The Jersey Journal did a great write up on the Junk Spot in the wake of its destruction. Jay supplied the with some great photos...#ripjunkspot
It's not easy to find Junk Spot.
You have to head almost to the end of Jersey Avenue, right behind the Jersey City Medical Center, and make a right at what quickly turns into a gravel road. Go past the rusted metal shed that's home to a machine parts store and then hook a left.
There aren't many people around here, even on a sunny summer afternoon. A guy who works inside that metal shed said criminals come to steal parts, and sometimes couples visit the secluded location "for a piece of afternoon delight." The area is ... unsavory.
But since 2009 it has attracted skateboarders, who meet at a concrete slab amid the trees and the weeds, in the shadow of the New Jersey Turnpike Extension. The lot has been vacant for as long as anyone can remember, so the skaters turned it into what's considered one of the best DIY skateparks in the area. Junk Spot.
"People come from all over to skate here," said Josh Ettinger, 23, who owns Travel Skateshop in Roselle Park. Jay Hoban, 31, of Jersey City, who takes photos of the skaters in mid-full cab, called the place his "second home."
It wasn't pretty, and it wasn't meant to be. The obstacles were made of concrete and cheap wood and pipes. There was graffiti and litter everywhere. A donor on an online fundraiser for the site called Junk Spot "crusty NJ DIY at its best!"
Ron Deily, 29, of Jersey City, said he and his fellow skateboarders raised and spent thousands of dollars creating dozens of obstacles. They even built a dugout of sorts — they call it the Hut; a guy with an unprintable nickname helped construct it — for when they want to sit in some shade and smoke or drink a can of Coors Light.
But Junk Spot is no more. A dude in an excavator showed up yesterday to tear their homemade obstacles to pieces. Word spread quickly, and by yesterday afternoon skaters were there to watch.
Deily wasn't taking it very well.
"Deep, deep remorse," he said when asked what he was feeling.
Teddy Becks, 19, of Jersey City, has been skating at Junk Spot for years.
"A lot of good times here, bro," he said.
The skaters were bummed, but resigned. This happens. They find a location they can use without being hassled by cops, call it home for a while, and then the property owner finds a sudden use for it, so they're onto the next empty lot.
"Sometimes it lasts forever," Ettinger said, "sometimes it lasts a week."
But big empty spaces fit for DIY skateparks are hard to find, especially in Downtown Jersey City, where the few vacant lots are being snatched up for new high-rises. Who knows where the next one will be?
It's not entirely clear who owns the land where Junk Spot is. City tax maps show there's a narrow strip of land owned by NJ Transit that runs along the Turnpike extension, but there's also a piece of private property that might be where Junk Spot is. Officials in the tax assessor's office couldn't figure out which property owner is responsible for it.
A NJ Transit spokeswoman said the state agency likely doesn't own it. A request for comment from the other property owne, Argent, was not returned. The guy in the excavator was pretty cagey when asked who sent him.
Sitting in the Hut yesterday, Ettinger shook his head. In the last six years, they had all turned Junk Spot into "exactly what we wanted." He grabbed his board and headed for one of the obstacles.
"I closed up shop today just to say my peace," Ettinger said. "I had to get my final session in, you know?"