71st/Continental Avenue intersection is an unfortunate member
in lousy standing of the Dark Legion of Killer Crossings. On
this bright February afternoon, the police and traffic agents
were out in near martial law force. Every time I stopped to shoot,
there went another cruiser, marked and unmarked alike, lights
flashing, and siren whooping. Even the traffic agents, long relegated
to wandering about checking for expired meters, were scooting
after moving violators, something I'd never seen before. This
intersection is usually far more clogged with predestrians than
most others along the boulevard, even the other Killer Crossings.
In addition to an express subway stop, the only such station
between Union Tpke and Roosevelt Avenue, it is also a convergence
point for bus lines, the terminal for the two Queens Blvd subway
line locals and the home ground for the always busy Midway Theater.
Looking east at the westbound traffic,
with the office tower whose name I know not far in the background
at Union Tpke a mile or so away. I didn't even notice that little
obelisk shaped concrete thingy on the center median next to the
Mitsubishi SUV. I wonder now what that was for; maybe a mileage
marker, or something related to the subway below? Right now,
however, it might as well serve as the universal gravestone of
Death Boulevard's unknown rundown victims.
A southeast look across at the brown
glass Cord Meyer Building. Cord Meyer was the developer of Forest
Hills Gardens way back when, before either the great depression
or the great widening of Death Blvd. Now, its employees look
out their tinted windows and see the big orange "A Pedestrian
was Killed Here" signs staring back at them.
And my bus arrives. All afternoon,
I was hoping on and off with my unlimited Metrocard, having left
my car out of the way near Union Tpke. Now it was farewell to
71st /Continental and on to my primary objective, 67th Avenue.
BOWLING PIN UPDATE: 3/20/2001. A motorist,
enraged over receiving a ticket for double parking at a bus stop
here, tried to take off and ran over the ticketing officer's
foot. She then came out of the car and berated the injured cop
before being arrested. The motorist was identified in the Queens
Examiner 3/29/2001 issue, as Barino Gennaro of Middle Village.
© 2001, Jeff Saltzman.