General Question

LuckyGuy's avatar

Is it safe to drive in the Iron Triangle, (Willets Point area of Queens NY), on a Sunday afternoon?

Asked by LuckyGuy (30123 points ) August 17th, 2014

I just heard of this area and my son wants to drive there to see it. It looks a lot like parts of India but with different cars and signs.

Is it safe to drive there today? Is there a chance my son would get car-jacked?

I have looked for crime rates and problems but did not see anything useful. I’m hoping someone here is familiar with the area and can offer advice.

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28 Answers

jca's avatar

I would keep windows up just to be on the safe side. Not sure specifically about this area. I know we (my family) go to Upper East Side, uptown (CP near the Met), West Village, etc. without fear of problems, but that’s Manhattan.

I’m not sure about Queens.

From what I know about Queens, what I read about what’s there (multicultural food places, Indian fabric stores, etc.),it’s a lot of fast driving on long boulevards with lots of traffic and people crossing. All the time, when I hear about people getting hit-and-run, it’s Queens for some reason. They’re probably speeding down these boulevards and meantime, people are crossing. If I’m not mistaken, I heard that the place in the city where there are the highest rate of pedestrians getting hit by autos is in Queens.

Tell him just be careful driving and if possible, keep windows up and watch for pedestrians and delivery bikes. Also, taxi drivers are maniacs everywhere you go. I assume his car will have AC and automatic locks.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Yes. He will have locked doors and windows. That area does not appear to have fast boulevards. It has o sidewalks or sewers. Cars are everywhere. One website said it looks like a post Apocalypse New York City, Forgotten NY

jca's avatar

I just went on NY Times websites and searched for it. I see from the search results that it’s auto repair shops and stuff like that. I am just curious what is it about the area that makes him want to spend a Sunday there, since it doesn’t sound particularly incredible.

wildpotato's avatar

There are pockets of this sort of thing all over, though I think most of them usually have sewers. Looks a lot like parts of eastern and southern Bronx and Jersey City. I would not personally feel uncomfortable or wary driving through, though I would not bike or walk it without my big scary-looking dog.

I am also curious about why he thinks it would be worth a visit. Is he a photographer?

LuckyGuy's avatar

He wants to see it. He thinks it looks like another world. Maybe he can use it as a backdrop for a movie. It is hard to believe it is in NYC!

XOIIO's avatar

What exactly is it?

jca's avatar

@XOIIO: It’s a neighborhood in a borough of NYC. It probably does look like another world, @LuckyGuy. I wonder if it got a lot of damage during Sandy.

Tell your son to bring some bones or treats for the junkyard dogs!

LuckyGuy's avatar

@jca Thanks for the tip. I will tell him to stay in the car.

jca's avatar

@LuckyGuy: I bet if he goes to one of the boulevards in the multicultural section, he can get some great Indian food and probably find some Indian fabric stores where, if he or his family is into it, he can get some beautiful imported fabrics.

If I were him I would take a ride into NYC and cruise around there, too. Central Park on a day like today will be an awesome place to hang. Also, the Met admission fee is a “suggested price” which means you can really pay what you want. Been there, done that.

gailcalled's avatar

Make sure he is driving an old, untempting rusted clunker and suggest he take a large, well-muscled friend with him. They both should be wearing grey hoodies.

Have cell phones on speed-dial for 911.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Going by the pictures on that Forgotten NY article the place doesn’t look that bad. Run down and kinda dumpy sure, but there’s nothing scary about it. Why are people so intimidated by places that aren’t small town USA or Disneyfied touristy urban areas?

jca's avatar

@gailcalled: Those suggestions sound a bit drastic.

gailcalled's avatar

It’s the mommy gene.

DominicX's avatar

You might as well see it now, because they’re going to be tearing it down and replacing it with condos and a convention center/megamall:

http://www.nycedc.com/project/willets-point-development

Brian1946's avatar

It should be okay, as long he can avoid those egomaniacal IPS drivers. ;-)

LuckyGuy's avatar

He survived.. He said the roads were torn up and peppered with potholes filled with rain water. It was very crowded with cars in various states of disrepair being either driven in or driven out of shops on both sides of the road.
His favorite building was made by stacking and welding 6 forty foot long shipping containers together. “How is that place legal?” He’ll send pictures.

Thanks for your input.

XOIIO's avatar

I’d love to see a picture of that, it sounds awesome

LuckyGuy's avatar

Use Google maps and search for 126–53 Willets Point Blvd. Corona NY 11368. then go to street view. Look directly west. You will see the building (there is a yellow awning out front and a small, black car with its backup lights on coming out of one of the containers.
In the picture you can see a UPS truck a little to the south. Incredible.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@LuckyGuy Thanks for the instructions. What a crazy building. It’s also pretty odd that there is the baseball stadium right there and then directly across the street is all this.
Found another shipping container building at 127–41-127–99 Willets Point Blvd

XOIIO's avatar

@El_Cadejo How did you get it, I can’t get it on google maps or google street view for some reason.

LuckyGuy's avatar

He said there were others. It looked like something from an old Mad Max movie.
Apparently there is a trade imbalance in shipping containers. China sends the US more stuff than the US exports. Containers can be had for $700! A standard container is 40 ft long, 8’ wide, and 8’ tall. So the building has a footprint of 24’ x 40’ – 960 sq ft. and 16 ft tall for a parts price of $4200. Incredible.
Why are there homeless people?

gailcalled's avatar

25 gorgeous homes made from shipping containers.

http://www.homedit.com/22-most-beautiful-houses-made-from-shipping-containers/

More (and larger) opulent homes made from multiple shipping containers.

http://io9.com/the-greatest-homes-made-from-shipping-containers-around-453393451

LuckyGuy's avatar

@XOIIO I’ll see if I can get you a link. Is there a chance Google maps does not work in Canada? Try this link

LuckyGuy's avatar

@gailcalled Those are gorgeous!!! I could plop a few of those babbies in my back yard and use them as an office or garden shed. I noticed the price on a couple of those houses. They were astonishingly high, considering.

6 containers = $4200
150 pounds of 7014 weld rod. = $500
8 cans of Imron epoxy paint = $800
24 strings of LED lights = $240
Some plants =200
I could have mansion for <$10,000.

And $20,000 to silence the neighbors and pay for building permits. :-)

gailcalled's avatar

@LuckyGuy: I have noticed several high-end new homes in my area that incorporate traditional contemporary design with a shipping container sticking out rakishly somewhere.

2230 sq. feet @ $300,000.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Here is the link to the place on 126th St. Rotate so you are looking West.

@gailcalled. I think I’ve found my calling!

Here is another article with photos.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Nevermind shipping containers. As it is there are more vacant homes in the US than there are homeless.

XOIIO's avatar

@LuckyGuy Thanks, google maps works fine I just couldn’t get it to enter street view mode for some reason.

That is pretty awesome, it’s like a mini post apocalyptic world

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