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SI Live- 5050 Skatepark may soon be seeking new location

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — The owners of 5050 Skatepark, the popular indoor skatepark on Staten Island’s North Shore, may soon be seeking a new location, blaming rising rents in the midst of major developments.

“We like the building, and the location is awesome, but the rent is ridiculous,” said Ed Pollio, who owns the custom-built 8,000-square-foot recreation center with partner and 5050 Skatepark founder Angelica Popolano.

The surrounding area is quickly transforming, with the opening of Urby, Stapleton’s new 900-unit housing complex — and the Empire Outlets and New York Wheel are quickly rising in nearby St. George.

“Since we first moved there our rent has almost doubled,” said Popolano of the 5050 Skatepark location at 354 Front St. — just a mile from the Staten Island Ferry.

NEW LOCATION PROPOSED

The good news is the skatepark owners already have their eyes set on a new site. Their vision is not a new one, as it is a concept they have had for several years now.

Pollio and Popolano would like to move their park to the historic, vacant hangar at Miller Field, and already have a 26-page proposal and renderings of their plans.

The historic hangar is under the jurisdiction of the federal National Park Service as part of the Island’s Gateway National Recreation Area.

The owners, who first brought their idea to the National Park Service (NPS) in  summer 2015, are just waiting for NPS to release a request for proposal (RFP) for the site.

“The current construction effort to save Miller Field Hangar 38 is underway and should be completed by the end of the year,” said Daphne Yun, acting public affairs officer for Gateway National Recreation Area.

Yun noted that a decision about an RFP will be made in 2018.

Borough President Oddo said he agrees with the owners’ plan to “reuse the hanger at Miller Field for active recreation.”

“5050 Skatepark, which is the city’s only indoor skate park, offers a unique service and would be a great addition to the facility,” said Oddo, who added, “Having new and increased sports opportunities on the grounds of Miller Field would encourage more young people to get active while socializing with others, which is always a positive thing.”

A POPULAR SPOT 

Will Kane, a 13-year-old Westerleigh resident, has been riding a BMX bike for  almost a year now. Heading to 5050 Skatepark each week is one of his favorite things to do.

“Everybody likes the setup there..the ramps are fun. They like to change it up a lot,” said Kane. “Sometimes they build new ramps and sometimes they move them around. It doesn’t ever get boring.”

The young biker said he’d be upset if the park moved to New Dorp, as it’s farther away from where he lives.

He pointed out that many “BMXers” are from the North Shore and some even travel from Manhattan and Brooklyn to the park.

MILLER FIELD LOCATION

However, Popolano pointed out that Miller Field offers a great central location in the borough and is close to all public transportation. The size of the location also provides many opportunities to expand the business.

She said she feels it would be a great place to continue to serve not only as a recreational hotspot but as multi-use facility for the borough.

“We already welcome schools….we do a summer camp, we host fundraisers, music events, art shows, auctions, community meetings, music videos, commercials, movies, birthday parties– we do everything,” she said, adding, “With a larger space, we can expand on everything we do already.”

Renderings done by 5050 Skatepark for the proposed site include space for a community center, live music venue, art building and World War I and II museum, in addition to the skatepark. The plans also include a computer lab and space for rock climbing, according to Popolano.

 

Read the Whole Story and more Here.

http://www.silive.com/news/index.ssf/2017/03/rising_rent_affects_5050_skate.html#incart_river_home

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A LOVE LETTER :: SKATEBOARDING AS LIFE – THE HUNDREDS

 

DOORS AND BRIDGES are constructed from flat, sturdy, pieces of wood. They unlock secrets, provide sight to the unseen, and take you from one world to the next. Take that wooden plank and bolt it to 4 polyurethane wheels, and you’ve got your own portable adventure.

My first skateboard was some hot-pink monstrosity my mom picked up for my brothers and I back in the early ‘80s (before bubblegum music videos featured the token skateboarder with the crooked cap, Zoo York was sold at Macy’s, and before Tony Hawk was flippin’ cheese-smothered bagels). We never asked for a skateboard – I was too busy rubbing the Autobot sticker on my Transformer – and we were oblivious to any pop-culture references to skater dude-ism. Unfortunately, my brothers and I stripped that board of its integrity, butt-boarding down the driveway at breakneck speeds, using it as a seat during backyard games, and eventually, as just another obstacle for Snake Eyes to climb over.

Eventually, that skateboard reincarnated its way back to me in the 7th grade – when Danny Miller asked me if I ever skated. Of course, I replied (albeit on my butt down long driveways). I ran home with his California Cheap Skates catalog, and ordered my first Acme “Classic” deck with 40mm wheels and Venture Featherlite trucks on my mom’s credit card. She was confused at the triple-digit price tag (“It doesn’t cost that much at Sportmart!”). I was delighted and didn’t sleep a wink that night.

The first week was aggravating, to say the least. I could pedal, coast down sidewalks, and even kick that whole Marty McFly pop-up thing when I stopped. But when Danny asked me how high I could bust a 50-50, I looked at him blankly and quietly responded, “Uhh…what’s a 50-50?”

With time, those questions went from “How should I ollie into this tailslide?” to “Who drew the graphics on that skateboard? (Pushead!)” to “Where’d you get pants that big? What’s a turntable? What’s a bong? Who’s Minor Threat?” Plenty of questions, and answers were open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. True, it was adolescence, not too much unlike Johnny American’s teenage years on the ol’ football field, or Susie Thompkins’ pom-pom-filled high-school escapades. But my answers weren’t coming from Coach Carter or MTV. My parents were clueless, my teachers were frustrated, and pretty much anyone over the age of 20 could swallow a big fat middle finger. I was a pissed-off youth, I was different, and the only answers to life’s toughest questions were coming from that streamlined concave plywood – my tree of knowledge, my mobile soapbox, my grip-taped confessional.

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Skateboarding- new york times v.16