By Sally Barrilla
Bronx residents around University Avenue should expect to pass by the “Stan Lee Way” in the spring of next year. The street’s name change, which will cover the section between Brandt Place and West 176th St. in University Heights, was proposed by Bronx Councilmember Fernando Cabrera and accepted on July 23, 2019.
Stan Lee, a former New York resident, lived his teen years at 1720 University Ave. in the Bronx and studied at DeWitt Clinton High School, located a few miles away from Lehman. The American idol who gave life to famous Marvel characters, such as the Avengers, Spiderman, the Hulk, Black Panther and other iconic heroes, passed away on Nov. 12, 2018 in the city of Los Angeles.
A self-declared devoted fan of Stan Lee who grew up in his community, Cabrera said he was elated for his proposal to go through as a tribute to the late distinguished author, as reported by WNBC. “Stan Lee was a Bronx native who grew up in my district.”
Some Lehman students who admire Lee’s talents think his name gracing a street will bring honor to the Bronx.
“While I was not aware of the fact, he united a lot of superhero fans mainly in urban areas no longer having to hide their love for comics,” said English senior at Lehman, Otto Conde. “So, Stan Lee’s hard work and legacy shall live on in the Bronx, especially as a street name.”
“I love his work. He created my favorite Marvel character, Spiderman. Peter Parker was a person who was from New York like Stan Lee and me,” said Lehman student Marissa Morales, an English senior specializing in elementary school education. “What fascinated me the most about the character was that he was an ordinary person learning from his new secret identity.”
Lehman faculty and alumni were also enthusiastic about the upcoming name change.
“I think it’s a great idea. The Bronx isn’t usually recognized for many things; people usually have negative concepts of the borough, such as dirty and unimportant,” said Lehman lecturer from the department of journalism and media studies, Ulises Gonzales.
Gonzales added, “Perhaps councilmembers could do more than just name a street after him. Maybe set up a comic book festival around the Bronx or the neighborhood where he grew up, so even more people can hear about all he did for the Bronx and in New York City.”
“Stan Lee was a good man who wrote a lot of things that helped inspire people’s dreams. Also, Lee was from the Bronx, so I’m really cool with it,” said Lehman graduate Alice Ivy, with a bachelor’s in English and philosophy. “He did a lot for our community and the number of tourists will increase, as well as gentrification, but in a good way. The Bronx will get more recognition if a street is named after him.”
“Mr. Lee’s amazing talent brought joy and entertainment to countless children and adults, and he deserves to be permanently memorialized in his home borough, the Bronx,” Cabrera said.