The growing Nepali community in western Queens was honored with a street co-naming Saturday as a Jackson Heights intersection was co-named “Mount Everest Way” as hundreds watched.
Nepal’s Ambassador to the United States and its Consul General joined Councilman Costa Constantinides at 75th Street and 31st Avenue as the Nepali-American community now has a permanent tribute to its many contributions to the borough.
“Queens is a better place thanks to the generations of hardworking, devoted and giving members of the Nepali community,” Constantinides said. “It is only right that we give something back: a token of our appreciation for making our community richer.”
The City Council approved “Mount Everest Way” in a citywide legislative submission to co-name historically important streets. Constantinides’ request noted that nearly 10,000 Nepalese live in New York City with a high concentration in Jackson Heights. But, it added, the population is possibly twice as high as the census estimated.
Nepali-Americans have significantly increased in numbers as they fled civil war in the 1990s and again in the early 2000s, a “Little Nepal” section of Queens was emerging in Jackson Heights, Woodside, Sunnyside and East Elmhurst, and even as far south as Ridgewood.
Last year, Constantinides convinced the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles to provide applications for learner’s permits and other certifications in Nepalese. He also coordinated with Elmhurst Hospital executives to provide translation services to Nepali-American citizens in need of help.
“Mount Everest is a fitting metaphor for how strong the Nepalese have been throughout the diaspora, especially here in Jackson Heights,” Constantinides said.