Let’s Make It Happen: Rename Squibb Park to Adam Yauch Park

Commenter “She’s Crafty” suggested in a comment on BHB that Squibb Park be renamed Adam Yauch Park to honor the Brooklyn Heights native and Beastie Boy MC who died earlier this month at the age of 47.

We couldn’t agree more. We hope you do too. A Facebook page has been set up to garner support and we encourage you to “like” it as well as voice and share your thoughts here in the comments.

Here’s our brief mission statement from FB:

Squibb Park in Brooklyn Heights, NY is currently undergoing a transformation into a skateboarding facility and gateway to Brooklyn Bridge Park. The Brooklyn Heights Blog community believes that it would be a fitting tribute to name it after Brooklyn Heights native, musician, humanitarian Adam Yauch (MCA) of the Beastie Boys. Adam Yauch Park sits directly across the street from the Harry Chapin Playground which is also named after a great Brooklyn Heights resident, musician and humanitarian. To show your support please like this page and share with your friends.

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  • um….

    Mike D. is NOT from NJ.

  • She’s Crafty

    No, AD Rock is from Jersey and Mike D is from Manhattan.

  • She’s Crafty

    Naming either the basketball courts or the concert venue is also a good idea. If I had the luxury of choice I’d go for the ball courts over the concert venue, which I think might be a little trite.

  • EHinBH

    Something new – not a re-name.

  • DrewB

    OOO Basketball Courts is a good idea. MCA a devout Baller and directed the movie “Gunnin’ For That#1 Spot” about all star high school players. Is there a permanent concert venue on Peir 1? First I heard of that. If so…. SWEET!

  • Mark

    (PS, for the sake of accuracy the idea came from the Daniel Squadron post, not the Open Thread.)

  • Mike D

    Didn’t Mike D go to St Ann’s?

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/13189502@N02/ Eddyenergizer

    I knew Adam back in the day. I don’t think Squibb park is an appropriate memorial, for most of the reasons given above. Perhaps the park at State and Columbia Pl. would be a better choice as he lived on State St and there is a basketball court there.

  • C.

    @ She’s Crafty

    “No Ad Rock and Mike D are from Jersey and Manhattan.”

    Pretty sure Mike D is from the Heights

    “At lunch I go to Blimpie’s down on Montague Street and hit the Fulton Street Mall for the sneakers on my feet”

  • resident

    @C: Mike D was a student at St. Anne’s, thus the lyric, but he was actually from Manhattan.

  • EHinBH

    From Rolling Stone:

    Mike grew up on the Upper West Side with two older brothers. His father, an art dealer, died when Mike was sixteen, just around the time the Beastie Boys were playing their first gigs as a hardcore punk band. “My parents were very, very good about not separating us as kids from their adult friends,” Mike says. “So on any given night, we’d have, like, this kind of freak show – artists and art dealers coming over. And these are the people I feel like I learned from.”

    By thirteen, Mike was collecting Clash and Elvis Costello seven-inch singles and borrowing his older brother’s passport to sneak into punk-rock shows. “It had his baby picture on it, and I used that as my ID, and they just kind of laughed at it.” It was the heyday of New York clubbing, when hip-hop was working its way downtown from the Bronx into SoHo art galleries, and punk had yet to run out of gas. At punk shows by the Stimulators and Bad Brains, he met Adam Yauch, Gabby Glaser and Kate Schellenbach, who’d all begun similarly precocious club crawling. Adam Horovitz remembers noticing Mike and Adam Yauch at a Black Flag show at New York’s Peppermint Lounge in the early Eighties. Adam Yauch told his friend John Berry after that show that they ought to form a hardcore band. The first Beasties gig was Yauch’s seventeenth-birthday party – Yauch, Mike D, Berry and Schellenbach played. When Berry dropped out, Horovitz replaced him. It was a time of kicks, goofs, drugs and whatever. It was late, it was dark, they were teenagers. You do the math.

    In those early Beastie days, Mike was finishing up high school at St. Ann’s in Brooklyn and commuting thirty-five minutes to class on the A train: “The West Side IND line to the High Street station, first stop on the Brooklyn side. Long haul.” Needless to say, he didn’t always make it, but the commute, and the city, were enough. “Having to wake up at seven and go take the subway every morning, having to get over there with all these commuters and see every possible face of humanity and realizing that you’re just the same as these other people is actually an amazingly positive thing. If I’d just gone to school on the Upper West Side…” Mike – who did one semester at Vassar but spent most of that time in Manhattan – talks about growing up in New York as instilling a kind of “urban intelligence,” like a radio-station preset: “It’s not just that you do more younger, like with us being in the band early and going to shows. It’s more like the overwhelming input that defines your existence from the day your parents bring you outside the apartment in a stroller. I might very well be deluding myself, but it almost gives you something an eighteen-year-old from Pensacola, Florida, is not going to have. But that eighteen-year-old could have been a yogi in another lifetime and really be ahead of you on that level. Who knows? Who knows?”

