Nicetown Skate Path

Got word today that our pro­posed plan to incor­po­rate skate­board­ing into a cur­rently unused (and rather large) par­cel of land under Roosevelt Blvd. (Rt. 1) in the Nicetown sec­tion of Philadelphia was approved as part of a larger mas­ter plan! It was pre­sented as part of a 2010 rede­vel­op­ment plan and approved by the Philadelphia Planning Commission. I pro­posed an ini­tial phase of green­ing the entire space (not part of our scope) and putting in a super smooth con­crete skate path with some benches to draw use to the space. A par­al­lel recy­cled pedes­trian walk­way and expan­sion of the exist­ing com­mu­nity gar­den (again not our scope) could also be incor­po­rated using part­ner­ships with local orga­ni­za­tions invested in each use. After the path is estab­lished, it would serve as a back­bone for future devel­op­ment, such as skate­able sculp­tures branch­ing off the path or a larger skate plaza in one of the parabo­las. Stoked!

39 thoughts on “Nicetown Skate Path

  1. Awesome vision peo­ple! So nice to hear peo­ple work­ing hard to keep skat­ing alive and well in PA!

  2. this area is shit n wild sketchy, wor­ried for the lil skate kids in that area… hope the com­mu­nity can step up and pro­vide some safety for that park

  3. yes, this is rad… but still pathetic that city leg­is­la­tures give noth­ing more than an aban­doned scrap of land strewn with pol­lu­tion form the high­way above. i am not play­ing dev­ils advo­cate, at least they are giv­ing something?

  4. Nicetown is a ter­ri­ble neigh­bor­hood, One of the high­est rank­ing in terms of vio­lent crime in Philly. I have lived in this city all my life and avoid that area like the plague, and wouldn’t feel com­fort­able know­ing kids were skat­ing there. Sounds like we are get­ting the shit end of the stick in terms of land

  5. That area is so fucked. “Nicetown” is such false advertising.

    That par­tic­u­lar spot is a dead zone which I’d call a plus until some­one fig­ures out it’s a great place to jack skaters with no witnesses.

  6. oh what are you belly­ach­ing about? you know that here in phoenix you pretty much have to beg to get a decent spot?

  7. George i have no idea what your talk­ing about FDR was never even closed to what Nicetown is today

  8. Thanks for all the pos­i­tive com­ments! The meet­ing this plan was approved in was just yes­ter­day so this project is just begin­ning. Next steps will be to develop a decent esti­mate and some con­struc­tion details so we can start rais­ing funds. If any­one wants to help out, please con­tact Claire at the office. I am in Panama for work now but will hold a meet­ing when I get back for any­one inter­ested. FPSF will keep the project mov­ing for­ward, raise money and even­tu­ally get with a builder who has skate­board­ing exper­tise (Jesse Clayton? Lancaster Nelson?). There is almost no dump­ing here (which you would expect at such a seem­ingly aban­doned site) because all the houses bor­der­ing the site keep a close eye on it. The neigh­bor­hood has been try­ing to do some­thing pos­i­tive with this block for a long time now and it seems like they will con­tinue to keep their eyes on it. Also, Wayne Junction train sta­tion is 1.5 blocks away so access shouldn’t be too dif­fi­cult. We have made a few site vis­its dur­ing the day with no inci­dents (per­son­ally I wouldn’t hang around there at night right now). In my eyes the fact that this could be seen as a rough neigh­bor­hood is even more of a rea­son to give the kids who live there some­thing pos­i­tive to do.

  9. We can’t only think about our­selves. we are all grown men with street smarts (well at least some of us) but the spots we build bring a huge crowd of kids

    we threw an event at white­hall in which guns were pulled around 300 young kids and i really scared the shit out of me. I dont ever want to look back at these sit­u­a­tions and know it could have been avoided

    It’s really sick Nick is mak­ing this project hap­pen but it seems as if the city is try­ing to pawn off the bot­tom of the bar­rel in terms of land know­ing we will take what­ever we can get.

  10. ask yourself…what did skate­board­ing ever do for the City, and why do WE deserve to be given anything?

    A Sense of Entitlement is for social­ists and wel­fare recipients…DIY

    lets stop for a sec­ond and under­stand that we dont deserve shit from any­one, it makes it that much eas­ier to be appreciative.

    Nicetown is no dif­fer­ent than any other hood. 10 years ago the hip­ster enclave of Northern Libs that now has $1M + houses and a SKATE SHOP was a fuck­ing 10 x 10 block crack den…that i was scared to skate thru while headed to my friends..

    just sayin…

  11. Now I just have to say two things…One neg­a­tive and one positive.

    So here it goes.…

    1. Negative…Nicetown. My lord. Just when I thought you couldn’t put a skatespot in a neigh­bor­hood WORSE than Whitehall area…they went and out­did them­selves. They def­i­nitely weren’t think­ing about anyone’s safety. Leave your wal­lets & cell phones at home.

