Skaters from around the city have been flocking to the new skate park in Astoria Park that officially opened last week. The park was inspired by Athens Square Park visitors who were sick and tired of kids flouting the rules about skating and rollerblading. Project initiator George Delis told the Queens Gazette, “I asked kids if they would leave Athens Square Park if we built a skate park here, and they said ‘absolutely.'" And they were so enthusiastic, they didn't even wait until the ribbon cutting!
Skaters and rollerbladers were reportedly using the park as early as a week before the official opening. The park, which was proposed in 2005, was converted from old storage space into what one skater calls "a really dope place to skate." He told the Daily News, "It has a lot of flow to it. It's doing a lot for skateboarding in Queens. We really needed this." Located under the Triborough—excuse us, RFK—bridge, the $1.5 million project was funded by Mayor Bloomberg and City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr., who said at the opening, I'd been looking for a location for a skate park for a long, long time. It was important to give the kids in our neighborhood a space to do this fun, healthy activity."