New York, on the other hand, is not a ledge city.
It’s a metal curb city. It’s a garbage city. It’s a cellar door city. It’s an expensive city. It’s a party city. It’s a fashionable city. But it is not, by any means, a city where you will have an easy time finding a ledge to do even a foot-long tailslide on.
We may live in a city with the highest concentration of beautiful women, but the trade-off is that we are stuck with the ugliest ledges. Ledge skating in New York is the equivalent of constantly having to go home with a two. Sure, there are plenty of tens in the Financial District, except they’ll never lend you enough time to get to know them and make some moves.
The Seaport is a constant dramedy of the absurd — almost as if its creators are aware of our ledge desperation, and gain sadistic pleasure from toying with our emotions and crooked grinds. Ziegfeld is gone. Midtown is more of a bust than ever, with its most popular ledge only reaching a foot in height. Water Street hasn’t seen a glimmer of unknobbed marble in almost a decade. Even our favorite Sunday night refuge, which we rented many a ZipCar to drive the seventy miles to, got knobbed last year.
As we reach the coldest depths of winter, let’s forget skating’s fun aspects. You’ll miss skateboarding less when you are forced to remember that it could also be terrible. Ride Channel may have oversaturated the list game (we only run maybe 1.333 lists a year anyway), but this is important: here are the ten worst ledges in New York that are skated by humans with presumably functional brains.
McCarren Park “Ledge”
Suggesting that you and your friends skate the McCarren “ledge” is a euphemism for saying you’d prefer to be inside of a bar before 3 P.M. on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon. The ledge is both 1) Absolutely terrible, and 2) Far too close to the gravitational pull of the nearby Barmuda Triangle [Enid’s-Matchless-No Name.] Your day ends as soon as the suggestion is agreed upon.
Reggaeton Planter “Ledge”
Liquid nailing a two-foot-long piece of angle iron onto this chunky concrete abomination is like slapping some rouge on a cinder block.
Desbrosses Street “Ledge”
This spot became popular after Vicious Cycle, and has always been awful. Yet it somehow managed to get worse over these past ten years. It’s like the four that picked up a pill habit and deteriorated to a negative four. Anyone know if the people who threw eggs at you for skating here still live across the street?
Sutton Hill Ledges
“How’s that spot under the Queensboro Bridge?”
“It’s okay, if you have under a size ten foot. Otherwise, you’ll probably roll your ankle.”
This spot would be fun if it was maybe three times as far away from the wall, and that wall wasn’t a foot-thick piece of sandpaper. Saddest of all, given today’s standards, it was still worth salvaging, as evidenced by the bondo applied to the top of the main ledge.
Rivington Street Philly Step
New York’s thirst for Philly steps and urban points reached newfound heights when this and it’s yard-long landing strip became an actual spot.
Crosby Street Step
There are a lot of great thirty-second bust spots in SoHo. This isn’t one of them. You can skate this six-inch-high Philly step into a “bank” (it’s basically flat) all day, because it sucks. Big surprise.
Greenwich Street Citibike Station
Who the hell thought to wax this thing?
You know how when you’re broke at the beginning of the month, and start irrationally wishing you hadn’t made some dumb purchase weeks back? You’re really going to wish you still had that candle next time there’s a blackout.
Not only is this ledge with no end on horrible ground located inside of a permanent wind tunnel, it is also across the street from the worst bad-idea-at-3:15 A.M./chasing-the-party nightclub in lower Manhattan. Finding yourself here is already bleak — if you show up with the hangover that you earned twelve-hours earlier just across the street, it gets depressing real quick.
Those Rocks Next to Labor
The act of waxing rocks first began at 20th and C, one of New York’s original bad ledge spots, and the tradition has been preserved by everyone who you pass by trying to skate these things.
Jackson Playground “Ledge”
Until Akira’s Brodies part, every person who ever skated through the L.E.S. passed this “spot,” went in the court to look at it, and kept it moving. It took years of paint coats to get it sliding for half-a-foot. Akira made it look easy, but you’re probably not as good as Akira, so yeah, you’ll have a terrible time here.
Dishonorable Mentions: The ledges at AT&T in Queens, Popeye’s A.K.A. Soggy Hot Dog Bun Ledge, the drop ledges on Cherry Street at the school by the L.E.S Park, the modern incarnation of the Staten Island ABC ledges, pretty much any ledge made out of concrete in The Bronx.
Have a good weekend, and remember these ten terrible spots if you get that urge to skate when it’s ten degrees outside. Skateboarding isn’t always fun. S.I.A.F. :)