[RiversideSangha] Proposal: Thich Nhat Hanh way

Maxwell Weidmann

Dear friends, 
   Please see the below email regarding a project to rename the street in the UWS where Thay used to live, in his memory. If you live between W 60th and W 110th streets on the UWS, you could help directly with this, or spread the word to those who do.

Attached are petitions that need to be printed and signed with ink, but Leora is willing to pick them up from us. I will bring one with me to sangha tonight to make it easier.

With gratitude.

Dear Friends,

I would like to excitingly review, and update you on our heartfelt endeavor of naming Thich Nhat Hanh Way.

The proposal is to co-name the block of West 109 street between Broadway and Riverside Drive on the Upper West Side in Manhattan, Thich Nhat Hanh way. 

When Thay was teaching at Columbia University in the 60’s he lived on the fifth floor of building number 306 of this block. A formative time in his life that he describes beautifully and fondly in his book Fragrant Palm Leaves. 


In its current form the proposal was recently initiated by Christina Rosati, who is currently engaged in peace work in South Sudan. Long been my thought too, I was happy to take upon myself to organize and carry out the project in New York. I was approached by Kosen Greg Snyder who oversees the Thich Nhat Hanh Program for Engaged Buddhism at Union Theological Seminary and is Senior Director and Assistant Professor of Buddhist Studies.


From the start we have the support of Union Theological Seminary, The Buddhist Action Coalition, of which I am one of the founding members, and the Buddhist council of New York.

First step was to present the proposal to the fourfold Plum Village Maha Sangha for feedback and approval. I received great support and involvement from Br. Phap Khoi the abbot of Blue Cliff Monastery, then approval of the Blue Cliff Monastery DT Council. Joyfully we received enthusiastic blessings from many monastics, lay dharma teachers, OI members and sangha members. 

Most touching is the warm joyful heartfelt blessing from Sr. Chan Khong from Plum Village, and from Anh Huong, Thay’s niece, and Anh Thu, her husband, both wonderful dharma teachers.


Now we are ready to continue. 

The process of ‘co-naming’ seems very doable. 

The first step is to collect 100 signatures in the neighborhood, supporting the proposal. These will be submitted with a formal application to the Community Board in the Upper West Side and will be accompanied by letters of support from relevant individuals and organizations and other supporting documents. 


We have a one-page Project Information Handout to hand to people to spread the word about Thay and his contributions, and to explain the proposal.  

We also have a form on which to collect signatures, with addresses of residents of the area of Manhattan Community Board 7 (CB7) that includes most of the West Side.

Both documents are attached below.


The boundaries of CB7 are: 

North: Cathedral Parkway (West 110th Street)

East: Central Park West

West: Hudson River

South: Northern Boundary of Columbus Circle, West 60th Street (Columbus Avenue, and West 59th Street.)

Below is a photo that shows that area. 


All signatures from the CB7 area are accepted. Signatures from the 306 W 109 street/block will be particularly helpful. Signatures from outside CB7 will not be considered by the board. 

The signatures have to be physical ‘wet’ signatures on actual paper, not electronic versions. 


How can the sangha be involved:

1.   Those who reside in the area of CB7 can print out the signatures page and sign it. You are also encouraged to collect signatures from your neighbors and friends in the area. You can print out the handout to show and/or provide to people when engaging them.

2.   If you do not reside in the relevant area but have friends and acquaintances who do, you are welcome to engage them and email them the two documents. 

·      Remember to emphasize that ‘wet’ signatures are required.

·      To present Thay to friends you engage you may want to read some more on the Plum Village website:


Link to the book Fragrant Palm Leaves:


·      For both suggestions 1 & 2, it is fine to have just one signature on a page.

·      When you have signed pages, please let me know by email (below). They can be either mailed to me (if you are a sangha friend I will feel safe to send you my address), or, I am very happy to come by and retrieve them from you wherever you are, of course in in NYC… (all boroughs).

3.   A delightful suggestion is for two or more sangha friends to set up near the W 109 block, and in other places in the close neighborhood, for instance Strauss Park, Columbia University campus (suggestions welcome). We can have a photo of Thay and some information and engage neighbors joyfully.

4.   Another plan is to visit places of gathering in the area, such as, various Buddhist sanghas and centers, community centers, religious centers, and others. Request to present for a few minutes and then engage neighbors if they are interested. It would be great to do it with a buddy or a few.

5.   Additional suggestions are welcome.


Please email me if you want to be involved in any way and with any questions and suggestions. la20@...

Please note Thich Nhat Hanh Way in the subject of your email.


I attached below some additional information.


With metta,

Leora Amira

True Mission of the heart

True Harmonious Dharma

Project Information Handout



 The Building:  306 West 109 Street


Sr. Chan Khong and monastics in front of the building on 8/30/22

Example of co-naming in NYC


Manhattan Community Board 7