In the News: How West Broadway Got Named

••• “Why does Manhattan have a West Broadway and an East Broadway, neither of which intersects the ‘real’ Broadway? […] Both roads received their current names in the mid-19th century, well after Broadway was established, but no one knows why for certain. It may have been an attempt by property owners to cash in on the prestige of the Broadway name, or by the city to relieve traffic congestion on the original Broadway.” W. Broadway’s “first piece, Chapel Street, was laid over land once known as ‘King’s Farm’ in the mid-1700s. Parts of the route had a number of different names, including College Place, Adams Street, Laurens Street, and Concord Street. In 1870, at the behest of William ‘Boss’ Tweed, the powerful head of Tammany Hall, the section of West Broadway north of Canal Street was renamed South Fifth Avenue. Tweed owned property nearby and thought the association with the ‘real’ Fifth Avenue would boost its value, in part because the strip had become a red-light district known as ‘Rotten Row.’ Critics detested both names. […] After a campaign by local merchants, West Broadway replaced South Fifth Avenue and College Place in 1896. LaGuardia Place, honoring the former mayor, was renamed in 1967.” There’s more on E. Broadway’s many previous names. (Above: A sign at W. Broadway and Warren.)  —New York Times

•••”Elected Officials Push Governor to Sign Bill for Resident Seats on BPCA Board.” —Broadsheet

••• “Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito is pushing the City Council to pass a last-minute bill boosting the number of street food vendors. […] The council is set to vote on the bill Tuesday, in its final meeting before new members take office. It would add hundreds more licenses for food trucks and carts over the next decade, with about 10 percent set aside for veterans. […] The council tabled a similar expansion bill last year, and hasn’t held hearings on any of the problems that torpedoed it. The speaker is just bringing up a new version (whose details have shifted behind closed doors) without engaging the critics. Concerns include pedestrian safety and traffic congestion—and the potential harm to small brick-and-mortar businesses already under huge financial pressure.” —New York Post

••• “Music mogul Russell Simmons is accused of rape by three women.” Simmons still has an apartment in FiDi, I believe. “Told in detail about the rape accusations and other misconduct, Mr. Simmons, 60, said in a statement: ‘I vehemently deny all these allegations. These horrific accusations have shocked me to my core and all of my relations have been consensual.'” —New York Times

••• “Soho Repertory Theatre’s upcoming world premiere production of Aleshea Harris’s Is God Is will be the first at the company’s reopened lower Manhattan storefront at 46 Walker Street. Harris’s play will run February 6-March 11, with opening night set for February 18.” —TheaterMania

••• The Flea “announced that its winter and spring 2018 season, ‘The Season of Womyn,’ will begin on Jan. 22 with the play Fill Fill Fill Fill Fill Fill Fill by Steph Del Rosso. […] In addition to Ms. Del Rosso’s play, which explores heartbreak and women’s relationships with their bodies, Catya McMullen and Scott Klopfenstein will premiere their new work LOCKED UP B*TCHES in the Flea’s downstairs theater space this winter. The show is a musical parody of women’s prison dramas. The Q Brothers Collective will debut its show ms. estrada—a hip-hop remake of Aristophanes’s Lysistrata, about women refusing to have sex until men stop making war—upstairs in the Sam Theater later in the spring.”

1 Comment

  1. “If you like local history, James Nevius’s article on Curbed about W. Broadway (and much more) is a must-read.”

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