Last night, the campaign to rename the stretch of Greenwich Avenue between West 12th and 13th Streets "Little Britain" was finally?mercifully?put to bed. The proposal, backed by the owners of some Brit-centric businesses on the block as well as Virgin Atlantic, was shot down by a committee within Community Board 2, much to the chagrin of Kiefer Sutherland. The Sun provides a good play-by-play of the debate, but we'll let CB2 member Sean Sweeney fill us in:
The Traffic and Transportation Committee of CB2 tonight unanimously rejected the application to rename part of Greenwich Avenue from West 12th to West 13th 'Little Britain". With such a unanimous vote, it is guaranteed that the Full Community Board will reject it. Since such street namings must ultimately be approved by the City Council, many thought that the Speaker, Christine Quinn, who emphasizes her Irish roots, would not support such a change in her own district. The decision was based on the committee's guidelines which stated, among several factors, that co-naming a street cannot be done for commercial purposes and that a co-named a street must have historical importance to the Village. Obviously an English tea saloon is not very historical for Greenwich Village. If the four British businesses there (three of which were owned by the same people) were to close, the reasoning went, what would be the rationale for having a street named Little Britain?
Other objections included the lack of any real British presence in the area as well as that it was part of a slick marketing campaign by an upstart creative marketing company (The Jonses') that was using Greenwich Village as its advertising medium. The fact that the campaign was heavily promoted by Virgin Airways did not help either.
Yes, we're well aware of Virgin's history of using neighborhoods as advertising pawns. It's too bad those weren't put up for a vote, as well.
· Committee Rules No Britannia for West Village Street [Sun]