TURNER PARK “COP SHOP SKATE JAM 2009” HAMILTON SKATEBOARDING pics and YouTube video

September 21st, 2009  

Hamilton Police’s “COP SHOP SKATE JAM 2009” was a blast! I tell you, WOW, there were wonderful moments when I forgot I was in Canada!

City of Hamilton’s Turner Skate Park is one beautiful, challenging slab of concrete. Best of all, Turner houses the best bowl of the three “urban” skate parks that I’m currently researching.

(An aside… I suspect that it’s possible that a Brampton Ching skater might hit upon this Blog and wonder when I’ll post video of their kick-ass skate park and take-no-prisoners skaters to YouTube.  It’s coming. I just need to make one more trip to B-Town for “continuity” shots.)

To summarize the “COP SHOP SKATE JAM” at the Hammer, here’s my colour commentary as I videotaped a very little guy patiently waiting his turn to drop into the bowl and sk8. He appears in the video at the 2:34 minute mark.

"COP SHOP SKATE JAM 2009" Turner Park, Hamilton

TURNER PARK “COP SHOP SKATE JAM 2009” HAMILTON SKATEBOARDING

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT

This is the youngest skateboarder that we’ve documented so far here at Hamilton Skate Park.

It’s been a good day so far. And what I mean by good day is that the kids have had a lot of fun, great interaction with the police and on top of it, no one as far as I know, has gotten injured, which I think is even more important.

OH GEE, nice try!

Now this little kid is going to drop in. And watch the drop in right down there. Oh! So that’s what it means by dropping in… Oh. OK. (admiring laughter)

OK. Let’s just see what the little guy’s up to…

And we got one of the big boys here.

And watch —these (little) guys have trouble getting up. They crawl up and they got a lot of guts.

Video: TURNER PARK “COP SHOP SKATE JAM 2009” HAMILTON SKATEBOARDING (4:44 sec)

(Click here to go directly to the clip on YouTube)

And just for an idea of what people missed who weren’t there…

"COP SHOP SKATE JAM 2009" Turner Park, Hamilton

"COP SHOP SKATE JAM 2009" Turner Park, Hamilton

"COP SHOP SKATE JAM 2009" Turner Park, Hamilton

"COP SHOP SKATE JAM 2009" Turner Park, Hamilton

Signed,

The (Oh! And thanks for the hot dog!) Mississauga Muse

"COP SHOP SKATE JAM 2009" Turner Park, Hamilton

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HEY TORONTO STAR! FOR LAUGHS, TODAY I DROPPED DOWN 80 BUCKS AND NOW THIS (ALMOST) 60 YEAR OLD FEMALE IS A SECURITY GUARD TOO!

September 19th, 2009  

YAY TORONTO STAR! GOOD ON YA!

FOR LAUGHS, THE (59 YEAR, 11 MONTH, 19 DAY OLD MISSISSAUGA MUSE, WWW.MISSISSAUGAWATCH.CA IS NOW A SECURITY GUARD TOO!

Everyone read the Toronto Star front page?!

Star investigation: Fake diplomas, false promises

$80 and I’m a security guard

For $160, the Star’s Brett Popplewell became a licensed security guard and private investigator — two jobs he has no idea how to perform

Sep 18, 2009 04:30 AM

Comments on this story (151)

Brett Popplewell
Staff Reporter

I drop by the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services with a passport photo in hand. I complete an application form to be a security guard at a cost of $80. The clerk asks if I’d also like my private investigator’s licence. I ask what’s the catch? They say another $80.

“No training?” I ask.

“Just $80.”

80 bucks and just like that you can get a Security Guard license?!  I tell you that explains City of Mississauga Corporate Security Misstapo knobs and knobettes!

So I left this comment at Torstar.

you know, for fun? I’m going to buy a security guard licence!

Really.

Submitted by MISSISSAUGAWATCH.ca at 10:54 AM Friday, September 18 2009
Agree 9 | Disagree 1 | Alert a moderator

Not to be outdone, another Toronto Star reader committed to dropping down 80 and outranking me.

I’m Going for the P.I. Badge

Mississaugawatch is going to buy a security guard licence. I’m going to go for the Private Investigator one myself. I grew up wanting to be Mike Hammer, Philip Marlowe, and Sam Spade. I might just pay the $240.00 and be all three.

