The Mullaly skatepark opened in 1989 and was the first public ramp park in New York City. And it continued to be the only public ramp option in the city's five boroughs for ten years. It's safe to say that, along with the Brooklyn Banks, Mullaly was one of the most prominent BMX spots in New York City during the 1990s. Over the course of the park's 23-year history, Mullaly and the locals who called it home exposed countless young kids to BMX and skating while providing a positive outlet to keep them out of trouble. The layout of the ramps has changed countless times and their condition fluctuates just as often. Prior to the Get It Together jam, the ramps were small and sparse. After witnessing the ramps firsthand a few months ago, Base Brooklyn's Enos Columbo felt compelled to organize a jam to bring all the riders in the New York scene (and from anywhere else) together to ride, chill, have a good time, and of course—to give some much needed love back to the Mullay park. The day of the jam saw riders from multiple generations, from all across the country, and with every riding background and style you can think of sessioing together and having fun—and that my friend, is exactly what "Get It Together" was meant to be.
The story behind the Get It Together jam with Enos Columbo…
What was your motivation to put together this jam?
The motivation came from a few different things. The first would be about getting everyone together—I've been involved in BMX since the 80's and within that time I have seen it change a lot—some for the better and some for the worse. What really stuck out is that BMX in NYC has lost its unity or brotherhood. So the main goal was getting everyone together. Another factor was that I grew up on jams and contests at Mullaly during the late 80's and early 90's. There where some great contests at Mullaly back then, just ask Dennis McCoy, Steve McCann, T.J. Lavin, Dave Voelker… I could go on for hours with this one. I went up to Mullaly a couple of months ago and saw what used to be a great and first NY public skatepark was in shambles. The City of New York just gave up or cut financial support for Mullaly. What used to be a park full of crazy ramps was cut down to three small prefab ramps. So the idea was born, lets do a jam about bringing everyone together and rebuild the park at the same time. The final motivation came from Ed Pollio, Brendan Vail, Glenn P.P. Milligan, Ralphy Ramos, Dexter, Rob Ramos, and Ralph Sinsi.
Will this be taking place of the Mayday jam?
No, Mayday started out as a Grand Opening Jam for The Port Jefferson Bike Doctor, and to get the word out about Base Brooklyn making a return. It turned out to be way bigger than we had planned, but at the end of the day it was so successful because it was about everyone getting together for a fun day of BMX. I did plan to do Mayday again this year, but The Port Jefferson Bike Doctor was such a hit they had to double their shop and didn't have the time to put into the event this year. It was a little disappointing, but I'm not sure if we could have matched what we pulled off last year.
What are your thoughts on how the New York scene has grown? It's not uncommon to see a growing scene eventually splinter off into smaller groups and the sense of community to get lost a little…
The New York scene rules—always has. Street riding really started in New York. There where no parks back in the day. You either raced or freestyled, but if you lived in New York City there was no room for parks, trails, or racetracks so you rode street. What I have seen really change is that back in the day everyone rode together, it was all one click. It didn't matter if you where good or where you came from, if you rode BMX you where down. Today everyone is off doing their own thing. That's where I saw a problem. I knew we could do more as a group working together for both the NYC BMX scene and ourselves. That's why I linked up with Animal, your-inn.com, Group Home Bikes, and the shops that support the BMX lifestyle in NYC for this event and together we really did a lot. We didn't have the financial support of any corporate sponsors and we pulled off the best BMX event NYC has seen in years.
The ramps at Mullaly have changed a lot over the years (sometimes for better or worse), what were they like last time you were there?
Mullaly was always know for it's crazy ramp setups. I have seen it change a lot. One thing for sure, you either loved or hated the Mullaly ramps, but every time you went to Mullaly a good time was had. The last time I was there was almost 10 years ago, when Snapple put up some money for prefabbed ramps. Two months ago, the three ramps that where there was all that was still standing from the Snapple ramps. Really sucks that between the Parks Department and Yankee Stadium across the street no one shows the park any support.
I remember back in the day guys like Lou Perez would help hold it down, is there anyone looking over the place today, you know… to help with the upkeep?
Rob Ramos, who was Lou Perez's right hand man. Brendan Vail is also stepping up, he has set up Mullaly as a non-profit group to obtain some grants for the park and riders in the Bronx. Can't forget Casio, he's like the Mayor of the park. As for Lou Perez, he called me a few weeks ago and said he wanted to move back to the Bronx, I told him his timing was perfect, so hopefully he will be helping Rob with the park.
How did you get funding for the new ramps?
The ramps came from Ed Pollio of Group Home Bikes and 50/50 Skatepark. Ed had the ramps in Staten Island. They where used for one of his clients for an event and then Ed got them back. Animal paid to have them trucked over to the Bronx, and with a grant from the Citizen's Committee For New York City we where able to buy the plywood to redo the ramps with some fresh layers. Also, all the riders who came out for the rebuild day at Mullaly played a real part too.
What other brands and/or shops have helped out in some way?
Animal helped out with getting the ramps, and any last minute expenses we ran into. Group Home Bikes /50/50 Skate Park got us the ramps and their ramp building crew really did a great job. SuperBMX printed the event shirts. Grove Street Bike shop paid for the DJ. The Port Jefferson Bike Doctor threw up and ran best trick over the box jump. Your-inn.com got the grant from the Citizen's Committee For New York City and made sure everyone knew about the work party. Dah-Shop donated a bunch of used bike parts for the local riders. Base Brooklyn gave away a ton of shirts, ran promotions and media coverage for the event. Glenn P.P. Milligan for making us look good with his video edits.
I would also like to thank the following people:
Ralph Sinsi, Ed Pollio, Glenn PP Milligan, Keith Mulligan, Jeff Z., Brendan Vail, Chris Moeller, Aaron Nardi, Keith Terra, Matt Brown, Kyle Meeker, Steve Schuchman, Dan Thrax, DJ Dome, CoCo, Rich Soper, Lamar Davis, ECD Crew, Corey Pronsky, Rob Mic, Anthony Torriero, Lou Perez, Tyrone Williams, Ralphy Ramos, Rob Dolecki, Mike Ick, the Joes, Rob Ramos, Chris Gulich, Dexter, Casio, Amie Z. and everyone that came out that day.