    2. Positive..Skateboarders. We breathe life & light into the most dark­est of areas. Look at white­hall. Yeah, it’s had it’s bad moments, alot of them, but we have had some really awe­some things go down there as well. Alot of kids in that area would have never had touched a board if it weren’t for that place.

    Remember bridge spot? THat place was pretty cool for a bit.All it was was a bum hang­out, and we made it a fun place. (Not when Kerry built shit, but back when they had the dope cement ledges near the Wawa part…Thanks any­way Kerry, but that plas­tic wood shit sucked) But so many peo­ple felt safer walk­ing thru there when we skated there.

    We know how to be that light. So if the city is gonna put a spot out there for us…Let’s make the most of it. We can do it. Let’s show every­one that you give us noth­ing much and we can turn it into some­thing great.

    If we get one neigh­bor­hood kid from that area off the cor­ner and on the board…we may have actu­ally changed someone’s life for the better…

    Think about that shit.

  12. Brad I am not even going to stoop to the low of using the “g” word in this con­ver­sa­tion but some neigh­bor­hood tran­si­tions do not hap­pen over night, and we are not talk­ing about the kind of NIMBY atti­tude you see at com­mu­nity meet­ings when elderly ladies bitch about noise com­plaints we are talk­ing about real deal neigh­bor­hood trouble.

    I built the first phase of white­hall long before any­one knew that place exist
    and In the past 8 years I watched a kid get shot and killed, race riots in which inno­cent skate­board­ers were carted off in ambu­lances after being beaten with 2x4’s, end­less amounts of stick ups at gun­point, and not to men­tion being shot at for no fuck­ing rea­son besides some­one not want­ing us there. Are we not going to learn from are mis­takes? (Or progress? ie POPS)

    I have done as much as I can to sup­port ideas like this but I know that area to well and its not ready. Maybe I am a social­ist for feel­ing “enti­tled” to any­thing more then a shitty piece of land and end­less headaches. But no ego or dead­line is worth the risk.

    Thumbs up on the project
    Thumbs up on the design
    Thumbs up on the atti­tude
    But fuck nice­town and the trou­ble it WILL bring.

  13. Honestly, every­one here has some­thing valid to say. But, im down for some change, ill build any­where the city allows. From the most hood to pris­tine green i really dont care.

  14. A lit­tle self esteem will go a long way. Act like you are enti­tled. Treat it like a bas­ket­ball court or base­ball dia­mond. DIY is fine if you are an able builder or are cool enough to have a key to the élite indoor facilities…

  15. Eric you some­how just crushed all have­board records by mak­ing a com­ment COMPLETELY com­prised of noth­ing but bull­shit statements.

    1.A lit­tle self esteem will go a long way. Act like you are enti­tled. Treat it like a bas­ket­ball court or base­ball diamond.

    –This isn’t the first day of your fresh­men year march­ing band try­outs sweet­heart. The real­ity is cer­tain areas of this city self-​​esteem will get you robbed, beat the fuck up, or much worse. It’s not your neigh­bor­hood so stay the fuck out.

    2.DIY is fine if you are an able builder

    - So your a skate­boarder but some­how so phys­i­cally inept you can’t help shov­el­ing rock? car­ry­ing a cou­ple bags of con­crete? or even orga­niz­ing a suc­cess­ful fundraiser?

    3.or are cool enough to have a key to the élite indoor facilities

    –Your absolutely right man. A cou­ple guys used a ridicu­lous amounts of “cool points” to pay for the sup­plies to build the pri­vate parks in philly, and every month the key hold­ers pay the mas­sive rent and over­head in… YOU GUESSED ITCOOL POINTS”!

    Private parks exist because guys get together and decide they want to DO some­thing! Someone puts their ass on the line and signs a lease, gets insur­ance, key­hold­ers pay rent, and every­one chips in and main­tains the place. Your never going to be able to watch and learn the “secret hand­shake” when your head is so far up your ass

  16. Brah, comin’at my neck brah. Missed whole point of self esteem com­ment. Act like what you do means some­thing. Not puff your chest out in a bad neigh­borg­hood but that base­ball bas­ket­ball and skate­board­ing are equal.

  17. I think it’s funny some­times when I read this shit. I really do. Everyone has a valid point, but goddamn…it is what it is.…a sketch­ball part of the city where they are gonna give us land they just don’t want.

    When they say the term “beaten path”…they aren’t kid­ding. Whitehall is gonna seem just that much safer.

  18. Im not build­ing a vert ramp in nice­town, that would be a sure­fire way to get shot at. I worked for a mason that worked with con­crete for forty years and like he always said “some­times you gotta make chicken soup outta chicken shit”. basi­cally do the best with what your given. When you do a good job you can ask for some­thing bet­ter. I, like alot of you fools trolled some REALLY trife areas of philly lookin for that hid­den jem of a spot as a kid and even now as a foll­ish adult. The kids these days are still doing it. The dif­fer­ence here is that we are build­ing in a trife area which will bring in alot of out­siders. No one can pre­dict for sure how good or how bad it could turn out. So until the city wants to fork over some bet­ter loca­tions im gonna make the best of it. chicken shit soup is bet­ter than no soup at all.

