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Queens Blvd. at 62nd Avenue
Rego Park
Photo Gallery: Queens Blvd

Death Blvd
I'm on the centermost median strip across from what's left of 62nd Avenue unseen to the right. This was shot in June of 2000, when although still recognized as dangerous, Queens Blvd had not yet been demonized as The Boulevard of Death. Had it, this kid probably would have been looking in the direction of oncoming traffic, instead of at me. Actually, he might have been getting a jaywalking ticket, since in February of 2001, the cops are blitzing wayward pedestrians in an attempt to save their skins.To the left is the corner of Lost Battalion Hall, a depression era gymnasium in front of which I got mugged in 1971 at the age of 13 by a gang whose leader asked if I was gonna be bad like them when I grew up, followed by his wiseass right hand thug, who added, "If you grow up." My money wasn't enough for these five pieces of defecation, may they all have ended up floating in Jamaica Bay as fishfood; one of them had to belt me in the mouth as they took off. Needless to say, the Lost Battalion Hall was not my favorite place after that. When garbage like this are shot to death by rival gangs or cops, not only haven't I the slightest shred of sympathy for their families; I actually revel in their misery and heartily congratulate them for reaping what they sowed upon the earth.I'm sick and tired of hearing the relatives bemoan their dead felons. As far as I'm concerned, they had no right to screw up so badly in raising their children that they turned out as they did. It should be a felony to fail so miserably as a parent. Let my residual anger not mislead anyone into thinking that I don't feel for the true innocent victims, such as Amadou Diallo. It still boggles my mind that anyone, be they cops, jurors or otherwise, could find no criminal negligence of any kind in such an irresponsible use of deadly force.

west towards LIE
Enough of raving and ranting. Let's turn around and look at the LIE one block to the west. Why? Because I say so; that's why! I had to squeeze the blood out of my scanning program to save this hopelessly unbalanced and underexposed shot. The problem is I'm too lazy to use a polarizer, so all of you who think they're being sold a bill of goods when a camera salesman pushes a polarizing filter on you, get the damn filter and use it outdoors. The westbound boulevard express lanes are about to plunge into their short-lived "expressway" phase. Unseen to the right are Goldfingers strip club and a car wash.
Presto chango, now they're seen!. It's always been Goldfingers that people thought brought the neighborhood down, covering this stretch with a coating of sleaze, but one fine day during February 2001, it turned out to be the car wash that was the lousy neighbor, and to make matters worse, it added the otherwise inconspicuous deadending 62nd Avenue to the now endless litany of Death Blvd. intersectors where pedestrians have been hit by cars. A baby in a stroller and its 3 year old sibling were hit by one of the car wash's low life employees as he backed a car up towards the curb. Thank the Good Lord the baby was unhurt and the toddler suffered only hand injuries. The animal behind the wheel actually fled the scene. At this writing, I do not know if he's been apprehended. It's things like this that they should cane people for.
As for Goldfingers, the only thing marking it as what it is, is its sign, and for all any kid walking by might think, it's just a place for women to get their nails done. I therefore feel I can find it amusing that it is right next door to a Burger King, which on certain days is liable to have more kids than any school. At least, in its defense, Goldfingers operates in as inconspicuous a building as you will find, set back from the sidewalk (It used to be a diner), on a block that at least nominally is off the usual neighobrhood beaten track. The same cannot be said for the owners of Wiggles, which was placed right smack in everyone's view, between the heavily travelled block from 63rd Drive to 64th Road.
Another underexposed disaster rescued by fanatical scanning. Shot on telephoto from 62nd Avenue, the LIE overhead and that Look Building style building to the right with the Emigrant Bank sign, followed by Queens Center and the former Stern's beyond that. A city bus is atop the overpass about to start its return trip to wherever it came from. Though I found the light traffic that day a hindrance to getting exciting shots, it proved beneficial for braving this extremely thin center divider.
The scene with the carwash was taken in late February of 2001.

© 2001, Jeff Saltzman.