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Queens Blvd. at Roosevelt
& Greenpoint Avenues, South & West
Photo Gallery: Queens Blvd

Death Blvd
Looking west at the transformation point for three great NYC arteries: Queens Boulevard, Roosevelt/Greenpoint Avenues and the #7 IRT Flushing Line. The first transformation is the Boulevard of Death, which gives up its 6 flanking local lanes for an opportunity to host the Flushing subway line for a stretch. Roosevelt's transformation is evident, from a netherworld perpetually darkened by the overhead elevated, to a colorful airy Greenpoint Avenue headed for Brooklyn. The el itself turns from hideous and stark green caterpillar into the classical, concrete bedecked aquaduct filling the boulevard's center mall.
The billboard advertiser VIM clothing is a discount chain specializing in sneakers, sweats and cheap sportswear. Years ago I was hit by one of their trucks, unmarked I should add, on the BQE near Cadman Plaza. The driver denied even being there and the whole thing became such a hassle, I kind of gave up and ate the cost of the broken taillight. It just wasn't going to be worth the time and effort to pursue it in court. I was lucky then to be inside the tank-like Mercury Grand Marquis, but its structural integrity was the ONLY good thing about it. Needless to say, I've nothing good to say about VIM since then.
west 2
 This complex corner sports a chintzy old-style pedestrian warning. What if people don't realize that they are "Peds"? Some might think the little white sign means no pet crossing. Strangely enough, this complex multi-directional intersection has not rung up an impressive enough kill count to merit the big yellow warnings so prevalent among its Sunnyside neighbors to the west.
 We're peering southwest down Roosevelt's alter ego, Greenpoint Avenue. Also sharing the wealth at this junction is 48th Street, which goes all the way down to Newtown Creek, passing beneath the Brooklyn Queens and over the Long Island Expressway's on its way. That's not a small task for a side street. It used to pass through Death Boulevard as well, beneath the twisting el, but some years ago a stop was put to that, perhaps in hopes of keeping the kill count down. The dead ending robbed 48th of the chance to be the only other uninterrupted number street from south to north in Queens except for 21st Street over in Long Island City.

©2001, Jeff Saltzman. All right reserved.