January 17, 2013

Fight or Flight?

General

What started out as a gorgeous January day in Rochester, ended up getting my blood boiling and adrenaline running. So many emotions coursing through me and though I’m mostly angry, I’m re-energized to help build the Rochester Skatepark project.

Rochester Skate Park Project

So, what happened? Well, put simply, I went down to the future location of the Rochester skatepark to capture images for an upcoming article and was immediately harassed and chased down by a man living under the bridge. He came at me like a dog guarding a junkyard. He tried to attack me and I fought back. He was absolutely irate that I was there and especially irate that I had a camera. I had to get the heck out of there. Unfortunately, that means he won the fight as I didn’t get the images I came for and he’ll do it again to someone else.

I am so angry on so many counts.

  1. When the city built that bridge, they should have planned for this empty space. Lighting. Parking lot. Anything!
  2. At 3 pm, I shouldn’t have to fear for my life. The Genesee Riverway Trail goes through this spot. I bike through here and this was the main reason I joined the Board of the Friends of the Roc City Skatepark.
  3. EVERY time I go down to this spot I am harassed/nervous/embarrassed for our city
  4. This guy clearly has NO where else to go and is not getting the mental help he needs
  5. I forgot to bring my knife and another person with me
  6. I should have called the cops so it is on record

When people hear or talk about the Skatepark project, ‘the kids’ is all I ever hear. This make me angry too. This skatepark has benefits FAR beyond ‘the kids’. It is short sighted in the highest form to solely focus on ‘the kids’. Adults skateboard/BMX/Inline too. A lot more people than you think… Also, this particular spot is a huge black hole with regards to the Genesee Riverway Trail connecting the South Wedge, University of Rochester, and downtown. My experience is not uncommon and this area is completely littered with drug and sex paraphernalia.

I’m done ranting. Now is the time for action.

Last night we had our monthly Board meeting for the Friends of the Roc City Skatepark and we met the design firm hired to get the ball rolling. This is a very exciting step, that has been 5 years in the making.

* Keep your eyes peeled for the next issue of the new South Wedge Quarterly magazine. There is an article about the future skatepark and the few images I was able to capture.

* If you would like to donate to the cause, stop into Krudco Skateshop to donate and buy RCP merchandise. Every little bit makes a difference.

* Please share this post and help with overall awareness.

* Fill out this survey about Rochester development and please vote for the skatepark: http://www.cityofrochester.gov/centercitysurvey/

 

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Chris Kogut 01:36 January 20, 2013
I am so proud of you--for your excellent photography, for your activism, for just being YOU...
Heather McKay 14:17 January 21, 2013
thank you so much for your kind words, Chris. It means a lot to me.
Heather 23:02 March 24, 2013
Want to visualize where the skatepark will be and get the gist? http://www.roccitypark.org/video/flythrough.html

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