I went on a hunt for Beastie Boys haunts whilst in NYC. It’s always been a dream of mine since I was a teen. Growing up to their tunes not only brought me joy but introduced me to new and exciting music in the process.
Thanks to Michael Kearney over at MCA Day who is heading up a strong contingent of folks to keep the legacy of past Beastie Boys MCA’s (Adam Yauch’s) memory alive. Michael Kearney was able to secure a Beastie Boy Walking Tour map for me before I left Toronto. Talk about the Willy Wonka golden ticket! I was now able to narrow down my searches for specific Beastie Boy’s landmarks by neighbourhood.
For me, the most important visits were Adam Yauch Park in Brooklyn and the Paul’s Boutique location from the Beastie Boy’s album cover. Those held a special significance for me.
Luckily on the day I was in Brooklyn, my friend Ham’s and I popped over easily to Adam Yauch Park.
Adam Yauch Park was quiet on that Fall day. No kids were around and the leaves had nicely nestled under the colourful jungle gym furniture. There was even a bear and cub statue lingering in the background which was lovely in providing an even more familial feel. It was a tiny park but a perfect space to honour someone as special as Adam.
Adam Yauch and the Beastie Boys were a big part of my youth. Their music uplifts my mood, has taken me out of dark places, gets me ready and jazzed for work or better yet decompresses me after a long day at work.
Many times I have played ‘Jimmy James’ as I rode the subway in and out of downtown Toronto wondering what it would feel like to ride a NYC subway to the same tune. I got my wish and it felt so different. Far more gritty. Far more painful. The perfect NYC edge and swagger.
The day Adam died it came as a shock to a lot of us. I remember texting one of my best mates Andrew and we both felt the rumble. Adam always seemed like the quieter Beastie. He was more content to let Mike D and Ad-Rock fill the hype. As years passed his quieter voice became louder when it came to issues he believed in. As their songs and messages changed – we also as listeners began to open our minds to other possibilities and ‘working for the greater good’ as Michael Kearney has said to me recently.
I made my peace at Adam’s park. I was able to pay my personal respects in a small moment.
A few days after visiting Adam Yauch Park – I happened to be visiting the Tenement Museum in the Lower East Side. Thanks to the Beastie Boys Walking Tour map I scouted out the location for the Paul’s Boutique album cover.
Time has certainly passed. The neighbourhood has had a dramatic face lift and not at all the same gritty album cover that I used to lie in bed looking at wondering how and where those tunes were crafted. But lovely to see and have chin up time with.
The Beastie Boy’s Walking Tour map added a different flavour to my trip to NYC. It cajoled me into discovering neighbourhoods perhaps I wouldn’t have checked out, it taught me a lil bit more about these boys and even about myself. Indeed the Beastie Boys are one soundtrack out of many from my youth. I have come far from being that young girl in North Toronto – a professional, settled and comfortable in her skin. Thank you Adam, Adam and Mike.
Lastly, check out Michael Kearney’s MCA Day Celebration for 2014. It will be their second year anniversary and I hear they have some amazing things planned for the day!