Anatomy of a Skate Spot / Degenerate Hangout

Though we have written about Union Square’s dwindling post-renovation relevancy in the past, it still manages to keep its head above water as a diminished, yet occasionally influential, political force in New York City skateboarding. We may be a long way from Union Square’s generation-spanning stint of power (please note that it was still socially acceptable to film last tricks at Union Square in the mid-2000s), but it still has its share of characters carrying on the torch to prevent it from being left merely to the history books, like the Astor Place cube or the Brooklyn Banks.

A brilliant resource for Union Square anthropologists, entitled Amazing Strangers, was recently brought to our attention. Aside from drawing up the map above, it provides a much-needed breakdown of the park’s cultural hubs as they pertain to junkies (apparently, there was a fatal incident of junkie-on-junkie violence a few weeks ago involving a hit to the head with a U-lock), confused skateboarders, gothic ravers, and any other human form that society outside of Union Square has rightfully refused to acknowledge. It also gives a breakdown of how an authentic Union Square skateboarder is supposed to look (pink V-neck, longboard, upturned sun visor, pink wristband, etc.)

Perhaps Quartersnacks will begin on compiling a similar guide for Tompkins and 12th & A (essentially a three-block map of the East Village.) We could then detail the history behind many of the Tompkins’ most infamous characters: The Mayor, The Janitor, The Cuddler AKA the Snuggler, The Irish Potato, The Philosopher, Dirty Daddy, Joseph Delga DOS, Union Squeric, The Brown Refrigerator, Tall Rodriguez, Puta, Young Buck, and many others. Give us a few months.

Until then, the Union Square guide should hold you over. It was obviously compiled recently, as the exclusion of Dave Thomas would be a glaring omission if a similar project was made available in 2002.


  1. Maybe they don’t support your religious message, Bob.

    Who do you think saved your secret crush Inna?

    Good luck Bob, and tone down the anti-religious message.

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