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New York Neighborhoods Celebrate Adam Yauch’s Legacy

Beastie Boys
Brad Barket, Getty Images

The Beastie Boys were never shy to show love for their hometown of New York City. That love was returned Friday night (May 4) when news of Adam ‘MCA’ Yauch‘s death was announced.

The Lower East Side and and East village neighborhoods of NYC borough Manhattan were celebrating the life of Yauch, who often seemed inspired by those two areas despite being born in Brooklyn. Bars and apartment buildings were blasting Beastie Boys music to honor their fallen friend. A projector displayed footage of the group’s various live shows on a side of a building across from the 2A Bar. That idea came from bartender Jeffrey Emerson, who’s been a fan of the Beasties since he was a kid and loved their movie ‘The Skills to Pay the Bills.’

“It was just so great,” Emerson told the New York Times. “I watched it over and over again.”

The Beastie Boys recorded one of their earliest songs called ‘Polly Wog Stew’ in the basement of the apartment they were living in on Avenue A in East Village. Fans placed candles and a lily in honor of Yauch on the sidewalk outside the former studio, now occupied by the restaurant Bad Burger. Their 1994 hit ‘Sure Shot’ was playing inside Bad Burger.

“You always hear about the musical heritage of the East Village,” said Brian Grossman, who lives nearby. “So it’s kind of cool to know that the heritage is really here.”

The Beastie Boys have always brought together people from all walks of life. Not surprising since their music combined elements from so many genres to bring their unique form of hip-hop to the masses. Perhaps Local 138 bartender Lourdes Vasquez summed up their legacy the best.

“I grew up on 40s and hoodies and skateboards and punk rock and hip-hop,” said the Yonkers native. “And they mixed those things all together, you know what I’m saying?”

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