Like the Bronx, it’s not always obvious who the places in New York are named after. Often, though, a numbered street will get a second name in honor of a local hero, the way 29th Street in Midtown Manhattan has become Norman Vincent Peale Way in the photo above. But even then, we rarely even notice the sign, let alone know who the person is or why that particular street bears his or her name.
So next time you see one of those blue signs giving a street an extra name, give a thought to who the person is and what she did to get a street named after her. Look it up if you have to.
Norman Vincent Peale, by the way, was a 20th-century clergyman who, according to Brittanica, “tried to instill a spiritual renewal in the U.S. with his sermons, broadcasts, newspaper columns, and books.” His book “The Power of Positive Thinking” is an all-time best-seller. He led congregations all over New York state, including the Dutch Reform Marble Collegiate Church, on 5th Avenue and … 29th Street.