FDR Skatepark & Philly: Scooters, “Gnar” & Cheesesteaks
The FDR skate park is CRAZY. Walls of smooth concrete covered in graffiti and set right underneath Interstate 95, a stone’s throw from where the Phillies and Iggles (aka Eagles) play. Apparently all hand-made by local skaters. The boys weren’t too keen on it at first. It’s more of a place to carve and “flow,” as Niall explained it to me. They were looking for a ledge to spread some wax on. Plus, it was hotter than two cats in a wool bag (or something).
When we got the park there were a few kids ripping it up on Razor scooters. Before today I thought those things were pretty much just instant scab machines and a soon-to-be staple of yard sales across America, but these kids proved me wrong. They were darting around and getting all kinds of air and really going crazy.
We ended up hanging out with the guys: Chris (who was really pulling off some good stunts) Colin, Dante, Brandon, Nathan, Adam, and Adam’s dad Tim. They were real cool guys, and they let us walk away unharmed, which is a pretty good outcome whenever a bunch of Haoles (or “Valleys” if you prefer) wander into South Philly.
We escaped FDR just before the real locals arrived, a group of six skaters who quickly made it clear they didn’t want us there, skating in front of us, around us, and way-too-close to us – and to Crystal from CBS who came to interview us (story here).
So we made our way to Pat’s, one of South Philly’s famous cheesesteak places (along with Geno’s).
After lunch, while driving west on the Pennsylvania Turnpike toward Pittsburgh, we asked the kids to each come up with five words to describe FDR.
- Nathan: big, fast, gnar, sketchy, heat
- Willem: blood, sweat, tears, gnar, cavernous
- Niall: sketchy, gnar, Franklin, Jefferson, scalding
- Leo: gnarly, sketchy, fast, fun, hot
- Sean: compelling, breathtaking, gnarling, creative, stupendous
- And Lou added five more: gritty, forlorn, truthful, phoenix, amped
To follow the whole coast-to-coast, dads-and-sons adventure, check out http://sk8thest8s.cbslocal.com/