Charles Denson made this video, Jimmy Prince Way, to honor Jimmy’s street naming. This interview with Jimmy Prince (1932-2021) was recorded at his home in 2016, seven years after he retired from Major Market. "Mr. Major" remained as busy as ever in the community after the store closed, and also volunteered at the Coney Island History Project exhibit center on weekends.
The corner of Mermaid Avenue and West 15th Street was co-named Jimmy Prince Way on July 8, 2023. Hosted by Coney Island Council Member Ari Kagan, the ceremony was attended by the Prince family and numerous community leaders and friends. Coney Island History Project board members Adele Cohen, Bonnie Kong, and Dan Pisark are pictured below with Charles Denson's photograph of Jimmy, "The Prince of Mermaid Avenue," in the doorway of his store.
"Jimmy Prince was the kindest man in the world and the brightest light in Coney Island, a man who personified compassion, love and respect. There was no one else like him. He was born in 1932, the same year that Major Market opened on Mermaid Avenue and he began working at the market in June 1949 at the age of 18. Eventually he owned the store, and kept it open seven days a week, twelve hours a day until 2009. Jimmy became 'Mr. Major,' and his store became the heart of Coney Island, a refuge during hard times, where people came to find warmth and solace and nourishment. He was always positive and believed that Coney Island would survive." -- Charles Denson, "Remembering Jimmy Prince," May 25, 2021.
Photo credits: Council Member Ari Kagan, Bonnie Kong