As I write this on April Fools
Day, 2001, the bridge vaulting Queens Boulevard over the Sunnyside
Rail Yards is 91 years old, and its physical condition is no
joke. I wasn't aware of it when I shot these the week before,
but today the DOT begins a year long rehab project that will
effectively close these eastbound lanes for a time. Making herself
an icon of our era, the pedestrian heading towards me is on a
cellphone call. The cops in the stationwagon are probably headed
for Boulevard Blitz patrol, targeting all traffic violators large
and small, wheeled and walker alike. The next intersection is
Looking west in another unfortunate attempt
to shoot at 1/30 f/4 without a tripod. Actually, the blur is
more from moving vehicles than hand shake. My hands, despite
frequent coffee nerve shakes, were pretty darn steady. Oh when
oh when will I give in and buy a badly needed 50/1.7 lens for
my Maxxum? Either that, or a comfortable piece of all-purpose
luggage that will fit my trusty old manual focus X700, for which
I have a 50/1.7. Ach, I guess my next trip over here will require
I lug my tripod with me.
To the right, looking northeast, a Long Island Railroad train
chugs out towards Woodside, where it will either split off for
Port Washington, or the main line towards Jamaica. For the former,
it will pass over Queens Blvd. two more times; the latter, once.
This endless love affair between railroad and auto-road is one
of the little told stories of New York City. The lack of clarity
here I have absolutely no excuse for, as I had plenty of broken
chain link fencing to rest against.
Two more views north of the
railyard, shared by the Long Island, Amtrak, Metro North and
Conrail/CSX, or whatever the hell it's called now. The ancient
Redbirds in the foreground are relegated to trackwork duty now.
The Long Island system doesn't use overhead wires for electrification;
Metro North and the others do.
©2001, Jeff Saltzman. All