March 12, 2019, By Meghan Sackman
An East Elmhurst street was co-named “Mount Everest Way” Saturday, as local leaders paid tribute to the growing contribution of the Nepali-American community.
Council Member Costa Constantinides held a ceremony to unveil the new street name, which went up on the corner of 75th Street and 31st Avenue.
“Queens is a better place thanks to the generations of hardworking, devoted, and giving members of the Nepali community,” Constantinides said. “Mount Everest is a fitting metaphor for how strong the Nepalese have been throughout the diaspora, especially here in Jackson Heights.”
There are more than 10,000 Nepali natives living in New York City, according to recent census data. However, Constantinides said that the number is likely twice that, with a high concentration living in the greater Jackson Heights area. The Nepali-American population has grown since a civil war broke out in the country in the 1990s and again in the mid 2000s.
Constantinides said that he has taken steps to help the Nepali community since he took office in 2014. He said that he was able to convince the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles to provide applications for learners’ permits and other certifications in Nepalese. He said he also coordinated with Elmhurst Hospital to provide Nepali-Americans with translators.
The co-naming, which was approved by the City Council in December, is part of a city-wide initiative to rename public places and streets in recognition of influential groups or leaders.
Constantinides was joined Saturday by the Nepali Ambassador to the United States; several other Nepali officials; and hundreds of Nepali residents.