Philly skateboarders steal bench from NYC’s Tompkins Square Park

This skateboard rivalry is getting downright gnarly.

A gaggle of skate boarders from Philadelphia ignited a turf battle with their counterparts in Manhattan final month by stealing a famed inexperienced bench from Tompkins Sq. Park. 

A hulking mass of metallic to passersby, the 13-foot, curved backless bench has lengthy been an icon on the earth of skateboarding.

Beloved for its arc, which provides an plain aptitude to skaters’ grinds and slides, the 300-pound bench’s legacy dates again to the late ’90s in Santa Ana, Calif., and is coveted sufficient that it has been stolen in the past by fans.

“It’s such a gratifying feeling to skate a curve after which to have the smoothness of metallic, and with the size of it,” mentioned skilled skateboarder Anthony Van Engelen. “Most skaters, they’d be dying to skate one thing like that.”

Van Engelen and a number of other different skaters raised the bench’s profile after being filmed performing a slew of tips on an an identical construction within the early aughts. That Van Engelen landed an especially troublesome trick in 2020 utilizing the bench — a change bottom noseblunt slide — solely added to the lore.

In October, Van Engelen brought the bench to New York, when his firm, FA World Leisure, was opening a retailer within the East Village.

As soon as once more, the bench was out within the open for all to skate — and inevitably, to take

The Philadelphia skaters drove a UHAUL truck up to New York to perform the heist.
The Philadelphia skaters drove a UHAUL truck as much as New York to carry out the heist.
Harry Bergenfield
The green bench was originally from Santa Ana, California and brought to New York City last October.
The inexperienced bench was initially from Santa Ana, California and delivered to New York Metropolis final October.

A month after joking to his pals that they need to steal the bench, Philadelphia skate videographer Harry Bergenfield, 29, instructed The Put up that six of them drove a UHAUL as much as Tompkins at nighttime final week.

They heaved the 300-pound bench into the again of the truck and secured it for the drive house on I-95 with Converse shoelaces and half a roll of duct tape. The next afternoon, Bergenfield unveiled the heist by posting a photo of the bench in Philadelphia’s Municipal Plaza to Instagram.

“We had been making jokes, like ‘What are they gonna do? Take a prepare down right here and put it again on the prepare?’” Bergenfield mentioned. “These children don’t know find out how to drive.” 

The bench was moved a number of days later to Cecil B. Moore Station Plaza, outdoors of Temple College, so as to add one other skateable object to the flatground area. It has been successful amongst native skaters since.

Between 50 to 100 individuals carry out tips on the bench each day, Bergenfield mentioned, including that touchdown a transfer on it’s “like placing in your basketball footwear and enjoying on the Backyard.”  

Donny Hixson, 26, drove over an hour from Bridgeton, NJ, simply to trip this legend. 

“I’ve recognized about this bench for over 10 years,” Huxston mentioned. “It’s a pure gem. It’s one thing you’d need to skate in New York.”

The bench is now located at Cecil B. Moore Station Plaza near Temple University.
The bench is now situated at Cecil B. Moore Station Plaza close to Temple College.
Joseph Kaczmarek

Again in New York Metropolis although, the response in Tompkins has been combined.

“That was our s—t first,” griped Naquan Rollings, 24, a skate videographer.

The nameless Instagram account Tompkins Flatground, which posts photographs and movies of the skate boarders within the park, threatened to go to Philly to get again the bench this week, according to a post on the account.

The curved metal bench is considered to be perfect for performing tricks.
The curved metallic bench is taken into account to be good for performing tips.
Joseph Kaczmarek

Everybody within the skateboarding group is ready to see the place the bench finally ends up subsequent.

“It’d be hilarious if that factor makes its approach on an airplane someday to Europe or one thing and comes again right here,” Van Engelen mentioned. “The extra ridiculous it will get, to me, it’s humorous and entertaining.”

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