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Skateboarding in New York: From Brooklyn to Manhattan

By Andres Pachon

A. Pachon, a journalist and skateboard addict, is a full-time writer for SHIT® Magazine.


New York City still is the new kid on the block. While Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego as well as cities and towns in California had a number of precise conditions that made the appearance of skateboarding possible: such as a warm climate even during winter seasons, an urban landscape full of post-war infrastructure that welcomed anyone and of course access to a furious sea full of pre-skateboarder surfers. New York City and most of the east coast lacked most of these on the other side of the continent. Still the skateboarding scene and culture discovered New York and took its streets in a wave of its own east coast style. Right now NYC is a powerhouse of neat skateboarding.


City Parks, Streets and Furniture

Photo: Tina Stephenson (Unsplash)

It isn’t just Central Park. All around the archipelago there are plenty of parks that are now the gathering plazas of this new generation of skateboarding guilds, from iconic Manhattan to Brooklyn and New Jersey. The Astoria Skate Plaza located in Queens is for example a manifestation of this empowerment of the community. The Les Skatepark in Manhattan, the Cooper Park in East Williamsburg (Brooklyn) or even the so called Pier 62, one of the biggest skate parks in the city right next to the Hudson River.






East Coast Style


Since the early first half of the 20th century, New York City industrialized and aimed for the skies with their gargantuan skyscrapers. The streets, avenues and seemingly everlasting lights and sounds could not import a first colony of skaters to spread the message of California. It however gifted the whole community that alter-ego perspective: the non-Californian skateboarding which rolled its own way into the people despite the harsh winters and eternal traffic jams. It created a unique kind of style identifiable with its differences between the coast.

History could have been very different if skateboarding was born here, still New York skaters have proved over and over again that no matter the space, the climate or the buildings, skateboarding will always prevail even if it is in the concrete jungle and cold climate.



Read also: Skateboarding in The Czech Republic

Read also: Skatopia: A Place of Pure Skateboarding Anarchism



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