Photo via @2wavv on Instagram
Tompkins locals are no strangers to the evil of the Parks Department. For years, they’ve been stealing our boxes, taping off our benches, and sometimes, they’d try to sabotage the park’s longest standing obstacle, The Crack™. But in the true spirit of American infrastructure, these slapdash concrete fill-ins never lasted long. All they would do is render the park a pebble-ridden, wheelbite-inducing mess for a week. Mother nature’s gift to skateboarding by way of a tree root attempting to free itself from the ground was too strong for these fascist acts of aggression.
This week, they went for big one. The Crack™ is gone. It has been filled with an effective tarlike substance that renders the inch-wide cavity obsolete. New York skateboarding’s inner Ben Sanchez is struggling for air.
Sophomores and juniors may be familiar with our orientation guides to Tompkins Square Park. Given the fast-but-not-too-fast pace of T.F. culture, we have only seen it fit to update the guide bi-annually. With college back in session, you guys can take everything in the 2013 edition as up-to-date, save Example F about the crack. Disregard it entirely, lest you arrive to Tompkins and find yourself shocked that there is nothing to skate at New York’s most famous skate spot.
We will be organizing meet-ups with psychiatric health professionals at Mamani’s for those who may need counseling in this time of crisis.
Five Favorite Parts Justin Bieber — 1) Jahmal Williams in Continuum 2) Jahmal Williams in Eastern Exposure 3) Jahmal Williams in Static IV…obviously he already has the advance copy 4) Joel Meinholz in Welcome to M.I.A. 5) Jerry Fowler’s 411 Profile
After nearly three years of sustained attempts at a slight interest in skateboarding, rappers are starting to give it up. The past five months have seen near 60% drops in celebrities Instagraming themselves on skateboards compared to 2011-2013. Even marquee #celeb #skaters like Lil’ Wayne, who (maybe unknowingly) spent years fighting for us to have to admit that he’s better at skating transition than 40% of the QS office, seems to have little time for his board these days. He just released his best-rapped single since maybe The Carter 3, so perhaps he’s back to focusing on his raps, and not his ollies.
The #EVERYBODYSKATES movement is certainly past its heyday. Bieber is running things, Ron Artest is telling us we are taking over and that we should follow this kid who’s good at skating flatbars but not necessarily better than the average “good” kid at L.E.S., and Chief Keef is riding his surfboard.
“Don’t sleep on the Biebs.” — Andre Page, 2013
Could Bieber be the “realest” #skater #celeb?
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 two editions 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.)
Photo by Emilio Cuilan
In 2011, as an effort to assist freshmen new to New York, we published an introductory guide to Tompkins Square Park, the most popular “street” spot in the city and frequent victim of misinformation. Much like the textbooks you guys pay $900 a semester for, the 2011 text is in need of a new edition. New York skateboarding has changed these past two years, affecting the T.F. and forcing it to adapt to a new environment. We didn’t just scramble the pagination to squeeze an extra hundred bucks from you. No, unlike the textbook industry, we’re really trying to help.
According to recent reports, America is starting to understand the futility of a college degree. Sure, maybe ten-percent of degrees end up being useful, but given that skateboarders major in things that they could learn from YouTube tutorials, theirs often belong in the trash. If you’re a college attendee, there is a good chance that you will still be considering unpaid internships at 24 with a five-figure debt reminder in your mailbox each month. There’s no reason to make things worse by spending your college years as an outcast from the T.F. Make it easy by following these simple rules, and Tompkins will bless you with an education that no money could buy.