With spring set to appear on a daily basis somewhere in the next four months, it was only natural that unknown forces would look kindly upon the T.F. After a mysterious origin at 12th & A this past weekend, a two-foot-wide wooden triangle structure made its way within the linked fences of Tompkins Square Park.
Skateboarding is entering year three of its fascination with triangles, so the expected popularity of said obstacle cannot be understated. An eminent men’s magazine even listed one of the major triangle-centric fashion houses of today among QS reader’s favorite aesthetic directions — though they later forfeit any purported credibility with the inclusion of earth-toned cargoes (???) and éS shoes (????????) Just imagine wearing triangles while skating triangles. Shit is gonna get weird man.
Our moles inside the Parks Department have informed us that the green bandits are only interested in confiscating objects that are “good.” If it resembles garbage, it’s going to have a long life at the T.F. If you put hard work and money into building a box, you can bet that it won’t make it til the next morning. This thing is just enough of a piece of shit that it should enjoy many spring months of wallie experimentation. Hell, that green bookcase corner from 2013 lasted over a month until it dilapidated into a single piece of wood propped up by a brick.
Yesterday, the Ride Channel posted a guide to skateboard-related ## hashtags ## on Instagram, probably as some sort of distraction from the Great Follower Purge of 2014. Now, we weren’t as upset as some of our colleagues by Ride’s weeks-old assertion “that style matters more to east coast skaters because they aren’t as good” (it’s true duh), but this Instagram “guide” is a load of crap.
Who cares about Sequence Saturdays or Slappy Sundays? There is only one ## hashtag ## that matters on Instagram and it is #TFREPORT. Now, the ‘Report might have gotten diluted in recent years, as those who don’t live close enough to feel Tompkins’ magnetic draw still opt to tag their shoddy T.F. imitations with this precious label, but that hasn’t stopped its main function. Nowhere else is there such a one-stop overview for the most vibrant skateboard institution still in operation today.
What better day than today to post our annual T.F. Year in Review. As in pastinstallments, contributors to the #tfreport thinktank cede any creative rights over their images once they are tagged. The T.F. is far bigger than picture credits. Have a good weekend. Seems like it will include some decent T.F. weather, at least for December.
Part two of our annual countdown series. Part one is here.
20. Marble at the T.F.
Throughout its history, Tompkins obstacles have been wood, steel, rubber, and sometimes even glass. The ability to move these materials without much manpower has been essential to the spot’s transient nature. Only the flat and The Crack™ remain — everything else is just passing through until some green-suited bandit musters up the nerve to remove it.
T.F. culture experienced a shock this summer when a foot-tall, slanted slab of marble mysteriously appeared inside the baseball diamond. It became the first marble obstacle in Tompkins history, and dubbed The Tombstone™. This two-foot-wide piece of rock broke the record once held by the blue rail for the longest-standing loose object of the post-Autumn era. Claims of liquid-nailing it to the ground were abound in May and June, except that was, like, way too much work for anyone to do. The spot was gone as mysteriously as it appeared by the end of the month.
Gothamist is reporting that San Loco on Avenue A has shut its doors…
Everyone knows that San Loco was really just a step above Taco Bell, and that its contributions to drunk-at-3-A.M. culture surpassed its impact in skateboarding. However, it was a member of the Tompkins Day One pantheon. Even an institution like Mamani’s (which we now cannot imagine life without) hasn’t been there that long.
San Loco was the misleading springboard by which every California transplant judged New York’s Mexican food — even though it was the equivalent of judging the state of pizza in L.A. based on the nearest California Pizza Kitchen. It offered low cost margaritas for the T.F’s legions of summertime drunks who were too ashamed to be seen walking into Doc Holiday’s. “Oh, you’re going for a taco? Sure…” And above all, San Loco rode in solidarity with the hoards of freshmen that would arrive at Tompkins each September. Though they might’ve been shunned by locals for disregarding the the park’s unwritten rules, San Loco welcomed them with open arms via its $3 for two tacos and a drink with a student ID special. At least someone was in their corner.
Thank you San Loco. We hope you’re up there with Autumn reminiscing about the good old days. And consider the past twoeditions of Tompkins guides obsolete. Pour a margarita out on the curb.
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.)