Tributes — A Park Dedicated to the Late Beastie Boy Adam Yauch

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Chalk drawings in the Brooklyn Heights park where Adam Yauch learned to ride a bike as a boy.

Palmetto Playground is no more. The Brooklyn Heights park, a 1.36-acre shady spot with basketball courts and playgrounds is now, proudly, Adam Yauch Park. Just blocks away from the childhood home of late Beastie Boy rapper Adam “MCA” Yauch, the space is tucked under a highway on-ramp in Brooklyn Heights. Nannies watch children climb on the jungle gym and dogs run inside a fenced yard. Prayer flags sway in the spring breeze, a gentle reminder of Adam’s commitment to the Tibetan freedom struggle.

Prayer flags hang in honor of Adam.

Flags and a photo of Adam and the Dalai Lama commemorate Adam’s travels in Tibet. He was an outspoken advocate for the Tibetan struggle and hosted concerts to raise money and awareness.

The dedication and naming ceremony on May 3 commemorated the one-year passing of the musical artist. It was an opportunity for friends and family to gather and honor Adam, who died on May 4, 2012 after battling cancer for three years. He was 47.

A sign hangs outside the park.

A sign hangs on the fence.

A photo of Adam Yauch and the Dalai Lama. A candle burns continuously. Photo by CJ Lotz

A photo of Adam Yauch and the Dalai Lama. A candle burns continuously.

A video of Adam performing at the 1999 Tibetan Freedom Concert:

As a boy, Adam learned to ride his bike at the park, his father guiding him until he found his balance.

A child in the park.

A child stands by a water fountain.

The greenspace is shaded by branches of silver lindens, London planes, pin oaks and Norway maples. There are basketball courts, a community garden and greenhouse, a fitness area, play space and dog run.

Stevie, a dog hanging out with his owners in Adam Yauch Park.

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Bear statues stand underneath trees.

At the naming ceremony, bandmate Adam Horovitz remarked that Adam was the embodiment of Brooklyn’s creative spirit.

“I was trying to think of what to say today, and I was thinking what it means to be a New York kid: People come to New York to be themselves, to express themselves and to be who they want to be. [His parents] 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.”

Instagram Photos Tagged by the Community

Local residents, visitors and fans continue to enjoy the area’s tranquility while paying tribute to Adam with their photographs. We searched the location tag “Adam Yauch Park” on Instagram for images that captured the calm spirit of Adam and his memorial.

Photo: instagram.com/baitlinnn?auto=format

Photo: instagram.com/baitlinnn?auto=format

Photo: instagram.com/carlabguti?auto=format

Photo: instagram.com/carlabguti?auto=format

Photo: instagram.com/um_lety?auto=format?auto=format

Photo: instagram.com/um_lety?auto=format?auto=format

Photo: instagram.com/um_lety?auto=format?auto=format

Photo: instagram.com/um_lety?auto=format?auto=format

Photo: instagram.com/gnomadic217?auto=format

Photo: instagram.com/gnomadic217?auto=format

Photo: instagram.com/rodstanley?auto=format

Photo: instagram.com/rodstanley?auto=format

Photo: instagram.com/buffchris?auto=format

Photo: instagram.com/buffchris?auto=format

Visit the Park

Adam Yauch Park is located at 27 State Street in Brooklyn, New York.

 
  • Gayle

    As someone old enough to be a contemporary of the Beasties, I find this a really lovely reminder of someone who died way too soon.

  • Marlena

    It’s crazy-awesome that this exists–I can’t wait until the weather clears up so I can stop by!

  • Sarah Fisher

    This is so sweet! RIP Adam!

  • Katie Murphy

    Very cool, definitely have to tell a few people about this park!

  • Louay Khraish

    I hope renaming Palmetto Playground in honor of Beastie Boy
    and Brooklyn Native, Adam Yauch will inspire generations of children who visit
    it. Adam Yauch was a great example of an artist who used his fame and wealth to support good causes instead of living a materialistic, superficial life like many celebrities do. He was an artist who continued to evolve and grow and had the courage to admit when was wrong. He even apologized for some of his early lyrics, which were offensive to women and the LGBT community and became a big supporter of equal rights for both groups. Young children playing in the park can learn a lot from Yauch’s

    life.

    I haven’t visited the park yet, but the photos posted on Krrb make me want to visit it on my next trip to Brooklyn Heights.

  • CJ Lotz

    Thanks for reading! Check out the park if you get the chance

  • Agreed @AEK – really an amazing person and more than deserving of a park in his name!

  • AEK

    really moving article – he was such a brilliant and positive impact. the park and photos capture it so well, thank you for this!