2020 — the year that we hold responsible for many of our present woes — didn’t even start that bad.
They fixed the ground at the ledges across from Columbus Park! Seemingly out of nowhere! Here was a spot that we had only vicariously experienced in old videos, passed by zillions of times thinking, “Man, if only the ground wasn’t shit,” and maybe forced a session on every half-decade. And it was renovated!
Two ledges! With ends! A block from the hellish Bermuda-esque Triangle formed by Family Court x Blubba x Courthouse at that!
2021 began with a similar moment of spot serendipity. The Money Longer alien who took over the lease of the Men in Black towers in 2016 descended and flattened out the second, less iconic fountain at Flushing.
The alien’s work provided ample rollaway for a spot that otherwise required a quick dismount after soaring over the elongated steps. There’s now no reason that the Flushing Six couldn’t be a spiritual successor to the Love Gap anymore. Childhood dreams started to become fulfilled, and more subversively, others chose to use this landing space as a runway to skate *up* the crumbling six stair ledge. (Honestly, look at how the tile props up an inch on Marcello’s manual. Sketchy.)
But for every skater playing the long game — manifesting a longer rollaway or smoother ground at a classic spot with some extraterrestrial assistance — there’s someone trying to make fire with two sticks.
Skaters visiting New York have also began to dust off the dormant trick scroll at the Brooklyn Banks nine thanks to somewhat less sophisticated roll-in technology.
Niels Bennett by Sam Mckenna for Girl Skateboards
Many classic spots have been disfigured to the point where they require six or seven hacks before someone is even in contention for adding to their storied lives. But these are the spots to which we have emotional ties; they carry mythology in a way than a new eight-stair on the west side doesn’t.
But what if there was an in-between? Perhaps there is a civic compromise between a scrap-wood descent placed a few feet from a well-worn skateboard relic, and just sitting there, hoping for the best.
New York’s Participatory Budgeting program is exactly what it sounds like: residents propose ways to spend the city’s money on public works projects, and if they receive enough ground-level support, they get assigned to delegates who then turn them into actual proposals that get voted on by community boards.
As you may have noticed on the Monday Links post this week, there’s currently an early proposal on there to restore the Small Banks + the adjacent basketball courts. Considering the arch repairs centered near the bigger Banks are rumored to not even be completed in this decade, this section might stand a fighting chance at becoming something usable in that time — especially given that the pandemic has shoved everyone’s face into a greater appreciation of the value of outdoor public space. The fact that there’s a high school next door probably helps our cause, too.
So have a look at the Ideas page for reopening the Small Banks, and share it on your social channels. That first step is better than building a wooden runway for a stair-set without one. Or simply keeping your fingers crossed ♥