join the rally to save tompkins square park this weekend

The iconic East Village hangout and popular skating spot is under threat by the NYC Parks Department. Here’s how you can help.

by Nicole DeMarco; photos by TASMIN MEYER ERŞAHIN
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Sep 6 2019, 4:24pm

Earlier this year, i-D reported on a decision by the NYC Parks Department to cover the “Training Facility” a popular skating spot in Tompkins Square Park, with synthetic turf — making it impossible to skate there. For decades, the iconic East Village hangout it has been home to neighborhood youth and skateboarders alike, who use the open space to try out new tricks on makeshift plywood ramps or simply, to hang out with their friends. On Saturday September 7 at 1 p.m., a rally will take place at the northwest corner of the park to show city officials just how much it means to the community in hopes that they might reverse their decision.

"Tompkins is a place of immense social value and inclusion, not just for skateboarders but for anybody disenfranchised by pop culture or organized sports,” Brendan Burdzinski told i-D. “I have yet to experience another place this effective at serving as a common ground to bring people together from any gender, race, religion, age, or social circle.”

tompkins-square-park-skaters
Photo by Tasmin Meyer Ersahin.

“For generations, Tompkins has been a safe haven for skateboarders and other marginalized activities. It serves as a melting pot for all walks of life and is an integral part of our identity as a neighborhood and community,” rally organizer Adam Zhu said on Instagram. “The city now plans to install AstroTurf there to prioritize permitted sports, which will destroy the way our community has utilized this park for decades.”

Zhu created a petition to #SaveTompkins in June, with a goal of achieving 25k signatures, and at the time of writing, it has over 32k. Sign the petition here and rally at Tompkins this weekend in order to demonstrate your support.