At one time beneath the El at Queensboro Plaza was a commuter parking lot surrounded by crowded noisy roads busy with buses, trucks and cars crossing over the Queensboro Bridge from Queens to Manhattan and back again. Now, that parking lot has been transformed into a beautiful little park or green called the Dutch Kills Green named after the Dutch Kills section of Long Island City that at one time was a small hamlet with a large Dutch grist mill situated right in the middle of what we now know as Queensboro Plaza. Two of the original mill stones survived the centuries of urban progress and are proudly displayed inside a quiet shady area of the green.
This is truly an oasis in the middle of a dry dusty urban environment with leafy trees, green wild grasses, flowers and benches to sit upon and watch the N, Q and #7 trains as they make the wide snaking turns into and out of the station high above. A few of the roads have been turned into bike lanes for cyclists to safely and joyfully ride their bikes up and over the 59th Street bridge and wide pedestrian walkways for those who prefer to take their leisure by foot.
I was absolutely entranced in this tiny garden of Eden and wanted to capture this new park in its infancy, which had its christening in April. Surrounding the green is the brand new 2 Gotham Center and the CitiCorp building, LIC’s first skyscraper, both clad in shinning blue glass and seemed at times to melt into the sky. Their older sibling buildings on the opposite side now have a new front lawn to boast of and their work day occupants have a cozy place to enjoy a sandwich or a cup of coffee on lunch hour.
Enjoy the images of this miracle of urban renewal and transformation below.