Photo via @2wavv on Instagram
Tompkins locals are no strangers to the evil of the Parks Department. For years, they’ve been stealing our boxes, taping off our benches, and sometimes, they’d try to sabotage the park’s longest standing obstacle, The Crack™. But in the true spirit of American infrastructure, these slapdash concrete fill-ins never lasted long. All they would do is render the park a pebble-ridden, wheelbite-inducing mess for a week. Mother nature’s gift to skateboarding by way of a tree root attempting to free itself from the ground was too strong for these fascist acts of aggression.
This week, they went for big one. The Crack™ is gone. It has been filled with an effective tarlike substance that renders the inch-wide cavity obsolete. New York skateboarding’s inner Ben Sanchez is struggling for air.
Sophomores and juniors may be familiar with our orientation guides to Tompkins Square Park. Given the fast-but-not-too-fast pace of T.F. culture, we have only seen it fit to update the guide bi-annually. With college back in session, you guys can take everything in the 2013 edition as up-to-date, save Example F about the crack. Disregard it entirely, lest you arrive to Tompkins and find yourself shocked that there is nothing to skate at New York’s most famous skate spot.
We will be organizing meet-ups with psychiatric health professionals at Mamani’s for those who may need counseling in this time of crisis.
View from the top of the spot here
The building started knobbing the entire southern ledge section at the World Trade ledges as of a few days ago. They haven’t completely ruined the ledge off the seven yet, except you’ll need to gap out a foot past the first two knobs if you want to get a last minute trick on it. It’s safe to assume they’ll knob the entire ledge sooner rather than later. The northern section with the manual pad and the small ledge over the tree gap is skateable, but who knows how long that’ll stay around for…
For a spot that came pre-knobbed when it opened up in the summer of 2006, it’s amazing the rest of the ledges here made it this far. It was probably the best spot in the Financial District area that you sorta kinda maybe occasionally had a chance of skating, especially with the metal Seaport ledges gone.
Here’s a fun session from when we were filming for the Christmas 2013 clip. We didn’t get kicked out from 3 P.M. onwards. It was amazing and unprecedented. Good times.
There’s also this dumb clip from summer 2007. 240p.
The second most important Blackberry photo in QS history. After this obvs.
Beyond being some of the most expensive property in an already laughably expensive city, the waterfront has been instrumental to the progression of technical, #lowimpact skateboarding in New York. The city has always been a decade behind California in terms of technical ability, but had it not been for the development of the Seaport, a flip-in trick might’ve forever been a myth to New Yorkers. Just think: did you ever truly see people doing reverts, nollie flip-ins n’ shit before someone thought to put angle iron on those wooden blocks? Not really, right?
With Seaport 5.0 being the frontrunner for 2014’s “Spot of the Summer” (in a lead comparable to Chris Brown’s for equally important “Song of the Summer” honors), we take a look at the five forms that Seaport has taken throughout these past twenty years. While reading this, please keep in mind that there is barely anything resembling a “normal, straight ledge” at any Manhattan skatepark.
(A.K.A. Wachovia or Wells Fargo to you younger guys.) Another view here.
The 49th Street side of the building is under construction, and it looks like the 50th Street side and the long manual pad facing Madison Avenue will be soon. There are some crummy mock-ups on the front of the building that show what lays ahead. It might contain a marble ledge over steps (that’ll inevitably be a bust.) The adjacent Driveway Ledges spot has also been under construction for years, so maybe that will yield something cool :) Thanks to Gerry for the tip.
By most estimations of what a “good” spot is — this place sucked. Chunky ledges that never grinded in their entire history, choppy ground, and a horrible eight stair aren’t the best things midtown has to offer. However, the spot was an anomaly in the neighborhood because it wasn’t a colossal bust. This means that more hours were clocked here than other midtown destinations over the years, simply because it was a last resort before conceding defeat for the night. Only the (also defunct) 45th & Lex Wendy’s can lay claim to logging more skater hours this past decade-and-a-half.
The spot is also notable because Geo Moya maintained a career-long allegiance to skating the awful eight stair here. The landing was into a hill going the wrong way, and that hill was made out of the worst ground ever. Moya’s three lines from Jay Maldonado’s La Luz video remain the only examples of someone refusing to acknowledge how genuinely bad this set was. Add that to Moya’s list of underheralded accomplishments, along with the Times Square 20-stair noseslide, the switch front nose over the Flushing grate in ~2000, and pioneer status as the first known person to attempt the “cherry” ender rail ♥
When was the last non-“Banned From T.V” time you were reminded of Nature’s existence? “Ultimate High” still goes.
Ain’t worried about nothing, ridin’ through East 9th Street…
The T.F. solidified its legacy long ago. However, that does not mean it will maintain the same level of #relevance that it has enjoyed for the past decade-plus. Much like the social climate of the early 2000s forced the Brooklyn Banks to cede its status as the city’s prime skate spot to the T.F., that very same moment has been dawning on Tompkins for some time. Skateparks run New York; cramped spaces with ramps-to-rails have surpassed the value of flatground.
But is Tompkins ready to fade into the sunset? Definitely not. You can count of the first warm day of 2014 being a magical time. You can count on street debris being lugged here and contorted into borderline skateable obstacles for years to come. And you can sure count on plenty of East Village kids who have never been south of Rivington Street or north of Stuy-Town refusing to acknowledge that skateparks exist.
Here are the key developments that occurred at Tompkins Square Park in 2013, as told through the #tfreport tag on the ‘Gram. Apologies to anyone whose Instagram photo was stolen for this post (but not really…once you contribute to the #tfreport think tank, your image becomes public property.)