What a strange way for Community Board 5 to decide whether to name 53rd Street at 8th Avenue after Jerry Orbach.
Last night, the board's notoriously difficult committee approved 3-2 in favor of naming the street after the great late actor. And then the full board voted in favor - 18-17 - as well. But, as the NY Times explains, "that slim margin was not enough to qualify as an approval because the votes in favor were not a majority of the votes cast." We call for a mistrial! And we're not sure how 18 of 35 votes isn't a majority - do community boards have quorums?
The video above by Kelly Loudenberg captures remarks from Sam Waterston (special guest appearance!), committee members and a citizen (and some heated debate), plus interviews with Jerry's son, Tony, and wife, Elaine, after the committee had voted in favor but before the full board meeting. Elaine told us:
"It's the man, it's not just what he did as an actor. Which is great in itself. He gave a lot to so many in so many areas. That's why that street sign doesn't need any explanation as to who he is - unless they put 'Lennie Briscoe.'"
After the meeting, the Orbachs were disappointed; Elaine Orbach told the Times, "As Jerry would say, onwards and sideways."
But don't fear, fellow Orbachiphiles: The City Council has the final say on whether a street is renamed. Find your City Council member and let them know you'd like the street named after Jerry.
Check out our posts on Jerry Orbach. Some favorites: When we saw him at a panel about Law & Order (with Dick Wolf and Commissioner Ray Kelly), visiting the Law & Order set, seeing Jerry filming his last scenes, and when thinking about the best Law & Order casts.