At the northern base of the bridge
from Broad Channel, we peer into the heart and soul of Howard
Beach. Cross Bay Blvd outdoes even its macabre Woodhaven alter
ego in looking like the land that time forgot. It's trademark
multi-masted utility poles evoke images of pre WWI street photos,
when the utility poles all looked like vertical railroad tracks
missing one rail. Don't the support brackets beneath each cross
arm make them look like they're grinning and full of malevolent
evil? These kind of ute poles always spooked me out as a kid.
Just barely up on Broad Channel
Bridge looking north over the shoreline of Howard Beach below.
A canal separates much of Howard Beach from Cross Bay Blvd for
several blocks. Unseen to the right is the active section of
the Rockaway line, used by the subways. North of Liberty Avenue
in Ozone Park, the abandoned section of the Rockaway line turns
into the infamous Dead Tracks. This bridge and its sister further
south leading from Broad Channel to the Rockaways are popular
perches for fishermen, as is the sliver of pier below. That blotch
of red on the railing was probably fish guts.
Now we're further out on the bridge. I think
I was hanging out through a hole in the cyclone fence used for
fishing, in order to shoot this. Just below me something else
was hanging around. Among all of New York City's many outdoor
illuminati, this must certainly rank as the most overlooked and
least considered. It is a warning light so boaters know a low
bridge is ahead waiting to clip off their masts, or their heads,
if they are not careful. It looks like something that would look
real cool hanging in a garage, or a marine themed house of ill
Remember the fish guts? Umm umm,
honey! What's for dinner? Before you bemoan the senseless taking
of life by sport fishermen who had no intention of at least eating
the damned things, rest assured that the neighborhood seagulls
had a grand old party here later that night. They have to eat
too, and these unfortunate critters probably saved the lives
of the clams that the seagulls did not have to hunt that evening.
Ever watch a seagull hunt clams? Not a pretty sight.
© 2001, Jeff Saltzman.