The (No Longer) Delayed Astor Place Renovation

We mentioned it about two years ago, but Curbed is reporting that in light of the economy no longer being “in the skids,” the renovation of the entire area around the Cube is soon to be under way. That essentially means they are going to knock out a bunch of the streets, and pour some sand over glue a la “the green ribbon winding from 59th Street to 14th.”

Although Astor is probably the most famous skate spot that isn’t actually a skate spot, it’s going to suck to see it go. We haven’t been skating there too much in the past year-and-a-half, due to the street renovations that sent tons of small pebbles into the area, proving detrimental to a place best-suited for flatground tricks. If you haven’t spent countless summer evenings here, waiting for the sun to set and the street lights to turn on, watching girls and learning tricks, it’s going to be hard to explain the spot’s zen-like appeal, and why exactly a place where your board might get run over by a cab, or a cop might cruise by and give you a ticket, was worth skating for four hours straight. (Even when you had to share it with ravers and morons having convulsions after spinning the cube for their first time.)

The one amazing thing about the article, is that it seems like the “neighborhood” actually discussed skateboarding in their meeting. “Down in the plaza W+Y’s zipper benches, good for keeping skateboarders in line, will encircle the trees and give East Villagers a chance to kick back on something other than grungy sidewalks.” I know cities, especially New York, always change as different tides of people move in, but it has always pissed me off that someone can live amidst a four lane intersection with a major subway stop outside and legions of NYU idiots vomiting on the street, and still call in a NOISE complaint on skateboarders. You guys can cry about “trust fund kids” all you want, but people who have the audacity to call in a noise complaint in New York City while living in a four-way intersection are the real enemy.

When I started skating here, the curb was like a foot high. They just paved it so much over the years.” — Ryan Hickey

R.I.P. Astor Place