Jesse Jarnow

willets point, 5/06

Walking from home plate at Shea Stadium, across second base, through the outfield, over the fence and to the other side of the parking lot, one arrives in Willets Point, a sprawling near-shantytown of car repair places. Before tonight’s five-hour, 16-inning blowout victory against the Phillies, Tony and I wandered through Willets Point at Magic Hour. The roads were unpaved and riddled with puddles. There were chop shops, pre-fab warehouses, body specialists, and lots filled with tires. Tony said it felt like being suddenly transported to a third world nation. He wasn’t wrong. It was pure urban anarchy.

When the Mets’ new stadium goes up in a few years, it’s a sure bet that somebody will have some whizbang revitalization plans that will involve the removal of the unsightly car repair places (the cheapest in the boroughs, supposedly) currently clogging up valuable waterfront real estate. For now, though, the scrap metal glows in the Queens County sunset.

You can see Shea’s upper deck in the distance…