"View from the Parent Lounge" is a reflection on life as the parent of a skateboarder, typed mostly while waiting for him to skate at various skateparks, indoor and outdoor, throughout the country.
Monday, July 4, 2011
1st Visit to 2nd Nature on the 4th of July (wish I could think of a 3rd)
Happy Independence Day!
Question: What parent wouldn't want to spend this national holiday driving an hour to an industrial park in Peekskill, New York so his/her child could try out a new indoor skatepark?
Answer: Apparently a lot of them....since there is almost no one here.
This morning we picked up one of Sk8terdude's friends and headed west to Peekskill for our first visit to the new 2nd Nature Skatepark. This new facility opened about three weeks ago, and the two boys were given a coupon for a free session when they competed in Ridgefield last month. So we figured a free indoor skate session (read: air conditioning for the parents) didn't sound like a bad deal on a hot and humid summer day.
We arrived to find the infamous Burton at the front desk. You all remember Burton, right? He's the dude who failed to show for our friend's son's birthday party at the beginning of June (when he had been hired to run the party and give lessons) and then showed up late to the competition last month at S.P.I.R.I.T.
He's actually a pretty nice guy...but with the new park still partly under construction (well, not the skating part, just the shop and "lounge" is still a work in progress), he's got his hands full. It took us almost forty minutes and three phone calls to the parent shop in Mamaroneck before I was up and running on the internet (hey, parents, free wi-fi but you have to guess how to get online, lol) and now Burton is in the back, unpacking boxes and occasionally interrupting our peace and quiet with the sounds of drilling, hammering, and general construction.
I'll give them a break on the "parent lounge" - such as it is - with the hope that the next time I return it will actually be a lounge. Today it's a folding table, two folding chairs, and a "couch" which previously did business as the back seat of someone's van, complete with seatbelts, in case you've had too much gatorade and need to be held down so you don't slide onto the floor.
But even the shop isn't fully functional. Sk8terdude needs yet another pair of skate shoes - the most recent pair is now sporting matching holes on the bottom of each heel - but they don't stock anything here below size 6.5, and Sk8terdude is a 5.5 at best.
Of course the important question, for the boys, is whether or not the park was worth the trip.
It's smaller than I thought it would be - about 5000 square feet - and with the bay door open to the outside, it's quite toasty in there (not that the kids seem to mind). Upstairs is a mini-ramp room. Eventually they plan to finish a party room with a park lookout, add a cafe, and more. But for now it's still a bare bones operation. A little bigger than Eastern Pulse but not as big as Greenside or Haven, it will keep them busy today for sure and will be worth a return trip, but I can't imagine we would make the trip here regularly enough to warrant a season pass.
Sk8terdude just popped his head out for a sip of water and, as he raced back inside, called out over his shoulder, "This is so fun!" So there you have it - the official reviews are in