Tony Bennett Gets His Own Street At Lavish Celebration

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Tony Bennett and Aaron Peskin
Tony Bennett and Aaron Peskin

Photo Credit: Devlin Shand for Drew Altizer Photography

Although he was born in New York City, classic musician Tony Bennett left his heart in San Francisco. The artist’s most famous tune—I Left My Heart in San Francisco—has become an anthem for the city by the Bay. Bennett is something of a legend around these parts: for his 90th birthday the city debuted a statue of his likeness in front of the Fairmont Hotel and last weekend, a street was named in his honor.

Nancy Pelosi
Nancy Pelosi

Photo Credit: Devlin Shand for Drew Altizer Photography

Tony Bennett Way, previously known as the 900 block of Mason Street, is adjacent to the iconic hotel where Bennett first performed the song in December 1961. The legislation that called for the renaming of the street passed unanimously last November and was one of the last official acts of the late Mayor Edwin Lee. To celebrate the new street, the city hosted a giant block party where more than 1500 people gathered for food, music, and dancing.

Willie Brown and Charlotte Shultz
Willie Brown and Charlotte Shultz

Photo Credit: Devlin Shand for Drew Altizer Photography

“Tony Bennet forever immortalized our great city with the legendary song I Left My Heart in San Francisco, so it is only appropriate that we return the favor by renaming a portion of Mason Street in his honor,” Mayor Mark Farrell said at the event. “Throughout his iconic career, Tony has been a wonderful ambassador for our city, always eager to sing the praises of our home literally. It fills me with pride to formally recognize San Francisco’s longtime relationship with our great friend by announcing the unveiling of Tony Bennet Way.”

Farah Makras and Sonya Molodetskaya
Farah Makras and Sonya Molodetskaya

Photo Credit: Devlin Shand for Drew Altizer Photography

Politicos, socialites, and well-wishers came out for the party. Nancy Pelosi, Willie Brown, Aaron Peskin, Charlotte Shultz, Farah Makras, and Sonya Molodetskaya are a few of the notables who enjoyed the fun. Entertainment was provided by the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, the Cosmo Alley Cats, and Shawna Ferris from Beach Blanket Babylon who led the crowd in a sing-along of Bennett’s beloved hit.

Lorenzo Ortona, Charlotte Shultz, Tony Bennett, Willie Brown, Paul Tormey, Nancy Pelosi and Liam Mayclem
Lorenzo Ortona, Charlotte Shultz, Tony Bennett, Willie Brown, Paul Tormey, Nancy Pelosi and Liam Mayclem

Photo Credit: Devlin Shand for Drew Altizer Photography

Cathie Johnson and Pitch Johnson
Cathie Johnson and Pitch Johnson

Photo Credit: Devlin Shand for Drew Altizer Photography

Tony Bennett
Tony Bennett

Photo Credit: Devlin Shand for Drew Altizer Photography

Tony Bennett
Tony Bennett

Photo Credit: Devlin Shand for Drew Altizer Photography

Liam Mayclem
Liam Mayclem

Photo Credit: Devlin Shand for Drew Altizer Photography

Nathalie Delrue McGuire and Jorge Jaramillo
Nathalie Delrue McGuire and Jorge Jaramillo

Photo Credit: Devlin Shand for Drew Altizer Photography

The crowd watching the presentation
The crowd watching the presentation

Photo Credit: Devlin Shand for Drew Altizer Photography

Willie Brown, Charlotte Shultz, Tony Bennett, Nancy Pelosi and Paul Tormey
Willie Brown, Charlotte Shultz, Tony Bennett, Nancy Pelosi and Paul Tormey

Photo Credit: Devlin Shand for Drew Altizer Photography

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