US CitySlicker Abby: Skateboard Landscape in Seattle

2012-06-21

CitySlicker Abby tells us about Skateboarders and the Marginal Way Park in Seattle. Have a look at this great and rebuilt location and keep track on Abby’s reporting.

I’m not a skater, so there is no way I can really write about skateboard culture with true understanding. However, as a designer I can objectively look at the landscape interventions that have been created by skateboarders in the city of Seattle. It is clear that the skate community is a tight group, dedicated to doing what they love, and they have shown this by their efforts to make places for skating in the city.

Skateboarders are adapting unlikely and leftover urban spaces in Seattle and turning them into active, amazing places. Although there are increasingly more official city parks with skating bowls, this stems from a deeper trend of boarders working as a community to build parks with donated materials and labor. They have been building their own landscape in Seattle. My favorite example of this is Marginal Way skatepark, a work in progress by a local non-profit, the Marginal Way Skatepark Organization. Marginal Way is located under a freeway ramp on the south side of downtown (SODO), in a space previously used as a garbage dump / transient campground. The effort involved in negotiating with the city and local businesses, as well as gathering support and dedication, is monumental. It is an effort that obviously requires real love. Hanging out there was a memorable experience, because it is still a kind of no-man’s-land, but the park makes it a perfect balance of industrial landscape and utilitarian space. The skatepark is still in progress, so if any Seattle-ites out there are inspired to contribute, the next work party is June 24th.

Skateparks are fitting re-allocations of leftover, unused urban spaces. Marginal Way skatepark makes perfect use of a previously empty and forbidding urban space, and there are many similar opportunities in the city that could be similarly adapted. A well-used space is better and safer for everyone, and skateboarding culture seems to me to have a natural affinity for embracing the edgy and apparently inaccessible.

According to the owner of the downtown skate shop / record shop Black Market, the Seattle skate scene draws skaters from the length of the west coast. A large part of the attraction is the community, as well as the sites for skating. To me this is a representation of the west coast state of mind, fluxing from north to south and going with the flow. Skateboarders achieve a kind of mobile community through their shared passion that isn’t limited to one location, and encourages exchange between people and places.

Skateboarders love their boards like I love my bike and the freedom and pleasure it gives me to get around on it everyday. If skateboarding is anything like biking, it must be a thrill… even more so because of the crazy levels of skill that can be attained. In my brief survey meeting skateboarders and visiting their hangouts I have encountered everyone from high school kids to web designers to dads teaching their kids, all out there because they love to do what they love.

written by abbyterese on 2012-06-21 #lifestyle #urban #skateboard #seattle #places #cityslicker

More Interesting Articles

  • Most Popular Photo of the Day: October 2016

    written by Lomography on 2017-01-27 #news
    Most Popular Photo of the Day: October 2016

    Are you wondering what the best photograph on a specific day of 2016 was? Tune in on this special recap where we'll track the daily image that captured the community's attention last year. October highlighted the colors of the countryside and the changing landscape of the city.

    2017-01-27 8
  • Trending Albums of April 2017

    written by Lomography on 2017-05-03
    Trending Albums of April 2017

    Have a look at this month's most noteworthy albums and learn how to tell your stories through visual organization.

    2017-05-03 3
  • Trending Albums of May 2017

    written by Lomography on 2017-06-10 #news
    Trending Albums of May 2017

    Most of us organize our photo albums according to events or places. Some prefer to classify their photographs according to film or technique, while others compile their best shots. Have a look at this month's most noteworthy albums and learn how to tell your stories through visual organization.

    2017-06-10 1
  • Shop News

    The Lomo'Instant Square is now LIVE on the online shop!

    The Lomo'Instant Square is now LIVE on the online shop!

    Stop salivating, and make your Lomo'Instant Square dreams come true! Head on over to the online shop and order one now!

