In the spring of 2009, Openhouse decided to bring a half-pipe to Nolita. They spent a few months planning and pitching and, in August, teamed up with Quiksilver to create an eight-day skating pop up. 201 Mulberry Skate Park, which ran from Aug 22-Aug 29, was free to the public and anchored by a professionally-built half pipe. Building on this main feature, Quiksilver hosted an art show, a half-pipe competition and a private riding session for their team. Quiksilver also created a five-part documentary featuring skaters David Clark, Jake Johnson, Jamey Beeson, Kyle Leeper and Reese Forbes.
The 4,850 square-foot space was divided into three sections. Quiksilver tapped Autumn NYC, an East Village skate shop, to turn Openhouse’s street-level entry loft into a retail space for apparel and boards. Down the stairs, the main area housed the ramp built by Run My Game Productions. Quiksilver reserved the back room for an art party on August 26 and left the original art up until the 29th. Between the pop-up retail are and pop-up skate park was space for a hearty audience.
No rug? Tie a room together with art
Rugs tie a room together, but art does it better and can add flavor to any pop up experience. Quiksilver hung classic black-and-white skate photos throughout 201 Mulberry and then hosted the Now What art show led by Still House Collective. Now What featured work by Alex Olson, Alex Perweiler, Brendan Lynch, Evan Roberts, Isaac Brest, Louis Eisner, Patrick Griffin and Tom Forkin. Olson, a Quiksilver skateboarder, curated the show with Greer, and the East Village’s Lit Lounge hosted the after party.
Quiksilver brought on Gatorade to supply free drinks and stickers (stickers?), giving the Pepsi brand a way to start building the skating connection. Gatorade recently started its Gatorade Artist Collaboration campaign, so look for their colorful electrolytes to take over creative spaces in the future.
Adding texture to a week-long pop up
A pop-up skate park in Nolita is unique as it is, but to drive excitement and add texture, Quiksilver organize two half-pipe competitions. They divided the community into age groups – one competition for 15 and younger, and the other for 16 and older. It wasn’t just swag prizes either; first place got a MacBook Pro, second got an iTouch and third got Apple’s Shuffle. Throughout the week, Quiksilver doled out money for pizza to reward the young’ens who just wouldn’t leave … or to keep them from passing out on the half pipe. As Whitney Shanks of Openhouse says, “There were always skaters hanging out in the space, all day every day.”
Recycling the skate ramp after the event
Instead of trashing the half-pipe after eight well-worn days, Run My Game Productions gifted it to 12th and A, an Alphabet City skate park in the East Village. The pipe lasted about four months and got dismantled once winter hit. The recycled half-pipe is a great example of how pop-ups positively effect the local community, this time by adding welcome resources for free.