Though the Beastie Boys are indelibly associated with their home borough of Brooklyn, the legendary hip-hop trio will be honored with a dedicated intersection on Manhattan's Lower East Side on Saturday, Sept. 9. The corner of Ludlow and Rivington, famously pictured on the cover of the group's 1989 masterpiece Paul's Boutique, will be formally renamed "Beastie Boys Square."
Surviving Beastie Boys members Adam "Ad-Rock" Horowitz and Michael "Mike D" Diamond will attend the ceremony, which will be the centerpiece of a whole weekend of events honoring the group. (Adam "MCA" Yauch died of cancer in 2012, prompting the group's immediate breakup.) In addition to pop-up activations and a DJ set by Jon Bless HiFi System, Spike Jonze's documentary Beastie Boys Story will also have its first ever theatrical screenings at the nearby IFC Center on Sept. 8 and 9, while SiriusXM will relaunch its Beastie Boys Radio station on Sept. 7.
Although the titular menswear shop that once stood on the corner closed its doors long ago, proposals to dedicate the Paul's Boutique location to the group have been circulating for years, especially after the site became a makeshift memorial to Yauch. "When Adam Yauch passed away, people came here for three or four days putting candles and flowers out, taking photos, really mourning his death," said area store owner Vicky Dalva in 2013. "At least one person comes in each week asking if it's Paul's Boutique."
A Brooklyn hip-hop scholar and film locations scout named LeRoy McCarthy first petitioned the city to rename the intersection in 2013, only to be denied. (McCarthy went on to submit successful petitions to dedicate various New York locations to the Notorious B.I.G. and the Wu-Tang Clan.) A decade later, his plans have finally come to fruition.
A seminal force in both early hip-hop and alternative rock, the Beastie Boys were central figures in New York City's vibrant post-disco nightlife landscape of the 1980s, rising to fame in parallel with fellow travelers like Madonna and LL Cool J. The group was previously honored by its native city with an officially-sanctioned mural, as well as a Brooklyn Heights park renamed in honor of the late MCA in 2014.