May 9, 2014 By Christian Murraty
A prominent Woodside street corner is going to be co-named after the late Walter McCaffrey, who represented the 26th district in the city council for almost two decades.
City officials will be co-naming the corner of 61st Street and Woodside Avenue “Walter McCaffrey Place.” There will be an official renaming ceremony on Saturday, May 17.
McCaffrey died last July after suffering from health issues that were complicated by a car accident.
McCaffrey, a Woodside resident, represented the district (which covers Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City) from 1985 through 2001. In 2001, he was among the first city council members who had to step down due to term limits.
“We have lost a champion and a good friend,” Joe Conley, chairman of Community Board 2, said at the time of McCaffrey’s death. “His wit, humor and intelligence were unmatched,” Conley said at the time, adding that “he was still very involved in the community right up to the end.”
McCaffrey served as chairman of Community Board 2 prior to being elected into office.
“Walter was one of the smartest and most clever elected officials in the history of Western Queens,” Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said.
I think, under our skin, we’re all pretty much the same.
I’m drunk. I have nothing to add.
@SWS Good point.
Although, my life has been pretty bumpy, and continues to be so. Maybe underneath this thin, fair skin I am a black woman. After all, the Irish used to be called “the N-words of Europe.”
The discussion on re-naming streets is so familiar from the last time this happened in our neighborhood: people were really aggravated and/or upset that a portion of 41st street was named after a boy killed in that mass shootings in CT. Remember, he’d only lived here a short while: he was a white kid who grew up in the suburbs of another state and his connection to Sunnyside didn’t impress a lot of SP readers.
I’m not sure how much “race” or skin color plays in the process, but it’s so easy to suggest that it is a big part of it, without having to back up those words. We all “understand” how life is a smooth parkway for those of us who are “white as a sheet” and a bumpy dirt road for those who aren’t, right? (I have brown sheets that I bought at IKEA, but never mind.)
There is a data-base (http://nycstreets.info/honorStreet.asp?b=Q&letter=) one can consult that gives all the honorary names in all of the boroughs. Unfortunately, it doesn’t list the race or skin color but if someone is determined to fall back on actual data, rather than anecdotal evidence or one’s impression; here’s a great place to start.
After all, there was a time that the people in NY talked about “Black Irish” and how Italian and Spaniards weren’t really “white.” It’s so comforting to see how far we’ve come from those days.
@ Camp. Not western Queens–the entire borough.
@ Camp amaze–Queens has been the most diverse place on earth for about 15 or 20 years, before that it was like most other places, segregated. It takes time to be a pillar of the community. Give other ethnicities time and they too will get their names on streets, if that is what the community values.
I heard western Queens referred to possible the most diverse place on use planet but the fact remains:
If you’re white as a sheet, you get a yourself a street.
Excellent point Celtic Bark. Why don’t you make a project out of that contact JVB office. Talk is cheap.
I wish they would get around to replacing the hundreds of completely faded street signs I see lately. Some corners have no signs at all.
What other streets were re-named for politicians? Sorry, this a canard which has been repeated until many people believe it to be fact. 52nd St. between Roosevelt and Skillman Avenues was named for Lawrence Virgilio, a fireman who was killed on 9/11, Skillman Avenue between 46 and 45th Streets wss named after Lewis Mumford, a sociologist who lived in and wrote about Sunnyside Gardens, 46th Street was named after Ethel Plimack, at the time 100 years old, now 102, who has been a community activist most of her life. There are many other instances of street makings to honor people who have contributed to their communities.
No op-ed today? What are all the loudmouths going to do? No one to hate today!
The more of these streets they rename, the less prestige there is in it.
Of course Dorothy defends this guy I’m sick of streets named for career politicians and their pals
Walter was a very decent man.
so he served put his term liimits, almost two decades. two decades shouldnt. be a term limit. 8 years max, G Washington did set that by example. after two decades youre all full of political cash and corrupt cronies twisting your original intentions, you can t be trusted
Walter McCaffrey worked tirelessly for his district, first on the community board and then as councilman. You could not get him to take credit for anything, though. I was a founder of ARROW, a community group that started recycling in Astoria in 1991. When the City started recycling, ARROW started a community garden on 35th St. With no fanfare and without our even asking, Walter and then-Queensborough President Claire Shulman allocated funding to create a city playground and community center on the site. That was one of dozens of projects he had a major role in seeing through to completion.
Politicians celebrating other politicians…..
Nothing quite like a political circle jerk.
From the photo, he’s just as surprised as anyone else about this.
The man served this city for many years. Have the decency to respect the dead when they can no longer defend themselves from attack.
JVB got top billing on the poster though. Maybe he’ll get a street named for him one day.
oh please he did nothing — at least name streets after veterans that have pasted away that lived in Woodside or Sunnyside —
At least he lived in the neighborhood
Another street naming? Oh no!
Oh come on. Stop naming places after politicians, name them after someone who actually did something for the humanity.
On a side note, does anyone know what the heck was all that construction noise on 44th and Queens blvd was all about last night? I could hear their loud noises on 43rd ave until midnight hours, how is that even allowed?