Brooklyn

We now have an Adam Yauch Park

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Today I was lucky enough to see the ceremony in Brooklyn to rename Palmetto Playground to Adam Yauch Park. Yauch, better known as MCA of the Beastie Boys, lost his fight with cancer last year. Palmetto Playground, as told by his parents, was where Yauch learned to ride a bicycle in his native Willow Place in Brooklyn, New York. The park is now named after one of Brooklyn’s favorite sons.

One of the speakers said it best: "The ethos of all for one and one for all stood above everything else...the Beastie Boys did everything together."

The community really came together to pay their respects. There were generations of people out here...Brooklynites born and raised here, who never left, and then people like me who came here to try to fulfill their dreams. I stood next to an elderly woman who lives in the neighborhood. I asked her if she knew Adam. She said that Noel Yauch (Adam's father) was the architect who designed her home, and said Adam was the sweetest young man ever. She said that she is so proud of him and having the park where he grew up named after him was the perfect gesture. She gave me her program, seen below:

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Frances Yauch (Adam's mom) talking about her son. When talking about how the Beastie Boys used to rehearse upstairs at their house, she said "God bless our neighbors, who never complained." Frances goes on to tell us about how Adam learned how to ride his bicycle in this very park.

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In attendance were Adam Horovitz AKA Adrock and Yauch’s parents, who shared their words. Some people we should thank for making the park possible:

  • The Yauch Family
  • Adam Horovitz and Michael Diamond
  • Rachael Horovitz (Adrock's sister)
  • Mayor Mike Bloomberg (AKA Mike B, as I like to call him)
  • Parks Commissioner Veronica White
  • Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz
  • All Beastie Boys fans who Yauch touched

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Hundreds of people came to honor MCA, including many people who took the day off to make it here.

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Adam Yauch moved me to Brooklyn

When I was growing up in the Pacific Northwest my friend Joel and I would go to basketball practice in the mornings. My mom would take us and I would play the tape of Ill Communication every morning. We would always listen to Sure Shot and Get It Together. MCA was always my favorite Beastie Boy, mainly because of his love for basketball and unique voice.

My favorite song then (and probably still now) was No Sleep Till Brooklyn, mainly because it was a combination of two of my favorite things: The Beastie Boys and Slayer (Kerry King played the guitar in the song). I always told myself that I need to move to Brooklyn. Obviously, it wasn't the Brooklyn then as it is now. I mean, Steven Segal's "Out For Justice" played the song in the soundtrack. However, I knew I wanted to live there because of MCA—to follow his footsteps as a creator.

When I first visited Brooklyn it was by accident. My friend Scott and I took the wrong train and ended up in Brooklyn. Little did I know, it was the High Street Station; the station referenced in their song "Root Down". It would be a year later in December of 2011 that I would move to Brooklyn Heights, the neighborhood where Yauch grew up. I did not find out later until he passed about this fact.

Rest in Peace, MCA. We miss you so much. Thank you for teaching a Northwest kid Passion, Risk, and Dedication.

"I think every person has the ability to effect change. I think we’re often led to believe that it’s just celebrities have some ability to effect change but I think that what’s important for us to realize is that everyone of us affects the world constantly through our actions, through our every smallest action, through our every thought, our every word, the way that we interact with other people we’re constantly affecting the world." —Adam Yauch

 


Outpost Lounge: A great Brooklyn cafe for inspiration

I went to Outpost cafe for the first time today with Jess and Paula. It's a Cafe in Clinton Hill. Jess heard about it from someone at the Brooklyn Flea, was told that the owner is from Seattle (not positive about this) and we went to check it out.

Such a great spot! If All Saints and Zombie Hut had a baby, it'd be Outpost. The interior had exposed lights and plenty of tables to read, work, and hang out around. The back is where it reminded me of Zombie Hut. Also, they have outlets outside! Being from Seattle, I forget that you can work outside without getting rained on.

I'll definitely come back here to work, read, and enjoy the great coffee. If anyone is every interested in meeting up for a coffee, let's go here!


RIP Adam Yauch: MCA

This feeling was very similar in October when I heard Steve Jobs had died. Though inspirations in many different (yet similar) ways, Adam Yauch (also known as MCA) of the Beastie Boys was one of my heros. Both died of cancer.

I couldn't help but be in tears when I heard about Adam's passing. Like many of my friends, I have been listening to the Beastie Boys every since I was a kid. I've never lived in a world without the Beastie Boys. The first song I vividly remember is No Sleep Till Brooklyn, which was the song that inspired me to want to live there someday. I now live in Brooklyn.

There are so many memories of the Beastie Boys, such as getting up at 5am for basketball practice in high school playing my tape of Ill Communication in my mom's van. I listened to that every day, especially Get it Together. MCA was always my favorite Beastie Boy because I loved his lyrics and unique voice.

Even though I'm not a musician, I always felt the Beastie Boys inspired me so much as an artist and designer, particularly in the idea of mixing and remixing...sampling...the idea of taking something and giving it new content/context. The longevity of their genius is something I will continue to look up to. Some can be great for a short period of time, but these guys have spanned so many decades, continued to do their thing and change their style in success.

You can bet every time I'm designing, I am listening to Paul's Botique.

Rest in Peace, Adam Nathaniel Yauch. There will always be a castle in Brooklyn, where you dwell. I will miss you so much.

“I think every person has the ability to effect change. I think we’re often led to believe that it’s just celebrities [who] have some ability to effect change, but I think that what’s important for us to realize is that everyone of us affects the world constantly through our actions, through our every smallest action, through our every thought, our every word, the way that we interact with other people… we’re constantly affecting the world.”

