You are reading

Street Corner in Woodside to be Co-Named “Little Manila Avenue” in Celebration of Filipino Community

Filipino residents advocating for a Little Manila street sign at 70th Street and Roosevelt Avenue in Woodside in summer 2020 (Photo: ourlittlemanila.nyc)

Dec. 14, 2021 By Allie Griffin and Christian Murray

A street corner in Woodside is going to be co-named “Little Manila Avenue” as an ode to the Filipino community in the neighborhood.

The NYC Council Parks and Recreation committee voted 15-0 Tuesday in favor of co-naming the southwest corner of Roosevelt Avenue and 70th Street “Little Manila Avenue” through legislation sponsored by Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer.

The full Council will vote on the co-naming Wednesday and it’s almost certain to pass.

The vote comes about 18 months after residents launched a petition to erect a street sign reading “Little Manila Avenue” at the 70th Street intersection. The petition garnered more than 3,000 signatures.

A stretch of Roosevelt Avenue by the 69th Street subway station is known to many as “Little Manila” for its Filipino restaurants and stores. Many Filipino Americans have called that section of Woodside home for decades.

The Filipino community started migrating to the area in the 1970s following the passage of the Immigration and Nationality Act in 1965 — legislation that eased the immigration restrictions placed on people from outside Western Europe.

Many immigrated to Queens after being recruited to work in New York hospitals due to a nursing shortage at the time. By the 1990s, 72 percent of Filipino immigrants in New York were registered nurses, according to figures released by the city council.

Several were recruited to work at Elmhurst Hospital and settled in surrounding neighborhoods like Woodside — where a Filipino community has since flourished.

During the last census, about 86,000 Filipinos and Filipino Americans were estimated to be residing in New York City with about 54 percent living in the borough of Queens.

Residents began advocating for a street sign soon after a mural went up in June 2020 on the corner of 69th Street and Roosevelt Avenue that pays tribute to the Filipino healthcare workers who risked — and in some cases, gave — their lives during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic.

Unveiling the new mural in Woodside’s Little Manila neighborhood in 2020 (Little Manila Queens Bayanihan Arts)

The mural reads “Mabuhay,” a Philippine expression that has several meanings, including “cheers”, “welcome” and “may you live.”

Van Bramer said he started working on the legislation calling for the co-naming shortly after attending a ceremony where the mural was unveiled.

“People were talking about renaming the area Little Manila and I wanted it done,” he said. “I wanted to honor the Filipino and Filipino American community who are an important part of the Woodside community.”

According to his office, there are no official records of a “Little Manila” elsewhere in the city. Therefore, the street co-naming, he said, would bring visibility to the contributions the Filipino community has made to Woodside and the city as a whole.

“I wanted to make sure that this became law while I was a council member,” Van Bramer said, who will leave office at the end of the month due to term limits.

email the author: [email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.


The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Jamaica man sentenced to five years for $4.5 million bank fraud and money laundering scheme

A Jamaica man was sentenced to five years in federal prison on Monday for his role in a wide-ranging bank fraud and money laundering conspiracy, which resulted in the misappropriation of approximately $4.5 million in victims funds.

Chinwendu Alisigwe, 38, was previously convicted following a trial in Manhattan federal court. According to the indictment and evidence offered at trial, from 2017 to 2020, Alisigwe used fake identifications to open 36 separate bank accounts at six different financial institutions, which he opened with more than a dozen fraudulent passports and other bogus identity documents bearing his photograph, but the names of other individuals.

16-year-old arrested after assault on 68-year-old grandmother heading to church in Jamaica Hills: NYPD

A 16-year-old Jamaica boy was arrested on Thursday and criminally charged in the vicious attack that left a 68-year-old grandmother in critical condition after the teen shoved her while she was heading to church in Jamaica Hills on Sunday morning.

Detectives from the 107th Precinct in Fresh Meadows apprehended the teenager in front of his residence on 89th Avenue in Jamaica following a four-day manhunt. The incident occurred as Irene Tahliambouris was on her way to morning mass on April 7.

Cop injured by glass bottle thrown from 7 train station on Roosevelt Avenue: NYPD

An on-duty NYPD police officer was injured while standing on a foot post when he was struck by a glass bottle that was thrown from the 103rd Street-Corona Plaza, 7 train station above Roosevelt Avenue early Monday morning.

Police from the 110th Precinct in Elmhurst reported that the officer was in uniform standing in front of 103-28 Roosevelt Ave. just before 2 a.m., when a man threw the bottle from the Flushing-bound platform. It struck the officer’s head, causing a laceration and a concussion.