Tribeca community board not a fan of ‘Robert De Niro Way’

Cape Sneer!

A Tribeca panel thumbed its nose this week at naming the northeast corner of Franklin and Greenwich streets “Robert De Niro Way” in honor of the Oscar winner’s 80th birthday.

“I just don’t see why he has to have a street named after him … He already has recognition. People all over the world know him,” sniffed Community Board 1 member Patricia Moore.

Moore was unimpressed that the “Taxi Driver” actor cofounded the Tribeca Film Festival after 9/11 to revitalize the area, saying he didn’t do enough to help those most impacted by the terrorist attacks.

The corner commemoration would mark the headquarters of the Tribeca Film Festival as well as the location of De Niro’s Tribeca Grill and his Tribeca Film Center.

Tribeca Enterprises, the parent company for the festival and other De Niro ventures, proposed the idea to mark the “Raging Bull” star’s milestone birthday.

Robert De Niro
Some on Community Board 1 did not feel “Taxi Driver” actor deserved a street named for him.
Courtesy Everett Collection

“But perhaps even more importantly to recognize an honorable son of the city, who has for over 50 years contributed to the cultural and economic growth of a city, of a community and a district which he loves,” said Peter Downing, the company’s creative director.

Among the problematic issues — the “Goodfella” is still among the living.

The board’s newly drafted guidelines require an honoree to have been dead for 20 years, or have extraordinary accomplishments.

Street signs
Street naming honors typically go only to the deceased.
J.C. Rice

Tribeca Film Festival sign
Robert De Niro cofounded the Tribeca Film Festival after 9/11.
Rob Kim

The city Department of Transportation could cite only one instance where a street sign was installed for someone still breathing — the 2017 designation of Willie Mays Drive in Harlem for the baseball legend.

“I mean ‘Meet the Parents’ is one of my favorite movies,” confessed Jess Coleman, a committee member. “With all due respect to everything that’s been said here, I think granting this request would basically tear up all the work we did, all the guidelines we made.”

Tammy Meltzer, the community board chair, said it could set a dangerous precedent for other local luminaries.

Corner of Franklin and Greenwich streets
A Tribeca community board committee did not warm to the idea of naming the corner of Franklin and Greenwich streets for Robert De Niro.
J.C. Rice

Taylor Swift
Naming a street corner for Robert De Niro might be seen as setting a precedent for other luminaries like Taylor Swift.

“Fast forward 10 years and Taylor Swift, who lives just down the road from where we’re talking about, comes out and does an amazing amount of things,” Meltzer said. “And five years after that, she’d like to have her street renamed to ‘Taylor Swift Way.’”