blood of Rego Park pumps from this intersection, its heart, 63rd
Drive/63rd Road, the Drive on Death Boulevard's southwest and
the Road on its northeast side. The Transit Authority and most
locals simplify the directions as north and south, as I also
tend to do, but in actuality, both the boulevard and the Avenue
series roads travel on a slant as the crow flies. It is the street
series roads that do the north-south thing, but from the perspective
of the boulevard east of Grand Avenue, all the Avenues on the
south side are hitting the boulevard head on, and since most
people don't think in slanted terms, things have to be either
north, south, east or west; not confusing combinations thereof.
The irony is that "north" of the boulevard, all the
intersectors are hitting it at a visible slant and the "northside"
Avenue-Road-Drives are actually going eastward, as does the Long
Island Expressway, with a mild slant towards the north. As the
boulevard veers more purely westward past Grand Avenue, the angle
at which the Avenues strike it becomes downright obscene, and
unlike this section, where 63rd Drive comes up at a more or less
90 degree angle from the "south", 51st Avenue on the
Elmhurst/Woodside border scissors across the boulevard at such
a sick, crazy angle that makes crossing it the equivalent of
a three block walk.
Sometimes Rego Park's blood
flows in more ways than just the figurative. 63rd Drive/Road
is one of the Tier 2 killers, garnering the big yellow Be Alert
warnings. Maybe the lack of southbound traffic from the northside
helps to keep the death toll here more respectable. In the first
photo, Junction Boulevard veers off to the left and 63rd Road
to the right, flanking the Sears Mall. Just above us, you can
see the infamous Sears parking garage, which suffered partial
collapse not long after it opened. Past that is Park City.
A closeup of the mall. I don't
know why I'm so fascinated with it. Maybe I just miss Alexanders.
The boulevard just to the
west of The Drive. One of the newer members of the Green Line
bus company heads east just beyond the double parked SUV. These
newer buses are very roomy inside.
©2001, Jeff Saltzman. All