Brian Shima – Fishbrain stall. Photo: Drew Amato
“The Brooklyn Banks in New York is one of the most famous spots in the world of extreme sports. Already in the mid 90’s the first generation jumped the stairs and worked on their first grinds. Over the years the spot, which is in front of a huge police station, became a legal street spot and some of the biggest real street events in blading, skateboarding and BMX took place at the banks.
But today the spot is un-skatable since its giving construction crews a staging area for trucks and equipment until 2014 during a four-year renovation of the Brooklyn Bridge. We spoke to some of the NY locals to find out how they feel about the situation…” – Blading.info.” Full articles at Blading.info.
Austin Paz about the Brooklyn Banks What does this spot mean to you?
This is one of the few spots I’ve seen people skating since before i started in the mid-90s. Every time I see or think of the banks, I see history. The Brooklyn Banks is the Madison Square Garden of skating. If you go to MSG, all over the place you can see huge pictures, portraits, and plaques of historical moments in sports that have happened in that arena throughout its existence, I always felt you could do the same thing at the banks.
Here’s Angelo Ferrer (The Art of Rolling) about the Brooklyn Banks. Best memories from the Banks?
One of my personal favorite moments at the Brooklyn Banks occurred when I was young and there was a huge NISS skate competition at south street seaport. I was very young at the time and was lucky to be unsupervised by my parent and joined the mob of skaters that flocked the Brooklyn Banks.
I remember at the time there being skaters from all over the world there. It was my grommet period in skating and I adored how all the pros I looked up to happen to be in one spot at the same time. For whatever reason the Brooklyn banks session stood out more to me than the competition that took place shortly before because everyone was putting in so much energy. It was great to see what normally I would only see on television take place right before my eyes.
Brooklyn Banks Present day. Photo: Ryan Loewy
Would you say it had an influence on your development as a rollerblader? (Franco Cammayo)
I think so. Provided the rugged layout, dirty unforgiving floors and raw obstacles in a place where it was easy to meet bladers from all over the five boroughs I think it embodied NY blading in a nutshell and it shaped my blading in terms of working with what the spot has, making old things into something new, creativity etc.
Would you say it had an influence on your development as a rollerblader? (I Roll NY)
The Brooklyn Banks definitely had an influence on my development as a rollerblader and I think it influenced almost everyone that was lucky enough to skate it. The Banks was one of the premiere spots in New York City to try out new tricks and perfect the ones you already had in your vocabulary. Not to mention it was the spot where all of the big tricks went down during most of NYC’s biggest competitions. The down rail was the perfect setup to get people juiced to try new tricks and when the bigger stair rails were put in, it was time to step it up and see what you could really do. The Brooklyn Banks was about 4-5 different spots all in one location and I think it helped a lot of bladers with their tricks and influenced them to try new ones.