You might have known him as MCA of the Beastie Boys, but before he was a rapper Adam Yauch was just a happy Brooklyn kid playing at his favorite park. The late musician was honored last week when Palmetto Playground in Brooklyn Heights was renamed Adam Yauch Park in celebration of his popularity and influence as a rapper, filmmaker and activist. Yauch grew up hanging out at the Columbia Street playground, in the neighborhood that inspired one of the group’s most famous songs, “No Sleep ‘Til Brooklyn.”
The park was commemorated on May Fourth, exactly one year after Yauch died from a three year battle with salivary gland cancer. Fellow Beastie Boy Ad-Rock, aka Adam Horovitz, MCA’s mother Frances Yauch, and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz were on hand to honor Yauch’s legacy, and officially change the name of the park from Palmetto Playground to Adam Yauch Park.
Yauch’s mother says that when he was a child, he spent countless hours at the playground park, then named State Street Park. Yauch learned to ride a bike there, and spent countless hours with his father Noel. Renaming the playground in his honor pays tribute to the formative years of the influential, quintessential Brooklyn musician.
The New York Parks Department also paid homage to the rapper on their website, taking a snippet from the ultimate Brooklyn influenced song, “No Sleep Til Brooklyn,” by the Beastie Boys:
“Born and bred in Brooklyn the U.S.A./ They call me Adam Yauch but I’m M.C.A.”
Adam Yauch Park includes a playground, two half basketball courts, a community garden, a greenhouse, a fitness area, a dog run and an array of trees such as silver lindens, London planes, pin oaks and Norway maples.
images © NYC Parks Dept and ©Artiquities/wikimedia commons