By Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech
The train station formerly known as 39th Avenue – Beebe Avenue on the N/W line in Long Island City has apparently been renamed 39th Avenue – Dutch Kills.
Astoria resident Jose Garrido Alonzo broke the news to many Dutch Kills residents after posting a photograph of the sign to Facebook. Alonzo captured images of the new sign at the renovated station while riding the N line over the holiday weekend.
“We’re taking the opportunity, while the station is closed for structural repairs and upgrades, to revise the station name to better represent the neighborhood’s history and current street names,” said MTA spokesman Shams Tarek. “The revision will be official when we reopen the station next month.”
The subway station closed for renovation work on July 2, 2018.
The Dutch Kills Civic Association — which has been asking the MTA to rename the stop for 10 years — knew about the name change, but chose to not publicize it.
“There was still a potential the name change would not occur,” said Dutch Kills Civic Association President Tony Benetatos.
According to Benetatos, the civic association was given an “unofficial heads up” three months ago that the renaming would happen. No official confirmation from the city was given to any of the civic association’s board members. The civic association assumed they would get their answer during the official train opening ceremony scheduled for the end of February.
But Benetatos confirmed that the former president of the Dutch Kills Civic Association recently sent photo of the sign to board members.
Alonzo captured the image of the sign while taking the N train to Manhattan early on Sunday, Dec. 30. The 25-year-old recent City College of New York graduate said that he had noticed the sign the night before while taking the subway home.
It seems fitting that Alonzo captured the image. An avid rail fan, the morning Alonzo took the photo he was traveling to the Lower East Side to ride a 1930s vintage subway railcar — a holiday nostalgic ride offered on Sundays by the New York Transit Museums.
The photo represents not only a change for Dutch Kills residents but for Alonzo as well. Up until now, Alonzo considered his photography as a hobby.
“I’ve never thought about pursing it as a career,” Alonzo said. “Maybe I’ll do it as a side gig.”