From the east, this is the first
clear glimpse you get of the deathtrap corner of 67th Avenue,
in the far distant background past the last highrise apartment
house in the center. Between here and there are 68th Road, 68th
Avenue, 67th Drive and 67th Road, where the white terraced building
sits. Queens Boulevard is not the straightest highway on earth.
Though fairly direct west of the Long Island Expressway, east
of it it twists, turns and writhes its way towards Jamaica like
a junkie in withdrawal.
Looking east past two Avenue series
roads, unseen to the right that get stopped in their tracks by
the unyielding Queens Boulevard medians. Both have their own
place in the sun further east. One, 69th Road, as the southbound
partner of northbound Jewel Avenue, both of whom cross over the
Grand Central Pkwy on two of the grandest stonefaced viaducts
constructed on the city's parkway system. 69th Road also shares
in the glory of that Parkway's 69th-Jewel exit. By the time it
reaches Queens Blvd., however, it is not even deemed worthy of
a traffic light, let alone a through intersection. The other
69 chopped off at the pass is 69th Avenue, or one of the many
such 69th Avenues anyway. Of course, its claim to fame is that
in one of its eastern incarnations, it is the avenue I live on.
Lucky number 69! We can see pretty far here. The very last building
all the way in the background is at the corner of Union Tpke,
roughly a mile and a half off.
Shifting the focus a little, we
see a paratransit van scooting up the hill past 69th Avenue.
Haha, 69th Road; all you get is a stop sign, but at least MY
69th Avenue gets traffic lights. The row of stores on the left
lies betwixt the two eunuched 69s. Not far behind the para van
is an ambulance.
On the late Friday afternoon of
February 22nd, 2001, I was battling the clock, working my way
east in hopes of shooting 67th Avenue, but getting sidetracked
along the way shooting these. That ambulance on the left is an
all too familiar sight on Death Blvd, especially around the morbid
multi-angled corners of Yellowstone.
© 2001, Jeff Saltzman.