71st/Continental Avenue is a busy place,
and forms the heart of one of New York City's most frenetic shopping
areas with Austin Street a block to the south. The avenue is
heavily laden with fast food joints, and Wendy's wants to make
sure you cross the avenue to eat by them, perhaps not taking
into proper account just how dangerous it is to cross around
here, especially if you are already in the middle of the block
when the message of their arrowed sign actually hits you. After
all the nonsense lawsuits such as the McDonalds hot coffee case,
maybe we'll see a Death Boulevard Wendy's case some day, with
somebody claiming, after being hit by a car, that Wendy's didn't
properly warn him/her in their sign about the dangers of crossing
the avenue here.
The tudor style roofs of Forest
Hills Gardens loom in the background behind the Long Island Railroad,
where a commuter train has pulled into Forest Hills Station.
The sidestreet just off the plaza just beyond the overpass was
the scene of a Son of Sam killing back in early 1977. The victim,
Virginia Voksherian (I'm probably mispelling the name), had his
trademark targeted long dark hair. My friends and I used to hang
out up on the station platform late at night, getting high more
or less. We were all freaking out that first half of 1977, as
that maniac held the city in the grip of dark fear. David Berkowitz,
the mad killer, had claimed that his neighbor Sam Carr's dog
was telling him to commit the killings; hence his apellation
Son of Sam. Now, however, it would appear that Sam the Dog is
talking to the cars on Death Boulevard.
Wendy's of course has had its own
problems with maniacal killers. Another one of their locations
in downtown Flushing was the scene of a grisly mass murder in
early 2000 and as of 2/2001, the ringleader is scheduled to soon
go on trial, facing the death penalty, may someone in the slammer
find a way to blowtorch him to death first. The large building
with the phony baloney, green tudoresque eaves used to be the
Forest Hills Theater. Following Forest Hills Gardens, just about
everything built in the neighborhood was done in Tudor style.
© 2001, Jeff Saltzman.