We Honor Mary Pinkett, and Mary Pinkett


A search for political news in the aftermath of Campaign 2005 might take one to City Hall this week, and the parade of hearings there on everything from hunger to real estate sales to what New Yorkers call their streets, roads, and avenues—or rather, what we would call them if we paid attention to the signs that dedicate small spans of certain byways to the great and good.

The council’s parks and recreation committee on Tuesday will take up the latest batch of new street names, a compilation of 58 designations that includes Pope John Paul II Avenue (on Staten Island) as well as memorials to fallen cops and soldiers, a “beloved daughter,” and a dearly missed son. And, in what’s becoming a custom, the list honors Mary Pinkett.

Pinkett was the first black city councilwoman. She died in 2003 after serving 28 years on the council. Politicians of all stripes honored her memory.

And kept on honoring. Last year, the council renamed Washington Avenue between Atlantic Avenue and Eastern Parkway after her, as “Mary Pinkett Avenue.” Earlier this year, they designated Washington Avenue between Eastern Parkway and Lincoln Road as “Mary Pinkett Avenue.” And now the council wants to name Washington Avenue between between Flushing and Atlantic Avenues “Mary Pinkett Avenue.” A quick look at the map indicates that Mary Pinkett now has nearly 3 miles of the avenue dedicated to her.

The late pontiff? He only gets a quarter mile.