  • Trending Albums of February 2017

    written by Lomography on 2017-02-24 #news
    Trending Albums of February 2017

    Most of us organize our photo albums according to events or places. Some prefer to classify their photographs according to film or technique, while others compile their best shots. Have a look at this month's most noteworthy albums and learn how to tell your stories through visual organization.

    2017-02-24 6
  • Inside New York Fashion Week with Bhavini Patadia

    written by katphip on 2017-05-06 #gear #culture #news #people #places
    Inside New York Fashion Week with Bhavini Patadia

    UK-based fashion photographer Bhavini Patadia gave us this inside look at New York Fashion Week this past spring. She used the Petzval 85 along with the Lomo'Instant Wide to give her work a unique look, and further reflects on her process with us in this interview.

    2017-05-06
  • Most Popular Photo of the Day: September 2016

    written by Lomography on 2017-01-22
    Most Popular Photo of the Day: September 2016

    Are you wondering what the best photograph on a specific day of 2016 was? Tune in on this special recap where we'll track the daily image that captured the community's attention last year. September challenged the way we see and document the world.

    2017-01-22 2
  • Shop News

    the perfect surprise for every analogue loving enthusiast

     the perfect surprise for every analogue loving enthusiast

    Let your loved one pick the gift of their dreams. Lomography Online Shop Gift Certificates are the perfect present for every analogue devotee on your gift list

  • Trending Albums of March 2017

    written by Lomography on 2017-03-24 #news
    Trending Albums of March 2017

    Most of us organize our photo albums according to events or places. Some prefer to classify their photographs according to film or technique, while others compile their best shots. Have a look at this month's most noteworthy albums and learn how to tell your stories through visual organization.

    2017-03-24 6
  • Most Popular Photo of the Day: August 2016

    written by Lomography on 2017-01-21 #news
    Most Popular Photo of the Day: August 2016

    Are you wondering what the best photograph on a specific day of 2016 was? Tune in on this special recap where we'll track the daily image that captured the community's attention last year. For August, snapshots of gradient skies and images given the film soup treatment kept us glued to our screens.

    2017-01-21 2
  • Tales from the Quarter Life: Tyrone Williams

    written by lomographymagazine on 2017-09-18 #people
    Tales from the Quarter Life: Tyrone Williams

    We gathered a pool of young photographers to give us their insights on photography, being its future, and other things in this interview series for Lomography's 25th anniversary. This time, we take a look at the portraiture style of Northampshire-based photographer Tyrone Williams.

    2017-09-18
  • Shop News

    Get as much as to 20% off on Instax films if you buy the Lomo'Instant Automat Cabo Verde Bundles!

    Get as much as to 20% off on Instax films if you buy the Lomo'Instant Automat Cabo Verde Bundles!

    Conjure up loads of perfectly lit instant mini images this summer with the Lomo’Instant Automat Cabo Verde + 10 Instax Film Bundle!

  • From the '60s Vintage Archives: Remembering "The Pad"

    written by lomographymagazine on 2017-10-18 #culture
    From the '60s Vintage Archives: Remembering "The Pad"

    Do you remember those groovy flats and mod-looking interiors from the '60s? Your contemporary interior designer might go running away from the lack of zen in this gallery, but this was the 'raddest' way people could tell that you were cool.

    2017-10-18
  • Trending Albums of November 2017

    written by Lomography on 2017-12-08 #news
    Trending Albums of November 2017

    Most of us organize our photo albums according to events or places. Some prefer to classify their photographs according to film or technique, while others compile their best shots. Have a look at November's most noteworthy albums and learn how to tell your stories through visual organization.

    2017-12-08 14
  • Trending Albums of July 2017

    written by Lomography on 2017-08-08
    Trending Albums of July 2017

    Most of us organize our photo albums according to events or places. Some prefer to classify their photographs according to film or technique, while others compile their best shots. Have a look at last month's most noteworthy albums and learn how to tell your stories through visual organization.

    2017-08-08 7
  • Find Out More About