Showing posts with label TF. Show all posts
Showing posts with label TF. Show all posts

Monday, September 19, 2022

Big changes are coming to the iconic skate spot in Tompkins Square Park

One of the city's most iconic skate spots will have a new look and feel by the fall of 2023. 

Next year, the Parks Department will reconstruct the multipurpose courts in Tompkins Square Park along Avenue A and 10th Street, adding various amenities, including a two-lane seal-coated walking loop, and new asphalt. 

City officials unveiled the plans during Community Board 3's Parks, Recreation, Waterfront, & Resiliency Committee virtual meeting this past Thursday (as we first reported here). Max Goodstein, a landscape architect with the Parks Department, provided a brief overview. 

The space, he said, has a lot of "asphalt structural damage," and it "needs to be replaced and repaired. And the only way to do that is to take all the asphalt down to the sub base and put new asphalt down." 

Other additions: new benches, a kickball court, a high-low fountain that kids and adults can use simultaneously, and three new basketball backstops at the eastern end, replacing the ones that always seem to be damaged. 
Workers will also remove the dugouts and backstop as the Parks Department no longer permits softball games in this space...
Here's a schematic of the reconstructed layout...
... and an overview of the amenities, which includes "1939 World's Fair benches" ...
Goodstein estimated the project would take three months to complete, but he wasn't sure when work will be ready to commence.  

"The start date hasn't been finalized yet," he said. "It's going to take three months, and we should definitely be done by next fall." 

The presentation was more of an informational session, and no vote was required by the CB3 committee. The reconstruction is moving forward.

So what does this mean for the skaters on the lot (aka TF), hallowed ground where generations have used this space dating to the 1980s? (It has been called "the last great meet-up spot for skateboarders and their friends in New York.") 

One resident commented during the meeting: "I'm really concerned that the young people in this neighborhood are being pushed out of this famous, much-loved, much-used skating space. You even opened it with pictures of skaters. What are you going to do about this?" 

Goodstein said that he skated here in his youth and has had conversations with the skaters about the pending changes. 

Another Parks rep, Steve Simon, chief of staff to the Manhattan Borough Commissioner, chimed in at this point. 

"Max and I went there, and we personally spoke to a group of them, and they were very much in support of what we intended to do," he said. "They want to have an improved surface. And what we're doing here is by no means going to displace them. [The skaters said that] they appreciate what we're doing. And the only thing they really wanted from us ... a fountain and a slightly different variation on the layout of the benches. So we're gonna accommodate them. They were pretty thrilled with what we're planning to do and with the fact that we went out there and just spoke to them." 

It's unclear just how thrilled the skaters will be with the final product next fall — after the space will likely be under construction for the prime summer months. It's also unclear what might happen with the various ramps and rails the skaters use. 
As you may recall, in September 2019, the skateboarding community came together via a petition started by Adam Zhu and signed by 33,000-plus people to show their support for keeping the multipurpose courts free of synthetic turf...  plans apparently only known to residents who attended a Community Board 3 committee meeting in May 2019. Adding artificial turf would have rendered the space useless for skateboarders and street hockey players, among other groups. 

However, less than 24 hours before a much-publicized rally was to take place, the city announced that it would no longer cover the space in turf, originally proposed to make up for the amenities lost during the years-long gutting of East River Park.

"Tompkins Square Park has served as the epicenter of NYC skateboard culture for decades. As such, we have decided to leave the area previously proposed for synthetic in the park as is and will not move forward with creating a synthetic turf area there," Parks Department spokesperson Crystal Howard said in a statement to Patch at the time. 

And the reconstructed layout of the space may make this the end of the epicenter of NYC skateboard culture.

Previously on EV Grieve:

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

What is the city planning for the multipurpose courts in Tompkins Square Park?

Updated 9/19: You can find a recap of the plans for the space here.

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There are several items of potential interest on the docket tomorrow night (Sept. 15) for Community Board 3's Parks, Recreation, Waterfront, & Resiliency Committee virtual meeting. 

The fourth item of the agenda, "Proposed plan for renovation of the multi-purpose court in NW corner of Tompkins Square Park," has drawn much interest to date...
There isn't any official word yet on what this "proposed plan for renovation" entails.

As you may recall, from September 2019, the skateboarding community came together to show their support for keeping the multipurpose courts (aka TF) in the northwest corner of Tompkins Square Park free of synthetic turf. 

As we reported in July 2019, the city had plans — apparently only known to residents who may have attended a Community Board 3 committee meeting in May — to cover the courts with synthetic turf, rendering the space useless for skateboarders and street hockey players, among other groups. (People have been skating at this spot since the 1980s, and it has been called "the last great meet-up spot for skateboarders and their friends in New York.") 

However, less than 24 hours before a much-publicized rally was to take place, the city announced that it would no longer cover the space in turf, originally proposed to make up for the amenities lost during the years-long gutting of East River Park.

