By Patrick Hedlund
DNAinfo News Editor
EAST VILLAGE — After a fire last week tore through a storefront immortalized on the cover of the Beastie Boys album "Paul's Boutique," one of the band's members sounded off about fans' sentimental attachment to the Lower East Side corner.
Mike D, real name Michael Diamond, said memories of the former sportswear store at the corner of Ludlow and Rivington streets — featured on the cover of the band's seminal 1989 album — have been washed away by decades of change.
"That neighborhood has changed so much and so dramatically since that time," he said, after DNAinfo caught up with him in the East Village and informed of the Jan. 20 blaze.
"That's the nature of New York City anyways."
The storefront most recently housed the falafel restaurant Three Monkeys — "drunk food," as Diamond called it — which stated its intention to reopen via its Facebook page and told The Lo-Down it would be back in action in about two months.
For fans worried that the property had been damaged beyond repair, Diamond, 45, suggested they remember the Lower East Side landmark through the Beastie Boys' lens.
"Look at the old photos" he said, "and just enjoy."