Submitted by Janosik at 11:31 AM Friday, September 18 2009
Agree 2 | Disagree 2 | Alert a moderator

Now I could’ve bought a Private Investigator’s license for my 80-bucks but I figured a Security Guard license would have more “legs” (aka: Giggles).

So I grabbed an old never-used passport photo, hopped on a GO Train, headed for 777 Bay Street, 3rd Floor, and dropped down 80-bucks. Now get this, I’m female and just three weeks shy of my 60th birthday yet it took the guy at the desk just 3 minutes and 33 seconds to process me and that included him being the guarantor of my photo!

HAHAHAHAAHAAHAH!

I videotaped the entire thing and bet your boots in less than two weeks, I’ll have a Security Guard card! I can’t WAIT!

COURTESY TORONTO STAR: Star reporter Brett Popplewell obtained a security guard licence for $160 with no training and no experience.

HAHAHAHAAHAAHAH!

When I was filling out the application form, I entertained that just for a lark I would try and talk my 86-year old father into buying an Ontario Security Guard licence too. And that got me thinking…

Ontarians! Fo’ fun! Let’s try and set the Guiness Book of Records for the oldest person to buy a Private Security Guard license!

Also I’m claiming the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services record as the quickest Ontario Security Guard application-processing at 3 minutes 33 seconds!

Anyway, this is to the Toronto Star.

I LOVE YOU TORSTAR!

That out of the way regular readers know the routine by now.

Video of me buying my Ontario Security Guard license and then the transcript. Note the voice of the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services processor was turned into a chipmunk-voice for Privacy reasons.

Video: HEY TORONTO STAR! NOW I’M A SECURITY GUARD TOO! (3:43 sec)

(Click here to go directly to the clip on YouTube)

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT

[NOTE: The errors I made filling in the form were not on purpose. I really am that flaky.]

MISSISSAUGAWATCH (hands over Canadian Citizenship papers and waits)

MINISTRY OF COMMUNITY SAFETY AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES:

[inaudible] take your driver’s licence, ok?

MISSISSAUGAWATCH

Yeah, that’s ok.

(re-folds Canadian Citizenship paper and puts inside wallet)

MINISTRY OF COMMUNITY SAFETY AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES:

Thank you.

[inaudible]

MISSISSAUGAWATCH

I’m not sure where to fill out the part about whethjer you want to be a Private Investigator or a Security Guard. Is it on the front page you fill it out or where?

MINISTRY OF COMMUNITY SAFETY AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES:

You filled it out for Security Guard.

MISSISSAUGAWATCH

Did I? OK, I did it.

MINISTRY OF COMMUNITY SAFETY AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES:

Yuh.

(pause)

This is the first time you’re applying for a Security Guard license?

MISSISSAUGAWATCH

Yup.

(longer pause)

MINISTRY OF COMMUNITY SAFETY AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES:

Just change your Date of Birth to today’s date?

[inaudible]

MISSISSAUGAWATCH

Oh, I got contact lenses in. Do I just scritch —scratch it out?

MINISTRY OF COMMUNITY SAFETY AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES:

Yes, please.

MISSISSAUGAWATCH

I got contact lenses so I can’t see very well—

MINISTRY OF COMMUNITY SAFETY AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES:

Oh, I see.

MISSISSAUGAWATCH

—when I’m writing. I can see well the other time.

(pause and hands application form back.)

Sorry about that.

MINISTRY OF COMMUNITY SAFETY AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES:

No problem.

Thank you.

(pause…)

“I’m just signing for your guarantor.”

MISSISSAUGAWATCH

OK, Great.

(long pause)

MINISTRY OF COMMUNITY SAFETY AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES:

[inaudible]

“What happens now is it takes our office five business days to process the application.”

MISSISSAUGAWATCH

OK.

MINISTRY OF COMMUNITY SAFETY AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES:

And, if it’s approved and issued, we’re gonna mail it out. It usually takes three to five business days.

MISSISSAUGAWATCH

OK. Great.

MINISTRY OF COMMUNITY SAFETY AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES:

And, if it’s approved and issued, we’re gonna mail it out. It usually takes three to five business days.”Now within the first week –five business days, we go over the application. We also do a criminal background check.”

MISSISSAUGAWATCH

That’s not a problem.

MINISTRY OF COMMUNITY SAFETY AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES:

OK, good. So if anything comes up, we’ll give you a call. But if you don’t hear from us next week, you’ll [receive your license..].”

