2007_05_arts_vonnegut.jpgThe NY Sun reports that members of Community Board 6 have spoken, and they want the late Kurt Vonnegut to have a street named after him. The Manhattan block where he spent most of his writing career (East 48th Street and Second Avenue) may be named "Kurt Vonnegut Way." A decision should be made by October. Why that block (which, incidentally, he shared with another famous writer, E.B. White)?:

"Vonnegut, who for 40 years lived on East 48th Street near Second Avenue, was a community icon, according to neighborhood residents. Vonnegut was often seen walking his dog in Dag Hammarskjold Park near the United Nations and sitting on the stoop of his townhouse, thinking, smoking, and nodding to passersby. He and his wife, photographer Jill Krementz...spent most of their days in Manhattan."

Manhattan's East Side community boards are trying to make the street-naming honor more exclusive (they have many non-household names that go into consideration as well). Currently, to be seriously considered, the person must have made a lasting contribution to "the intellectual vitality of the community or the nation," and have a "significant affiliation" to the community where their future street may be. We think Vonnegut fits that description, but two board members voted in opposition to it, saying he was an "inappropriate" candidate.

In recent years the same board has approved Katharine Hepburn Way, on East 49th Street, and Jan Karski Way, at the corner of 37th Street and Madison Avenue. Vonnegut's widow is also seeking to have his favorite bench in Dag Hammarskjold Park named in his honor.