Photo by Zach Baker
When celebrating the virtues of skate-friendly cities like Copenhagen, it’s important to remember that they didn’t become that way by accident. A place like Denmark may not have the vehement sue-happy culture we do, but there’s still a long process to build a utopia. People with college degrees and sophisticated understandings of architecture, city planning, etc. — who also happen to skateboard — fought for that shit. Many cities are slowly starting to recognize skateboarding as something more productive than spraypainting on a wall or pissing in a corner. Now the next step is figuring the subtleties out. “Maybe a blind-built pre-fab park isn’t the best idea…”
When presented with a chance to do something permanent with the locals in Providence, it didn’t make sense for it to be an exclusive keyholder type of project. It also didn’t make sense to add on to an existing skatepark; they have a whole community already doing a good job at keeping that flame lit.
Filmed by Dan Mcgrath and Johnny Wilson.
Adrian Hall Park, across the street from the Trinity Repertory Theater in downtown Providence, has been a stop for skaters since the early nineties. It has a platform to do tricks off, some steps, and a curb — not a great spot, but enough to keep interest when you get the boot out of everywhere else downtown and are willing to settle on skating anything, insofar as you don’t get hassled. Beyond the skaters, there usually isn’t a whole lot going on in the park. It’s not scenic, as it’s on a side street next to a parking garage: a perfect place to drink a brown-bagged beer or take a nap on some cardboard if you don’t have anywhere to be that night. It was also a solid candidate to be turned into something more than just a barren stone park.