MISSISSAUGAWATCH

Fantastic.

MINISTRY OF COMMUNITY SAFETY AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES:

Any questions or anything?

MISSISSAUGAWATCH

uh… (pauses to think…) No.

MINISTRY OF COMMUNITY SAFETY AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES:

[inaudible]

MINISTRY OF COMMUNITY SAFETY AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES:

Have a great day.

VIDEO CAMERA TURNED OFF

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT ENDS

Signed,

The (Like I said, a Root of Youth Violence) Mississauga Muse

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MISSISSAUGAWATCH (guest Blogger) “A graffiti artist” writes about the adrenalin-lure of graffiti

September 14th, 2009  

This is a followup to our August 22nd, 2009, Blog, “(Email) conversation with a graffiti artist –”REAL graffiti” vs permission walls”

I ended that Blog with:

Then I asked him about the Toronto graffiti  “TOFU tagger” and I can’t wait for his response…

Well today “A graffiti artist” responded.

Rather than bury his writing as an update or a comment, I thought I’d give his reply the prominence it deserves. That is —a Blog in its own right.

I believe what “A graffiti artist” has to say is both important and relevant —especially in light of me conducting a graffiti survey in downtown Hamilton only yesterday. Also his comments regarding graffiti’s relationship to hip-hop are timely as well

“A graffiti artist” clearly disagrees with me about Toronto’s “TOFU tagger”. Readers will recall that I don’t feel that the tag “TOFU” has anything to do with soybean but rather is an acronym for “Toronto F*** You”.  T.O.F.U.  (Only the “TOFU tagger” knows for sure)

So this is a cut-and-paste from an email I received today. The only difference between what follows and his original Flickr email is the cleaning up of a few typos.

We begin.

From: A graffiti artist (note: not his real alias)

Subject: Re: Something else.

Hi,

It’s been a while, I finally got some free time to send you a couple replies.

I think its great that you are studying graffiti and exposing it to others who might not get the chance themselves to see it first hand. One thing I can say is that yes you are definitely studying another culture, I would say a sub-culture. People don’t really understand what graffiti is and why people do it.

Everyone does graffiti for their own personal reasons, some do it for fame, some do it because they enjoy destroying things and some people do it for the love of the art. Some even do it as a drug to get high off the adrenalin. Climbing a highway sign in the middle of the night can definitely get your adrenalin going but it’s not something you can count on, you will always be trying to top the high you had last time and eventually it will backfire. The real reason behind why graffiti writers paint walls is because they are looking for a voice. They are looking to make some kind of impact in society with what little power they have.

It started out as one of the 4 elements of hip-hop. When I say hip-hop I mean the hip-hop culture started in the late 70’s not the rap music you hear on MTV. That’s commercialized rap made to make money. The 4 elements of hip-hop were break-dancing, emceeing, DJing and graffiti. A lot of it is still alive today but not in the mainstream, real hip-hop music is underground and you would never hear it on the radio or tv.

This was their way of expressing themselves and they created an entire subculture that still lives today worldwide. Graffiti today has a lot less meaning, and most people do it to get their name up and get respect in the community. Just like that tofu guy you pointed out to me. People want to give it more meaning than it really has, tofu is just another graffiti writer, who chose a clever name that people would question. He writes in plain lettering so the average person can read it but it has no special meaning to it, he’s just putting his name up for respect and recognition. The regular citizens think there is something behind this and want to make it into something it’s not for their own enjoyment. It makes the story more interesting.

Anyways, I need to get going, I’ll try and send you something more meaningful later, but right now all I can say is keep up the great work, I really like the photography and artwork as well!

Without civil disobedience and graffiti in our streets, the world would be a very lifeless boring place to live.

Here’s something for your research… one of the most legendary pieces of graffiti was recently removed by L.A. authorities. I’ll send you some interesting links, in some of the pictures you can guage how large this pieces is, if you look closely at the letter “B” you can see the artists sitting down. A city that can’t afford to pay its teachers, but they spent millions of dollars removing artwork from a sewer drainage that no one can even see! Unbelievable!

animalnewyork.com/2009/09/sabers-la-river-painting-gets-rolled-over/

la.metblogs.com/2009/09/04/sabers-world-famous/

Take care for now.,

Here is a photo of the LA River graffiti that “A graffiti artist” was referring to. Now it’s all one massive white patch.

