Streetlevel

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This nicely appointed Jeep was noticed while parked at a service station found at the intersection of Northern Boulevard and Newtown Road, last summer. Adorned with multiple decals indicating that it was the property of a “Zombie Response Team,” I for one am glad that someone is finally taking this sort of eventuality seriously given the presence of so many large cemeteries in Queens.

Somebody has to.

More after the jump…

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In my last post I told you about an event attended on Saturday the tenth of January at the Queens Museum, which put a spotlight on the topographical relief map of the NYC water system. Despite hurdles offered by MTA and the weather, I somehow made it there from Astoria.

On Sunday the eleventh, a repeat of my journey to the institution, housed in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, was enacted. This time, the Queens Museum was merely the place where a walking tour of the so called Iron Triangle at Willets Point was meeting up, an excursion led by the official Queens Borough Historian – Dr. Jack Eichenbaum. I’ve been lucky enough to know him for a while now, and I’m pretty sure that we met during the Queensboro Bridge Centennial celebrations back in 2009. When I heard that he would be doing this tour, inquiries whether or not I could come along were made and he graciously invited me (and you Q’Stoners) along.

Here’s what we saw along the way – with lots of photos after the jump.

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To begin with, I begged my wife to consider the concept of us purchasing the former White Castle regional office, found at the corner of 69th Street and 34th Avenue, for usage as a home. She blew me off, saying that we’d have stoned teenagers turning up in our driveway every night at 2 am. She also did a quick check of Q’Stoner’s posts from December of 2014 and pointed out that we haven’t got five million bucks to buy it with. I love the idea of living in a white ceramic building with castellations (because of, y’know, zombies), but even more interesting would be life on what I call “an angle” between neighborhoods (it would also allow me to embrace Bowling as a sport, given the neighboring corner’s occupation).

There’s spots like this all over Queens. It ain’t Woodside or Elmhurst, and it ain’t quite Jackson Heights (technically, it’s Jackson Heights) rather this area is an angle formed between them.

More after the jump…

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Urban planners call it “wayfinding.” Wayfinding is a bit of an art, by which pedestrians or vehicles can be intuitively guided through city streets or transportation hubs. A good example of bad wayfinding would be Manhattan’s Penn Station or Port Authority Bus Terminal, both of which assume that visitors will be familiar with their idiosyncratic floor plans. Pictured in today’s post are the street instructions governing bicycle and motor vehicle lanes at the corner of 39th Street and Skillman Avenue in Sunnyside, found on the southern extent of the truss bridge that overflies the Sunnyside Yards.

As my grandmother might have said – “Oy Gevalt.”

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Like every kid who grew up in New York City, the expectation was that you would be treated to a “ride” in return for being dragged by your parents to some shopping mall for school clothes. My parents used to display a sadistic glee in tormenting me, saying that they were all out of quarters and that I should think about getting a job. I was five. Eventually, after purchasing garments which my schoolmates would inevitably ridicule me for wearing, Mom and Dad would crack and give me a quarter so that I could get my payoff for consenting to wearing a turtleneck (it was the 1970s). You should have seen what they’d make me go through for a Carvel ice cream cake on my birthday, but that’s another story.

Coin Operated Vending Machines, that’s the official designation of these mechanical bits of street furniture.

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As mentioned in earlier postings, I spend a lot of time walking back and forth from Astoria to Newtown Creek. Often, given the number and quality of “classic cars” encountered on these ambles, I wonder if all the environmental pollution has somehow ripped open a hole in the space time continuum – a wormhole which allows the automobiles of yesteryear to jump forward for a short tenancy in the tyranny of the now in the same place which they were parked some sixty or seventy years ago. 43rd Street, or Shell Road as it was once known, was the border between Blissville and Berlin. Today it’s part of the so called “West Maspeth” neighborhood, and if my theory is correct – this car might have been parked here in the late 1940s.

Of course, I’m an idiot, but you have to occupy your mind with something while walking around in DUKBO. At 43rd’s intersection with 55th Avenue, that’s where I noticed this very “cool car” – a 1947 Dodge two door sedan, which I believe is a D24.

More after the jump…

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My neighborhood in Astoria, which is the little pocket that sits at the border of Woodside and Sunnyside along Northern Boulevard, has recently enjoyed a staccato rhythm somewhat different than the usual ones. Under normal circumstance, it’s car stereos and home improvement contractors supplying the beat, while lately it’s been an MTA construction project found at the intersection of Northern, 34th Avenue, and 46th Street.

Recently, one decided to follow the clanging and whirring to see what’s going on – here’s what I found…

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I say this every time that the Mister rings his bells: Mrs. Softee is lonely during the torrid nights of a New York summer, wondering for whom her man plays his song. Mister Softee is no damn good, and she’s sure of it.

Pictured above is a proper “Mister Softee” truck, found on its rounds in Astoria one night, doing exactly what he told the Mrs. that he’d be up to. The mister’s wearing his proper “trade dress” and nothing is as it shouldn’t be (except that I was walking the dog and didn’t have a penny on me, so I couldn’t buy a vanilla cone with sprinkles. Frankly, the dog was more upset than me about this, but there you go.)

Of late, however, something strange has been going on in Queens – someone has been impersonating the Mister.

More after the jump

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I’ve been missing 5Pointz something fierce lately, so after meeting some friends from the City for lunch nearby Astoria Park recently, we paid a visit to the Welling Court Mural Project. There is a LOT of street art going on here, and there has been since 2009, when the Ad Hoc Art group began the project.

Welling Court can be found here, btw.

There’s a lot of terrific stuff here. The comic guy in me loved Fumeroism’s Yellow Hulk.

As mentioned, this is a curated project which is in its fifth year of installation.

From Ad Hoc Art’s Facebook page:

The Welling Court Mural Project began in 2009 when Ad Hoc Art was invited by the community of Welling Court to slay some aesthetic blights in their neighborhood. The first project debuted in May 2010 with over 44 murals, fitting for the diverse and lively inhabitants. Each year since, spectacular crews of legendary and groundbreaking artists have come together to transform the neighborhood into a creative celebration and public art experience.

Many, many more images and lots of commentary after the jump.

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A Q’Stoner tipster was wondering what kind of supermarket was moving into the row of stores along 99th Street bordering LeFrak City, and it turns out it is the Chinese chain GW Supermarkets. It’s a small grocery store chain with eight locations throughout Boston, Maryland, Georgia, Virginia and two on Northern Boulevard in Flushing.

The grocer will occupy a large space that is now undergoing a massive renovation. (According to the GW Supermarket website, the store will have multiple delicatessens, as well as a produce and seafood selection.) It’s expected to open this summer. As our tipster says in regards to the rendering, “Apparently, they expect albinos and ghosts to shop there.” GMAP

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