The Hamilton Bridge Skatepark in Washington Heights is around eighty-percent complete. You can technically skate as it stands now, provided you don’t get in the way of the workers. A lot of the surfacing still needs to be finished. NY Skateboarding posted blueprints of it two years ago, so you can use those to fill in the blanks of what hasn’t been finished. Most of the hubba ledges will have marble-ish pieces affixed to them (their bare surfaces are all already waxed.) The brick quarterpipes (they’re real bricks, not faux bricks) are probably the funnest part of the park, but they all remain without coping or a top surface. If you skate them now, you’re
sliding on actual brick not sliding much. The park is getting two handrails, though no sight of a flatrail in any of the mock-ups. Some of the ledges are beveled and look like they are staying that way (see the three-stair Philly step into the bank), which seems like an odd choice for a skatepark. Who knows, maybe they do put metal on the edges later on.
The park is maybe one-and-a-half times the size of the L.E.S. Park. There are two levels of the street section, which is most prominent in the panoramic photos above. Behind that, is a narrow, downhill run of ledges that includes an actual straight ledge. That ledge is waxed to all hell and deadly. (Like, ollie onto a 5050 standing still and grind to the end of it -deadly.) Considering the park’s proximity to the Bronx, one of the few remaining rollerblader refuges, you can rest assured that it will always be overcoated with candles.
Under the bridge is another street section. It’s dark and dusty, and thus, difficult to get photos of. It basically has the same lighting as the Fat Kid Spot, and white lights underneath for nighttime.
There are huge spotlights surrounding the entire park, so the city finally trusting skateboarders after the sun goes down is a nice and unprecedented gesture. It’s no Paine’s Park, and complaints from the “Why the hell can’t you guys build a straight ledge?”-corner will continue to reverberate (especially when they use straight slabs of marble to decorate the fence that borders the park), but the banks here are super fun. They look like they’re decking it out with landscaping afterwards, and the park itself looks like it won’t be completed until the end of the year. The “official” opening date is anyone’s guess.
Located at Highbridge Park in Washington Heights, right under the Alexander Hamilton Bridge. It’s off the 181st stop on the 1 train. The Heights isn’t exactly Lower Manhattan or northwestern Queens in terms of skateboarder population, so you can definitely catch a mellow session here, assuming you show up early enough on a weekday, for many years to come.