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.
Remember that spot across from Black Hubba? It had a some rails people haven’t skated since the 90s and a good marble ledge over three steps. After 9/11, they put security booths at every corner (obviously for way more important reasons than skateboarding), which made it an immediate bust with a good chance of a fine and board confiscation. Well, it’s looking good after a recent facelift: Ledge view, curved bench and ledge view, circular manny pad view.
Just count on it remaining a tease, because it’s part of a federal building. But hey, Jake Johnson had enough time to do that narrow wall ollie twice (same building) and security eased up on skating the Courthouse Drop these past few years, so you never know (though it’s a better chance that some moron gets arrested for skating there the first weekend the barricades come down.)
Other recent spot developments:
The bank to grated green ledge on the eastside / the most blown out spot of the past two years is gone.
Contrary to initial reports, the Chase three-up-five-down might be getting restored to its original surface material.
Uptown isn’t hyped on that West 4th Street dancing.
Kenny Reed — Late-ninetiesish — Photo by Mike O’Meally
The Bubble Banks are the first spot casualty of 2013.
The plaza is surrounded by barricades and all of the banks are being torn out from the ground. It was without doubt, the whitest spot in New York City. You’ll be hard pressed to find footage of an Asian, African American, Hispanic or even Native American skateboarder skating here. The banks were tough to skate, the cracks got worse with each passing winter, but it had been a midtown staple for so long with a lower bust factor than any other nearby spot. They weren’t much fun to skate, but at least the spot was photogenic. It’s still sad to see it go. The skateboarders and homeless people who slept here during the summers will miss it. R.I.P.
(Thanks to Nicholas for the tip and photo.)