Monday, August 09, 2010

New Skate Spot a Wretched Hive of Scum and Villainy?

- After being open but a couple weeks, the new skate park in Woodside appears to have already validated some of its neighbors' trepidations about it. Over the past few weeks we've been made abundantly aware that all skateboarders are choir boys who reluctantly skate only when there are no volunteer spots open at the senior centers or animal shelters. That's what makes it all the more shocking that there have already been incidences of assault and other crimes at the park. The following is a portion of an email sent by the Park Police in response to a report of middle-school kids being threatened by teenagers claiming to be gang members packing heat:

We have had a Directed Patrol in place since the skate spot opened and officers are patrolling the park frequently. In fact, on the day of this incident, officers were out in the park seven times throughout the day. One of these proactive patrols around 4pm, resulted in an arrest for marijuana and alcohol possession...We are currently investigating two other incidents at the park, one involving vandalism to the skate spot and one involving an assault by two skaters last night. We anticipate charges being filed in both cases.
To be fair, I'm sure a lot of the local skateboarders are perfectly well-behaved, but with incidents like these, they will be driven away and never get to use the park. I suppose the moral of this story is that if you try and build anything nice, someone will come along and ruin it for everybody else. Maybe MoCo can hire this guy as a consultant.


- On the positive side, Silver Spring's Woodside Park neighborhood, was featured in the Post's real estate section over the weekend.

- DTSS restaurants are complaining about Nando's getting a liquor license, arguing that an additional restaurant on that block will create too much competition for them. I for one cannot wait for Nando's for the very reason that I am so burnt out on all the other options in DTSS. With that said, I would argue that there are already a few too many chicken places in Silver Spring...

- As I suggested they do a couple years ago, long before Goldberg's New York Bagels opened a block away, the New York Bakery on Georgia avenue is opening a retail storefront on August 15th. Be one of their first 25 customers this Sunday and get a dozen bagels free.

- Also re-opening in that row of shops is Bigg Wolf video (the extra "g" is for ???). Porn has returned to Georgia Avenue! Bigg Wolf, formerly located at the end of the strip, will now be using the empty space that for the longest time displayed signage for Alberto's Pizza, the only evidence of that stillborn effort. (Seriously, though - who still rents porn videos anyway? Didn't nerds invent the Internet for the express purpose of avoiding having to do that?)


wombat said...

New York Bakery! Will there be jelly doughnuts?

Anonymous said...

The Skate Spot is on the west side of Georgia, in Woodside, not Woodside Park, though it's humorous you've located it there. I'd like to hear the shrieking if it was in Woodside Park.

Wayne Phyillaier said...

I live in Woodside, the "host" neighborhood for the skate spot. Woodside, and the skate spot, are both on the west side of Georgia Ave.
The Post featured Woodside Park, a different Woodside neighborhood. Woodside Park is on the east side of Georgia Ave. and is NOT the "host" neighborhood of the skate spot.
We also have Woodside Forest and North Woodside, two more distinct Woodside neighborhoods, which are north of Dale Drive and north of 16th St., respectively.
These are all great neighborhoods, but they each have different character and history, and each have different citizens associations to represent them.

Sligo said...

Sorry, got my Woodsides mixed up. Personally, I think every Woodside should get a skate park.

Sligo said...

And FWIW, Woodside Park (the neighborhood) is across the street from the skate park. The skate park is actually in Woodside Park (the park), which is not in Woodside Park (the neighborhood). Because that's not confusing at all.

Robert said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sligo said...

Just call it Mos Eisley.

Robert said...

The Park and Planning Commission is the cause of the confusion between Woodside Park the park and Woodside Park the neighborhood. When the park was being planned and developed by the M-NCPPC, the Woodside Park Civic Association asked them to name it the Woodside Local Park or Woodside Urban Park to avoid future confusion with the neighborhood. They wouldn't do it.

Chris said...

Will the New Yorker Bakery be open on Saturdays?

And more importantly, will it be possible to be in and out with a toasted bagel with cream cheese in less than 25 minutes (which, based on my 4 experiences at Goldberg's so far, can't happen).

Sligo said...

I see a reality show on TLC forming: Bagel Wars! Sarah Palin and Kate Gosselin can make appearances.

Anonymous said...

1) Goldbergs- good food, lines way too long to bother.