Description and image courtesy of graffiti.org

Saber did this amazing piece on the LA River. It took him a year and a half to complete. It was done with rollers, and you can see it from the air. It is one of the two largest illegal roller pieces ever done (that we know of) “.

Art Crimes: Los Angeles 33 - Saber  This image and artwork © copyright 1998 Saber.

(Click here for larger image)

You know people, I can’t begin to tell you how much more clearly I see the world once I decided to dig out my own news and let mainstream Traditional Media fall by the wayside. I haven’t turned on the television in weeks (give me the REAL of YouTube). As for newspapers, gah!

I know what “A graffiti artist” means by the adrenalin…

I find that I have an addiction to “I wonder if”…  Researching sea turtles. Researching humans. Same three words. “I wonder if”…

“I wonder if”…

Signed,

The (I wonder if this is real…) Mississauga Muse

GRAFFITI HAMILTON "BLOODZ TURF" September 14, 2009

GRAFFITI "BLOODZ TURF" September 14, 2009

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Videos: Inside Peel Regional Police (11 Division) Young Offenders’ Jail Cells –and Hamilton Graffiti Update

September 14th, 2009  

Well, it was quite the weekend. Went to the Peel Police 11 Division Open House and then paid a return visit to Chinguacousy Skateboard Park. I love Chinguacousy Sk8park.

Today, I conducted a graffiti survey in Hamilton and got one major surprise. I don’t know when but someone went through Hamilton’s downtown core and took major action on the graffiti there. Gosh, most of the graffiti that I’d documented back in June is gone. Erased or totally painted over!

The transformation was so complete that it took me several passes to finally locate exactly where this picture was taken back on May 31st. That door and surroundings were completely free of tags and blight.

THE MISSISSAUGA MUSE POSES BESIDE AN IRONIC ANTI-GRAFFITI POSTER INSIDE A CITY OF HAMILTON BUS SHELTER (PANORAMIC SHOT) 090531

And it wasn’t just one or two streets. Even major graffiti sites behind buildings have been obliterated. It made getting around difficult for me because in all prior visits, I’d used unique graffiti for navigation —not street names! But still, that’s one impressive clean-up effort!

Don’t get me wrong. once you gravitate to the Beasley Park area, and work its cramped side streets, there’s still plenty of “photo-ops”. More about that in later Blogs.

At yesterday’s 11 Division Open House, a Peeler graffiti-specialist was absolutely generous with his time. He taught me how to recognize gang tags. So imagine following a park wooden fenced walkway and you see your normal “F***” this and “F***” that’s and then you recognize the very symbols your Peeler told you about.

GRAFFITI, HAMILTON (September 13, 2009)

Take your pics. Get out fast —but with dignity.

By far, the most interesting thing I did this weekend was spend quality pondering-time in jail. First a brief visit inside a jail cell for female Young Offenders and then about 20 minutes inside the males’ holding cell. (It took me a long time to decipher and document all the graffiti scratched into the glass —plus file a video report.)

So here we are. Two videos today complete with transcripts. The first, Peel Regional Police 11 Division’s tiny female jail cell, followed by video of the males’ cell.

TRANSCRIPT of YouTube video: PEEL REGIONAL POLICE (FEMALE ) YOUNG OFFENDERS JAIL CELL 11 DIViSION

MISSISSAUGAWATCH

This is September the 12th, 2009. I’m here at Peel Regional [Police] 11 Division. Shooting down on the floor to protect people’s privacy. And what I’ve got here is I’ve asked and received permission to videotape. This is where the Under-18’s… I think it’s Under 18.. Excuse me, Officer? What is this again —the Under-what-age?

PEEL POLICE OFFICER

Ah, Young Offenders [inaudible]

MISSISSAUGAWATCH

Young Offenders 18 and under [Ed. ERROR. Young Offenders are Under-18] and this would be female. And this would be their holding cells so to speak. And this is what they get. And what we’ll do is just go here and kind of step… these look like 6-inch tiles. But 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and then you got the can.

And there’s where you wash your hands. Although I suspect there’s soap there.And this is what you get to sleep on.

So the actual room you have is 1, 2, 3 steps. And I don’t think I have to tell you that…wow.

Let’s see what we got up here. Light bulb. I’ll tell you something. There’s no way I could fit and try to escape from there.

