When we first started surfing and skating the Casino Skate Park in Asbury Park in the 90s, it was a different kind of town. And when we saw the "Dogtown and Z-Boys" doc a few years later and got the full history of Venice Beach, we used to say Asbury was the East Coast's Dogtown. And just like Venice, it was the creatives, the skaters, musicians, tattoo artists, and surfers who were the first to have a stake in rebuilding Asbury.
For the last few years, a couple buds in that area, especially my good friend/skate legend/writer/and Bloody Mary connoisseur, Derek Rinaldi have been pushing to get a legitimate skate park in Asbury. For as weird (or as uncharacteristically normal) as everything is getting up in the city but he sea, this is an awesome movement. The park has been approved by the city council, but now there are the new hurdles of awareness, location, and funds. On July 23, The Asbury Park Skateboard Foundation will host a free screening of "Made In Venice," which isn't even out yet, thanks to the Asbury Park Film Initiative - a fitting film considering the two city's common stories on opposite coasts. And NJ native, Mike Valelly will be there as part of the Street Plant "Open Hearted" tour. This is all super cool.
And I hope to someday head up to Asbury to roll around the new park with my kid.