A rainy day at Roc City Skatepark

Even though I’m not a skateboarder, I’ve always viewed Rochester as a perfect location for an outdoor skatepark. Being a place that lacks some of the pleasures bestowed upon by big cities like New York or Chicago, Rochester fosters a grungy, do-it-yourself attitude in the pursuit of fun, which breathes a unique life into the city’s cultural hubs. , and gives them that unique Rochester flavor. So when I noticed that a skate park was under construction under the downtown freeway ramp, I was excited not because I wanted to learn to skate (I’m a coward), but because a skate park is a perfect setting to facilitate Rochester’s DIY charm, acting as a kind of melting pot for people from all walks of life to come together. create bonds of diseased stuff and scratched shins.

Rochester skaters under the freeway.

So last Saturday I decided to visit the skatepark for the first time; not only to take a closer look at its physical design, but also to take a look at the type of crowd it draws.

As I approached the skatepark on foot, I noticed that all of the skateboarders were sheltering from the rain under the freeway, focusing on a small concrete slab with a ramp at the end and a few rails to crush on. . It was fascinating to watch this small group of skateboarders take refuge under the freeway together, but before chatting with them I wanted to take a closer look at the rest of the skatepark itself.

I was struck by the care taken in the maintenance and design of the park. Completely free of waste, the half pipes, crushing rails and bowls have been designed with a consistent blue and yellow color scheme. There were even rows of multi-colored tiles that lined the top edge of the park’s bowls (see featured photo). My favorite touch was the city of Rochester logo acting as a kind of support beam for some of the grind rails.

Grinding rail with Rochester logo.

After asking if I could take pictures for this post, I started chatting with Rochester skateboarder Angel Vazquez.

“All you need is a concrete slab and a ramp, and you can spend thousands of hours learning hundreds of tricks,” Vazquez said, pointing to the small area of ​​concrete protected from the rain. “And once you’ve learned them all, you can start all over with a different stance.”

He then pointed to the other skaters. “Look at all these people. So many people from different walks of life come here to skate. No matter what your skin color or what your denomination, everyone is gathered here skating.

He then specifically pointed to a young man doing tricks on a nearby grind rail, saying, “See it? He is my best friend. He can’t understand me because he’s deaf, but we like to skate together. We communicate with each other via a notepad.

Vazquez (left) and his best friend (shirtless).

After that conversation I took some videos of Vazquez grinding the quarterpipe and took this slutty action shot.

Vazquez corrects the quarter pipe.

Shortly after my conversation with Vazquez ended, I had to run to my car because the parking meter I had barely paid for was about to expire. And as strange as it may sound, as I walked back to the sidewalk thinking about our conversation, I felt like the ground beneath my feet was pulsing. Even on a rainy day, the heartbeat of life can be found in this park, beating to the beat of polyurethane wheels rolling over concrete.

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