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Queens Blvd. at 67th Ave
Looking North
Photo Gallery: Queens Blvd

Death Blvd
a pedestrian was killed crossing heretall viewI've always tried to keep a light touch on my sites, and limit any bent towards the serious. It is impossible to transfer that attitude to this particular section.
Now I did not know Sofia Leviyev, nor do I know her family, but I did grow up just blocks from here, spent 20 years of my life here, and still have relatives living nearby and occasionally needing to cross here. Hell, I even had my 12th birthday party in that bowling alley, and I have to tell you, as I spent the evening of March 2nd, 2001, scanning in these photos and writing these 67th Avenue pages, it was getting to me and burning me out. The balloons and flowers strapped to the lamppost are, of course, the long standing memorial for Sofia from her family and friends, and probably not a few people who, like me, never even knew her. The close proximity of the florist is perhaps one of the strangest ironies about this intersection. I'm sure that store would give anything NOT to be getting the business that this memorial has probably been providing it, as the girl's many mourners refurbish and replenish the shriveling flowers. Even stranger is that save for a small store next door to the Fleet Bank on the building's other corner at 99th Street, this florist is the building's ONLY other small business left; at least 8 other merchants having been forced out long ago as the owners reclaimed the space for a huge Rite Aid drugstore. Makes you think and I say this with no facetiousness; was the florist kept on here by a force we don't always like to look at, for this particularly painful moment in time?
The don't walk signal would scream if it could, as it looks straight across, a helpless captive, at Sofia Leviyev's memorial. The bowling alley building is one of the more unusual pieces of area architecture. The surviving art deco-ish neon bowling sign still visible above the red awning betrays roots from at least the 1940s. When it first went up, this building must have looked somewhat surreal.

© 2001, Jeff Saltzman.