Patch reports that what once was an empty asphalt section of East Harlem‘s Thomas Jefferson Park is now buzzing with activity. Skateboarders, BMX bikers and inline rollerbladers braved cold temperatures to christen the neighborhood’s first skate park with plenty of kickflips, ollies and grinds Wednesday afternoon.
The skate park, located in the park near East 114th Street along the Harlem River Drive, was a process ten years in the making, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said Wednesday. Mark-Viverito said that when she was first elected to the City Council she held a community forum with the East Harlem‘s young people to see what they wanted in East Harlem and a skate park was one of the most popular demands.
“Previously, the only local options skaters had in the area were empty basketball courts and parking lots,” Mark-Viverito said Wednesday as skaters got a feel for the new park’s design behind her.
Former professional skater Ray Mendez told Patch that New York City is “by far” one of the best skating cities in the country, but some neighborhoods that produce a lot of skaters don’t have a local hub for the community. The new skate park in Thomas Jefferson Park will provide East Harlem skaters with a place to meet up and hone their skills without having to travel a far distance.