  • She’s Crafty

    @C there’s a reason my moniker is ‘She’s Crafty,’ I actually know somehthing about the BBs.

  • She’s Crafty

    But obviously not how to spell. While we’re on the subject, the FB page has over 400 ‘likes.’ If there’s serious opposition to changing the name of Squibb, but a lot of support in naming the new basketball courts after MCA, what’s next for us?

  • C.

    @ She’s Crafty:

    “there’s a reason my moniker is ‘She’s Crafty,’ I actually know somehthing about the BBs.”

    Which is?…

  • She’s Crafty

    That Mike D. is not from Brooklyn Heights bitch.

  • C.

    @ She’s Classy:

    “That Mike D. is not from Brooklyn Heights bitch.”

    as evidenced by his lyrics? If he’s not from here he sure as hell spent a lot of time here. As a previous commenter said, he went to St. Ann’s

    You stay classy though She’s Crafty

  • She’s Crafty

    I’ll never be as classy as you @C.

  • Andrew Porter

    The park *directly across the street* is already named for Harry Chapin, isn’t it?

    Then there’s that really memorable guy, S. Parkes Cadman. In the Bronx, the historic Boscobel Road was renamed the Edward L. Grant Memorial Highway. There are thousands of streets, highways, parks and the like renamed in the heat of the moment for people who are otherwise now forgotten. In 1914, the city of Berlin, Ontario was renamed; as was Kingstown, Ireland in 1922—and then there’s New Amsterdam, in the 17th century…

  • Knight

    Was there a point in any of those facts, Porter?

  • Nabeguy
  • Anne Bergstedt

    This is AWESOME! How can I help and get the word out about dedicating this to Yauch? BK locals- we all need to unite!!!

  • Matt

    Squibb’s name should stay with that park. The site is historically significant, not just randomly named after the dude (who’s medical contributions to humanity should not be overlooked). There will be plenty of other naming opps as the Brooklyn Bridge park continues to develop. No need to diss one Brooklynite to honor another.

  • Makes_Sense

    Why not have St Ann’s renamed for him? That would then link him to his local connection here. Call it the St. Ann’s Adam Yauch School. Or better St. Adam Yauch School.

  • Homer Fink

    Update – The page has received over 1000 likes so far. Folks from the Beasties camp have contacted us and it looks like there’s an official movement to name another park in Brooklyn Heights after Adam. If this is in fact the case, we will enthusiastically support this effort.


  • ColumbiaHeightster

    Homer, that’s great! As someone said earlier, there are plenty of other opportunities to grace his name upon something significant. Squibb made some great contributions to the world; no need to dishonor his name by replacing it with that of someone more current and more “significant” in the minds of Yauch’s contemporaries. Just because most of us aren’t familiar with Squibb doesn’t mean that a decision to honor him made years ago should be a passing fancy today.

    Naming another park after Adam Yauch seems like a perfect solution.

  • She’s Crafty

    @Makes Sense, because he didn’t attend St. Anns – that’s why.

    This is AWESOME!!!! Who says the little guys can’t make things happen? Homer, keep us totally up to date on this ok?

  • Homer Fink

    I am in contact with the Beasties camp directly. Stand by for an update.

  • She’s Crafty

    My husband just heard about it on 1010 wins, but they are still talking about Squibb as opposed to State Street (which is Palmetto Playground, yes?)

  • She’s Crafty
  • Matthew

    My thing with this is that this park is already named in honor of Dr. Edward Robinson Squibb because of his work in advancement of anesthetic therapy, and because of the fact that Squibb’s original laboratory was on the property where the park now sits. Squibb donated the land to the city himself. Apart from that, I don’t think that the idea of removing an honor already bestowed upon another in order to honor him would be an idea that Yauch would get behind. It’s my understanding that they are building a skatepark at this location, and it seems to me that a compromise would work best. Leave the park called Squibb Park, and name the new skateboarding facility after MCA.

    MCA Skatepark, located at Squibb Park in Brooklyn. I think it has a nice ring to it.