I wonder if they give you a metal cup that you could bang across here.

Video: PEEL REGIONAL POLICE (FEMALE ) YOUNG OFFENDERS JAIL CELL 11 DIViSION 1:40 min

(Click here to go directly to the clip on YouTube)

TRANSCRIPT of YouTube video: PEEL REGIONAL POLICE YOUNG OFFENDERS JAIL CELL 11 DIVSION (MALE) 090912

MISSISSAUGAWATCH

[Sitting inside the male jail cell with video surveillance camera over right shoulder] It’s not quite what I expected. [looks around]

Uh, I guess, I guess it’s something that I needed to see based on the research that I’ve been doing about City [of Mississauga] Security and how they would call in an arrest. And of course that involves Peel Regional Police.

So you’ve got uh, my concern of course, is that ah, there’s no accountability mechanisms in place for City [of Mississauga] Security and then they’re handed over to Peel Regional Police…

And these are the male cells.

We’ve got a video surveillance camera there [inaudible] We’re gonna go here a bit. A place to take a p*** and a dump. And two beds. So I guess if there’s more than that you got a problem.

And what’s interesting is you get the graffiti and the scratching here. OK. Now I can finally —took me a long time to figure out what this says. This right here. OK, even though there’s a video surveillance camera right there somebody (laughs) managed to scrawl in a complaint in glass that reads, “NO TOILET PAPER”. Finally figured out now.

So there’s a complaint there, etched in glass that there was no toilet paper… is that true?

[camera swings over and around the toilet…] There’s gotta be toilet paper.

[Reaches into a toilet-paper sized hole with no toilet paper in it] I suspect it’s there…

Tell ya, if you want to know the truth in society, there it is. NO TOILET PAPER However, there is a video surveillance camera.

I mean it’s bare.  And it’s, I mean you don’t expect posters up. A jail is supposed to be a place where you have nothing to do but to contemplate how you got in there. And the video surveillance camera… at least you know that the video surveillance camera right here, try pointing to it, yah, right here. Um, that is a Peel Police video surveillance camera and you’ve got Police Services manning that thing instead of Mississauga Corporate Security that have no accountability mechanisms in place.

Trust me. This is what Freedom of Information has confirmed. And that’s what I got a problem with.

Video: PEEL REGIONAL POLICE YOUNG OFFENDERS JAIL CELL 11 DIVISION (MALE ) 090912 3:12 min

(Click here to go directly to the clip on YouTube)

Signed,

The (Warning to Youth. There’s no INTERNET access in Jail!) Mississauga Muse

Time to lighten things up a bit!

PEEL REGIONAL POLICE DODGE CHARGERS (11 DIVISION) CARTOON September 12, 2009

UPDATE: Monday, September 14, 2009. 9:06 am. The video PEEL REGIONAL POLICE YOUNG OFFENDERS JAIL CELL 11 DIVISION (MALE ) 090912 was replaced because I forgot to dampen the audio of a rather crude word regarding the jail cell’s  toilet arrangements. Also, a viewer hated the original enough to give it a 1 out of 5. He/she may wish to go back and click on the 1 again. Sorry for the inconvenience.

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SKATEBOARD SUNDAY preliminary report: Turner skatepark (Hamilton), Chinguacousy skatepark (Brampton) and Iceland skatepark (Mississauga)

September 7th, 2009  

Yesterday as part of a MISSISSAUGAWATCH Skateboard Sunday survey, I visited three major “flagship” municipal skateboard facilities, Turner in Hamilton, Chinguacousy in Brampton, and Iceland, Mississauga. The Sunday before (August 30, 2009) we wrapped up our summer’s observation of Maui’s three skateboard parks.

We’ve already reported on the Maui skateboard scene in previous Blogs and especially in “MISSISSAUGAWATCH reports on three Maui Skateboard parks (StoneWave-Paia, Kalama-Kihei and Keopuolani-Kahalui)”.

Once back in Mississauga, it became clear that it would be absurd to now compare the Maui Three with the skateparks we’d been observing and reporting on back in May and June. For example, while observing Beasley Park in City of Hamilton, we were not aware that the new $500,000 Turner Skatepark had opened. (Plus back in May/June I preferred neighbourhood skate plazas to observing a larger City-wide facility.)

No more. The Maui Three forced me to turn my attention to local Flagship Parks.

