Another Landscape Lost - JuniperCivic.com
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Originally published in the March 2019 Juniper Berry Magazine

Another Landscape Lost

So this is what happens when you're not paying attention, or not involved enough? Some may say I have no right to complain because I haven't attended any community board meetings as of late, but is this storage unit, and others like it, even something that gets proposed and/or approved by community boards? Well this is a question I will be asking my representatives going forward.

So why am I so upset? Because there is so little beauty and nature left in our area that the sky is almost all we have left, aside from Forest and Juniper Parks. I'm sure I'm not the only one who thinks this big stupid blue box has ruined the view for many residents on both sides of Cooper Avenue, not to mention the views one sees from the 80th Street Bridge. To be honest, I am disgusted by it, and angry that has taken away from the beauty and character of our area of Queens.

Ironically, I've always been fond of the fact that Glendale was an industrial area, and I thought these industrial structures only added to the character of our little town. Maybe because none of those structures were more than 3 or 4 stories high, and most were only one or two stories high. Plus, most were, and thankfully some still are, made of a beautiful red brick, which in my opinion beats almost any other material as far as looks are concerned. Some of those old Atlas Terminal buildings have (or had) significant and ornate architecture, which added to the ambiance of the area.

I was also upset and disappointed when a huge section of Atlas Terminal was converted into an outdoor mall. But Atlas Park does have its advantages and luckily some of the old brick buildings are still there. I am thankful they didn't take down my favorite structure of all ‒ the old water tower that can be seen on the east side of the 80th St. Bridge. I'm pretty sure some of the residents of 77th Avenue in Glendale don't like the water tower so much, but probably only because it's been allowed to rust to the point of being kind of ugly ‒ and this is coming from someone who wants to start a committee called Friends of the Water Tower so we can give it a fresh coat of paint! I think then the people on 77th road would be just fine with that water tower if it wasn't a huge rusty looking iron thing outside their back windows.

As an amateur photographer I've spent countless hours taking photographs of the buildings, the water tower, the views from the bridge, and the railroad tracks, which made our area of Queens a really unique, interesting, and ‒ dare I say ‒ quaint place to grow up! If you've ever crossed over the 80th Street Bridge at just the right hour, you'd have witnessed some of the most majestic sunsets you've ever seen, and I have the photos to prove it! Well, so much for quaintness. You really can no longer call an area quaint when there are three of these big ugly things less than a mile from the houses near 80th St. and the Sacred Heart area. The storage unit by Home Depot really didn't bother anyone because it's not very tall, and it's under the Woodhaven Blvd. Overpass.

Although the one on 88th St. definitely took away from the character of the neighborhood, it also isn't that tall (although I still hate it). But this latest one really has destroyed the beauty of the landscape and the small-town feel of our neighborhood.

I actually think it's a bit telling and somewhat worrisome that people are willing to rent a room every month, sometimes for many years, for the stuff they don't want in their houses, or are too emotionally attached to get rid of. I get that storage units serve a purpose for people with legitimate storage needs, such as people who rent and/or don't have a garage or a basement. But I think the majority of them just can't let go of their old junk. And now there are three of these storage units within a mile of each other, and that's just in Glendale alone! Imagine the world we could live in if instead of renting a room for the stuff you don't use or want to look at, you helped pay the rent for a family who is barely surviving. We have the money to house the stuff we don't want in our homes, but not for the people who have nowhere to call home. And isn't it ironic that our city has a disgraceful housing reputation that is beyond a crisis, but our junk has a nice, clean, dry place to stay?

Well, I guess it's too late for me or anyone else to do anything about this gross monstrosity that will serve as a home for people's stuff and for the man caves that I've heard is the latest trend and oddity of human behavior (musicians excluded). But more disheartening is the fact that it will block some of the most glorious sunrises and sunsets that people on all sides of this ridiculous structure were once able to experience.

March 2019 Juniper Berry Magazine

March 2019 Table of Contents