Brooklyn Banks Week: The Chrome Ball Gallery

Unlike the other three major street spots cemented in the history of skateboarding, the Banks were the sort of place that literally served no purpose to the public whatsoever, unless you were homeless or rode a skateboard. It had steps that went nowhere, bubbles coming out of the floor that made no sense, and probably the most unaccommodating benches in all of Lower Manhattan. Due to that, it is probably the most interesting spot to ever be canonized in skateboarding’s shortlist of classic spots. It was just an all around, unintentional skatepark. Unintentional skateparks > Simulations. If the ground happened to suck at Love or Pulaski, they would have never made an impact, and yet, still served their intended public function as a place to have lunch, gaze at landmarks, etc. The Banks’ public function? Well, that’s just one big question mark.

That very same reason is crucial as to just why the 2004 renovation was so infuriating. It was the most futile, wasteful, and to put it bluntly, stupid, renovation I have ever seen the city take on. With the basketball courts being the sole exception (they take up a whopping five percent of the spot), the spot is just so unfit to be of legitimate public function that renovating it with chessboards and new benches was like trying to prove a car with a blown-out engine still works by pushing it down a hill.

Take any bridge in New York City: Queensboro, Triboro, Williamsburg, Manhattan, etc. What’s under them? Highways, major streets, and parking lots (sure, there are parks underneath on promenades, but that’s when any respective bridge is damn near 100 feet above it.) What other park is exactly parallel to a bridge off-ramp besides this one? And this place was a parking lot. It just happened to be great for skateboarding.

Perhaps that’s why it is one of the best looking spots to have ever existed — because it didn’t make sense. Looking at it in magazines, videos, and in video games as a kid, before having went there, you just can’t figure out why the hell it’s there if it’s not an intended skatepark.

Hell, how many other spots have gotten away with decades of repeated backside ollie and wallride photos?

The gallery is courtesy of The Chrome Ball Incident, which is more or less one of the few skate websites you should be checking on a daily basis.

Thumbnails after the jump.


  1. J. Pierce. Very few photographs & practically no footy of him shredding. DITC for some Pierce footy…I’d look forward to see some actual skating of homeboy as oppose to movie coverage.

  2. stop saying “AFTER THE JUMP” you sound like an idiot. thumbnails AFTER THE JUMP, no, they’re actually below the text you just wrote, not after any jump.

  3. Yeah, except that when you look at the site from the homepage or an archive, the thumbnails are included below a link. It’s a fairly ubiquitous term for any writing operation run on WordPress in the 21st century, on top of existing for hundreds of years. Google the word “jumpline.” Thanks for your insight though.

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