Local reporting

Park(ing) Day 2023 in Ann Arbor

Last month was House Party week in Ann Arbor. I made it to two of the events and thought I’d blog briefly about them. This post is about Park(ing) Day, a national day in which public parking spaces are taken over and re-imagined as something other than car storage.

I’d briefly engaged with past Park(ing) Days in Ann Arbor. This one hooked me with a serious repurposing of parking: a mini skatepark in the street! The sk8r dad crew (me and Dave-O) skated over from Workantile to check it out.

Dave-O going up the mini ramp for a rock-and-roll

It was outside Olympia Skate Shop, on Fourth St between Liberty and Washington. I first visited Olympia at their Ypsi location and was pleasantly surprised to see them making a go of it in downtown Ann Arbor. I hope they stick around forever.

The folks from Olympia put out a mini ramp, a kicker, and a box.

pop-up skatepark with barriers and obstacles outside of Olympia Skateboards

It was a great session:

  • I learned to drop in! I’d previously said I would never attempt this. It was too scary and I hear it’s a common cause of broken bones. But this mini ramp had a gentle angle and the other skaters coached and coaxed me. We’ll see if I now try it at the real skatepark.
  • I rode up and off the kicker
  • Dave-O landed a nice rock-and-roll
  • No one laughed at me when I slammed
  • No one got hurt

It was surreal having traffic just a few feet over in the next lane. We could have used another barrier or two. But drivers were kind and did not run over boards that rolled out of the “skatepark.”

We visited over lunch and it was quiet, just us and a fellow from the skate shop. I biked past on my way home and saw someone doing a kickflip on the mini ramp. Glad to see it in heavy use … and that we got in our senior hour before things got serious.

Let’s do it again!

Park(ing) day was fun and this pop-up linear skatepark should be a regular thing, albeit with more barriers. Thanks to everyone who organized it and barricaded the streets and thanks to Olympia for setting up the park. If anyone visited the other park(ing) day installations, let me know how those were.

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