Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Iron Man of the Iron Triangle


From Last Exit Magazine:

Situated in the shadows of Citi Field in Queens — the home ballpark of the New York Mets — Willets Point, aka The Iron Triangle, is a series of junkyards and auto body shops that has been neglected for over 75 years by the city of New York. Though all the owners pay a hefty property tax, the local government has refused to provide adequate sewers, street lights, and sidewalks. The extreme neglect by local officials has forced the area to become a blight making it eligible for eminent domain.

The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) has decided to move forward with its ten-year plan to buy up the entire property, whether the owners like it or not, in order to build luxury condos, a hotel, and a convention center—putting thousands of workers out of a job. Though the NYCEDC has offered educational classes, the pay rate associated with the degrees is insufficient as a replacement salary.

Joe Ardizzone was born here and remains the only resident and voting person in the district. After 76 years of residency in the house he was born in, he continues to fight for his rightful land and the lives of the surrounding workers.