Tuesday 4 May 2010: I'm sooooooooooooo rad....
Golly, there was a paucity of cool dude partaking in radical grinds and achieving awesome airtime, but gosh this new skatepark is big.
And it's about bloody time as well. Okay, I'm not someone who subscribes to kids hanging around in bus shelters drinking cider and speaking as if English is a foreign language because they have no facilities available to them. They do that because they like hanging around bus shelters with cider and crucifying their native tongue. End of. Whateva.
But I don't like blatant nimbyism lumping everyone into the same bracket, and the effect that can have on something as beneficial as this skatepark. Inverleith Park was the preferred location, but of course the park is bordered by a lot of people with too much money and too much time on their hands. It'll be noisy and attract the wrong crowd was the general gist. This being the park which is awash with people playing football and rugby whenever the sun makes an appearance, the summer air ringing to expletive-calls of disbelief at moments of skill-less ineptitude. The park where 50% of dog walkers don't clean up after their poochs. The park which is on such a scale that the skatepark would have been swallowed in a part of it quite some distance from any domestic dwellings.
A friend of mine once though 'nimby' didn't go far enough and came up with 'banana' - 'Ban Anything Near Anyone Near Anything.
There were also fears that 'youth culture' would come to the park and once there imbibe alcoholic beverages and possibly even smoke illicit substances. Do they know how difficult skateboarding or BMXing is without adding to the adrenaline rush by intoxicating yourself first???
And so the park was shifted to Saughton, which the people of Inverleith lauded as a common sense approach as it was a 'more suitable' place for such a park, citing better transport links and more space. Behind closed (twitching) curtains what they were really saying was, "I once drove through Saughton and do you know, Geoffrey, do you know, I saw a young person with a can of Tennents in his hand. I put the roof up on the Mercedes quick-smart. Another of these youth people walked past and I could tell, honestly I could, as he looked at the car that all he wanted to do was drag me from the car and beat my head to a pulp, steal my keys, take my car and break into my house, because he would break in Geoffrey, despite having the keys, just to prove a point and because they enjoy mindless destruction in that way, and kill poor Mr Tiddles here. And he only wanted to do it because he's jealous you know. Well that's certainly a much more suitable place for a skateboard park."
The wait has been justified with an absolutely cracking venue which has proved insanely popular. It's not going to keep kids 'off the streets' because the wastes of skin that seem to ooze up from between the cracks in the pavement don't have that dedication to master something which actually takes a hell of a lot of ability. The kids that do want to spend that time, simply doing something that they enjoy, should have the chance to, and I'm chuffed that they now do.
p.s. discovered this morning that the new camera has a 'burst' timer, which makes shots like this a damned sight easier as I don't have to count for a perfectly timed moment!
Other possible blips (the graffiti art is absolutely superb):
The Orange Lady