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Queens Blvd. at Van Loon St.
Photo Gallery: Queens Blvd

Death Blvd
A pedestrian was killed crossing here 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 March, 2001.

©2001, Jeff Saltzman. All right reserved.