Nobody is mistaking today as any sort of golden age for public space. The “granite cathedrals” that Village Psychic wrote about are at the mercy of time and preservationists, and for our particular case, whether some crusty building manager wants to knob them.
Live long enough and cultivate an interest or two outside of skateboarding, and you can begin to separate your skate-brain from your other-brain. That other brain doesn’t need to go to design school to deduce that the new Love Park sucks, or something as insignificant as that corner of Spring and Sixth is a fucking horrendous place to invite the public to spend their time in.
Like, they paid salaries to dozens of adults to come up with this shit:
Things have been trending that way for a while now. The feeling of seeing an underused park get boarded off for renovation — sparking thoughts of spot potential — and only resulting in disappointment is all-too-familiar. The construction blockades come down, and it’s the same space, over and over.
Except one thing has been different.
We live in a world enmeshed with social media: we’re all digesting the same references, regurgitating each other’s ideas. The data is mined, conclusions are made, money is paid.
The most-liked Instagram photo of all-time is a picture of an egg. Is it any surprise that this “data” would trickle into other disciplines? Can you already imagine the “youth consultant” fleecing a design agency by Googling “most liked Instagram photo” the morning before his presentation and running with it? Why are all these parks covered in eggs?
Now, skateboards have largely been designed out of newly-built public spaces (often with the help of illegal design features.) Ledges that come pre-knobbed, benches that hate humanity, the ground is shit — we know what to expect.
This makes it all the more confusing that just when these eggheads seemed to be winning in making these places the bare minimum above miserable to be in, they’d start covering them with an obstacle that our colleagues in Boston have issued nearly two decades worth of scrolls for.
Provided you don’t take the fork towards BAM 2, eggs are the first spot you see off the pedestrian path of the Manhattan Bridge.
Turn down Flatbush, keep skating for fifteen minutes, and you’ll run into another set around the corner from BAM 1.
Tribecan eggs were the territory contested by last year’s first turf battle.
And just this past month, two identical parks — Grand and Lafayette + E. 4th and Bowery — opened up carrying eggs.
Or maybe it’s not that deep:
*shuffling notes from writing a profile of Eggs, while constant pushing reading glasses back up my nose*
Eggs got designed by a regional landscape design firm in MA, and the droplets (aka Eggs) were farmed out to a local sculptor. Doubting either party is directly involved here
— Ian Browning (@ibrowning) May 7, 2022
Previously: What If The V*be Sh*ft Is That The Stairs Are All Banks Now?
I think designers are using eggs in public spaces because they are benches without the drawbacks of benches. You can sit on them but they do not promote sleeping or long term sitting due to their shape. The are nearly impossible for skaters and BMXers to grind, thus negating the concerns of waxing, grinding, and eventual skate stopping associated with most “traditional” ledges. They seem to be hostile architecture at the very core of their design but they don’t get the bad reputation of hostile architecture because their design allows them to leapfrog the obvious visual cues of hostile architecture. Maybe this is editorializing, but they look like benches for children or mental patients. They are benches with edges softened to the extreme to promote safety.
Def agree with you, but it’s pretty #lol that they’d [inadvertently] take visual cues from the 2nd or 3rd most famous and still standing skate spot/plaza in the northeast that there’s nearly 20 years’ worth of footage on, assuming us not skating ’em is one intention.
You have to listen to the notes that they’re NOT playing
Longtime reader here, first time commenter. Woop! I went to some nabe planning meetings for Bogardus Plaza in Tribeca. They specifically wanted eggs because it was the “butter and egg district” in the old days. That was the only reason. It’s an improvement, it was just a side-street before.
At the time, they thought it was a somewhat novel thing to do. Nobody was like “eggs are amazing, we have to get on this!”
how can anyone not thing eggs are amazing? they go good with steak, with potatoes, on a sandwich, in spaghetti. love a carbonara.
@sportsdesk Ill be waiting on those Celtics highlights on Monday…
@sportsdesk really sleeping on old boy Al.