July 22, 2014

USA: George Carlin Gets Manhattan Street Named In His Honor, After Compromise With Catholic Church :)

The New York Daily News
written by Erin Durkin
Wednesday July 9, 2014

Legendary comedian George Carlin now has a Manhattan street named in his honor, but it took a compromise with an old nemesis — the Catholic Church — to make it happen.

Mayor de Blasio signed legislation Wednesday renaming W. 121st St. between Morningside Drive and Amsterdam Ave. as “George Carlin Way” for the “Seven Dirty Words” comic.

That’s one block from the Morningside Heights block where Carlin grew up — because the Catholic Church did not want his name displayed on the stretch where Corpus Christi Church is located.

Although he was born Catholic, Carlin was no altar boy. In his routines, he often took aim at organized religion in general and at the Catholic Church in particular.

“It was an acrimonious relationship. But we’re pleased with the resolution,” said Joseph Rosenberg of the Catholic Community Relations Council.

“The church just didn’t want the sign to be on the block where Corpus Christi Church was. We were never opposed to a street co-naming, we just didn’t want it on that block.”

The distaste was mutual: Carlin, who attended both the Corpus Christi Church and its school as a boy, once quipped, “I used to be Irish Catholic. Now I’m an American.”

A previous effort to name a street for Carlin, who died in 2008, fizzled amid opposition from the church, but the local community board endorsed the compromise to honor him one block over.

A bill drafted this year by the City Council included both blocks, in what officials described as a mistake. The language was tweaked at the last minute.

As he signed the bill, de Blasio called the renaming “one I’m sure a lot of people have an opinion on. I have a good opinion.”

Carlin was “a New Yorker whose voice was heard literally around the world, born and raised in Morningside Heights, a true New Yorker, told it like it was, smart and blunt and honest and not afraid of controversy,” he said.

“It is only fitting that the corner of a street where a young Carlin once lived and entertained his neighbors will now bear his name,” said Councilman Mark Levine (D-Manhattan), who sponsored the name change.

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