At least the roads were mostly dry. Notorious for its lack of city-maintained sewerage, the Willets Point neighborhood of Queens has in recent years witnessed the forced relocation of many commercial tenants, most of them auto-repair dealers, to make way for new development.
The perseverance of the remaining businesses, both formal and informal, amid emptied lots and the occasional skeletal tree reminded me of Beijing, which I visited a dozen years ago as it prepared for the 2008 Summer Olympics. Two photos from that visit are shown below; twenty more appear in this album. How many of those Beijing backstreets have vanished, there's no telling.
Roadside food stand
Willets Point Blvd. near 39th Ave., Willets Point, Queens