A rainy day in Queens in 1931

Martin Lewis’ drypoint print, “Rainy Day, Queens,” captures light behind cloudy skies and in slick sidewalk puddles on a grim city day.

Does anyone have an idea where this is?

It’s moody and enchanting—and it sold at Christie’s for $23,750! I hope it’s not sitting in a closet somewhere.

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17 Responses to “A rainy day in Queens in 1931”

  1. mykola (mick) dementiuk Says:

    Ever since you started showing his paintings I’ve really grown to love his work. There’s a sense of isolation and apartness which shows the NY character. He or she is ever alone.

    • wildnewyork Says:

      I know exactly what you mean. I came across Lewis only after I started Ephemeral, and over the past few years I’ve become a huge fan of his lovely and fascinating prints. Now if only I had 23K to buy one….

  2. Rick Says:

    I don’t know where this is, but I think there are at least two big clues for others more familiar with Queens: the wall on the right with nothing behind it could be a railroad overpass and the fact that the road slopes dramatically down after that. Perhaps one of the LIRR overpasses, like Thompson Ave in LIC (though the buildings do not match).

  3. Michele Hush Says:

    It could be one of the Sunnyside railroad overpasses — Honeywell Avenue or 39th Street, perhaps.

  4. Josh Says:

    Could it be Bell Boulevard in Bayside, where it crosses over the LIRR tracks and station below?

  5. Peter Bennett Says:

    I’m going with Queens Blvd, no specific reason why, but the overpass could be over Union Turnpike or the Van Wyke

  6. T.J. Connick Says:

    Woodside, looking westward towards Sunnyside. Up the crumbling bluestone sidewalk on Skillman Ave., Roosevelt Ave is at your back. The crest of the hill is the point where 54th Street zig-zags across Skillman.

    At the time the work was made, it was a brand new neighborhood, carved out of overgrown farms and crumbling homesteads on the wastes lying west of Woodside. Check out NY Public Library’s Digital Gallery entry (Image ID: 725455F), showing the same direction from about a half block to the left. See also Image ID: 725454F, showing the sidewalk in the foreground of the print; photo taken from across the street, looking north.

    The fenced wall along the busted sidewalk is the perimeter of the old P.S. 11 property. See it at the gallery: Image ID: 728232F (but not from the perspective of Skillman).

    The foreground has been transformed, but all buildings in the print are still there. The first building on the left is the 4-story walk-up apartment building on SE corner of Skillman and 54th.

  7. LoriB Says:

    Wow, great eye, TJ! Here it is today: http://tinyurl.com/5s3cwe9

    I spent a good hour this morning combing the rail road overpasses in that area and through Queens this morning!

    • T.J. Connick Says:

      There was a time when that sort of thing could have gotten you in hot water with the vice squad.

    • LilyPondLane Says:

      I believe you are correct. I went onto Google Earth and looked at the window pattern of the large building–which is still extant at 54th St. and Skillman Ave.–on the left in the picture. It matches up with the one in Lewis’s print. Good work!

  8. petey Says:

    if i had that money i’d buy this one

  9. Michael Moran Says:

    I agree with the location – I knew it the minute I saw the picture, must be from walking out of PS 11 and heading west on Skillman for seven years of my life

  10. Edith Says:

    This looks like Northern Blvd at Crocheron Avene near the Broadway station of the LIRR in Flushing

  11. “Quarter of Nine” on a New York morning « Ephemeral New York Says:

    [...] out another Martin Lewis street scene with a now-solved mystery location in Queens. Share this:TwitterLike this:LikeBe the first to like [...]

  12. chas Says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKUOB8MN4Kc

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