Beloved musician, filmmaker, political activist and rapper Adam Yauch passed away on May 4th, 2012 after a three-year-long battle with cancer. He was 47. Today his old friend and Beastie Boys co-founder Adam Horovitz, a.k.a Ad-Rock, joined city officials, friends, and family at a small playground and park on the edge of Brooklyn Heights to honor the artist known around the world as MCA. Formerly called Palmetto Playground (a reference to South Carolina, the Palmetto State), today the verdant little oasis was renamed Adam Yauch park.
"It's fitting we're here today to dedicate a playground to Adam Yauch, because like the Wu Tang clan, Beastie Boys is for the children," Horovitz told the crowd, which numbered at least 250. "In life you don't get to choose your family... I got lucky because I got two great sisters and two great brothers. And I got extra lucky because around 1982 I got the chance to choose two other brothers, Mike Diamond and Adam Yauch. I'd like to thank the Parks Department and the people of Brooklyn for honoring my friend and brother, and recognizing how cool it is to have an Adam Yauch Park for other crazy New York kids."
Yauch learned to ride a bike at the playground, and used to play basketball in the park, according to his mother, Frances Yauch, who spoke endearingly at the ceremony:
And then, of course, there was buffoonish Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, who talked about last night's Nets game, said some kind words about Yauch, and then, inevitably, performed a cringe-inducing rap "remix" of the Beastie Boys' song, "An Open Letter To NYC":
Mike D was noticeably absent from the renaming ceremony, and a Parks Department spokesperson had no explanation for his absence. But who knows, maybe he'll turn up at MCA Day, a celebration of Yauch to be held at Littlefield on Saturday—fittingly, a year and day after Yauch's untimely death.
"Everything has changed but remains the same
So once again the mirror raised and I see myself as clear as day
And I am going to the limits of my ultimate destiny
Feeling as though somebody were testing me
He who sees the end from the beginning of time
Looking forward through all the ages is, was and always shall be
Check the prophetic sections of the pages"
- from Yauch's track "A Year and a Day" on Paul's Boutique.