New Yorkers Fight Gentrification: Looking to Honor Jimi Hendrix with Street

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Current Greenwich Village area residents want to have the blocks of Eighth Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues named after Jimi Hendrix. It is believed that he lived in a cottage apartment on that block. Residents in the area are currently fighting gentrification and feels this would not only honor Hendrix, but would also bring tourists as an attraction.

“Gentrification is killing us,” said local store owner Richard Geist, who is in favor of the petition. “Eighth Street has lost the magic and we want to bring that magic back, and bring traffic back to help business.”

While getting a street renamed or even obtaining a street co-name is a long process, internet entrepreneur Rob Key feels he can get the job done with an appeal due to the cultural impact Hendrix has had on the city. Hendrix has built Electric Lady Studios (located next to the apartment cottage he has been said to live in), which has been left behind and still influences music today.

“For almost 50 years, music’s most celebrated recordings have been produced right here on West 8th Street at Electric Lady Studios,” the petition states, “From Patti Smith, Stevie Wonder, David Bowie, and The Rolling Stones to Lorde, Frank Ocean, St. Vincent and Adele, Hendrix’s inspiration and influence is still felt to this day.”

So far the petition has received 700 of the 1000 signatures needed to get the process started. To learn more, you can view the petition here.

Story by Viola Malone

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