Images via New York City Council on Flickr
Despite the rainy weather, hundreds of people gathered at St. James Place in Clinton Hill on Monday to honor the legacy of Christopher Wallace, better known as Notorious B.I.G. or Biggie Smalls. As amNY first reported, the block between Fulton Street and Gates Avenue—where the famous rapper grew up—will now also be known as “Christopher ‘Notorious B.I.G.’ Wallace Way.” Biggie’s mother, Voletta Wallace, was present at the event and she remembered the last time she saw a huge crowd on the street, the day Biggie was murdered 22 years ago. “It was a sad day,” Wallace said, “and when I saw the crowds, tears came to my eyes and I said to my friend, ‘My son was well-loved.’” This time around, seeing everyone gathered there for the unveiling brought “happy tears” to her eyes.
Photo by Jeff Reed, courtesy of NYC Council/Flickr
Following a unanimous New York City Council vote back in December, The Wu-Tang Clan was made a permanent part of New York City on Saturday when the Park Hill neighborhood of Staten Island was renamed The Wu-Tang Clan District. As CNN first reported, city officials, fans, community members, and several Wu-Tang members gathered for the unveiling of the new street sign—located at the corner of Targee Street and Vanderbilt Avenue, where the music video for “Can It All Be So Simple” was filmed—that makes it official. “I never saw this day coming,” Ghostface Killah said in a speech at the event. “I knew we were some ill MCs, but I didn’t know that it’d take it this far.”
The New York City Council last week unanimously voted to co-name streets in honor of three NYC music icons, Notorious B.I.G., the Wu-Tang Clan, and folk singer Woody Guthrie, Gothamist reported. If the bills are signed by Mayor Bill de Blasio, the block in Brooklyn where B.I.G. grew up will be called Christopher Wallace Way, after the rapper’s birth name, Staten Island’s Vanderbilt Avenue and Targee Street will be known as the Wu-Tang Clan District, and Woodie Guthrie Way will be found on Mermaid Avenue, marking where the singer lived in Coney Island.
Images: Aretha Franklin, Franklin Avenue subway station via Wikimedia.
Upon hearing of the death of Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin last week, music enthusiast and location manager LeRoy McCarthy corralled a street artist friend and got to work on a fitting sendoff–”Aretha,” stenciled in magenta sprayable chalk lettering above each sign that identified the Franklin Avenue subway station in Brooklyn. Curbed reports that McCarthy, who was responsible for efforts to name streets for Notorious B.I.G. in Clinton Hill, Phife Dawg in Queens and the Beastie Boys in the Lower East Side, among others, hopes to create a more permanent tribute. The plan is to create the word R-E-S-P-E-C-T in large black letters on a blank wall just south of Fulton Street on the west side of Franklin Avenue.
more than a little respect, hopefully