Word on the street is there is a push to remove the “Avenue of Puerto Rico” from Graham Avenue street signs in East Williamsburg. The locals admit that the persistent rumor has been brought up again and again, but has never been taken seriously.
Gothamist recently hit the streets to gauge support (or dissent) for a name change, but the only person who openly supported the idea was Michael Schlegel, developer of new glass-walled condos in Crown Heights, in an area now conveniently dubbed “ProCro.”
“It’s becoming a very hot area, and the people from Williamsburg are moving further out, and they don’t want it to be known as a Puerto Rican or Spanish area anymore,” he told Gothamist. “I think it would help the image of the area.”
Although some of the local residents seem to feel that removing the name wouldn’t be much of an issue since no one really calls it the ‘Avenue of Puerto Rico,’ there is a larger issue at hand. Why would the removal “help the image?” The neighborhood has been traditionally Puerto Rican and most believe that the name is a tribute to the legacy of the community. And no one has the right to take that away.
What do you think? Does it matter if “Avenue of Puerto Rico” is removed? What does this mean for other neighborhoods slowly succumbing to gentrification?