November 27, 2009


Skateboarders, urban gardeners, artists; check this out. OASIS lets you click on any piece of property in NYC and see the owner, political representatives, how it's used, who takes care of it, toxic contaminants, natural areas, and much more. Open Road has been working on this collaborative effort with a huge team for many years. See the website here and see an article about the collaborative here.

New Rooftop Art

Art by Royce Bannon, H2O, Billy, Paula, Olu, more.

November 15, 2009

halloween clips from

November 2, 2009

Save the Unisphere

check out a movie by clicking the photo, and sign the petition online
check out our proposal spearheaded by Rodney Torres after the jump

We're supporting local efforts led by Rodney Torres to add new skateboarding areas to Flushing Meadows Corona Park. These include a new skateboarding area under the Van Wyck Expressweay, new skateable art benches along the park's winding pathways,  and a new skate plaza near the Unisphere.

Friends of Flushing Meadows
Flushing Meadows Corona Park is a beautiful park with skateable plazas known around the world. The Unisphere, the car free paths, fields, and dry fountains are filled with people biking, skateboarding, walking, and playing volleyball and soccer. Winding paths, open fields, and dry fountains promote a wide variety of activities not available in other nearby parks.

But now the Unisphere is closed to skateboarding, without any new skate park alternative nearby. So Friends of Flushing Meadows has been created to mobilize the community. We believe this park will be even more popular year round when the community is more involved in care and improvement. Skateboarder advocates are taking a lead in the Friends of Flushing Meadows, and are involving soccer, volleyball, and cricket players, bikers, and families in park improvements & supporting the Parks Department’s work in our park.

We are designing a beautiful new skate plaza near the Unisphere and need your support to make it happen. 

In addition to this new skate plaza, there are other areas of the park we'd like to open to recreation. The area under the Van Wyck now is just designed for cars, but people informally skate and play there. These areas could be made beautiful and safe recreational spots with a combination of professional design/build and DIY community efforts, like Burnside and FDR.

The Unisphere and Flushing Meadows have been a home for the local and worldwide skateboarding community for over 20 years, breeding new generations of talent, keeping kids motivated, progressing, and productively active. Skateboarders document their skills for skateboarding publications and video productions and these promote the park in a positive light. This coverage will help attract funding to the Parks Department for maintenance and capital projects, and for programming, events, and education for the Friends of Flushing Meadows.

There is great interest in the worldwide skateboarding community in the Unisphere, which is being returned to a prior life as a fountain despite its vastly more popular current use: active recreation and skateboarding. A petition is filled with signatures to reopen it, at least seasonally, for skateboarding. If the Unisphere itself can't be open to skateboarding, the petition shows how many skateboarders care about it, so there will be official support for a real skate park within close view. Many people consider skateboarding at Flushing Meadows, on the winding paths and around the Unisphere, as a cultural heart of the park.

Beyond the Unisphere, skateboarding and bicycling take place all over the park, in winding paths that extend around Meadow Lake and connect to the Brooklyn Queens Expressway. There are paths around Willow Lake, in a natural wetlands area in the little-used far southern section of the park. Recreational playing fields and playgrounds in the park are used for activities that reflect the vast cultural mix of Queens like soccer, cricket, volleyball, biking and skateboarding.

Please get involved in three projects Friends of Flushing Meadows is working on now: 1) to design the fountain jets so the Unisphere can be open to skateboarding when the fountain is dry, 2) to add skate art + benches along the winding pathways, and 3) to create a new skatepark in Flushing Meadows and make areas now filled with cars new recreational space. All of these areas will be multi-use and welcoming to everyone in Flushing Meadows Park in Corona, Queens. Contact us at

skateboarders organizing at the hellraiser

October 10, 2009

Save the Date: Open Road Rooftop, 350 Grand Street, NYC
2nd Annual Halloween Hellraiser on November 1, 2009.
The second annual Halloween Hellraiser is set for Sunday November 1, 2009, from 12 noon to 6 pm at Open Road Rooftop, 350 Grand Street at Essex, Manhattan. Skateboarding, music, art, literature, and food.

Presented by Run my Game and Open Road of New York. All ages. Free. Check back here for updates.Click here for rooftop slideshow.

And if enough of you volunteer we can do free Skate School at the Hellraiser like we did at  afropunk

Partners: Sign up now to run your own table. Your table is FREE if you provide art, literacy, or music education services. Promote your group, reach new kids, meet new people. You may not charge for any services at this event, but you may sell your own books, writing, art, or music at your table. No cost. 1000+ come to this event. Join us.

