May 2, 2012

Quietly Into The Night

Taking sourcing to weird, new places, according to CJ Tambornino on Instagram, tomorrow, Thursday, is the last day The Roofs at Hidden Falls will be skateable.

It's a strange ending for what slowly became one of the Twin Cities' most iconic and recognizable spots. For being a draw of dudes from all over the country, the heavy lifting at The Roofs was carried out by locals with few out-of-towners doing much of note. Props to dudes like Elijah Collard, Anthony Hart, Dom Randazzo and Mr. Tambornino himself for breaking in the spot, finding new lines and wreaking utter destruction while there.

It's difficult for me to write a eulogy of The Roofs because I pretty much hated the spot because I never figured out how to skate it. The first time I was there was on a suburbs-to-city skate-exchange-program in the late 90's with Elijah and others. We skated the place like a series of hips and nobody went over the point. Fast forward a bit to the filming of Anonymous, and to my knowledge, Elijah was the first guy to loft ollies over the point, as seen here. It's funny that his ollies were relegated to 16mm art foote, but it's sort of understandable since nobody really could have imagined the nollie 360 heelflips over the point, 360 flips off onto the table (!!!, still) or the whatever the hell you'd call what CJ dids*. If those roofs could speak.

What makes The Roof's demise "strange," as said above, is that it took so damn long. The spot was skated over the course of three decades and beyond that, it's the roof of a picnic structure in a city park. One theory of why it took so long to become defunct, outside of the fact that no one was seriously injured skating there (too my knowledge), is that it was a picnic structure in a city park. This may be a theory to analyze more for another time, but perhaps it takes a little bit more to galvanize public funds to render a public place unskateable [one thinks of the persistence of the Government Center ledges as one example (on a tangent, peep the photo Phil Schwartz** put on Twitter of the Rainbow Banks from the 70's the other day and wonder why those are still skatable too), while plenty of privately held spots downtown are skate-proofed].

Pour one out for The Roofs if you deem it worthy. I won't, just because of the reason above. There is, if we are to look for a silver lining, a bit of utility in the demise of spots. Like a certain three-flat-three near MCTC, The Roofs are one of those maxed out places in Twin Cities skateboarding that may best be admired in retirement. It was awesome while it lasted.

Now, who's working on that Roofs compilation?

*It's hard to name because nollie 360s aren't technically supposed to be called cabs. But let's break that rule for clarity. Here goes: nollie cab 540 double flip. Maybe it was easier than I thought.

**I'd used proper names throughout, no matter how much I wanted to use Philmer Phil, for clarity's sake, of course.


Mighty Roll said...

Nice write-up Munzy!...I agree, the loss of a good spot is not the end of the world but an eventuality, that spot got MAXED out and its rare that a spot even gets that blown and lasts that long. I will always remember that place and the fun times I had there with my friends...but I ain't done! where next? RIP Rooftops!

Dan Rusin said...

Made the trip up there today to check it out. Half the roofs had this spray-rock stuff on it, but the main pyramid was still skatable. Somehow, despite the fact that almost everything's been done, some new stuff got stomped before the sun set. Looks like they should be done resurfacing sometime tomorrow afternoon before 3:30.

One of my buddies works for the city of St Paul and attended a meeting the other day regarding the roofs. Apparently the reason why it took so long to get shut down is that the building is a historical building of sorts, and there are certain building codes that have to be met. So it must have taken a while to figure out a plan for it.

I'm hyped to have had the chance to skate that place many times before its demise. R.I.P.

Sam said...

Long time listen, first time writing....

I'll admit, your hatred towards the roofs is suprising, especially in this weird bittersweet eulogy. I think everyone thing you said was "strange," was what was so awesome about this place. I loved going down there. Nice park, planes flying over head. The fact it existed and was skateble, skate stopped, made even more skateable and lasted for so long is kinda why it's such a bummer, in my opinion.

I just wanted to write in support of the roofs and despite of your hatred towards the spot, I think it deserves a fair and just RIP. The roofs were epic, between the spot, location etc--I loved going, I loved finally leaving there, and I'll be bummed I can't go again.

Let's get a retrospect post going. I'll send photos.