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Queens Blvd. at Woodhaven
Photo Gallery: Queens Blvd

Death Blvd

subway stationWe're on the Woodhaven Blvd/59th Avenue overpass crossing the Queens blvd express lanes, looking south, where the Long Island Expressway's myriad modules cross over Woodhaven. Even without having to deal with the extra 6 lanes, walking across here is nervewracking and those cognizant enough to do so are best off tunneling below via the subway mezzanine and coming up for air by the stairs just beyond the red fire alarm box, where the green decal identifying the local IND G train line can just barely be made out. Long before the expressway obliterated it, this area was apparently known as Slattery Plaza, the great confluence of four major Queens thoroughfares: Eliot Avenue, Horace Harding, Woodhaven, and Doctor Death - Queens Blvd. Slattery Plaza still lives on in the fertile memory banks of the Woodhaven subway stop, along with other illuminaries that the transit system seems unable to admit no longer exist, such as Rawson, Lowery and Bliss Streets and perhaps the funniest: Van Wyck Boulevard. They might as well refer to Queens Blvd as Hoffman Road. Incidently, the subway photo was taken around 1982 and those wooden benches are now history, at least there.
Here, lets look east from good old Slattery Plaza. Traffic was unusually light the June 2000 afternoon I shot around here. It actually annoyed me. I wanted action, but get only so many days to do this stuff. I was there and had to go with what I had. A huge apartment house from the late 1970's stands on the left, just east of the Expressway. Unseen behind it is the notorious Goldfingers strip club. I was there a couple of times and even went out for a couple of months with a dancer. She was a nice girl and very religious, but was in a situation where this appeared to be the only viable financial option. Given a clear vision of a better option, she would not have been doing that work, but in the time I knew her, she didn't beat herself to death over her choice. She had to eat and pay her rent and bills, this was supplying the means and she accepted with a trooper's pragmatism that she had to do what she had to do. What can I say? Put yourself in her shoes before you judge.

© 2001, Jeff Saltzman.