  19. I hope to pro­vide some resources on our web­site soon as to how the process of get­ting a free, pub­lic, place to skate works, at least in Philadelphia, based on our expe­ri­ence over the last nine years. Some of the com­ments seem to sug­gest that the City is sit­ting around going “Hmmm, what land should we give all these skate­board­ers that are whin­ing about no where to go? How about the worst pos­si­ble one we can think of?” The real­ity is that no one in the City is going to give out land to any­one unless they ask for it, fight for it, and give the City a rea­son why they should shoul­der the risk and lia­bil­ity that comes along with a space that incor­po­rates skate­board­ing or any kind of recre­ation. Doing this costs the City both time and money, which as most peo­ple can relate to, runs the world as we know it.

    With regard to this par­cel of land in Nicetown — it is the con­cerned cit­i­zens liv­ing in that neigh­bor­hood who wanted to do some­thing bet­ter with the aban­doned land in ques­tion, not the City. For years now it is THEY who have been peti­tion­ing with the City to even LET them do some­thing pos­i­tive with that land and it is THEY who wanted skate­board­ing to be a part of that ren­o­va­tion. To me this is a huge suc­cess and proof that the need exists within that com­mu­nity. This is how we were pulled into the project and how skate­board­ing even began to be con­sid­ered to be incor­po­rated into this area. Let’s face it, even though we all feel the City should be com­ing to us ask­ing where we want to develop a spot because of all the awe­some­ness we all inher­ently under­stand about skate­board­ing (and that it should be treated the same as a base­ball dia­mond or bas­ket­ball court), this won’t be hap­pen­ing any­time soon. There is no such thing as a free lunch and the fact that skate­board­ing has been invited into this rede­vel­op­ment is an oppor­tu­nity FPSF was more than happy to seize. If that means each of you that thinks it is a bad idea will never go there and skate, that is fine. Everything is rel­a­tive. For the kids grow­ing up in that neigh­bor­hood, this out­let will be more than worth the effort we put into it. Help if you want, hate if you want, but just remem­ber what it would be like for you as a kid if this was in your neigh­bor­hood — whether it was con­sid­ered a good neigh­bor­hood or a bad one from an outsider’s per­spec­tive — it is still skate­board­ing, which is, and always will be, awesome.

  20. Norso.…his title should be..“Philadelphia Skateboarding’s Political Punching Bag/Doormat”.…you got a tuff job dog. I’m not cam­paign­ing a pity party for you…just stat­ing a fact.

    It’s crazy when you think about just what we’re fight­ing for. It’s a piece of wood with some stu­pid skates on it. How can some­thing so small, effect so many peo­ple this way?

    In the grande scheme of things, we are all look­ing for the same thing. That per­fect bowl, per­fect manny, per­fect ledge, per­fect ground. We always want more…and more. It’s never enough.

    Some of these projects to us…Us, I mean peo­ple who have been in the game 8 – 10+ years, are bull­shit. But in all actu­al­ity, I think it’s because we’ve got­ten lost in our own per­cep­tion of what the best thing is. Again, every­thing I’m saying.…I am totally includ­ing myself.

    And with that, I think we for­get the feel­ing of what it was like to have that first crack at some­thing cool to skate. Cool mean­ing bet­ter than that shitty park­ing block behind the super­mar­ket. These lit­tle projects, are hope­fully gonna give kids that chance. The new com­ers. People that have never truly had that experience…Kids are hav­ing fun. Whitehall, I used to go there ALL the time..I rarely go now because it’s shit..But aside from the lurkers…these kids have a blast there. They make the most of just HAVING a place. No mat­ter how dicy the locale.

    It’s weird, but when I see the way some of these new kids look at skat­ing (some of these kids, def not all), they are just hav­ing FUN. Being new at it, every­thing I did, was just flat out fun. I knew noth­ing about spon­sors, or stu­pid pol­i­tics. I just knew that what I had in front of me…was the best thing ever. So I think it would be cool to see kids doing that in the most non-​​expecting of neigh­bor­hoods. You never know…the next Stevie may be com­ing out of there.

    I don’t know where I was really going with this. I’m sure I am gonna catch holy hell for this long comment…But for a sec­ond, let’s not be bit­ter old men. Let’s think about when we were kids. And how fun it was to skate our first park, plaza , what­ever. It was awe­some. Even tho for alot of us, it was a really long time ago.

  21. I still get that giddy feel­ing skat­ing some­thing I built, whether it’s per­ma­nent or made to last ten min­utes. Let’s keep scop­ing out tiny lit­tle run-​​down pock­ets around the city. Philly’s a grid with plenty of burnt-​​out pix­els. I think if we go at it this way, the City will see skate­board­ing as a con­tri­bu­tion to the community.

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