A corner featured on the cover art of Paul’s Boutique, the album the Beastie Boys released nearly 25 years ago, almost became more than just a square LP. It almost became an actual square in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Located at the intersection of Ludlow and Rivington, the corner was part of a proposal put forth to Community Board 3 that outlined a rename of that area to Beastie Boys Square.
Last December LeRoy McCarthy started a petition for the name change. One of the shop owners in the area, Vicky Dalva, was happy about the idea. Vicky said, “When Adam Yauch passed away, people came here for three or four days putting candles and flowers out, taking photos, really mourning his death. “At least one person comes in each week asking if it’s Paul’s Boutique.”
Earlier this month the CB3 board debated for nearly two hours trying to figure out if the Beastie Boys met all of the criteria they required for a co-naming. During the meeting it was revealed that locals in the Lower East Side were not digging the idea of having the intersection renamed. The board asked McCarthy to obtain 150 signatures of approval and he was able to return with only 26.
Since that January 14 board meeting McCarthy had collected over 200 signatures on his petition and was ready to present to the board. The Los Angeles Times reports the board met earlier this week and not only rejected McCarthy’s proposal 24-1 but they said he would not be allowed to submit the proposal to the board again for five years. Ouch!
Renaming streets in NYC is something that happens several times a year and there is a process. According to the New York Historical Society this means:
“Once two prerequisites are met—the honoree must be dead and have had a significant connection to the local community—a petition signed by seventy-five percent of the local residents goes to the community board. The next stop is the Parks Committee of the City Council, then a vote in the full City Council. The last stop is the mayor’s office, for approval or veto.”
This is how streets become “George Carlin Way” and “Run DMC JMJ Way“. I think street renaming is a really beautiful way that New York honors the people who made it such a unique city. By always changing and evolving we are reminded that in New York, nothing ever stays the same. There won’t be a Beastie Boys Square this year, but in five years … you never know.
Image Credit: Amazon
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