The (No Longer) Delayed Astor Place Renovation

We mentioned it about two years ago, but Curbed is reporting that in light of the economy no longer being “in the skids,” the renovation of the entire area around the Cube is soon to be under way. That essentially means they are going to knock out a bunch of the streets, and pour some sand over glue a la “the green ribbon winding from 59th Street to 14th.”

Although Astor is probably the most famous skate spot that isn’t actually a skate spot, it’s going to suck to see it go. We haven’t been skating there too much in the past year-and-a-half, due to the street renovations that sent tons of small pebbles into the area, proving detrimental to a place best-suited for flatground tricks. If you haven’t spent countless summer evenings here, waiting for the sun to set and the street lights to turn on, watching girls and learning tricks, it’s going to be hard to explain the spot’s zen-like appeal, and why exactly a place where your board might get run over by a cab, or a cop might cruise by and give you a ticket, was worth skating for four hours straight. (Even when you had to share it with ravers and morons having convulsions after spinning the cube for their first time.)

The one amazing thing about the article, is that it seems like the “neighborhood” actually discussed skateboarding in their meeting. “Down in the plaza W+Y’s zipper benches, good for keeping skateboarders in line, will encircle the trees and give East Villagers a chance to kick back on something other than grungy sidewalks.” I know cities, especially New York, always change as different tides of people move in, but it has always pissed me off that someone can live amidst a four lane intersection with a major subway stop outside and legions of NYU idiots vomiting on the street, and still call in a NOISE complaint on skateboarders. You guys can cry about “trust fund kids” all you want, but people who have the audacity to call in a noise complaint in New York City while living in a four-way intersection are the real enemy.

When I started skating here, the curb was like a foot high. They just paved it so much over the years.” — Ryan Hickey

R.I.P. Astor Place


  1. That fucking blows…at least I’ll always remember my Zip Zagger shooting out into that old dude’s ankle, and him waiting for an ambulance as I skated off…fucking old fat fuck.

  2. Yeah I remember that, we stayed there and it seemed like he was exaggerating his total inability to walk once they actually got there. He literally did not move from the lamppost for twenty minutes.

    One of my favorite Astor Place moments was when the kids working at Starbucks got into a beef with the kids working at K Mart, and one of the K Mart kids dips down 8th Street, runs around Broadway to the opposite Astor Place side of Starbucks, to sucker punch one of the Starbucks kids, and then a fight broke out. Kid ran around a whole block to sucker punch someone. It was the same day as the Puerto Rican Parade a few years back so there were all sorts of people losing their minds as is.

  3. this is probably the worst thing i’ve heard in a long time. one of my all time favorite spots to post up, or meet before going to skate anywhere else

    great slappy curbs, great wally off the lightpost, skating the trash can on its side off the curb.

    many goodtimes, with many good friends. FUCK

  4. I’ve been working down there for two years, and between the Walgreen’s sidewalk, Theatre, and utility line problems, its been a perpetual construction site. Looks like ’11 will bring more of the same, but with granite benches. I want to know where the dumpling truck is going to relocate to.

  5. Best spot in the city, hands down. Was even better when the chinese spot was still down the street. I got ticketed here, i got pussy here, i almost killed a delivery guy here, i met the QS squad here for the first time. RIP

  6. Back in 2000, I remember sitting inside of the SBUX waiting to meet up D. (FCNY). While waiting; I saw a homeless dude wearing no shoes take his motorcycle jacket off (in the November pouring rain) and immediately started performing Kung Fu moves. He continued to do this for only God knows how long. Snackman, you are indeed correct in regards to the “Zen”-like appeal and or mystique of the general area.
    RIP Astor Place.

  7. Anybody who calls in a noise complaint about pretty much ANYTHING going on in the street is a total fucking tool. It’s one thing if your obnoxious neighbor is blasting house music at 4 am on a Tuesday, but I’ve always been of the opinion that if you choose to live in a city (particularly New York), you’d better get used to a whole lot of noise. Your options – shut the fuck up yourself, or move some place quieter where nobody will miss you.

    Never really hung out at Astor but I did buy weed there a whole bunch of times so I have a sort of nostalgic fondness for it.

  8. the yellow bike stop thing was sick too. im surprised i never saw any footage of niggas skating over it. bummer

Comments are closed.