westbound from the corner of 64th Road. The "Black Rock"
of queens, the Queens Tower" stands monolithically just
beyond the Sears Shopping Center, which occupies the corners
of 63rd Road and Junction Boulevard. Which junction Junction
was actually named for I couldn't tell you, but usually such
names originate over one particular spot. Maybe it was where
it crosses the Long Island Railroad, or Northern Boulevard. It
sure can't be where it hit Queens Boulevard, because if that
was the case, it would have been called Terminal Boulevard. Then
again, Queens Boulevard is known for terminating lots of things...and
folks, so Junction shouldn't feel too bad. At least the only
way pedestrians can be killed there is crossing Junction itself,
at a spot where cars are only going one way. The Junction junction
has no cross-boulevard crosswalks. Conjunction Junction, what's
My home town; Rego Park. The next block
to the west is its heart: 63rd Drive. Eliot Avenue, which at
least manages to become the heart of Maspeth and Middle Village,
was supposed to be the heart here too, but as the Real Good (Hence
RE-GO) Real Estate firm began to develope this area, rumors of
impending doom, which would eventually prove to be the Long Island
Expressway, put the soon to be truncated and marginalized Eliot
Avenue out of business. Its last gasp hold on any power in the
area is that it hosts Rego Park's post office. There is no, nor
has there ever been, a park named Rego, but since Kew had the
"Gardens", Forest had the "Hills", Elm had
the "Hurst", Wood had the "side" and Sunny
had the "dale", Rego had to have something.
Just for the record, today's
Quick Stop is the location where the tragic Korean proprietor
of an earlier convenience store incarnation lost his life chasing
a fruit snatcher across the yet to be nicknamed Boulevard of
Death. Thief and fruit made it safely across; owner did not.
The corner traffic light is all ready to go as Zippy to the upcoming
Purim parade. One of the many varied signs aiming to discourage
jaywalking can be seen on the lamppost in the median; the classic
red cricle/black line job. Why don't they just put some signs
up in Gothic lettering: "No dogs or pedestrians allowed!"
That ought to get them!
I was on intimate terms with
this subway entrance. For years I descended and ascended this
stairwell on my way to high school and work and back. When I
was a wee lad and folks didn't need as much insurance; hell,
they didn't even always lock their doors yet; that Allstate office
was a Hamburger Train restaurant. For the uninitiated, that was
a little diner where your food got choo-chooed from the kitchen
along the counter railway to where you where seated. Of course,
any kid would love eating in such a place. Makes you wonder why
the mothers of finicky, fussy eaters never think to install an
electric railway in their own kitchens.
©2001, Jeff Saltzman.