Willets Point

“Willets Point: Beyond the Curbline”

WORKING IN GARBAGE CITIES AND SHANTYTOWNS

2007, 17 mins., USA
Producer: La Scalzo Media Design, for Willets Point Industry and Reality Association

Agit-Prop Documentary (at http://current.com/items/87589751/willets_point_behind_the_curbline.htm
or vodpod.com/watch/571301-willets-point-behind-the-curbline)

Willets Point, also known as the Iron Triangle, forms an underdeveloped thirteen-block area near Shea Stadium in Flushing, New York City. Although Mayor Bloomberg’s Economic Development Corporation (EDC) quotes the Census of 2000—there is only one recorded resident in Willets Point—the daily working population there has been without basic city services for so long that it has begun to resemble the sets from Escape from New York: workers swarm around derelict vehicles laboring to bring them back to life or in some instances take them apart for the re-sale of the parts (see Chop Shop). The streets fill with water after a storm and the less said about sanitation the better (there are no sewers).

Estimates of the number of businesses and workers vary, but one good guess is that upwards of 1500 people work in auto, salvage, and related businesses. Comes the Mayor Bloomberg, with a plan: take over all the private property by eminent domain, raze the entire district, and create appropriate office and residential opportunities that will complement Citi Field, the new home of the NY Mets baseball team. Stay tuned. If Willets Point goes, not only do many working class people lose their jobs, but the part of NYC that most resembles the Global Shantytown will also disappear.

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