"Tompkins Square Park has served as the epicenter of NYC skateboard culture for decades. As such, we have decided to leave the area previously proposed for synthetic in the park as is and will not move forward with creating a synthetic turf area there," Parks Department spokesperson Crystal Howard said in a statement to Patch at the time. 

There have been plans in the works titled "Tompkins Square Park Pavement Reconstruction." This project would, as the name suggests, "reconstruct pavement surfaces at Tompkins Square Park." 

While areas of the Park could stand for some resurfacing, doing so on the site that skaters use could potentially render the TF useless. As one regular told us: "When they put new asphalt in, it can take years to set ... it's the smooth ground that's great to skate on that we love. Or they could fuck it up and ruin it as a skate spot." 

Another resident we talked with wishes the Parks Department would focus on other areas needing attention in the Park, such as the restrooms, which some people think are the worst in North America. (Relief is on the way there with the expected reconstruction of the Tompkins Square Park field house next year. Or so.)

According to the Parks Department website, the design for the "Pavement Reconstruction" phase is 30% finished, with an anticipated February 2023 completion date — just for the design. (The project is also still in the procurement phase.)  

Here is the link to the Zoom registration for tomorrow night's (Sept. 15) meeting... which starts at 6:30. 

Monday, August 29, 2022

[Updated] The Green Bench is stolen from the TF in Tompkins Square Park; 'this shit is an act of WAR'

Photo from October 2021 by Stacie Joy 

Updated

Since our original post, several other media outlets jumped on the story. (A solid piece from Vice here.) There's now an AVE Bench Instagram account (and several copycats). As for the bench, after the excursion to Philadelphia, it was last spotted in Richmond, Va. Then, on Sept. 25, pro skater Mark Appleyard posted a clip with it from an unknown location... with a RUMOR that it crossed the border to Canada.

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Tensions are mounting in a cross-border conflict following the brazen theft of the green bench (aka AVE bench) from the TF in Tompkins Square Park last week. 

The bench was last seen Wednesday night... as the @tf_report account reported...
They later learned the following: 

"Some reports have said the green bench was stolen from Tompkins around 2am on early Thursday morning, to which it was carried into a van by several unidentified men and transported across state lines to Philadelphia, PA." 

Follow-up clips in the @tf_report Stories noted brazen activity in and around Philadelphia...
No word yet on the next move.

The bench first arrived in Tompkins last October... coinciding with the grand opening of FA — better-known as Fucking Awesome World Entertainment — at 420 E. Ninth St. between Avenue A and First Avenue. The skateboard company and streetwear brand is co-owned by pro skaters Jason Dill and AVE (aka Anthony Van Engelen).

Here's more about it via Curbed:
If you're a skateboarder — or a former skateboarder, or at least somewhat skateboarding-adjacent — and live in New York City, that sentence cannot be read without an exclamation point. The green bench! That's because this particular 300-pound piece of steel street furniture has become one of the most storied objects to skate around and on, and its arrival on the East Coast adds a coda to a two-decade saga of discovery, theft, loss, reconstruction, and a particularly hard-won switch backside noseblunt slide across its 13-foot arc.
And here's AVE's thoughts on its arrival here last fall:
"I hope it stays at Tompkins forever," he told Curbed. You might think (as the guys I talked to at FA did) that with the bench's history, there would be a serious security apparatus surrounding it at night. But according to AVE, the bench's future at Tompkins is being left to fate: It's just sitting out there for everyone to skate.
And steal.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Scenes from Save Tompkins Day



Photos by Stacie Joy

Monday was a day of celebration on the ballfields/TF at Tompkins Square Park... a day that marked the one-year anniversary of the city's decision not to put artificial turf on the northwest corner of Tompkins... sacred ground for generations of skateboarders.

The skate community marked the day by bringing in a variety of vendors for a flea market of sorts in which all the money was being donated to at-risk local businesses and BLM-related causes. (Organizer Adam Zhu, an East Village resident, reported in an Instagram post that more than $10,000 was raised on Monday.)

EVG contributor Stacie Joy shared these portraits from the afternoon in Tompkins...






































...and on the TF...








Monday, September 7, 2020

Uncle Leroy’s Sidewalk Sale coming to Tompkins Square Park today


[Photo from 9/7/19 by Stacie Joy]

One year ago today skateboarders celebrated the city's decision NOT to place artificial turf on the ballpark/TF in the northwest corner of Tompkins Square Park.

East Village resident Adam Zhu, who grew up skating here, launched a petition in late June 2019 to spare the asphalt from the fake turf ... and eventually gathered more than 32,000 signatures from people who wanted to preserve this important part of the skate community and youth culture. The outpouring of support was enough to change the minds of the Parks Department.

Today, skaters are celebrating this anniversary by bringing in Uncle Leroy’s Sidewalk Sale (background here via Vice about these sales that have been happening at McGolrick Park in Greenpoint this summer) to the space to raise money for at-risk local businesses and BLM causes.


[Invite via @z.h.u1]

The sale takes place from 1-6 p.m. today.

Previously on EV Grieve:
A visit to the TF in Tompkins Square Park

And via Quartersnacks...