The word “Paradise” comes from the Old Iranian word “pairidaeza,” which originally meant “walled enclosure,” though over the centuries, has come also to refer more generally to a “garden.”
Between Avenues C and A lie a trio of quaint, verdant and tranquil community gardens. Alongside these gardens are a number of community places of worship representing Christianity and Islam; as well as a couple of community facilities including a junior high school and an old public bath. This makes for a surprising number of scattered Edens, or pairidaezas in the area – enclosed sanctuaries where one can seek solace and communally grieve for Paradise Lost.
This atmosphere of community and piety is hardly surprising since the population in this area used ot be largely Hispanis of Puerto Rican descent, who are also known as “Nuyoricans” – “New York” plus “Puerto Rico.” Avenue C is not Avenue C here, but Loisaida Avenue, “Loisaida” being Nuyorican for Lower East Side, which hustorically, this area belonged to, but no longer does today. ce Russian Baptist, but now Evangelical.
I am indebted to New York Songlines (www.nysonglines.com) for detailed information about the landmarks on this street.