Columbus Park had a storied ascent to the throne as Manhattan’s most skated street spot. Over a decade has passed since it was simply a kinked ledge or an eight-stair rail that our more talented colleagues could ollie over the top of. People began to skate up the two-block and indulge in combo tricks down the ledge, but something was…missing. Have sex with the same person enough times and you’ll find yourself hinting at deeply suppressed desires via the casual “hey, wouldn’t it be funny if we ____.” The same could be said about spots that have managed to avoid knobs for 10+ years.
Given his open line of communication with Jah, it should come as no surprise that Yaje Popson was one of early proponents of Columbus Park’s nouvelle vague — via grinding the vertical part of the handrail before riding down the steps, and by angling his third eye towards the perpendicular at the now-mundane and lesser-seen kinked ledge.
But brains have been expanding at Mulberry and Worth Street early into the fall #trend season, most visibly in the 917 video, where Alex Olson’s one-time favorite skateboarder, Chris Millic, presented us with a three-pronged route from one level of the court to the other, and basically permanent Q.S.S.O.T.Y., Max Palmer, found a corner to the same ledge that nobody else had dared to examine.
Insofar as Columbus Park continues to experience such inspired choreography, its reign as Lower Manhattan’s eminent Summer Trip to New York™ filming location is sure to continue. However, we are forced to confront age-old questions: is inspiration infinite? Are you high right now? Do you love this shit? Will skating the crack between the ledge become as tired as its kinky cousin on the other side of the park after a few summers worth of Instagram edits? Are there other approaches to the park’s terrain that have also been hiding in plain sight? Did you see there is a box at Delancey curb?