Lower East Side Corner Could Be Named 'Beastie Boys Square'
LOWER EAST SIDE — The Beastie Boys could soon become a permanent part of the Lower East Side.
A Brooklyn resident wants to name the intersection of Ludlow and Rivington streets after the hip-hop trio, marking the corner shown on the cover of their groundbreaking 1989 album "Paul's Boutique."
"I think the Beastie Boys represent New York in a certain way," said LeRoy McCarthy, 46, who earlier this year proposed a street co-naming for rapper Biggie Smalls in Clinton Hill.
"They grew up here. They are New Yorkers."
McCarthy, a film location scout who previously worked for a record label in Atlanta, has gathered nearly 20 signatures so far on a petition for the Beastie Boys co-naming, including eight of the nine businesses on Rivington Street between Ludlow and Essex streets and many of the apartments on the block, he said.
He hopes to present his proposal to Community Board 3 soon.
CB3 usually only names streets after people or groups who have done extensive community service, but the board makes allowances for "exceptional and highly acclaimed accomplishment or involvement linked to Manhattan Community Board 3."
CB3 has not confirmed whether the proposal will be on the board's agenda for January.
The Beastie Boys, which sold more than 40 million albums over nearly three decades, had many ties to the neighborhood, in addition to the "Paul's Boutique" album cover. The group once lived at 59 Chrystie St. and recorded its first album in the East Village.
When member Adam Yauch, or MCA, died of cancer in May 2012, fans flocked to the Lower East Side and East Village to pay tribute to him and the band.
"I think that the Lower East Side, what it used to be, is a good place to honor the Beastie Boys," said McCarthy, who fell in love with hip-hop as a child.
"It represents New York. New York is always changing, New York is always on the move, New York is dirty [and] it is beautiful."
One of the street naming's supporters is Vicky Dalva, the general manager and co-owner of the wrap joint Wolfnights, which now anchors the Rivington and Ludlow corner that was shown on the Beastie Boys' album cover.
"When Adam Yauch passed away, people came here for three or four days putting candles and flowers out, taking photos, really mourning his death," Dalva said. "At least one person comes in each week asking if it's Paul's Boutique."
The campaign to co-name streets after the Beastie Boys and Biggie Smalls (that proposal has not moved past Brooklyn's Community Board 2) is part of McCarthy's bigger push to recognize hip-hop in New York City.
"Over the course of 40 years, hip-hop has contributed to the economy, to fashion, tourism, race relations and New York City had projected this onto the world," he said.
"Where is the recognition from New York City? Has there been any? I don't see that."
In 2009, a Queens intersection was named "Run-DMC JMJ Way" in honor of Run DMC's DJ Jason Mizell, and McCarthy wants to see a hip-hop artist or group recognized in every borough.
McCarthy is also looking into a Wu-Tang Clan in the Park Hill neighborhood of the hip-hop group's native Staten Island.