OH NO! Can there possibly be a more fitting
pair of bedfellows than Queens Boulevard, the Boulevard of Death,
and Firestone Tires, the Tire of Death? That big white Firestone
logo is more likely to put the fear of God into southbound pedestrians
and motorists alike, than a thousand of those Be Alert signs.
For those who've already forgotten in this, the first week of
April 2001, Firestone Tires have had the unfortunate reputation
over the past few year for exploding and shredding on certain
SUVs. And those familiar with Firestones, but not embattled boulevards,
Queens Boulevard has garnered a reputation for shredding pedestrians
trying to cross it, especially where it spans 12 lanes; 14 if
you count the parking zones; 15 if you include left turn cutouts.
I once had something done on a car at D&D Auto Glass, but
for my life, I can't remember what. It may actually be my parents'
old 1977 Buick that I recall having work done. Its driver side
window used to fall out of its track.
Well, all you needed to make
a corner on Death Boulevard Loony was to have a Firestone dealer
sitting there, which brings us to where exactly we are; the intersection
of Van Loon Street, one block west of Grand/Broadway. Across
on the northside is a one time Greek diner that is now a Chinese
diner. Yes, Virginia, such things definitely do exist. Hey, haven't
chinese restaurants always refilled your teacups forever? Not
such a leap from unlimited coffee to unlimited tea. The other
northside business is another of the endless auto service shops
that dominate the Western Elmhurst/Southheastern Woodside stretch
of the boulevard. A good ole wire mesh waste basket holds court
on the southwestern curb. Those things will NEVER disappear.
A look east. Will anybody
remember McDonald's Dollar Menu years from now? Not likely if
all these mad cow diseases get any worse. Just wait till Anthrax
comes rolling in. "Mommy, what were cows?" As I right
this, the standoff with China is underway over the US navy plane
that collided with its Chinese shadow and is being held, with
its crew, by the Chinese. The photos, however, date from mid
©2001, Jeff Saltzman. All