After five long years of construction, Astor Place is back. Along with the refurbished Cube, the redesigned plaza includes new outdoor seating, fresh trees and landscaping, and restored lampposts from the Mosaic Man. But the new Alamo Plaza features a few additions that are unwelcome to some of its most loyal visitors: “no bike riding or skateboarding” signs spaced at regular intervals around the Cube. These days, simply carrying a skateboard near the Cube is enough to earn a suspicious glare and a warning from the security guards sometimes enforcing the ban. It wasn’t always this way—for generations of New York skaters, Astor Place was a landmark that held an iconic, if unlikely, place in the city’s skateboarding history.
The Cube’s return to Astor Place has been glorious and all, but have we basked in the glow long enough that we can now address the elephant in Alamo Plaza? The Cube is back, yes, but the sculpture is imprisoned behind a crude cage of orange barricades. It’s downright inhumane (incubane?). It’s time to uncage the Cube and let it spin free, the way it was meant to. Keep Reading »
With the surprise return of the Astor Place Cube yesterday came many reactions. At least, for those who noticed it had disappeared in the first place.