Yesterday, we reported that the NYC Department of Education closed the Open Road Park ... the playground popular with skateboarders adjacent to the East Side Community High School on East 12th Street between Avenue A and First Avenue...
In the comments, a reader noted the following sign outside the Park:
Dear Community Members:
We are very sorry to have to temporarily close the park. East Side Community High School is committed to making this space available to the community and reopening it as soon as possible. Unfortunately, there has been an increase in dangerous, disrespectful and illegal behaviors in the park. This includes, but is not limited to, drinking, smoking, fighting, vandalism and excessive littering. This has put our students and community members at risk. We will be working closely with the community and park users to discuss how we can maintain LES Park as a safe public space that serves the community (outside of school and camp hours.) East Side will be holding a public meeting next week to discuss this matter. More details will follow. Please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or concerns. Thank you for your cooperation and patience.
East Side Community High School
However, when we walked by early last evening, someone had apparently ripped down the signs...
DNAinfo has more on the story here.
Always seemed like a cool place. I never saw any illict activities there.
I live across the street and have never seen anything but skateboarding in the park; however, the idea that it's a "community" park for everyone is misleading. On many occasions I have been told to leave because the park was strictly for kids (or those people of any age on skateboards, apparently). I agree that these kids are a bunch of litterbugs, though. I never see them picking up their trash or taking time to clean up their park. I've NEVER found this place welcoming to neighbors. And the other park across the street maintained by "Chris" that's also hardly open? Also not friendly. A bunch of creeps live/dwell on Eleventh Street. If it wasn't for rent stabilization, I'd have moved years ago.
Waaah, my skateboard park is gone. Really who cares. Stop idealizing youth for youth's sake. Don't kid yourselves, skateboarding culture is not exactly healthy or constructive pursuit. Skateboarding is not really comparable to soccer or basketball. Completely different scope. These are team-building pursuits with long-standing traditions, they teach kids things like discipline, cooperation in a structured fashion. Skateboarding culture, let's face it, is a me-first culture inexorably linked with vandalism, anarchy, anti-establishment, anti-education, illicit drugs, etc. I suspect that a lot of you apologists are just geezers desperate to be hip and not out of touch.
Yes you're totally right, traditional stick and ball sports like basketball, football and the like really stand for those core "team building" values that skateboarding is void of. Except those small instances in main stream sports that foster a culture of entitlement, iconization of star athletes, recruiting scandals, illegal drug culture, assault, rape charges, dwi's, gun convictions, tax evasion, performance enhancers... need i go on? To broad stroke skateboarding as the issue while holding up "standing traditions" without seeing their standing failings is just ignorant. If you've ever actually skated you would realize that it takes a hell of a lot more dicipline (and dedication) to land a kick flip than it does to make a free throw. And when the real world becomes a place of "a team following a leader" rather than individuality and expression we're all in trouble.
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