Yesterday, as part of back-to-back Skateboard Sundays, I first visited Turner Skatepark in Hamilton. (I’d been tipped to the existence of this new facility by a commenter here.)

I ran a quick check of City of Hamilton Council’s decisions as to how Turner Skatepark got located where it did, and surfed a tour of what Google Maps suggested was an affluent surrounding neighbourhood (it was).

TURNER SKATEPARK CITY OF HAMILTON

By far the most surprising thing about Turner Skatepark came from a conversation with one of several parents sitting around watching their kids skateboarding. This mother enthused about how the skatepark was right next to the police station (and I mean right-next-right-next).

I responded that such close presence of police must make parents feel comfortable letting their kids skate there.

Her response was, “Oh no, I’d never leave him here by himself!”

That made Turner Skatepark the most fascinating park in our 6-facility study.

After Turner, I traced out the Upper James route that a kid living around Beasley Skatepark would have to take to reach the flagship Turner. There were only three kids skateboarding that day at Beasley and only one had an actual skateboard. A pervert waxed poetic into my video camera about the number and quality of his testicles while three other suspicious characters were sitting on a park bench watching me videotape graffiti.

Now with two months of Maui skatepark observation behind me, I see Beasley Skatepark for what it is. One ramp. One small depression for a “bowl” and some concrete to smear a board across —that’s Beasley.

BEASLEY SKATEBOARD PARK (CITY OF HAMILTON) 090906

Two small girls were on swings unsupervised and I was reminded of the Turner Park mother’s comment, “Oh no, I’d never leave him here by himself!”… Hamilton: A Tale of Two Cities.

I then set off for Chinguacousy Park, City of Brampton. I heard more F-words in my observation time there than at all Maui skateboard parks the months of July and August combined, plus Turner that morning. Not a good start…

However, Chinguacousy surprised me the most of the three local skateparks I visited yesterday. And surprised me in a good way.

CHINGUACOUSY SKATEBOARD PARK (CITY OF BRAMPTON) panoramic shot 090906

(Click here for larger version)

Chinguacousy reminded me of Kahalui’s Keopuolani Skatepark.  More about all this in later Blog entries.

It was getting deep into afternoon and I reluctantly headed for Iceland in Mississauga. I say “reluctantly” because 1: I have the City of Mississauga Corporate Security database printout of all the bans and arrests issued at that City Property, plus 2: I’d visited the skatepark there on several other occasions.

ICELAND SKATEPARK (CITY OF MISSISSAUGA) 090906

On this visit, there were perhaps 20 boys, with about an even split of bikes and boarders. Being just fresh from Chinguacousy, I found Iceland the bore. I videotaped a bit, narrating into the camera and then once I was done, a parent supervising his two kids talked me up.

“You mentioned a skatepark in Brampton?”

“Yeah, Chinguacousy. I just came from there.”

I mentioned Chinguacousy’s attributes (like that it was in a park and not beside the 403) and then provided directions. He gathered his two kids and B-lined it for B-Town.

I saw Chinguacousy as a cool mix between Maui’s Keopuolani and Kalama skateboard parks.

CHINGUACOUSY SKATEBOARD PARK (CITY OF BRAMPTON) TRUE TO THE SPORT 090906

Even a Chinguacousy conversation between a kid and a BMXer reminded me of the New York Times article “The End of Falling” in memory of Skateboard pioneer, Andy Kessler.

The BMXer rested his bike on a ramp ledge.

CHINGUACOUSY SKATEBOARD PARK (CITY OF BRAMPTON) close-up BMX BIKE 090906

The kid asked, “How did you get so good?”

“I fall down a lot,” and he sped away.

Having observed all six skateparks now, I’m confident in rating them as if I were a Middle School kid committed to skateboarding. But I recognize that what this almost-60 year old white female might look for isn’t the same thing as a real skateboarder (or for that matter a male!).

For me, the Skatepark Rankings were based on architecture, respect and supervision. Did the parks have the kind of ramps and bowls to attract the serious big-boy skaters? Was there a culture of respect among the park users?  If two parks’ architecture and respect rated equal then the ranking came down to a skatepark’s supervision.

I hope you’ll agree that a skatepark where kids are respectful of others and is unsupervised, is infinitely preferable to a supervised park. Unsupervised means it’s the kids’ skatepark where they are free to be respectful, inclusive and solve inevitable conflicts —on their own.

Signed,

The Mississauga Muse

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