With New York being recognized as one of the birthplaces of skateboarding, it’s not surprising that there is a large skateboarder community. Although it was street skateboarding that originates in NYC, it is becoming increasingly difficult to take to the streets due to stricter law enforcement and regular busts.
It was the construction of the high rise buildings in the 70´s and 80´s that gave the city such a multi-dimensional skating scene. The large plazas on which the new buildings were built incorporated granite and marble ledges, as well as different sized stair sets that were perfect for the originators of street skating to develop their skills.
The famous Brooklyn banks were a somewhat mecca for skateboarders all over the world, with guys coming from all over the world to get a taste of real street skateboarding. Unfortunately the banks, located on the Manhattan side of the Brooklyn Bridge were closed in 2010 due to a bridge renovation project. This close caused much controversy and dismay within the skateboarding community who fought for years previous to keep their little bit of New York alive. The banks are now fenced off and what is left is a mere shadow of what was previous.
The thing that was most attractive about the banks was that it wasn´t meant to be a skatepark, thus further nurturing a skateboarders ability to view a piece of architecture and find alternative uses for it. The construction work is scheduled to be completed by 2014 with the view of the banks being brought back to life.
With the banks out of action and the police becoming stricter and stricter, street skateboarders are gradually being forced to use skate parks that are dotted around the city. Granted, skating a park is never the same as skating the streets but when there is no other choice, you have to make do. There are many parks that have been constructed or that are being constructed in the city; below is a brief guide to 3 which we at FeelNYC think are the best.
Flushing meadows-Corona Park.
Our favorite skate park is located in the city´s second biggest park; Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.
The reason we love this park so much is that many of the aspects are replicas of famed spots from the streets including copies of the nine-stair rail from the Banks, the handicap rail from Union Square, the renowned grate and ledge from the Unisphere, and 11 more obstacles beloved by the skating community.
Hudson river park-Pier 62
Our second choice is a park that is somewhat contradictory to the history of the NYC skating scene. A west coast style park with pool style bowls can be found in the Hudson River Park. Built by Californian designers this park gives the east coast skaters a taste of Dogtown!
Open Road Skate park
What was once a contaminated, gnarly park has now been re-surfaced with 7 layers of specifically manufactured acrylic, making it the smoothest surface in the City. Check out Mark Gonzales´ Krooked eyes mural!
Thanks to this short history and guide to skateboarding from FeelNYC, you should have no problems knowing where to go and furthermore, have no excuse not to go and shred in one of the best cities in the world!