The 73rd Street in Jackson Heights which houses various Bangladeshi businesses including restaurants, grocery stores, pharmacies, and newspaper offices, was renamed “Bangladesh Street” on Independence Day (26 March).
The street name was unveiled in a special ceremony onsite by NYC Council Member Shekar Krishnan District 25 of Elmhurst and Jackson Heights, who was instrumental in putting forth the proposal to the City Council Administration, in the presence of other local political leaders, members of Jackson Heights Bangladeshi Business Association (JBBA) and community leaders, reports News India Times.
Earlier, another street in Jamaica, New York, was renamed ‘Bangladesh Avenue’, and Stalling Avenue in the Bronx was renamed ‘Bangla Bazar Avenue’.
Getting a street renamed takes a long time. Many members of the community had long been wanted for a place in Jackson Heights to reflect the vibrant Bangladeshi community and have requested Council Member Krishnan’s assistance since he started in office. Council Member Krishnan worked with his colleagues and city officials regarding the proposal and it was approved at a City Council meeting on 16 February.
Unveiling the street name, Council Member Shekar Krishnan, tweeted, “’Bangladesh Street’” is more than a name. It’s the recognition of a community whose power is growing stronger each day. Today, on Bangladesh’s 52nd Independence Day, a street in #JacksonHeights is forever changed. 73rd St will celebrate Bangladesh tomorrow & every day after.”
Krishnan went on to add, “From our taxi workers to small businesses, to media and politics, our Bangladeshi community is a force. I stand on the shoulders of many uncles, aunties, siblings without whom I wouldn’t be here. With this street naming, the voices of our Bangladeshi community echo across NYC.”
US Congresswoman Grace Meng, who participated in the event, tweeted, “Celebrating Bangladesh Independence Day in #JacksonHeights with a street co-naming in honor of our vibrant #Bangladeshi American community in Queens. 73rd Street and 37th Avenue will now also be known as Bangladesh Street. I thank @CMShekarK for working to make this happen.”