A nearly decade-long battle to honor the Brooklyn-born hip hop group the Beastie Boys on a Manhattan corner has, at last, succeeded
Since 2014, fans of the three-man rap crew have been pushing for pols to rename the Lower East Side corner at Ludlow and Rivington streets “Beastie Boys Square.” Previous attempts have been unsuccessful, but this Thursday the New York City Council approved it.
Why this spot? A former clothing store on the corner is the star of the group’s second album cover, 1989’s “Paul’s Boutique.” The cover then folded out to show a full panorama of the intersection as seen from 99 Rivington St. (The actual clothing store was named Lee’s Sportswear.)
The vote followed one in June being postponed. In addition to approving the Beastie Boys’ corner, tens of other honorary namings for various thoroughfares and public places were also approved. The rap group’s corner has by far had the most high-profile campaign and controversy, though, with the other names generally being for local community figures and nabes, including Little Thailand Way in Queens and Sgt. Firefighter Shawn E. Powell Way in Brooklyn in honor of a first responder and US Army reservist who died on 9/11.
LeRoy McCarthy, the biggest advocate for the approval of Beastie Boys Square, among other hip hop initiatives, reflected to The Post that the new corner’s name “took a long time, but hip-hop don’t stop.”
A former Bad Boy Records rep and Brooklyn resident, McCarthy has previously championed successful campaigns to honor the late rapper Notorious B.I.G. in Brooklyn and the Wu-Tang Clan on Staten Island.
“It has been a long road to get Beastie Boys Square accomplished, but I am happy to see New York government formally embracing the indigenous arts and culture of hip hop, and the street sign is very appropriate because hip hop is from the NYC streets,” McCarthy told The Post.
Part of the reason the Boys’ sign took so long to be approved is that it many community board members felt the “Sabotage” singers didn’t meet certain guidelines required of street co-naming honorees.
“CB3 voted it down because it did not meet guideline criteria” which includes demonstrated and consistent voluntary commitment to the area, Susan Stetzer of Community Board 3 told The Post in 2019. S:NY POST