The Iron Triangle by Greg Brophy

Issue 82

In a small corner of Queens in the shadow of Citibank Field there is a place that looks like the set of a dystopian movie. Willets Point, Queens, known for its junkyards, auto repair shops, and recycling plants, has been nicknamed "The Iron Triangle" and for good reason. The streets are unpaved, cars are stacked on top of each other and tires float in puddles the size of lakes.

The businesses have been fighting a long battle with past and current NYC administrations over eminent domain, but they have lost. The area has now been slated for redevelopment. There has been talk about turning it into everything from an Olympic Stadium to a convention center.

My motive in creating The Iron Triangle was to create a visual record of the are before it is all sanitized by shopping malls and frozen yogurt stands. To examine the stories of the people I met there – the immigrant worker whose family just left him; the small business owner being pushed out against his will; the people who work on minimum wage and are trying to get their car fixed cheaply because they need to get to work tomorrow.

These photographs show an area that was forgotten in time and asks the question: Does every place need to be completely developed? Is there no place for the run down, the beat up and untamed or does every corner of New York City have to be cleaned up and sanitized of its past? Willets Point is like a one eyed junk yard dog – only scary if you don't know how to approach it.

Greg Brophy lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
To view more of Greg's work, please visit his website.

 

 Playground

Playground

 
 Blighted Infrastructure

Blighted Infrastructure

 
 Muffled

Muffled

 
 Frank

Frank

 
 No Bailouts Here

No Bailouts Here

 
 The Persistence of Steel

The Persistence of Steel

 
 Beyond This Point

Beyond This Point

 
 Registered

Registered

 
 Royal Field

Royal Field

 
 Trapped

Trapped

 
 No Teardrops

No Teardrops

 
 In the Shadows

In the Shadows

 
 Part Carbon Part Iron

Part Carbon Part Iron

 
 Tires and Gelatto

Tires and Gelatto

 
 Paul

Paul

 
 People Used to Sleep Here

People Used to Sleep Here

 
 Junk Yard Dog

Junk Yard Dog

 
 Relief Worker

Relief Worker

 
 Veterans

Veterans

 
 The Land of Kings

The Land of Kings