It’s difficult to talk about New York skateboarding without mentioning Jeff Pang. He is a forefather of the scene that spawned Kids, Supreme, Zoo York, and all that came after. His footage at the Brooklyn Banks helped put the spot on the map in the early ‘90s, making him the perfect person to speak on the iconic destination now that its future is uncertain. Slam City posted an extensive interview with Pang this morning in which he does just that.
You mentioned the campaign to save the Brooklyn Banks… Is it going to work?
Well, I can’t say if it’s going to work or not. It’s fucked that the City has had the banks closed for ten years—skaters have had recent access to the big banks—but now with all this shit that’s happening with COVID, from what I hear they’re looking to open retail in the Anchorage spaces. It’s mind-blowing that with all these retailers that are closing down that the City is looking to attempt to make money by opening new retail space when retail is closing. Why not preserve something that has so much history?!
No offense to the Save Tompkins campaign, which is a great thing, but there’s no fuckin’ comparison to the significance of the Brooklyn Banks in the skateboard world versus Tompkins Square Park, even though the Shut contest happened in ’88 or whenever it was. When Danny Sargent and Brian Lotti came to New York City to skate a local contest that Skate NYC put on with Shut. That’s the early history of Tompkins Square. These kids weren’t born then. Congratulations and hats off to them, it’s good to see that they’re holding it down, but the banks is—and will always be—the real home of New York skateboarding for me. That’s what East Coast skating is about; those grimy, rugged unintended skate structures. It was built for some other reason, but they somehow designed a perfect fuckin’ skatepark.
For a deep dive into an important piece of N.Y. skate history, head over to Slam City to read the entire piece.