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Popular Skate Spot at Columbus Park in Limbo Due to Renovation

An empty recreational facility at Columbus Park (Photos: Tara Yarlagadda)

At the intersection of Baxter and Worth Streets, adjacent Columbus Park’s basketball courts, some olive-green workout equipment and a fire-engine red jungle gym sit unused. Plastic sheets cover the workout equipment and the jungle gym lays barren, practically begging buff dudes in muscle tees to do some pull-ups. A sign on the cordoned-off fence surrounding the site reads “Work in Progress.” But during a recent visit there were no workers or construction materials in sight.

This closure also comes as the latest offense for frequent skateboarders of the park who feared “grave consequences” when a fence was erected between the fitness units and an adjacent basketball court earlier this summer, thus limiting skaters’ ability to crisscross the park. Previously, skateboarders would skate up or down a two block ledge between the fitness area and the basketball courts, making for some gnarly video footage. Since the late 1990s, Columbus Park been known as a sweet unauthorized spot for skaters to hang without getting booted by the Parks Department. Though that may all change post-renovation.

An empty recreational facility at Columbus Park (Photos: Tara Yarlagadda)

The outdoor recreational facility has been closed down as part of a multi-site renovation effort, which also includes Chelsea Playground, in Staten Island, and the handball courts at Booker T. Washington Playground, on the Upper West Side. Unfortunately, due to unexpected conditions found at Columbus Park, the reconstruction project has been delayed and a revised layout issued to handle problems with measuring the site.

Barring any further impediments, the Columbus Park fitness units will be re-opened at the end of the summer, but it’s a bummer for Lower East Side skateboarders who often frequent the park. According to Quartersnacks.com, local skateboarding legend Robert “Bobby” Puleo put the spot on the map when he nailed a manual going down a kinked ledge at a much-more downtrodden Columbus Park circa 2000. Its hallowed reputation only grew in the mid-late 2000s. If you were any sort of halfway decent New York skater, you were expected to pay your respects with a session at Columbus Park rail.

In any case, for the time being, may we recommend Slappy Sundays at Boca LES instead?

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Vote on East Village Tech Hub ‘Seriously in Question’ After Hearing

A sign held by an attendee of a hearing on the proposed Tech Hub (Photo: Tara Yarlagadda)

“Let us have peace”– the words of Ulysses S. Grant– hung high on the ceiling of the City Council’s austere chambers. But down below, at a hearing yesterday, a not-so-peaceful conflict brewed over a proposed $250 million, 21-story retail and tech center off of Union Square.

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Patti Smith Mural Pays Tribute to Punk Icon’s East Village Roots

(Photo courtesy of @walkinggirlnyc)

“P U N K is back in the East Village,” reads the Instagram comment from neighborhood street-art curators East Village Walls.

That might be a stretch, but this imposing portrait of Patti Smith just went up on East Second Street, near First Avenue. It’s by Huetek, the Brooklyn-born artist who has previously dedicated walls to Hunter S. Thompson, Kurt Cobain, and Mike Tyson.

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Watch Out, Pizza Rat: Croissant Squirrel Hits the Town

(Detail of photo posted by Andrew Goldston on Twitter)

For some time, the lore of Pizza Rat reigned supreme over the subways and streets of Manhattan. But this morning, a truly worthy competitor strolled into town, ready to take the crown. Meet: Croissant Squirrel.

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Bugging Out at the VW Traffic Jam on Governor’s Island

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

Governors Island was infested with Bugs on Sunday, and not just the usual dragonflies. Dozens of Beetles, camper vans, and hippie buses rolled onto the ferries in the morning and circled up in the grass of Picnic Point for the VW Traffic Jam, a Dub-lover’s paradise of vintage Volkswagens.

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Uplifting Photos: The Giglio Feast Brings Sultans and Saxophones to Williamsburg

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

The Giglio Feast, a Williamsburg tradition since 1903, is going on now in the streets around Our Lady of Mount Carmel church on Havemeyer. And while most of Giglio will be familiar to anyone who’s ever been to any NYC Italian street feast–there are lots of cigars, fried sausages, zeppole, carnival rides, and sucker games–it’s the crazy spectacle of the highly ritualized “lifts” that makes the Williamsburg festival so special.

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Andrew Zinicola Makes Surfboards Underground and Sells Them On the Waves

(Photos by Sami Sneider)

“I’m into underground,” said Andrew Zinicola. He means it literally and figuratively––Just a couple blocks off the residential streets of the Bedford-Nostrand subway station, Zinicola, 26, has a basement studio. Walk past guitars, drums, sculptures, a lava lamp, beach chairs, and you’ll arrive at a workshop where he creates handcrafted surfboards.

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Dumplings Replace Tacos in San Loco’s Old Second Avenue Space

(Photo: @thedumplingshop on Instagram)

On the heels of San Loco closing its Bushwick location, we now know what’ll become of its old digs on Second Avenue in the East Village. New signage at 124 Second Avenue, near St. Marks Place, indicates the narrow nook has been taken over by The Dumpling Shop, a takeout spot specializing in “internationally inspired” dumplings.

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