2) Bigg Wolff- didn't the owner get arrested years ago and the County was operating the store for a while?? Who owns it now and what happened to the public outcry to get a porn shop out of the neighborhood?

Clancy said...

The police making regular patrols through the park will really ruin the vibe it's had for years! As a regular of the playground on the opposite side, I can attest that the marijuana smoking and drinking have been part of the park's charm for some time and have very little to do with the newly arrived skaters. Those activities are popular at a few benches/tables in the middle of some trees not far from where they put the skate park that seemed to provide the perfect shield from the street and main paths.

Sligo said...

I usually go to Goldberg's before 8am on Sundays, so there's generally no line.

Bruce said...

I'm kind of glad Bigg Wolff is still there after all these years. How a brick and mortar porn shop stays in business these days is beyond me, but I like to think it exists solely as a poke in the eye to Downtowne Silver Spring Towne Centre Towne.
Back in the day there was at least one porn shop back by Jackie's, not to mention the old Sheppards Park and Chances R.
I guess it's for the better they are gone.
I also seems to remember an indoor minature golf place back in Jackie's neighborhood somewhere. It was on the second or third floor to boot. Anyone remember that?

Anonymous said...

Let's blame the skaters for getting mugged too while we're at it. It would be nice if some fact checking and actual unbiased reporting were employed on occasion.

Sligo said...

Huh? Did you read the post? I blame skaters that committed crimes (per the police department) for committing crimes.

Anonymous said...

Bigg Wolf Video used to have a sign in their front window that always gave me pause for thought:
"Children & Adult Videos"
There's something not quite right about that phrase!

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 5:47 PM -- Time to face the facts. These skaters are not the angels that their defenders constantly paint them out to be. There is a good reason that many people don't want skateparks in their neighborhoods. There are obviously some skaters that are not troublemakers, but I think it's fair to say that, on average, skaters are more likely than other kids to cause problems.

Terry in Silver Spring said...

Regarding the skate park, does the local, county, or state government HAVE to provide the infrastructure for a relatively small group of people to enjoy a hobby? You can apply this to any of a range of things, including golf courses and tennis courts, I guess. Providing facilities is a nice thing to do, can make the community a more active and vibrant place to be, can add or maintain green space, and even can generate enough income to cover some or all of it's operation costs.

How do skate parks contribute, other than giving a place for a small group of kids and young adults a place to play? Not green space, for sure. The skate park doesn't add beauty to an area. It doesn't generate income, such as modest green fees or admission tickets to skating rinks or skate rentals do. It does decrease the chance that skaters will damage property elsewhere. What percentage of the local community are skateboarders?

Just random thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Love the (link to video of) Baltimore cop ... too bad he has to bust an artery dealing with the white trash kids ...

GingerR said...

My son used to be a skater. He also liked to slash tires in Woodside. And yes, we live in Woodside. "Bad" kids are often homegrown.

A few years have passed and he's not a bad kid anymore, in fact if you go to Holy Cross he's an RN and is likely to be sticking sharp things in your arm --

Having been there and done that I figure they aren't doing anything at the park they wouldn't be doing someplace else in the area and at least centralizing them in the park makes it easier for the cops to find them.

Springvale Roader said...

That Baltimore cop was suspended for his egregious behavior, and rightly so. The guy was out of control, a bully in every sense of the word.

Sligo said...

"Are you from The County???"

Anonymous said...

"white trash kids"

Ok... I have no comment.

Sligo said...

I was actually called "white trash" in Silver Spring many years ago. Apparently the gentlemen was displeased that I was in line behind him for ketchup at the old Jerry's Subs on Fenton Street.

Anonymous said...

Some of these skaters sure do like bashing people in the head. First in Veterans Plaza, now at the skate spot.

"Park police responded Friday to an assault at the skate spot when a resident using the abutting basketball court apparently became engaged in a dispute with several skateboarders, Manley said. Two of the skaters allegedly used their boards to break the back window of the basketball player's vehicle, then they struck the man in the head with the boards before fleeing the scene, Manley said."

Anonymous said...

Where's Sk8rmom telling us if only the skate spot were bigger, there wouldn't be these problems?

Sk8ter Mom said...

Anonymous at 6:23 and 7:30 -- question, why are you anonymous?

Maybe because you lie? Because some guy holding a toy skateboard in his Facebook pic assaulted someone downtown, you claim a skateboarder did it. You lie.

