Today, the southwest corner of Rivington and Ludlow Streets houses Wolfnights, a restaurant that “delivers an exciting and refreshing take on the ordinary wrap,” according to its website. In the 1980s, it housed Lee’s Sportswear, but hip-hop fans better know that business by another name: Paul’s Boutique.
The spot–99 Rivington, to be precise–is the setting for the cover photo of the Beastie Boys’ boundary-smashing second album named for that fictional shop, and now New Yorker LeRoy McCarthy wants the corner renamed “Beastie Boys Square” in their honor.
McCarthy, you may recall, is the same guy who’s petitioning to name a block of Brooklyn’s Fulton Street after the Notorious B.I.G., a proposal that’s been held up by the local Clinton Hill Community Board. It’s part of a grander plan to have official landmarks for hip-hop artists in all five boroughs (McCarthy is also angling for a Wu-Tang renaming on Staten Island.
“Over the course of 40 years, hip-hop has contributed to the economy, to fashion, tourism, race relations and New York City had projected this onto the world,” he said, explaining the impetus for his mission. “Where is the recognition from New York City? Has there been any? I don’t see that.”
The LES corner wouldn’t be the first NYC spot named for a Beastie Boy: a Brooklyn Heights playground was renamed Adam Yauch Park after MCA died last year.