Header Photo Credit

*The stunning photo in the header of my blog is all thanks to Ron Shoshani. Visit his facebook page for more of his amazing photographs of Tel Aviv!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Tel Aviv Skaters Are Still Cool Even If They Are Under 15

There is still a young skater scene in Tel Aviv- young and diverse - and while it isn't your standard "underground" scene, I still think it's blogworthy.

Some of you might say that the "skater phenomenon" is passe, but I will always have a soft spot in my heart for the dudes with the long hair, plaid shirts, black baggy jeans, massive headphones and chained wallets who zip around the street on their boards.

Most Tel Avivians aren't aware of it, but there is a massive skate park in south east TLV in an area called "Yad Eliyahu". It's situated right behind the well known Nokia Center which serves most of the year as basket ball team Maccabi Tel Aviv's home court, but most tel Avivians have never thought to peek around to its backside.

Behind the huge arena, which on game nights is teeming with fans clad in yellow and blue, you'll find a large concrete skate park right in the center of a large grassy playground. Not the most conventional place for a neighborhood park, but it works. And just down the street there are a number of skate shops and bike shops that have popped up.

I pass by this park nearly every day on my bikeride to and from work and I just love it. At nearly every hour of the day there are kids of all ages practicing their roller blading and skateboarding moves.  They have competitions, they bring photographers, the parents come to cheer the kids on- and it's really good, clean fun.

"Clean?!" you're saying to yourself. "When was skater culture ever clean!?"

Well, I've resigned myself to
Despite the unimpressive graffiti around the park, the scene is still pretty cool and exciting. And, I guess this is something we'll all have to come to terms with- that graffitti culture has diverged from skater culture since "street art" has come into its own and pushed your every day tagging vandalists back into the trashbin.

So, I'll have to find the cool graffiti in a less public area that isn't filled with skate-boarding highschoolers. But, really, that's ok with me.

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