A year ago, fans of the Beastie Boys were saddened when Adam “MCA” Yauch passed away after a long battle with cancer. Not long after, the Brooklyn Heights Blog community initiated an effort to have the local Squibb Park renamed after the late rapper, who was a Brooklyn native. Upon learning about the campaign, which quickly went viral, the wife of fellow Beastie Boy Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz reached out to the blog to let them know that they were all on a similar page—Horovitz had already begun working with the Parks Commissioner to rename State Street Park, where Yauch hung out in his youth. As of today, thanks to the enthusiastic support of those fans who joined forces with Horovitz (and following a final change of venue), Palmetto Playground in Brooklyn has been renamed Adam Yauch Park.
Horovitz, his wife Kathleen, Yauch’s mother Frances, and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz were all in attendance at today’s touching dedication ceremony. In his speech, Horovitz fondly remembered his bandmate. “People come to New York to be themselves, to express themselves and to be who they want to be,” he said:
And although Adam’s mom Frances is a New York kid herself, his father Noel came to New York to be himself. And together they raised a New York kid, Adam Yauch. And Noel and Frances raised him right. They taught Adam to be curious, thoughtful, kind, and just enough crazy—that craziness that is New York. That New York frenetic energy: It’s musical, artful and always moving forward. And that’s not only Brooklyn, that’s Adam Yauch.
Horovitz also managed to throw in a Wu-Tang reference, and he was accompanied by other fitting tributes from Yauch’s mother and Markowitz, who bestowed upon the audience a brief little rap. You can watch each of their speeches below.