On Thursday, I noticed this article in the New York Times about the Brooklyn Banks being a target for renovation. Since it's just up the street from us, I walk by the Banks a lot but have never snagged my board from the back of the closet and actually spent any time in the park. After reading the article, which alarmingly reports that the Banks will be split in half (at the very least) during a four year reconstruction project, I zipped up to snap off a couple rolls of film. I went early enough that there weren't any skaters for the first 30 minutes or so. I had the whole place to myself with 36 exposures of Fuji color film and 36 exposures of B&W Kodak Tri-X film. After the first 10 minutes, it was easy to see and feel why the Brooklyn Banks is so loved by skaters. It's a perfect mix of long sloping straightaways, nicely curved banks and several shapes to perform tricks on. It feels natural, raw, and almost pure. The shade of the bridge carving through the sky above casts deep shadows across the bricks and the whole park seems removed from the bustle around it. For 30 minutes, it was quiet, cool, and intimate. I walked it back and forth several times, stopping to notice well worn rails, ramps, and brick.
When the skaters arrived, the park echoed with the sound of wheels on brick. I stayed to take a few more shots, but left shortly afterwards to let them enjoy the park in its entirety for maybe the last time. As the NYT article reported, the dividing ropes will go up as early as this weekend, slicing the wide open park in half for at least four years. After that who knows?
Brooklyn Banks, North Bank
Brooklyn Banks, North Bank Wide
Brooklyn Banks, Post Clipping
Brooklyn Banks, Jump
Brooklyn Banks, Long View
Brooklyn Banks, Stairs and Cop
Brooklyn Banks, Rail
I developed this film at home, but had to drop off the color roll for processing. I'll post some of the color shots tomorrow.