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Adam Yauch Park in Brooklyn immortalizes Beastie Boys' MCA
A Brooklyn Heights playground was renamed Adam Yauch Park after the late Beastie Boys member in a ceremony Friday, a day before the first anniversary of his death.
Family, friends and fans gathered at the playground on Friday morning to honor the Brooklyn native, also known as "MCA", who died at 47 after a years-long battle with throat cancer.
The park -- previously named Palmetto Playground -- on State Street and Columbia Place was frequented by a young Yauch, who grew up around the corner. He later attended Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson for two years before dropping out to pursue music full time.
Speaking during the dedication ceremony, Yauch's bandmate of three decades, Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz, noted "how cool it is to have an Adam Yauch Park for other crazy New York kids."
Yauch, Horovitz and Michael "Mike D" Diamond -- who did not attend the ceremony -- began performing together in the early 1980s and created eight full-length albums together, four of which peaked at number one on the Billboard Music Chart. The group also won three Grammys, one each in the categories of rap, alternative and pop.
At the ceremony, also attended by Yauch's parents, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz acknowledged Yauch's contribution to putting Brooklyn on the musical map. "As borough president, I heard this a lot of times, that rap started in the Bronx, but I know one thing, that it took Brooklyn to refine it and bring it to the world," Markowitz said.
The 68-year-old politician then "rapped" his own remix of the Beastie Boys' song "An Open Letter to NYC."
After the ceremony, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg tweeted out a picture of the park's new sign:
Yauch will be honored again on Saturday during the second annual "MCA Day" taking place at Littlefield performance space on Degraw Street in Gowanus, Brookyn. The free event begins at 11 a.m. and will feature DJs spinning Beastie Boys songs.