Winter Refuge: Below the Bridge Skatepark

It snowed again. With one more inch, we’re en route to having one of the snowiest Januarys on record.

Although mentioned in previous posts, we have had a few chances to actually skate the Below the Bridge Skatepark in Bayonne over the past several weeks, as it has been the only real source of non-weather dependent terrain, aside from maybe a fun box in an office. The park isn’t that big, but they maximized on what space they had. The normal protocol here has been that the people who only skate ledges stick to the left side of the park, and everyone else skating the stairs, bowl-half and euro gaps stick to the right side. It does tend to get crowded in the evenings, but is pretty much clear at any time you expect kids to be in school, and weekday nights have never been too much of a hassle in terms of overcrowding.

The ledge is really solid. If it was in Brooklyn or Tribeca on decent ground, it’d be one of the best ledges in the city, so you’re not really settling for merely a box with some Home Depot angle iron glued on. There’s not much here in the realm of transition beyond the half of a bowl, which some kids treat as a mini ramp, and a three-foot-high quarter pipe at the top of the stair platform. (There has been talk about building a bowl or a mini ramp in the space next door though.)

The park has already been responsible for some new Zipcar accounts, so it’s definitely worth venturing out to a few times over the winter. They have three sessions: 12-3 P.M., 3-6 P.M., and 6-9 P.M. (There actually might be a 9-12 on Fridays and Saturdays.) Each session is $15. Located at 9 Gertrude Street in Bayonne. (Ten to fifteen minutes via Holland Tunnel when there’s no traffic. 25-minute to three-hour drive when there is traffic.)

Both of the pictures are enlargeable. Yes, there’s a weird ghosting thing because they were taken with a cell phone and not a real camera. I was gonna post some footage of Andre Page doing ollies onto absurd things, but there might actually be a half-indoor / half-ignorant winter clip on the horizon to relay the largely undocumented face of New York skateboarding in the wintertime.

All White Everything

Thunder, lighting and snow, that’s a first for this lifetime. There’s even snow inside the train stations right now. If you happen to be blessed enough to not have work today, don’t go outside. Sit home and listen to the Can’t Ban the Snowman tape or something. Here are some links to pass the time for this Monday morning.

With board graphics getting all of the retrospectives, and printed-word love these days, wheel graphics are pretty much universally neglected. Here’s a quick guide as to when skate wheel art began, and ceased to, matter.

The Quartersnacks Varsity Jacket via Bowery Stadium.

Someone asked Ian Reid if he could name “25 skateboarders who are actually from New York” on his Tumblr some time back. He returned with a very comprehensive answer.

Anthony Claravall offers some anecdotal nostalgia about the Cardona brothers, and what it was like filming their 411 “Wheels of Fortune” segment sixteen years ago.

You know things are slow down in Yahoo News International Headquarters when they can write five hundred words about the city installing fences and “No Skateboarding” signs at the Chinatown Banks. They quote Two Hawks Young though, which is sick. For those who don’t know, he was a crucial part to the greatest conceptual skateboard video of all time.

Anthony Beckner threw together the first batch of footage from the Below the Bridge Skatepark with the Classic Skate Shop crew. Conveniently enough, the park opens today, but even driving to Bayonne might be a bit too ambitious of an endeavor right now. The park looks slightly smaller than expected, and unfortunately doesn’t have the two different sections of street courses like Drop-In does (real estate, I know), but it would still be a good call for an off-hours winter session. Just maybe wait for the kids to get back to school.

While you complain on the internet, Roctakon is a humanitarian who supports Dominican skateboarders.

Rob Harris’ “Aussie Pressure” clip. The ending is brilliant.

Blueprint Skateboards’ “Summer in New York” digi-cam clip. Aside from the ground, this spot is the worst.

Thanks to everyone who linked up the Christmas clip: 48 Blocks, NY Skateboarding, Mound City, Paulgar, Second Nature, Blogge Materiale, Senes 23, Olson Stuff, Ian Coughlan, Krook Life, Skate the Streets, Tim Nolan, High Five Skateshop, Strictly Skateboarding, Max White, Delta Co. You guys are the best.

Quote of the Week:I’m going to buy a bottle of Jack and drink it until I no longer care that I suck at skating.” — Miles Marquez

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An indoor skatepark twelve miles from Manhattan

Falling in line with Quartersnacks’ “Exception when it’s about Jersey” policy, we’re going to take some time to veer off and discuss an indoor skatepark. An important one. Even if you’re, like, the “street-est” dude out, by living in New York, your existence succumbs to one of three options in the wintertime: 1. You have a lot of money, resources, a mistress, etc. that enables a living situation in a warm(er) climate like Miami, Los Angeles, or Barcelona (yes, obviously it’s not summer there, but still.) 2. You put your skateboard in a corner, spend the next three months hibernating, and vicariously experience skateboarding on the internet. 3. You rent/borrow/own a car and go to Drop-In.

Not that there is anything wrong with Drop-In (They released a Jersey Dave “Bro Model” skateboard a few years back, so you sound like an idiot if you have anything negative to say about their institution), but it’s 40 miles away from Manhattan. And speaking from experience, that’s 40 miles worth of chances for Switch Mike to almost crash into a highway divider upon realizing he’s in the wrong lane at the start of a blizzard.

After a year or so of rumors hinting at a concrete, indoor skatepark in Bayonne, Below The Bridge Skatepark, located on 9 Gertrude Street under the Bayonne Bridge is scheduled to open on December 27th. (Source: The park’s Facebook page.) That’s twelve miles from Manhattan via the Holland Tunnel, or just over the Bayonne Bridge if you’re coming from Brooklyn or Queens, as you can cut through Staten Island over the Verrazano Bridge. Based off the park’s Facebook, helmets are required for those under eighteen, but there is no specific information on cost, hours, or things of that sort.

The park is part wood, part concrete, with a Berrics-esque design plus half of a mini-bowl. It’ll probably be packed beyond breathability in the first few opening weeks, but will hopefully mellow out once the real hand of winter sets in mid-January. In the end, it’s a indoor park twelve miles from the city, and while it will have no bearing on your life from April to November, it’s definitely a good thing that it came to fruition this early into the winter.

Check for more pictures after the jump.

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