—Adam Yauch


Record accessories made in Brooklyn

After living in Brooklyn for about three months, it's becoming a weekly routine for me to go over to Atlantic Ave. and hit up the Brooklyn Flea Market. I'm always afraid to bring money to flea markets because I will spend a ton—so much great arts and crafts you won't find anywhere else.

One of my favorite places at the flea market is W Records by Monkey. These guys take old vinyl records and create some pretty cool things: notebooks, necklaces, bracelets, keychains—see more on their website.

I absolutely love their stuff, and the reason is because of the material. Their product is 100% Brooklyn, from the look and feel and the practicality. When I was there a few weeks ago I was talking to one of the guys about the Beastie Boys song Rock Hard where they resample AC/DC. We were talking about how the Beastie Boys (who are also from Brooklyn) really mastered the art of resampling.

The stuff the guys make at W. Records by Monkey really reminds me of resampling—taking something old and giving it new purpose. If you are in Brooklyn go check out the flea market on Saturday and Sunday 10am-5pm. If not, order their stuff online. I absolutely love the Brooklyn necklace I got (image above).

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My First Week in New York

This photo of my cat Wilson, looking out the window in the undiscovered Brooklyn street is probably fitting of my experience so far. Everything is new. There is so much to see. So much to explore.

It is a bit unreal to think I have lived in New York City for a week already—seems as if I was just lifted up by a tornado and dropped over here. There has been no time to rest, but there's no rest for the wicked. The last week in Seattle was hectic. My parents, aunt and uncle came to help me move the rest of my stuff. Knowing me, I did not finish packing until the night before I flew out.

The Flight

The flight to New York City itself was probably the most stressful part for me. One reason...the cat. This was the first time I've flown with my cat Wilson. He is VERY loud and I was extremely concerned about him handling the flight. I gave him some sedation pills and he was such a good sport. He slept the entire time on the plane, including takeoff. The most difficult part was taking Wilson out of the bag and carrying him through the TSA x-ray, which is a requirement. I was afraid he was going to flip out, scratch my face and take off running. Again, he was such a good sport about it. Big ups to TSA for being so cooperative too. They held the line up while I carried Wilson through the x-ray and made sure I had him in the bag before resuming.

Arrival

We landed in Newark, and to my surprise, everyone in New Jersey sounds like...well, what you think everyone in New Jersey would sound like. After 25 minutes, I arrived to my apartment in Brooklyn Heights and was greeted by my roommate Michael and his girlfriend Gabrielle. Yes, this Gabrielle who I met earlier this year. Wilson and I finally made it home, and here is our view.

What I've learned so far:

  • Shopping at IKEA in Brooklyn SUCKS!
  • Just because subways run normally during the week does NOT mean it will on the weekend.
  • When the waitress comes to take your order, you better know what the Hell you want.
  • People don't even begin eating dinner until about 9pm here.

As much as I love it here in Brooklyn I definitely miss my friends and family in Seattle. The first week was quite the struggle, just getting adjusted. I am getting used to it and feel like this is where I should be.


I'm moving to New York City

I have some bitter/sweet news to share with everyone. It is bitter because of how much I will miss everyone but sweet because of the fresh opportunity and adventure. After living in the Emerald City, a place I've called home for the last five years, I have decided to move to Brooklyn, New York.

My desire to move to the Big Apple was not a quick decision, but rather one brewing over the course of many years. In high school, I always talked to my art teacher about dreaming about New York to see Warhol paintings in real life and photography all the urban landscapes. After college I had the hope of going to grad school at The School of Visual Arts or Hunter College in which the opportunities did not pan out. Finally, I went to visit NYC with my college roommate Scott and it blew me away.

It was everything I hoped for and imagined…and more. I absolutely loved the pace there, and the people were so nice. Yes, I said New Yorkers were nice. After a few days in New York I realized, "you can ride the wave of energy or just get totally consumed by it." I decided I want to choose the latter. There are so many people here—the best in the industry.

Dreamers are here. Hopeless romantics are here. Yeah, creeps are crackheads are here too, but you see where I'm going.

After returning from Europe I had this realization about Seattle. At first it was negative, but then it revealed it's true self. My desire to move from Seattle is not "to get away from Seattle", but rather, "to experience the rest of the world."  There is so much in the world I want to see.

My recent visit in September confirmed that I wanted to be in Brooklyn, New York. The place fits me like a glove and I feel like I'm in my element there.

So what's next? Well, I'm going to sell everything and get rid of all my posessions, then move. The only thing I'm bringin: A bag of clothes, my Mac and my cat. I will continue to work with Xhatch Interactive and am excited about us having our presence in New York.

This is not an easy move for me. Five years of my life, important years, have been here in Seattle, Washington. I was raised in the Northwest, and I will dearly miss all of my friends I have made here, it it is a bit emotional for me to think about leaving everyone. Seattle may not be the city where I was born, but it was indeed the place that defined my identity and took care of me. I will be forever grateful.

The bitter is leaving my dear friends, but the sweet is the potential and opportunity. I am looking forward to people watching on the subway and long walks through the neighborhoods. Everything will be seen through a fresh lens. Let's not forget I can easily go watch the New York Yankees play next Spring. I see  New York as a place I can make a career here, meet new friends, converse with passing strangers, and hopefully meet that special person and fall in love.

There is much work to be done before I leave. No Sleep 'Till Brooklyn.

P.S. Here's a clip of Mike Doughty performing "The Idiot Kings", one of the songs that inspired me to move to New York.
P.P.S. What's that saying..."If I can move a 23 pound cat to New York, I can make it anywhere"? I think Sinatra said it.