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.
It has been a landmark year for the T.F. Some thought that it would never find #relevance in a *New* New York of accessible skateparks and children uninterested in street spots (or in its case, street spots that aren’t actually street spots.) With Autumn gone, others feared the T.F. organism could not continue life without co-dependence of a nearby shop that would supply it with sustenance by way of angle iron and wood. A select few believed that distant rival, T.F. West, could hijack key demographics at a time when the Tompkins seemed more concerned with providing the District Attorney’s Office or Jewish Street Hockey with a playing field, even allowing them to cover our beloved green benches with caution tape. All were wrong.
Having reached its ten-year anniversary and thus solidifying its legacy (see #6), the T.F. sat back and reveled in its own immortality throughout 2012. Even new media has even helped propel Tompkins into the iPhone era: a kitschy title from the blog-only days of Epicly Later’d was transformed into a useful hashtag on the most popular social media platform among the T.F. faithful. Is there a #flushingreport, #midtownreport or #lenoxreport? You know the answer. Koston even Instagrammed from the T.F. this year, though he forgot to add #tfreport to his post.
At a time when 12th and A is fraught with internal problems and consistent closures, we have grown attached to the steadiness of the the T.F., which for the eleventh year in a row, is the most popular street spot in New York City. Join us as we look back at the obstacles that have graced Tompkins throughout 2012.
Just when the curb up top was starting to get waxed…
The Chase two-up-five-down is a wrap. Ain’t no economic downturn if banks can toss perfectly good marble into a dumpster for a mere facelift. Give us an empty lot and a dumpster full of white marble that’s bound to end up in a landfill, and we’ll make a better “skatepark” than anything currently in New York.
Chase was the last spot in lower Manhattan that had remained a downtown mission mainstay and unmodified since the nineties (and even that might not be entirely true, since the up-ledge Peter Bici 5050s in Mixtape that ran parallel to the handicap ramp just before the steps began got switched up over ten years ago.) It was also one of the few things downtown that had nothing wrong with it, unless you count that flagpole right after the five. Maybe they’ll resurface it and keep the same set-up. Maybe they’ll build a gigantic Philly step with a metal edge and then knob it.
Suski was the only person to ollie the double-set, right? And Zered and Kyle Iles were the only two to get manual tricks across the entire thing? Also, Wenning probably had the best line here…quick set-up + capri tech drawstring pants + no push = win.
The “Bum Rush the Spot” event that was originally scheduled for this Saturday, is going down tomorrow (Friday, the 21st) from 4 to 6 P.M. The Polar / KCDC / Converse / B.Q.E. / etc. crew behind it has gone through great lengths to elevate the B.Q.E. / Lorimer Lot from its status as a dusty, dirty refuge for local brown pants skaters into something more akin to the D.I.Y. scene in Polar’s native of Malmo, Sweden. Some photos of what they’ve been building have surfaced on Instagram, but naturally, the process included a few hang-ups. Everything looks like it’s a go for tomorrow, though. Sweden seems like it is more rational about constructive uses of neglected space than New York (or anywhere in America, for that matter), so let’s hope that these new obstacles last.
Stop by tomorrow if you’re not going to be the token idiot who waits in line for an $800 piece of glass. Take the L to Lorimer, skate one block north, make a right, and skate east under the B.Q.E. There’s an after party / art show at the new KCDC location (85 N. Third Street) afterwards. Full flyer here.
We have another capped ledge in the never-ending saga of the architecture world’s greatest unintentional skatepark. It’s the one closest to the dog park, and the only one that remains lit after 1 A.M., when they cut off all the other lights. They knobbed one ledge last year, only to give up, and build a few new ledges sans knobs. This either means the beginning of the end (like we wrongly assumed last time), or that they are going at a one-ledge-per-half-year rate of knobbing this place. Considering there are about eighty ledges here, it should be fully capped by 2052, which is totally fine.
Either way, it has been nice having a go-to downtown ledge spot two summers in a row, even if it comes with a sporadic bust factor. It feels just like the good old days of Newport, Bench–Down-Curb, and Red Benches.
Hey New York, even though you have an aversion to logical ideas pertaining to skateboarding, and prefer pouring millions of dollars into skateparks that close once it becomes dark, here’s an idea of how to get people to stop skating here. Take the three-block lot on South Street under the FDR between Catherine and Pike that you just paved, and are literally doing nothing with, and build eight, hell, even four of these ledges there. You don’t even need to hire a skatepark company to pour the concrete. Nobody will skate here anymore. And you won’t even need to buy knobs (which are surprisingly expensive.)