Day 411

John McNamara Square

February 13th, 2013

This is a fitting tribute to the Sage of the Bronx, whose 1978 book History in Asphalt explains the origin of every street name in the borough, and whose interest in such matters was piqued by the street signs that started to appear around the Bronx in the 1920s when he was a kid. "I wondered where they came from, those names", he once told a reporter for the NY Times.

The City Council approved the naming of this little parklet in 1985, making Mr. McNamara, who died in 2004, one of the few New Yorkers to be honored in this way while still alive. After all, who else could so fully appreciate seeing his name on a street sign? Here are two photos from the Sage's last visit to his namesake square, just a couple of weeks before he passed away.

(As far as I know, this had nothing to do with anything, but it seems appropriate that Mr. McNamara's square should be adjacent to Randall Avenue, which calls to mind — though is not named for — another great Bronx historian: Randall Comfort.)

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