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What's in a Name: George Carlin Street?

Friday, September 09, 2011

A local comic is paying homage to the late irreverent comedian George Carlin by trying to get the block where Carlin grew up -- W. 121st St. between Broadway and Amsterdam -- named in his honor. Carlin, who was raised in Morningside Heights, died in 2008.

Comic Kevin Bartini has over 3,000 signatures on the online petition he started urging Manhattan Community Board 9 and the City Council to co-name the street. Bartini said he hoped to present his proposal to Community Board 9 in the coming weeks.

But the chairman of Board 9, Reverend Georgiette Morgan-Thomas, has said when he does, the board will require proof that Carlin has made significant contributions to the neighborhood before giving the proposal the green light.

Bartini said there was ample evidence of that.

"His first couple of albums, if you listen to 'em, albums like Class Clown and Occupation: Foole, so much of the material on there was about that street and that neighborhood," Bartini said, adding that it was the diverse makeup of 1940's Morningside Heights that influenced Carlin's entire career.

If Community Board 9 approves Bartini's proposal, the community, the City Council and Mayor Bloomberg will also need to vote in favor of the renaming if it is to move forward.

Many other New York City streets have also been co-named after well-known figures, including Peter Jennings (W. 66th St.), Bob Marley (a section of Church Avenue in Brooklyn) and Joey Ramone (E. 2nd St. and the Bowery).

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