Site hosted by Build your free website today!

Queens Blvd. at 99th Street
Photo Gallery: Queens Blvd

Death Blvd
99th west
99th Street cuts away from the boulevard at an angle perpendicular to that of the Avenue-Road-Drives. The street series themselves are not immune to multiple listings using the same number. Wherever a new street had to be carved between two back-to-back numbers, a second or third term was employed, just like with the Roads and Drives when more avenues had to be plowed through. With the streets, the other terms often used are Place and Lane. Unlike the Avenue system, wher Roads and Drives can be significant thoroughfares, occasionally eclipsing Avenues of the same number in importance, as with 63rd Drive, you almost never find a Place, let alone a Lane, that even runs more than a couple of blocks, let alone achieving any importance. One glaring exception is 65th Place in Woodside. 99th Street runs down the Forested Hills until it is upended by the Long Island Expressway. It doesn't give up easily, however, forcing the expressway to at least accomodate its pedestrians via a huge, complex walkbridge. It then continues on past the eastern edge of LeFrak City into Corona.
No pedestrian crossings at Death Boulevard, however. This is one spot where no crosswalks or traffic signals have ever been installed. The Tower Diner at the corner used to be an Emigrant Savings Bank.
bet 66 and 67
Directly across from 99th, the southside of Queens Blvd. is actually between blocks, halfway between 66th and 67th Avenues. Only one store in this row of taxpayers dates from my childhood; JayDee Bakery. These stores suffered at least two firestorms during my childhood; both starting in a deli that no longer exists, much to the relief of the other businesses I'm sure. The TradeLand supermarket at the far end was an Associated Market for decades. My mother always shopped there and I remember the cashier "ringing" up the totals on the paper bags. I still visualize the stacks of AlphaBits cereal and HO Oatmeal. It was also in that store that I first became aware of when the cereal makers shrank the sizes of their cereal packages. Wiseguys! They didn't think a six year old would notice such things, did they? Hey, at that age, AlphaBits was a serious business. The two apartment houses flanking the stores were sort of twins, with subtle differences. They were of a generation from the 1940s where for a time it was the fashion to have double/triple windows at the corner edges. They also featured the wierd combination of both casement and double hung windows; a dubious fashion statement that had roots in the art deco houses of the Bronx. Even little pisher buildings like the three story ten family condo I lived in on 64th Road, shared this awkward, quirky design. As window replacements became de riguer for many Queens buildings in the 1970s and 80s, most casements bit the dust, with double hungs finally ousting their competition for keeps.
Like most streets hitting Queens Blvd at a bad angle, 99th shares the experience with an avenue type running off in the other direction. 99th's guest at the party is 66th Road. On the eastern corner stands the Fleet Bank, which used to be National Westminster which liked to be called NatWest and which used to be Bank of North America before that, throughout the years of my childhood. Rite Aid has come in, gobbling up seven of that unique 1940s era building's storefronts.
Lastly, looking east, the next corner is 67th Avenue, the spot where Sofia Leviyev lost her life in November 2000. Visible just beyond the westbound SUV in the center lane is her flowery, balloon laden memorial, secured to a median island lamppost.

© 2001, Jeff Saltzman.