August 23, 2009

skateable art

above, Noguchi unrealized NYC Playground, Riverside Park

above left + center Noguchi unrealized NYC playgrounds.
above right Lily Yeh, Philadelphia, unfenced 5' high concrete

above left rooftop pyramid. center grass maze.
right giant slide, Smith playground in Philadelphia.

above left + center Noguchi unrealized slideable pyramids, NYC
above right public park in San Francisco

left, giant slide in Japan, bikeable hills, skateable mounds in Europe.
NYC is far behind in allowing public art you can play with.
Are we a cultural capital or not?

August 22, 2009

How do we get from this?

email us at

July 22, 2009

Billy Rohan, NYC Parks Commissioner Benepe, Paula & June

We work closely with the Departments of Parks and Education to identify spots for skateboarding, raise sponsorship funding, lead a participatory design process with skaters, and build the project. Then we support stewardship activities and events in the completed parks.
Contact us at

July 10, 2009

Welcome to Open Road. Our mission is free public places and programs with youth. We create gardens, parks, murals, and public events, with free programs in architecture, writing, art, music, and youth research. Come see us at Open Road Park,12 st between 1st & A, Manhattan. Write to us: Your donations are tax deductible; we are a tax exempt 501(c) 3 non-profit, incorporated 1990 in New York State.

June 23, 2009

Team Pain Skate Art at Manhattan Bridge

click the red piece on the upper right to see Jefferson Pang's album

June 19, 2009

tony hawk in the white house/open road outside the white house advocating for the legalization of skateboarding in DC. live twitter updates @skateable

The Prez addressing all of us fathers before we split up to v... on Twitpic
obama with tony hawk and other founding fathers. tony in the center with skate shoes, black suit. Pictures from twitter @tonyhawk

Here you go Ashton. It's the best I could do while being rush... on Twitpic
Write to us about youth advocacy. Send us movies. Write to us about skateboarding. Send pictures. Come to our Creative Writing workshops. Volunteer to advocate for and build skate spots, advocate for youth, and support free youth programs.

We've been building parks for 20yrs and we've never seen anything like this. Right now kids want to skateboard, and they are willing to work for it, so they've started to convert our playgrounds into skate spots. These spots are skateable parks, not segregated skate parks, with community gardens, art, music, and youth culture, open to all.

I assume formal attire is appropriate when meeting the prez. ... on Twitpic
tony hawk getting ready to meet with president barack obama

Come to some of these spots and volunteer, write to us about your advocacy projects, upload advocacy videos to youtube and send us links to your youth service projects. Participatory projects with youth leadership are the wave of the future, please send us yours.

The Pursuit of Happiness

The Pursuit of Happiness
One day Billy called and said Here's an idea. Maybe next week when school's out, spring break, we skate in front of the White House. I said Yes. Because I always say Yes no matter what the question is then I sort it out later. It's why I'm careful who my friends are. Do you want to do it legally, with a permit? Yes, I have to, Billy said. I can't get arrested.

So I start finding out what it takes. First I need to figure out what DC is. I know it's a district, but if it's not a state, does the city have a city government? Who handles permits? I know that sounds stupid, but I didn't know. So I call the National Parks Service. Yes, you would talk to us about permits for demonstrations or sports events in Lafayette Park in front of the White House. But you can't skateboard there. It's grass.

What about the sidewalk? You can't get a permit for the sidewalk. But anyway you can't skateboard on the sidewalks on DC. You can't skateboard anywhere unless it's permitted. Like a skatepark.

What about a demonstration in the park, and we skateboard in the street? The street would be the district. The district you mean like the District of Columbia district? Yes. Do you know who I would ask there? DOT.

But, back to the park, could we have a permit for a demonstration about skateboarding in the park? Yes. And could we build stages, and could we skate on those stages? I don't know. That's a good question. Let me give you to my supervisor. Good luck.

The supervisor is interested. She wants drawings of a skateable stage. How many people would we expect? A thousand come to our events in NYC.

(to be continued)

Photo courtesy Tony Hawk Foundation

tony hawk with open road and manhattan bridge skateboarders. SteveR@5boro set this up with Tony, thanks Steve and 5boro!

June 13, 2009

mini mania 2008
rooftop rampage 2008
rampage 2009
and then some movies for you of some of ourfriends
gonz 1
gonz 2
happy people

June 11, 2009

King of Spring, April 2009, Open Road Uptown

photo courtesy

April 18, 2009

April 17, 2009

Manhattan Bridge LES survey results.

Overwhelming interest in skate art, concrete, variety, and a simple skate spot design. Billy Rohan and Steve Rodriguez of 5boro custom designed a layout with Team Pain. Thanks for answering the survey. We got 1500 hits on the survey on official new york. Tim Payne of Team Pain will be up in NYC to custom install.