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.)
We try to keep the skatepark coverage few and far between, but given the stupid Daily News article about this place, the internet could stand to use a current piece about it.
The Hamilton Bridge Skatepark in Washington Heights is around eighty-percent complete. You can technically skate as it stands now, provided you don’t get in the way of the workers. A lot of the surfacing still needs to be finished. NY Skateboarding posted blueprints of it two years ago, so you can use those to fill in the blanks of what hasn’t been finished. Most of the hubba ledges will have marble-ish pieces affixed to them (their bare surfaces are all already waxed.) The brick quarterpipes (they’re real bricks, not faux bricks) are probably the funnest part of the park, but they all remain without coping or a top surface. If you skate them now, you’re
sliding on actual brick not sliding much. The park is getting two handrails, though no sight of a flatrail in any of the mock-ups. Some of the ledges are beveled and look like they are staying that way (see the three-stair Philly step into the bank), which seems like an odd choice for a skatepark. Who knows, maybe they do put metal on the edges later on.
Photo via Mike Heikkila on Instagram
Some months removed from the demise of 12th & A, northern Brooklyn’s dustier and darker D.I.Y. equivalent is no more. As per several locals’ Instagram photos, city vehicles and bulldozers have been there all day removing most of the obstacles. No word if anything has been spared yet. Looks like the world’s laziest knobbing job from a few weeks ago, where someone threw soil all over the quarterpipes and ledges, was foretelling of a more permanent fate. Sucks that it had to happen less than a week after someone built the bank-to-curb. There’s always the McCarren Park :(
The spot has been “demolished” in the past, and was rebuilt into what it was up until this morning, so there’s no telling if it will make a comeback. But for the time being, we’d like to give all Brooklyn skaters of brown pants persuasion our condolences.
All photos are enlargeable
There had been rumblings about Paine’s Park for over ten years. Even back when Skate Nerd was legitimately one of the few skate sites online, they’d post meeting info in an effort to get the project started. But Love and City Hall were around in original form then, so a Philadelphia skatepark was an afterthought for most. From the outside looking in, it seemed like the city was always more concerned with furthering its hatred of skateboarding (it’s not like they had massive school failures, mayors with corruption ties, or, um, rising homicide rates to worry about), instead of cooperating on a solution that would benefit thousands of people. Apparently, all those meetings mentioned in ten-year-old SkateNerd.com posts were the start of a decade-plus road to Philly’s first legitimate street plaza park, which opens today.
Paine Park’s marquee feature — and perhaps the first ever non-stupid thing pertaining to skateboarding that the city of Philadelphia has allowed to happen (remember the pre-fab “park” they built in Center City as a replacement for Love in 2002?) — is the re-incorporation of the City Hall and Love Park benches in the design. Yes, they actually *saved* the benches after tearing down the plaza and let skaters use them in a sanctioned area. You could be the streetest, most skatepark-averse guy ever, but being able to skate the City Hall benches without constantly looking over your shoulder is pretty incredible. As of yesterday, they all need wax, so assume they’ll be broken in by the end of the weekend.
Funny, we were talking about Billy Rohan’s NY1 “New Yorker of the Week” segment and how it saved 12th & A in 2009 just last night…
12th & A has died, and come back, and died again, and come back again, and been shut down because the wall of the building was literally falling apart — but as of this morning, 12th & A is officially gone. Construction crews with sledgehammers were tearing the DQM demo box and the remaining two ledge slabs that were installed in 2008 to pieces. They’ll probably leave the picnic table and
stupid plastic bench (nevermind, it’s at T.F. already), but the spot is done for.
It’s incredible that the school / Billy came up with this “wacky” idea involving four marble slabs and some wood (A.K.A. 1/1,000,000th the cost of a skatepark?), and it kept hundreds of kids confined to one playground for entire days. Schools are about “the kids,” right? Or are they about appealing to a few token angry neighbors who move across the street from a school in a major city, and then complain about the noise from fifteen-year-olds that always ceases after dark? Because it’s easy to imagine those people finally “winning” in all of this. Big thanks to Billy and all the people who fought to keep this place open longer than anyone previously expected.