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Queens Blvd. at Ascan Ave
Looking South
Photo Gallery: Queens Blvd

Death Blvd
a pedestrian was killed crossing hereVenturing a look east from Ascan. Little new apartment housing has been constructed in the Rego Park-Forest Hills corridor since the 1960s, when the orange bricked building at the corner of 73rd Avenue to the left went up. The beige tower just beyond it is an exception, dating from the late 1980s. It replaced a commercial building that had a big service station, and later on housed a catering hall where one of my cousins got married.
Pedestrians aren't the only bowling pins on Death Boulevard. The SLECO "Bigloop" lamppost listing precariously at the corner of 73rd Avenue looks like it's taken a hit here and there, too. Of course, any number of things could be uprooting it, from a leaking water main, to the roots of a nearby tree pumped up on steroids.
On the right, the green roofed structure is the local fire station. Though not at a corner, it has its own traffic lights to quickly shut down boulevard traffic should it have to get those engines out in a hurry.
And damned if they didn't have to do just that while I was shooting. This was the second of two engines that went racing off towards the west.

This was the shot taken before the one above it, and you see the first engine heading straight for the unsuspecting mom wheeling her baby. Unlike the second engine, the first chose to cut right to the local lanes upon leaving the station. The supermarket discussed on the other Ascan page is getting a beer delivery. Note the funky gazebo things on the roof of the large prewar apartment house across the boulevard. Another architectural oddity there is the occasional bay window. Few such buildings allow normal access to their roofs anymore, but in the "good ole days" way back when, residents probably enjoyed both the shade and the view from those rooftop shelters, especially in the summer before window air conditioners came into style.

© 2001, Jeff Saltzman.