Thursday, March 22, 2012

Long Island Mini Road Trip

When you think about your favorite St. Patrick's Day memory, what's the first thing that pops into your mind?  Corned beef and cabbage?  A parade?  Beer?  From now on, Sk8terdude's favorite holiday memory will be the glorious weather and the fabulous fun we enjoyed last Saturday at Veterans Park in East Northport*, New York.

[*Personally, I thought the park was in Huntington, Long Island.  My sister-in-law patiently tried to explain the New York system wherein villages and hamlets exist within towns within counties, some with independent school districts, tax districts, and/or governing bodies and some without.  She did a great job with her explanation.  I just didn't do a great job with my comprehension.  So it's beyond me to explain it here.  Suffice to say that we were in Huntington, but we were also in East Northport.  And probably plugging either name into a GPS will get you to the skatepark.]

Designed by California Skateparks (click link for photos), this 18,000+ square foot concrete park, the first on Long Island, is a dream.  It combines a bowl, a flow course, and a street plaza and is open to the public for a daily fee or by purchasing a town recreation pass (details).  No bikes - or children under 6 - allowed.

There's no parent lounge - and certainly no public, free wifi (edited to add: rumor has it there may be wifi access for those with a Cablevision account) - but there is an adjacent playground with comfortable benches, a water fountain, a shaded area, and public restrooms.  Since we were accompanied by my 3-year-old nephew, the playground was a perfect spot for us to spend time while Sk8terdude skated.

Considering the unseasonably warm weather, I was surprised there weren't more skaters.  The park was steadily busy but not impossibly so, and it was an interesting mix of local kids, older (as in adult) skaters (wisely wearing knee pads!), and, amusingly, an entire vanload of skaters from right here in Fairfield County who had taken their own mini-road trip to skate the park.

At the end of the afternoon, Sk8terdude put his skateboard and helmet in the car and then rolled down the big grassy hill with the 3-year-old...who tells us he's "not tall enough" to skate.  (Not yet, anyway!)  A perfect end to a perfect afternoon.

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