“Exchange Street has become a skateboard park,” said an employee of one of the shops in the Old Port of Portland. He works many evenings until dark and frequently sees about 15 or so skateboarders using it for a skatepark – not its intended use.
For this past September First Friday Art Walk, MOCEAN, (pronounced MOTION) planned to import a launch pad from which about 15 – 20 skateboarders could perform. Instead, city officials showed up just before the demonstration of skills and informed the organizers they could not block off Exchange Street in that fashion because Jasper Tripp, owner, had not applied for a permit – a necessity when blocking off a public street from public use. (The Old Orchard Beach based surf and skateboard company is owned by Jasper Tripp’s father).
However, when city officials had left Exchange Street as had this blogger for about fifteen (15) minutes, the MOCEAN initiated demonstration started-up. Reportedly, the skateborders ceased their activity and parted ways for cars to pass. Following the demonstration a party for about forty (40) commenced on the second floor of Ten Exchange Street as they have done following most First Friday Art Walk demonstrations.
The imported launch pad ironically covers a cobblestone strip running from curb to curb – a strip originally intended to slow down skateboarders speeding down the Street full of upscale shops. Ironically, it is now used for the placement of a launch pad.
MOTION’s lease is up at the end of October 2019. One wonders if it will be renewed?
Please see previous post for more background information on the skateboard park on Exchange Street.