Skate spots are sacred spaces for those who live and breathe the sport. Often harassed by authorities and scoffed at by civilians who regard them as environmental nuisances, skaters are always in search of a place where they can be free to catch wreck on their boards with as little to no potential threats as possible. Recently, in the Ironbound section of Newark, NJ, acclaimed DIY skate spot Shorty’s, saw its untimely closing.
Shorty’s [named after the resident who gave the creators her blessing to build] was created in 2012 as the result of a group of local skaters who put their brains and resources together in an effort bring the local skate community together without any repercussions from those on the outside looking in. The DIY spot attracted skaters from all over the globe who preferred a more industrial environment to shred over the polished venue of the Street League found just up the way at the Prudential Center. As word spread of Shorty’s existence, the amount of skaters willing to hit the spot increased too. Shorty’s unified the hood and eventually received a visit from the city’s Mayor, Ras Baraka, who even expressed his own admiration for the space that has become a sort of second home for the local skate community.
Things were flowing well until recently when a demolition crew randomly began to destroy the venue, leaving many in dismay as to how this happened and who is exactly to blame for it. It turns out that the land was allegedly sold for development. Currently, the creators of the space are set to talk with city officials about what’s to happen next, but for now, they’re still allowed to skate the venue once the dust settles and the rubble is cleared. RIP Shorty’s.