Manhattan is never far out of view
when you're on high ground. The grade leading up from the Long
Island Expressway is so subtle at times, you're hardly aware
that you're going up hill heading east. Yet looking back westward
from 65th Road, you can see clearly just how low down you've
been. Forest Hills, the next neighborhood to the east, was named
for hills, but Rego Park's topography can dish out hills with
the best of them. Queens' very own "Black Rock", the
brown glassed Queens Tower, looms just beyond the Sears shopping
mall. It was the last pure office tower built in this area.
One of the pioneer boulevard office
towers is the LeFrak Center with it's curious combination of
Look Building brick and Colgate Building steel-glass type design.
I won't even mention the curved front; that was a LeFrak Center
original. CompUSA has the claim on newest building in town. It
was built over what used to be a car rental agency.
The third member of the Rego Park
tower triumvirate, hard by the convergence point of 98th Street-65th
Avenue, is the LeFrak Tower, a somewhat cleaner, if more boring
looking younger brother to the jolly green and yellow monster
a block away. 98th Street traffic comes one way into Queens Blvd,
from the environs of Park City, whose towers loom in the background.
65th Avenue cuts rightward, unseen behind the apartment house
in the foreground. That building, part of a barely prewar development
called somewhat deceptively the Queens Gardens, was my second
home, after we left Blair Hall a block to the east.
© 2001, Jeff Saltzman.