By Wad Rotson, Ruse Urban Erosion & Amphibian Affairs Corespondent
When it comes to the Kensington Expressway, city officials, mass transit experts, and East Side residents all seem to agree: nearly 7 decades since construction started and prompted the systematic crumbling of once-thriving neighborhoods and business districts, the formerly-lamented thoroughfare has wholly justified its existence by serving as the filming location for a 4-minute action sequence that will reportedly open the latest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles installment.
Several local historians speculate that mid-century engineers who advocated for the project as a means to alleviate heavy traffic on city streets were actually using this rationale to cover their true intent: what Professor Harold Kinton describes as an “inexplicable sense that the space they were creating would be used by future generations to record fictional stories about genetically-altered amphibians.”
According to Kinton, although Expressway’s bisection of a picturesque Olmsted parkway expedited a process of economic decline, depopulation, racial division, and rampant air and noise pollution over the course of a half-century, seeing these “visionary dreamers” have their life’s work come to fruition during the past two week’s TMNT filming “makes it all totally worth it.”
Asked whether she thought “a little brush with Hollywood” during last week’s filming made her feel better about the historically damaging effects the Kensington has had on her neighborhood, Cherry Street resident Joyce Saunders simply looked at this reporter for a good 15 seconds, then queried, “What do you think?”