FDR skate park in Philadelphia especially rocks because it represents the awesomeness that a group of passionate people can accomplish. In the mid-nineties, when skateboarding was banned from Love Park, the city tried to make nice with the skateboarding community by donating a piece of land in FDR Park (Broad and Pattison Streets) below an I-95 overpass for a new skate park.
Unfortunately, their half-assed efforts (the construction of two pyramids and a grindbox) proved to only further piss off the skaters.
Fortunately, the anger was transferred positively, and fueled the skating community to build their own park.
Like any grassroots project, especially those headed by such a strong willed population, the construction of FDR skate park had many ups and downs and lots of drama. In the end, a pretty amazing concrete park emerged, thanks to the fundraising and volunteer efforts of the skateboarders. There's an excellent article about FDR here. I do hope that the second generation of skaters at FDR (Avery, et. al.) appreciate those who came before them, rose up to the Man, and took care of business.
We went on Saturday, the boys to skate and me to take photographs of them, the graffiti and concrete landscape. There's a half-pipe that's good for kids just learning to ride, but otherwise, FDR is not a place for a kid to learn how to skateboard. Even though Avery is a confident skater and is familiar with the park and the concept of carving lines, we still always get there early to be out of the way by late afternoon.
Check out our photos from the day here, http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikaelamartin/sets/72157600302119505/.