I don't know what happened at Woodside. I wasn't there, and neither were you.

Rather than making stuff up, I'll give you facts:

* Woodside skate spot was built with zero data on 1) how many skaters would be able to use it, 2) how many skaters there are in the area.

* Woodside was chosen as a skate spot without the input of any area skaters, and after Park & Planning determined in 2007 that it was too small for a skatepark. Silver Spring had far fewer skaters in 2007 than it does today.

* Woodside skate spot was built using pre-cast concrete, that comes with zero data on its longevity. Not one person has been able to provide me with the name of a pre-cast skatepark that's more than a few years old, and still in good condition. Many skaters have given me names of pre-cast skateparks that are in disrepair after only a few years of use.

* Woodside is THE smallest skate spot in the entire DC area, and it was built for one of the largest communities of skaters in the area.

* College Park is about to get a skatepark, after residents fought FOR the park for 3 years. A homeowner's association in Loudon paid for a skatepark to be built when the county couldn't. Even Potomac Gardens, a project in SE, now has a skatepark. The rest of the world gets it that skateboarding is a good thing for kids. But apparently, kids don't matter much to you, or to some of your neighbors.

Sk8ter Mom said...

Terry, regarding your "relatively small group of kids":

* 2,838 potential skaters in the area — Using a formula from Skaters for Public Skateparks, and using data from the American Community Survey, Dan Reed from Just Up The Pike crunched the numbers and discovered that there are 2,838 potential skaters in and around downtown Silver Spring. Of those, 33%, or 936, are likely to be daily skaters — those most likely to use a skatepark.

* Skateboarding is the fastest growing sport in America — According to the National Sporting Goods Association, in a 10 year study (from 1998 to 2008) tracking sports that grew in participation by at least 15%, skateboarding beat them all, growing by 74.1%. And the 2007 title Social Issues in Sport, reports that based on studies by National Sporting Goods Association, and Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association, there's been a "dramatic shift in participation among teens and preteens from mainstream sports such as basketball and football to extreme or action sports." And that since 1990, participation in mainstream sports is down 30%, while participation in action sports "is up in excess of 600%."

The Arguments for a Skatepark in Downtown Silver Spring

Anonymous said...

So if I understand your comment, what you are saying is is that if the park was larger, the skaters wouldn't have busted out the guys window or bashed him in the head. OK, now I understand. BTW, going by Sk8terMom doesn't really make you any different than anaonymus. Unless that's your real name

Anonymous said...

What's all this nonsence about skaters. In my day, if you had a skate board, good for you. The county didn't owe you a gosh darn thing, and I don't see why we should be building skate parks today. That being said, attaching the words "scum and villainy" to skaters is dumb. That's peddling in cheap stereotyping that should be left to hyper local blogging.

lilkunta said...

I;d love free bagels. Is it totally free or I have to buy somehting?

They open @ 7am tomorrow so I need to go to sleep now.

If american apparel closes, knock down the building and build a skate park( it isnt 2 stories over that store is it? i know further down is willow street yoga on the 2nd floor). Contact tony hawk & rob dyrdek for donations. Remember a few years back they built a giant half pipe for tony so why is there all this hare for skateboarders now?

lilkunta said...

ARGH just got back. NO FREE BAGELS. The lady said "we've been open for a while so today isnt our grand opening". We will hoor if you have a coupon though.

You all didnt tell me I needed a coupon! :( :(

Got up this early on sudnay for nada!

Chris said...

@lilkunta - were you even able to buy anything? I went there around noon today and there were people baking but certainly nothing for sale. There was no cash register or anything indicating they had a retail operation. Terry was a sign in the window that said something like "outlet coming soon," but when I asked someone doing the baking, thy had no idea when it would be open.

I obviously ended up at Goldberg's. It was it's standard "pretty good." they were out of about half the bagel flavors (including cinnamon raisin which my wife wanted and everything which I wanted). Although I must say they were reasonably fast this time!

Zain said...

Incidentally, I just saw on the Baltimore Sun's crime blog that the cop in that video was fired today. Evidently, he has flown off of the handle like that before, and was caught on tape that time too. I mean, seriously, what are the odds of being caught on tape twice??

bob grijalva said... save mom and pop a buck, be a cheapsk8r!

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