• 13 Apr, 2024




The diaspora community of the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago has now gotten the New York City Council to co-name a major commercial street in the heart or Queens County, New York after their homeland. Co-naming 131St Street with Trinidad and Tobago Street in the Borough of Queens in New York City is now official, as enunciated by the New York City Council Speaker, Adrienne Adams at a public ceremony held on Sunday 20th August 2023 on the same street. In recognition of the economic, cultural, social, creative contributions that the Trinidad & Tobago diaspora has made to Queens and the entire New York City, a street bearing the name “Trinidad and Tobago Street” is a fitting tribute to commensurate with the esteemed contribution of the tiny, but influential Caribbean nation.


         As pointed out by the Consulate General for the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago in New York at the opening ceremony His Excellency J. Andre Lavea boasted that, there is no street (or avenue) in the world named Trinidad and Tobago Street – “not even in Trinidad!” He exclaimed. So, it was on a bright sunny Sunday afternoon on the 20th August 2023 in West Indian stronghold of Richmond Hill, Queens, New York a street co-named “Trinidad and Tobago Street” was born into this world. 



       Co-naming or changing a land mark street, in what is perhaps the most visited city in the world – New York City is indeed, a very significant identification of an intimate far-reaching relationship between a people and their newly inherited and adopted homeland. This symbiotic relationship has developed over decades of dedicated people from the tiny twin-island republic of Trinidad & Tobago that represents the site, sounds and vibrancy of a people steeped in the cultural mosaic of soca, carnival, and chutney with a flair for hard work and upward mobility


Photo : Members of the Trinidad & Tobago diaspora including of NYPD Officer, Furgoson (in uniform) posed for picture at the co-naming event


In her address, the Speaker of the New York City Council reminded the vast audience at the co-naming opening ceremony to “look around, spin around and take in the site, the smell, and sound that are everywhere, as the Trinidad & Tobago people came here in large numbers since the 60s and the 70s and helped built up Richmond Hill and South Ozone Park.” It is in this section of Queens and New York City that vibrant and growing communities are evident of Trinidadians & Tobagonians and the Caribbean in general, carving out their own spaces in the diverse, multi-ethnic and multi-racial United States of America. Therefore, it is these new and growing areas with their diasporic population in general, that make Queens and New York City a welcoming home for all newly arriving immigrants.


         It is not difficult to envisage how the Trinidadians and Tobagonians diaspora worldwide and indeed the wider Caribbean diaspora would seek to visit the Big Apple and of course, will want to fulfill a patriotic duty by visiting the one and only street that carries the name “Trinidad and Tobago Street.” So yes, this is a win-win for all parties. A win for the islands of Trinidad and Tobago for names recognition in the Big Apple and the Big Apple adding, yet another tourist attraction for worldwide visitors to view and enjoy, while simultaneously not forgetting the very famous Trinbagonian chick-peas sandwich (doubles) of which, must be ingested with the patented indigenous Banana Solo soda.


Congratulations are in order for the executive and staff of the Trinidadians and Tobagonians USA for leading the co-naming effort especially their dedicated and selfless president, Mr. Anoop Dhanpat. Special kudos must be given also to the Speaker of New Youk City council Speaker and District 28 city council representative, Adrienne Adams and staff; the Democratic Party district leader, Richard David; the Chair of Community Board 9, and quite a few others who work toward the success that the event turned out to be. As was expected, the Trinidad and Tobago authorities were well represented at the event.  Representatives from the Embassy in Washington D.C. were given a Big Apple warm welcome as indeed were the Consular General and senior staff members from the Manhattan consulate office, who were also well received by the Trinbagonian diaspora in Queens, New York. By way of recognition of some of Trinbagonian greats, who at one time or another made Queens, New York their home at one time or another a lived a mere two miles or so away from the new Trinidad & Tobago Street. The list will include icons like Slinger Francisco – the Mighty Sparrow, Linda McCartha – Calypso Rose, Tanya Maraj – Nicki Minaj, Ato Boldon - Olympic medalist, and Mohan Jaikaran – business entrepreneur. As our 61st Independence Anniversary approaches this is also a fitting way to celebrate our homeland - a street for La Trinity  in the Big Aple.



Dr. Ashford Maharaj

Adviser to Trinidadians & Tobagonians USA