Flushing Meadows

1. At the beginning of the century. Flushing Meadows Park was a large marsh with an intersecting freshwater creek. A businessman bought the land in hopes of turning it into an industrial zone, and by the 1320s the area was known as the Corona Ash dump, which is exactly what it sounds like. The dump housed street sweepings, dredging torn Hushing Creek and Flushing Bay, and, of course, ashes, up until 1935. That year; the city bought the dump in hopes of renovating the area, having it host the upcoming 1939-40 Worlds fair, then turning it into a city park once the fair had come to a close. The ashes and other refuse were removed from the sire and used in the bases of various nearby roadways. In place of the ashes and trash, the city planted an abundance of trees and made various gardens, statues, and fountains. http://skateszone.com/home-dogtown-catherine-hardwicke-directs-skateboardings-seminal-tale/

2. Rodney Torres, Geo Moya, Peter Bid, Danny Falla, Luis Tolentino, Shawn Powers, Pedro Gaxboza, Sob Campbell, and Randy Reyes are just a few of the many locals who've spent years skating at FMP. Gino Iannucci was also known to show up fairly often to skate the fountain.

3. The iconic globe, or the Unisphere as it's officially called, towering in the center of the fountain was constructed for the 1964-65 Worlds. Fair held at Flushing Meadows, It replaced the original Trylon and Perisphere--a structure that resembled an upside down ice cream cone--of the prior World's Fair in 1939, which had been soared for materials for the World War ? effort. The Unisphere is made out of stainless steel and weighs 700,000 pounds. Standing at 140 feet high and at 120 feet in diameter, it is the world's largest global structure.

4. Rodney Torres is the undisputed king of Flushing. He has literally been going there his whole life, first as a baby when his mother would take him to watch his father play soccer in the nearby field, then later on his own when he'd go there to skate the fountain. He's logged more hours than anyone at the spot and is largely responsible for introducing the Manhattan skate scene to FMP.

5. Flushing started becoming somewhat of a hotspot in the early to mid '90s once the entire ulterior fountain foundation was paved. It had been partially gravel up until that point. When the skaters of Queens discovered that you could skate the inside of the fountain, they tried to get people to venture out from Manhattan. However, many NYC skaters were hesitant to spend an hour journeying out to Queens by subway or car when they could much more easily just push around to spots within the city.

6. Flushing has some local entrepreneurs selling food and drinks to the park-goers, and there is one in particular who is a favorite of the skateboarders; the Empanada Lady. She's been tiding her bike around the park for the past 20 years selling cheese, beef, and chicken empanadas from baskets on the front and rear of her bike. Admiring her hustle and enjoying her food, some of the locals got familiar with her and even got her number so they could call ahead when they knew a session was going down. "The Empanada Lady, or my 'Aunt' as Reda would say, is at the park so much she even got BGPs in Mike Carroll's Yeah Right part when he feebles the ledge over the grate," says Rodney Torres. "There's a lot of impersonators at FMP," he adds, "so be sure to ask me or a local at the park which lady is the legit one."

7. Though the fountain is the most famous obstacle at the park. Hushing also has a beastly six-stair with a kinked ledge that can also be skated like a downhill manual pad. Vinny Ponte opened up the stairs with an ollie, which was shot by Ted Newsome and appeared in a Dynasty skateboards ad.

8. Since the ollie, only a handful of tricks have been landed down the set due to the notoriously shitty landing. Barry Scott was the first to kickflip the six, which rook him three tries. The stairs have also been back 180ed (Barry Scott), frontside flipped (Brandon Westgate and Robert Lopez Mont), tie flipped (Robert Lopez Mont), and switch ollied (Eli Reed]. http://skateszone.com/best-skateboard-helmets-reviews/

flushing

9. The fountain, for the most part, is empty all year round. Due to bad plumbing, it's only turned on every so often, usually for special events like the US Open. When the fountain is turned on for an extended period of time, the pipes leak and its been known to flood the nearby museum.

10. Occasionally, the fountain gets turned on without warning and for no apparent reason The fountains caught more than a few unsuspecting skaters off guard, blasting them with water aimed at hitting the 20-foot-high mark. "You'd kind of know when they were turning the water on, because there'd be water dripping from the little pipe," says Luis Tolentino, "But you'd try to skate around it, then the water would just shoot out like a rocket out of nowhere."

11. DC shoes once had to pay $8,000 for a permit at flushing that allowed them to host a contest that lasted four hours.

12. "Keep your hands to yourself if you're falling onto the grate," says Jefferson Pang. "Otherwise your fingers will be snapped" And he's not kidding. Many have skated away from Hushing with cuts or snapped or dislocated fingers thanks to landing with their fingers between the grates or with their hands on top. Todd Jordan snapped his finger on a nosegrind attempt on the ledge over the grate and Rodney Torres broke his teeth after clipping the grate and going face-down into the fountain. Torres adds that most people who step to the six-stair usually get broken off.

13. In October 2009, some kite string nearly killed a 12-year-old boy at FMP. Jared Kopeloff of Queens was skating in the park when a length of discarded, glass-encrusted wire clotheslined him, slashing his throat from ear to ear. Police found the wire, still attached to a fighter kite, stuck on a nearby apartment complex. The gash purportedly took upwards of 500 stitches to close.

14. The Unisphere was closed and fenced off in'09 for necessary repairs despite the protests and resistance from NYC skateboarders. Since then, it has not been skateable.

15. The Maloof Money Cup will head east this year and will take place at Flushing Meadows. Unlike the courses built for the previous Maloof contests, the park built at Hushing will remain standing once the event is finished and will be donated to FMP. Though the future of the fountain remains uncertain as of now, at least there will still be something to skate at Flushing Meadows Corona Park. http://skateszone.com/what-it-is-what-it-do/

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