Fans Push for ‘Beastie Boys Square’
Al Barbarino Jan. 13, 2014, 1:21 p.m.
In 1989, the Beastie Boys featured a photo of the corner of Ludlow and Rivington streets in the Lower East Side as the cover art for their critically-acclaimed album “Paul’s Boutique.”
Now Community Board 3 is reportedly considering naming the intersection “Beastie Boys Square” thanks to an online petition launched by Brooklynite LeRoy McCarthy.
The New York Post reported that the Beastie Boys fan launched the online petition in September and collected more than 1,000 signatures in support of the name change, which the community board committee will vote on tomorrow.
The Paul’s Boutique awning sign was hung at 99 Rivington Street specifically for the cover photo shoot. Until early 2007, the building actually housed an eatery that used the name in honor of the album, considered a five-star record by critics and fans alike, though at the time of its release it was largely ignored.
The New York City-based group paid homage to the city and their upbringing throughout its catalog. “Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens and Staten, from the Battery to the top of Manhattan… from Castle Hill to the Lower East Side,” they rapped in the song, “An Open Letter to NYC,” which reflected on the city’s great diversity.
Credited among the first white hip-hop artists, the Beastie Boys helped celebrate that diversity by bringing Hip Hop to the mainstream following its birth in 1970s, when it emerged from the predominately black and Latino subcultures of neighborhoods like the South Bronx and Harlem.
A park at State and Columbia Streets in Brooklyn Heights was renamed last year in honor of Beastie Boy Adam “MCA” Yauch, who died in 2012 of cancer.
The LES name change requires City Council approval.