under one blade. Must have let the meter run out. It was a Saturday and those babies were running, and on a paranoid highway full of traffic agents under intense pressure to write up record breaking tickets. The yellow brick terraced apartment house by the expressway went up in the late 1970's and remains one of the last such constructions in the area. Perhaps a handful of comparable buildings have gone up since.
west 3
Closing in a bit on the territory of 62nd Avenue a block to the west. Present at roll call are the three musketeers of that block; Burger King, Goldfingers and the errant Carwash, where an employee who didn't belong in such a job backed a car into two babies on the sidewalk one fine February day the week before these were shot. He should have been shot, as he fled the scene. Assuming he wasn't an undocumented alien, and he might well have been, the authorities should have caught him, but as of March 2001, the news media, to my knowledge, never followed up on whether they did. Thankfully, the 3-year-old only suffered hand injuries and the baby was unscathed.

© 2001, Jeff Saltzman.