I’m not a skater, but I’m a big, big fan of the new Buffalo skate plaza that opened at LaSalle Park yesterday. Eight years in the making (depending on who you talk to even longer), this plaza speaks to the resilience of a younger generation of Buffalonians who are beginning to make some noise. JP “Sunday” Gillespie and his hoard of skaters helped to make this happen by opening the doors of Sunday Skate to The City, thus showing the commitment and the wide breadth of the skate and BMX community. Once The City learned that the skaters were from all walks of life, and that they had amassed power in numbers, the dream of landing the city’s first skate plaza began to look like it could actually become a reality.
Thanks to other committed folks like Jay “Micropark” McCarthy who spearheaded the early formations of the micropark concept (think Barkyard), Buffalo’s youth now have a place to skate that rivals some of the best plazas* in the country (once all of the phases are complete). Speaking of completion, this is just Phase One that we are celebrating at this point. There are two phases to come. JP told me that the park is in such high demand out of the gate, that he’s already seeing a log jam of skaters showing up, which means that The City should be in fundraising mode for future phases. Hopefully the huge turnout of skaters will quickly warrant the expansion process to begin… sooner rather than later.
*Designed by internationally recognized skate park designer New Line Skateparks (with input from local skate community).