Short, but Sweet
Q. My family comes from a short street called Pleasant Avenue in East Harlem. Can you tell me where the name came from and when it originated? And why was a nearby street renamed Paladino Avenue?
A. According to “The Street Book” by Henry Moscow, Pleasant Avenue was called Avenue A when the city’s street grid plan was adopted in 1811. (It was still Avenue A in an 1875 insurance atlas, reports Sanna Feirstein, author of “Naming New York.”) There were two sections of Avenue A, separated by a bend in the East River coastline, and in 1879 the upper part was given its own name, Pleasant Avenue, a nod to its attractive waterfront setting.
Paladino Avenue, which curves around the Wagner Houses, was an extension of Pleasant Avenue until the 1950’s, Ms. Feirstein wrote. It was renamed to honor both Anthony C. Paladino, a construction company owner and associate of Gov. Alfred E. Smith’s, and the Paladino family, an important one in Italian East Harlem.
East Harlem’s Public Bath