Last night, LeRoy McCarthy met with members of the Lower East Side's Community Board 3 about potentially naming the intersection of Ludlow and Rivington Streets "Beastie Boys Square." The project will be on hold for the time being, as Community Board 3 told McCarthy that his petition would need aadditional signatures to have the corner immortalized by the group's Paul's Boutique album co-named in their honor.
The meeting yielded a 90 minute discussion about whether or not the Beastie Boys satisfied the requirements for co-naming. These include no less than 15 years of community involvement in addition to the support of the community. Community Board chairman David Crane was skeptical, telling DNAinfo that, regardless of community support, he did not feel the Beastie Boys had contributed enough to the community to deserve the recognition.
"My opinion is clear," he explained, adding that he didn't believe "[the petition met] the objectives." McCarthy said that Crane's opinion is quite different than those of people in the neighborhood he's met with. "His opinion is not shared by the local residents and businesses that I have spoken with over the past few months who are enthusiastic about the possibility of Beastie Boys Square," he said in an email.
McCarthy believes this is yet another case of New York City ignoring hip-hop and its positive impact. "I think that this is another sign of New York City historically treating hip-hop like a rental car," he said. "After forty years of generating billions of dollars for New York City and representing [it] with pride, it's late, but now would be a good time for [the city] to give hip-hop recognition."
For McCarthy, this is a merely an obstacle. He remains confident that the petition will get the necessary local support. "This effort for Beastie Boys Square needs  local signatures in the Lower East Side of Manhattan to move forward. I feel comfortable that I will get the residential support needed. If people want to attend the meetings in February, they will be open to the public," he said.
Though McCarthy warned that the dates for those meetings will not be announced until the end of the month, he offered some advice for anyone interested in doing more to support the cause or a similar project. "The best thing that people can do is take greater interest in the workings of their own communities," he said. "Bring a young person to a community meeting and get to know the power structure of where you live."
McCarthy said he "[looks] forward" to resubmitting his petition to Community Board 3 next month. This is simply the beginning.
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