If you really begin to assess the thought-process of the people calling shots in the city’s department of public works, parks, etc., you’ll frustrate yourself to death in wondering how so many of them still have jobs while the city complains about going broke, the crime rate slowly rising and them needing to cut money from public schools. Meanwhile, as long as there are not a bunch of degenerates on four wheels hopping on some brick bank that the remainder of society has chosen to ignore thirty stories down from the municipal building, then they assume they are doing something right — not in the least bit disturbed that their park “restoration” has not been maintained since it was actually “restored” four years ago. Broken glass, piss, weeds growing out of every possible crevice, and a bunch of benches that nobody has ever sat in. Great job. Then they go out of their way to stop a bunch of high school kids from waxing ledges in the South Bronx within the confines of a park that literally nobody except skateboarders used by taking huge chunks out of the granite. Meanwhile, 57th Street, 7th Avenue, and Madison Avenue all seem to have not been paved in what looks like over a decade.
Even when skateboarding and the intense urgency to prevent it is not in the city’s peripheral of beautifying things and making them more friendly to “the public,” they cannot seem to get it right. These dudes are caught up with making the city more “pedestrian friendly.” It is unfortunate that these little side projects look like textbook examples of what an eight-year-old could accomplish with a few hundred gallons of glue, a bag of sand, and a lot of time on his hands. The guy who designed the Flatiron Building probably loves having his work surrounded by something that belongs in a mall food court. The high-quality, long-lasting materials the city is using for all these little ideas is reassuring as well.
With this list of priorities, I am positive that there will be a 24/7 security patrol at the newly redesigned Washington Square Park, almost to the point where I have filtered out any hopes for ever being able to skate it for an excess of three seconds.
Even though it is hip to complain about “missing old New York,” (despite the fact that most of the people who do it were either two years old or living in the Midwest during the era when you would get stabbed with a jagged switchblade at half the cellar door and bank spots in the middle of the projects you skate nowadays), it does seem like various precedents for spending money established by a certain mayor have lead to a never-ending spiral of the stupidest, ugliest and above all, most useless projects ever — many of which affect skateboarding in the long run. So if you are not trying to perpetuate an authentic, “so old school” aura of being bummed how there are no more’ whores in shiny gold skirts on 42nd Street after you walk out of a double-feature (never mind the fact that you’re probably twenty-years too late), there’s always room complain to about the demise of some of the funnest spots to ever sit on New York soil.
So enjoy what we have left, as abundant as the list may seem to be, before our spots all wither away under a veil of “quality of life” and “pedestrian friendly” measures.