The Rube Goldberg contraption at the center of one recent Beastie Boys saga might be a good way of understanding the latest. If a New York City street corner is ever named after the beloved hip-hop group, as one Brooklyn man has proposed, it will be at the end of a long, ridiculously drawn-out process.
According to DNA Info, a Manhattan community board this week rejected the idea of officially co-naming the intersection of Rivington and Ludlow Streets as "Beastie Boys Square." The vote by Community Board 3 was 24 to 1, with one abstention, against recognizing the corner's place on the cover of the Beastie Boys' groundbreaking second album, 1989's Paul's Boutique. The result automatically bans the applicant, LeRoy McCarthy, from bringing up the idea again for another five years.
Fair enough if the community opposes the proposal, but the process would probably bring a smile to that Goldberg fella's lips. The board's chairwoman reportedly said the vote took place because many members believed the proposal couldn't possibly live up to the board's co-naming rules, which call for 15 years of community service to the area. But the weird thing is, earlier this month a board subcommittee asked McCarthy to go out and get more signatures, and he told DNA Info he'd done just that. "I was blindsided," McCarthy's quoted as saying. There's also some highly technical disagreement about whether the proposal had previously been "withdrawn" or if it was still "pending" — the latter view, held by the chair, cleared the way for the vote.
Last year's renaming of a Brooklyn Heights playground after late Beastie member Adam Yauch now looks like that much bigger of an accomplishment. It's not like the Beasties' name needs to be on everything, and McCarthy's attempt to name a street after the Notorious B.I.G. also stalled. But if there has to be a fight for hip-hop fans' right, it could at least have a little more appearance of being fair.