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NYC Probably Not Getting ‘Beastie Boys Square’

Community board halts plan to rename Lower East Side intersection

Stephanie Butnick
January 15, 2014
The Beastie Boys. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
The Beastie Boys. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

A proposal to name the intersection of Ludlow and Rivington Streets in New York City’s Lower East Side Beastie Boys Square, a tribute to the band’s “Paul’s Boutique” album cover photographed at that location, has stalled after a community board meeting earlier this week determined it didn’t meet the city’s naming guidelines, DNAinfo reports. After a lengthy debate, board members informed LeRoy McCarthy, the plan’s architect, that he’d need 150 signatures from residents living on or around the intersections to have the idea considered (he currently had 26).

Still, the proposal sparked contention among the board’s transportation committee, some of whom found the honor undeserved. According to the guidelines, for example, the honoree needs to have demonstrated 15 years of involvement with the community.

“We have these guidelines to attempt to preserve street co-namings. There are only so many co-namings,” said the committee’s chairman, David Crane.

He said regardless of community support, he did not believe the Beastie Boys had adequately contributed enough to the neighborhood to warrant the honor.

“My opinion is clear,” Crane said. “I don’t think it meets the objectives.”

McCarthy said he planned to return to the committee with the needed signatures, so there may be a Beastie Boys Square in our future yet.

Stephanie Butnick is chief strategy officer of Tablet Magazine, co-founder of Tablet Studios, and a host of the Unorthodox podcast.

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