Beastie Boys Square likely a go on Lower East Side corner
In 2014 Community Board 3 voted against McCarthy’s street-naming proposal by a 24-1 margin and prohibited reintroducing the proposal for five years.
The board chair said that while the Beastie Boys met the requirement that an honoree be deceased—group co-founder Adam “MCA” Yauch died in 2012—they didn’t meet other criteria, such as serving the community for 15 years.
Could it be that community-board members just didn’t like the music? McCarthy said he couldn’t speak on their behalf, but observed the recent City Council election brought a changing of the guard.
The district’s new council member, Christopher Marte, was receptive to honoring the Beastie Boys, and McCarthy said he got support from fellow members Carlina Rivera and Mark Levine, who is now Manhattan borough president.
The committee on parks and recreation will hold a vote Tuesday afternoon. Should the Beastie measure pass, which seems likely because 39 of the council’s 50 members have signed on as co-sponsors, it will go before the full council and then to Mayor Eric Adams for his signature.
Last year Congress passed a resolution recognizing 1520 Sedgwick Ave. in the Bronx as the official birthplace of hip hop. In 1973 a DJ sampled beats from James Brown and other artists while a master of ceremonies got the crowd moving.
The trend of honoring musicians on city street signs dates back to at least 1977, when a part of West 106th Street was called Duke Ellington Boulevard. In 2009 a street in Queens was named Run DMC JMJ Way. Some names last longer than others, though. In 2009 the city renamed a piece of West 53rd Street U2 Way for one week.
City officials may not be so enthusiastic about a Beastie Boys sign because they fear thefts. In 2010 the city Department of Transportation said a sign calling a part of Bowery Joey Ramone Way had been stolen four times in seven years, making it the most robbed street sign in the city. After officials raised the sign 20 feet above ground, drummer Marky Ramone complained only the tallest people could see it.
Now that the Beastie Boys seem poised to join the street-sign pantheon, McCarthy wants a street in Queens named for A Tribe Called Quest.
“We should be honoring our musical heritage like Nashville and New Orleans honor country and jazz,” he said.