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The most appropriate thing to name after Geraldine Ferraro might be a street and that is exactly what Community Board 6 voted to do last week.
Ferraro died at 75 in March, but during her life paved a road for female politicians after she became a congresswoman and then the first female to run as vice president on a major party ticket.
“Geraldine Ferraro is a historic figure,” said Claire Shulman, former borough president and a contemporary of Ferraro. “She was a very strong woman and really a mentor for a lot of other women who aspired to political office. I think she deserves to have a street named after her.”
The board voted unanimously to recommend the renaming to the City Council, where it is currently being considered, according to District Manager Frank Gulluscio.
The Council will make a decision by June and then the sign could go up 90 days later on the corner of Ascan Avenue and Austin Street.
The location of the renaming is also appropriate since Ferraro lived in Forest Hills Gardens with husband John Zaccaro from 1978 until 2000. She also represented the neighborhood for six years as part of her congressional district.
“She was a Queens person — there was no question about it,” Shulman said. “Even when she moved to Manhattan she was a Queens person.”
Ferraro moved to Manhattan later in her life to be closer to her doctors as she fought a 12-year battle with blood cancer.
Many in the neighborhood mourned the loss of Ferraro as a down-to-earth person who was as much a neighbor as a congresswoman.
She was a good friend of the Abbracciamento family, and often ate at Joe Abbracciamento’s eponymous restaurant in Rego Park, sometimes with a whole press corps in tow.
“She was a wonderful woman,” said John Abbracciamento’ Joe’s son, soon after Ferraro’s death. “We knew her so well. She was like an aunt.”
She acquired that adoration through the way she carried herself, Shulman said.
“She ran in the vice presidential race with grace, intelligence and poise,” Shulman said. “And after that election, she continued to have the same grace, intelligence and poise, which was not easy to do after international attention.”
And it was not an act, according to Shulman.
“What you saw was what you got,” she said.
Ferraro also had a post office named after her in Long Island City last year.
“She deserves both,” Shulman said with laugh. “She was taken too soon.”
©2011 Community Newspaper Group
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