Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Take It to the Banks

When we headed down to Brooklyn and decided to walk the bridge, there was one stop that I absolutely needed to make before we made the trip to Midtown Manhattan. At the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge, on the Manhattan side, there is a small park that has been appropriated by a certain subculture in the 1980's. Aptly named the Brooklyn Banks, skateboarders took over the decrepit area and created an improvised skate park. The steep, red brick banks made for one of the more unconventional skate spots. Over the years, as skateboarding progressed, so did the park. Soon the two sets of stairs and railings were appropriated and permanent obstacles were installed, such as manual pads, quarter pipes and flat bars.

The Brooklyn Banks remains one of the most recognized skate spots in the entire world (so famous, in fact, Tech Deck made a toy version of the spot priced at a whopping $75.00) and is featured in hundreds of skate videos. I can still recall seeing the legendary spot shred by some of the greatest skaters of all time, but unfortunately the banks' future is compromised. Supposedly, the banks were to be fenced off in January 2010, but it still remains open and skate-able. Bridge construction calls for the banks to be closed until 2014, which is extremely unfortunate for locals as the banks remains one of the only spots in NYC where skaters can ride un-hindered by police. I wish I had a board on me to ride the banks, as this may have been my one and only chance, but it was still amazing to see the spot that I grew up admiring in all those videos. Too bad I was there so early; it was almost like a ghost town.

Here's a video documenting, the legend, Mike Vallely's final trip to the banks, as he shares a bit of history about the spot. Some might know Mike V. from the Tony Hawk video games or his small role in the movie The Hangover. He was the dude that was in the van when they were grabbing tuxes on the highway.

Check out these videos of the banks in action:

No comments:

Post a Comment