On Tuesday, the Parks Department cut the ribbon on the River Avenue pocket parks in the Bronx. It is the latest piece of the sprawling, long-overdue parks system promised by the Bloomberg administration in exchange for the parks sacrificed and taxes forgone in the name of the House That Steinbrenner Built (God rest his soul). But that is not what is truly interesting about the River Avenue park. What is is that it contains a skatepark. The fourth one to open this summer, in fact, preceded by new ramps and half-pipes at Hudson River Park (above), Flushing Meadows, and Robert Venable Park in Brooklyn’s East New York neighborhood. A very popular park opened last year as the first piece of the McCarren Park pool’s redevelopment. (This reporter saw young scalawags jumping the fence to get in even before it was finished, so eager were they to ollie about.) The Parks Department now has 11 skateparks under management, with more on the way. Meghan Lalor, a Parks spokeswoman, said evolving tastes were to thank for the explosion in skateparks. “While there is no formal initiative to build more skate parks per se, we’re always attentive to ways to provide what New Yorkers want and need as their interests in sports and recreation evolve, and we’re delighted to offer them the opportunity to perfect their skills on inline skates, skateboards, and bikes in safe, designated areas,” Lalor wrote in an email. And yet it still seems like a startling idea, city-sanctioned skating. After all, this is the administration that would not even tolerate ancient (and famous!) graffiti along the High Line, even as all this new gnarly pavement seems akin to putting up canvases around the city for the express purpose of tagging. Perhaps skating has gone so mainstream that it is no longer subversive, and thus nothing to worry about. Or perhaps the Parks Department is herding all the skaters together to keep them off the streets and out of the parts of the parks where they are not welcome. Now wouldn’t that be truly subversive?
Posts tagged with "Skate Park":
On Monday, the latest portion of Hudson River Park opened to the public, bringing with it a novel pair of attractions along New York's expanding West Side greenway. Located just north of Chelsea Piers, the project rises atop Piers 62 and 63, which together with Pier 64 form the roughly 8-acre, U-shaped landscape that Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (MVVA) named Chelsea Cove when starting the project in 2001. “Our main vision was to create not only a park for people moving along the bikeway, but primarily for the community,” said Peter Arato, senior associate at MVVA. In order to achieve this, the strategy was to activate the site with a mix of uses, but also to blur the typical division between upland and pier, creating “a larger park experience that was not so linear-based.” The first of the piers’ new attractions is a carousel with 33 colorful, hand-carved wooden figures that represent native animals of the Hudson River Valley. Created by Carousel Works of Mansfield, OH, and due to open on Memorial Day, the merry-go-round and its menagerie of bears, turtles, and falcons is protected by a steel-framed roof that incorporates a green roof system above. The cove’s second notable feature is a 15,000-square-foot skate park made of reinforced concrete and shotcrete, with an undulating landscape that replaces an existing skate park on the site. Designed in collaboration with SITE Design Group of Solana Beach, CA, the skate park is the first in the world to be built on a pier structure, according to the designers. To accommodate these two elements—including the skate park’s 10-foot elevation and the carousel’s heavy, 35-foot-wide platform—the designers used structural EPS foam to reduce the load on the pier. The foam was also used to form the rolling landscape that characterizes Pier 64, which was completed last year. The new site also includes a large lawn bowl, a perennial garden designed by Lynden Miller, and a sculptural landscape with large boulders set among wildflowers and shaped by artist Meg Webster.