Monday, February 23, 2009
Skateboarders are good for the planet
Triangle Park in Portland, Oregon is a homemade skateboard park built by skateboarders who brought in cement and forms and built it up themselves. The graffiti artwork on all of the old machine shop buildings was painted many years earlier. The underground site, on the banks of the beautiful Columbia River, sits in between railroad tracks near tugboats and a majestic train bridge. It draws skateboarders-- lucky enough to find out about it-- from all over the country.
Unfortunately, a local university has purchased the property and a few weeks ago they fenced it off and they are in the beginning stages of destroying the old buildings to create a sports arena and student housing. A piece of history will soon be gone.
I wish there could be some way to preserve the old buildings and art. If, over the years, houses can be moved across town or from one city to the next why couldn't the University of Portland come up with a way to move the skatepark to a place where the boarders could still enjoy the cool graffiti and their hand-built forms? Boarders are used to building things up and having them destroyed by progress, but I wish that for once, wealthy corporatists would care about the liberal little guy who is saving the planet simply by spending lots of time doing things that don't destroy it.