February 10, By Hannah Wulkan
The City Council introduced legislation to co-name 40 streets throughout the city, including several in Sunnyside and Long Island City, in honor of community members who left a lasting impact on the neighborhood.
If the legislation passes, it would rename five streets in the area after civic leaders that died over the past few years.
The stretch of Queens Boulevard between 39th Place and 40th Street would be co-named Lily Gavin Way, for restaurant owner and active Sunnyside community member Lily Gavin, who died last summer.
Gavin opened Dazies Restaurant, at 39-41 Queens Boulevard, in the early 1970s, and was deeply involved in the Sunnyside community.
Over her nearly 50 years in Sunnyside, Gavin was at one time president of the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce and helped raise money to repair the emblematic Sunnyside Arch, and was an active supporter of the YMCA, the Sunnyside Senior Center, the Sunnyside Drum Corporation, the Boys & Girls Club and the Queens Council of Tourism.
“Lily was a force in just about every commercial, civic and political event in Sunnyside for so long that few can remember a time before Lily and Dazies,” Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said when she died last July, who is also cosponsoring the legislation.
The legislation would also co-name the intersection of 50th Street and 43rd Avenue for former Community Board 2 District Manager Dolores Rizzotto, who died in 2014.
Rizotto was a lifelong resident of Corona and managed Community Board 2 for 15 years before retiring to Florida in 2006.
The legislation would also co-name the intersection at 41st Street and 50th Avenue FF Michael Brennan Way, named for 27-year-old firefighter Michael Brennan who died on September 11, 2001 in the World Trade Center.
Brennan was working at Ladder 4 in the Theater District, and rushed in to the Trade Center with 14 other firefighters after the first plane hit, but was not heard from again.
Under the legislation, the intersection of 2nd Street and Borden Avenue in Long Island City would be co-named as Tony Mazzarella Way, after the longtime owner of the Waterfront Crab House restaurant, who died in early 2015.
Mazzarella was a prizefighter in his youth, before opening the iconic LIC restaurant and running it for nearly 40 years. He was also known in the community for his charitable work supporting the Precinct Council, and was on the board of the Queens branch of the American Cancer Society, as well as supporting other local organizations.
Finally, the intersection at 41st Avenue and 12th Street would also be co-named under the legislation as Nina Adams Way, in honor of the longtime president of the Queensbridge Houses Tenants Association who died in 2015.
Adams was known for her work advocating for Queensbridge residents. She started the Queensbridge Outreach Program, which organized afterschool care and trips for kids living in the public housing development, and headed the tenants association for more than 16 years.