Sometimes in New York, it's hard to keep a good thing alive, whether it be a venue, building, party, or park. One thing that's for sure is the consistent scratch of the head filled with bewilderment, immediately invoking one question 'what are they going to put there instead?'.
The Brooklyn Banks is the unofficial name for the plot of vertical cobble stone and concrete chunks under the Manhattan side of the Brooklyn Bridge. But it's the official name for NYC's most iconic and legendary spot. And if we've learned anything from the ethos of a legendary character, it does not quit without a fight, even if it's the inanimate object.
In 2004, the Banks were almost converted into a green park but were rescued by skateboarders. The city actually recognized this plea and donned the park—NYC official. But even after that, and twenty years of tricks, films, and good times, in 2010, The New York City Department of Transportation turned the space into storage for a restoration project on the bridge. Which effectively closed off from skateboarders and skate tourist.
Just a few months ago the machines being stored to restore the bridge were removed. Yay! Sort of, it's still no longer labeled an official NYC park. But that hasn't stopped the world from jumping the fence and skating, yeah you get a slap on the wrist if caught—but that's not jail.
For our latest Vans x Opening Ceremony release, photographer Sloan Laurits took our new Satin Pack over the gate and into the banks and it was just as filthy as he remembered it. Laurits has a history with the spot, he has been skating there since 1992 and has seen the Banks in all of its incarnations and all of the tricks that have gone down in there. But there is one thing that remains for sure, it's still a total playground.
With a crew of younger kids excited to skate the Banks for the first time and few friends he skateboards regularly with, Laurits captures some history and our latest photo journal 'A Total Playground'.
—>Write a letter to the NY Parks Department requesting that the Banks be reopened to skateboarders<—