City Council member Letitia James, of Central Brooklyn, recently undertook a public campaign to get the Hoyt-Schermerhorn subway station in Downtown Brooklyn renamed in memory Michael Jackson, the recently deceased pop star whose music video for “Bad” (directed by Martin Scorsese and co-starring Wesley Snipes) was mostly filmed at the stop. News comes today from the Daily News that the amended station name (Hoyt-Schermerhorn-Jackson) and accompanying plaque most likely will not happen. This is one of the reasons, which I find hilariously bizarre:
Current MTA guidelines strictly prohibit the placing of plaques or memorials within the confines of subway stations, according to agency spokesman Kevin Ortiz.
Why the plaque hate? It’s not like the plaque on your teeth, which you should fight at all costs, it’s cultural heritage, man! The reason the MTA won’t be renaming the station anytime soon is possibly worse.
The MTA recently began reworking all their station-naming guidelines ahead of a project to sell the rights to station names. Coming soon: Herald Square becomes Macy’s Square and Union Square becomes Nordstrom Square. Meanwhile, if we’re looking for something to rename in memory of Michael Jackson, what about his hometown and home state? Gary, Indiana becomes Michael, Jackson.