Co-name Island: Legendary Coney locals honored with street co-namings

mceaddy street co-name sign
A slew of Coney Islanders famous for their generosity and contributions to their communities have been honored with street co-namings this month.
Photo by Arthur de Gaeta

Three Coney Island streets were recently co-named to honor the legacy of locals who have left a lasting mark on the south Brooklyn community.

Co-naming ceremonies held in the past two weeks honored Reverends Sylvester and Georgia McEaddy, Cyclones aficionado Marty Bromberger, and “Major” Jimmy Prince.

Council Member Ari Kagan, who co-sponsored the co-namings, said the “joyous occasions” helped cement the legacies of the four regular Coney Islanders who were famous for their generosity and kindness, as well as their love for the nabe.

On July 8, the family of Jimmy Prince gathered at the corner of Mermaid Avenue and West 15th Street to pay homage to the the community legend, who passed away in 2021 at the age of 89.

Prince worked for over 60 years at Major Markets Prime Meats on Mermaid Avenue — where he was bestowed the nickname “Major.” He was also know as the Prince of Coney Island.

Prince joined the Major Markets team as a 17-year-old in 1949 and eventually bought the shop from his longtime boss and great friend Willy Palumbo in 1975.

Photo by Arthur de Gaeta

He remained proprietor of “Uncle Willy’s” butcher shop for nearly 30 years until he closed up shop and retired in 2009, but continued working part-time at G&S Salumeria and Pork Store on Avenue U in Sheepshead Bay until 2019.

Kagan remembered how Prince would often go above and beyond his daily duties, never letting his neighbors go hungry.

“Everybody loved him. He was one of the most generous people I’ve ever met in my entire life. He was always helping people, and if people couldn’t pay their bill he would always extend their line of credit. He was a super generous person,” Kagan told Brooklyn Paper.

A few days later, Neptune Avenue and West 25th Street was co-named “Reverends Sylvester and Georgia McEaddy Way” in honor of the Coney couple who have roots in the community going back 100 years.

Sylvester served as a licensed associate minister at the Naomi A.M.E. Church on Neptune Avenue and would regularly visit the sick, serving Communion to those suffering from various illnesses.

He worked as a porter at the Coney Island train station for over 25 years and greeted everyone with a smile. According to Kagan, his favorite quote was, “No matter who does wrong, you do good”.

Georgia worked as domestic engineer in the bungalows from West 15th Street to West 36th Street, and in Sea Gate.

She was loved by all for her kind words of encouragement and support, said Kagan after the ceremony. 

Among the McEaddys gathered for the co-naming ceremony was legendary NBA player and a grandson of Sylvester & Georgia, Stephon Marbury.

(L) Family and friends of the McEaddy's marking the co-naming. (R) Council Member Ari Kagan and NBA player Stephon Marbury
(L) Family and friends of the McEaddy’s marking the co-naming. (R) Council Member Ari Kagan and NBA player Stephon MarburyPhotos by Arthur de Gaeta
Photo by Arthur de Gaeta

And, on July 16, Surf Ave & West 19th Street was officially co-named Martin ‘Marty’ J Bromberger Way.

Bromberger was best remembered for his roles as a Democratic District Leader, member of Community Board 13, co-founder of Coney’s community emergency response team, and a member of Coney Island Hospital Community Advisory Board.

As a lifelong Brooklyn Cyclones fan, Bromberger Way is located across the street from his beloved team’s stomping ground at Maimonides Park. 

Brooklyn Cyclone's mascot and emcee, King Henry, officiated the ceremony outside of Maimonides Park.
Brooklyn Cyclone’s mascot and emcee, King Henry, officiated the ceremony outside of Maimonides ParkPhoto by Arthur de Gaeta