Streets named after entertainers -- Duke Ellington Place, Isaac Bashevis Singer Blvd., and Regis Philbin Avenue are a few of the many famous faced roads

By EW Staff
Updated August 06, 1993 at 04:00 AM EDT

The shot of a signpost for San Francisco’s Jack Kerouac Street in So I Married an Axe Murderer conveys more than the scene’s locale: Setting Charlie Mackenzie’s poetry recitations there suggests that the beat icon is his inspiration. But do honorific signs really influence those who tread the sidewalk below? We pounded some New York streets named after entertainers and asked passersby to identify the names on the signs.

· Duke Ellington Place, named for the composer and bandleader
”He was some guy from back in Shakespeare’s time.” — Annette Rufino, Manhattan
· Isaac Bashevis Singer Blvd., named for the author
”A rabbi.” — Michael Lieberman, Manhattan
· W.C. Handy Place, named for the blues composer
”The guy that did that movie with Mae West.” — Peter L. Fenston, Manhattan
· George Balanchine Way, named for the choreographer
”A politician.” — John Scranton, San Diego
· Charlie Parker Place, named for the jazz saxophonist
”He was this old Southern storyteller with this rooster who sat on his porch and spun the best yarn in the East Village. You just listened; it was poetry.” — Suzanne Czervenyk, Manhattan
· Alvin Ailey Place, named for the choreographer ”He’s the guy that Madonna used to dance for.” — Kathryn Zeilo, Manhattan
· Jelly Roll Walk, named for the composer Jelly Roll Morton
”He was either a lazy actor or a fat rock & roll singer.” — David Smits, Brussels, Belgium
· Regis Philbin Avenue, named for the TV personality
”He’s on a talk show with Kathie Lee.” — Joseph Spano, Brooklyn