WEST VILLAGE, Manhattan — Despite a short-lived career that spanned only four years, and cut off at the tender age of 27, Jimi Hendrix is considered to be one of the most influential musicians of his time.
While his music keeps his legacy alive for generations to come — it's this slice of New York city that has preserved his spirit in the West Village.
Electric Lady Studios on 8th street between 5th and 6th Avenues was opened by Hendrix just before his death in 1970 — today, it's still an active hub for music’s biggest acts and it's why local business owners like Storm Ritter wants the city to re-name the street “Jimi Hendrix Way”
Ritter, who owns her own shop that offers unique eclectic apparel for men and women, launched a petition to get the historic street renamed to remind locals and visitors of the musician’s impact on the neighborhood.
“That needs to be advertised, we need NYU students to know, we need the resident who lives down the street who just moved in to know – hey, this street is historic. “
Just down the block, Richard Geist, whose shop “Uncle Sam’s Army Navy Outfitters” has called the neighborhood home since 1998, thinks the re-naming would give the street the shot in the arm it needs.
“We need to recognize the history of the street, its not just music, or art – it's fashion and it’s a lot of stuff [Jimi] inspired.”
Apparel available at Uncle Sam’s and Storm Ritter does pay tribute to Hendrix in their own special and subtle way.
While 8th street does appear to be thriving, with coffee shops and boutiques, a number of shuttered storefronts have sprouted up in recent months.
It’s something business owners believe a street re-naming would change for the better.
The process to rename a street here in New York City isn't an easy one.
Petitioners need to submit an official proposal to the local community board and then if it passes that round, it goes up for a vote before the New York City Council.
As of Wednesday, Ritter has collected over a thousand signatures.