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Live from the Bronx: Soundview Skate Park Project with Dr. Joel Grassi

Mar 9, 2023

Today we are joined by Dr. Joel Grassi, A fourth generation Bronx resident who is a partner at BHB Pest Elimination, a theologian, bibliophile, and community activist. He is here to discuss his latest project to build a new skate park in the Soundview Section of the Bronx.

HustleMania: Dr. Grassi, thanks for being with us. Today we get to chat about something new and exciting you are working on, which is a plan to build a new skatepark in the Soundview section of the Bronx. Can you tell us a little about this journey?

Dr. Joel Grassi: Thanks for having me here on HustleMania and helping get the message out about what we are trying to accomplish in Soundview. Recently the NY Times ran an article on why skateboarders love and resist skateparks which warns community leaders of a stark reality: if you build it, they might not come. In fact, there exist seemingly countless social media posts from skaters decrying their horrible skateparks which their communities ``built for them,” but which have resulted in end products that register with the skaters from moderately annoying to absurdly un-skateable.

HustleMania: That is very interesting indeed. So knowing this, what are some of the ways you are approaching this project differently?

Dr. Joel Grassi: One of the ways the Soundview Skatepark Project is trying to preempt that valid concern is by creating a skatepark in our community that would incorporate re-creations of famous NYC street spots (such as Bubble Banks, Forbidden Banks and Harlem Banks) into the design while involving the input of local skaters as well as current and former pros. The dream is to have a world class skatepark with an exceptionally large footprint that would welcome skaters from all skill levels, from beginners and low-impact “skate-dads'' all the way to SOTYs and Olympic champions.

HustleMania: Wow, it sounds like you are covering all bases by taking into account all of the input from different sources. Who are you currently working with to help move your project along?

Dr. Joel Grassi: At the moment we have been in working with local our Community Board (CB9), Tony Hawk’s Skatepark Project, local area professional and amateur skaters, and other community members. We know it’s a long process, but stay tuned as we seek to make this dream a reality.

HustleMania: That is enormous. Working with the community leaders and bringing in an organization with not only a huge name in Tony Hawk, but a lot of experience creating skateparks all over the country sounds like a recipe for success. We are really looking forward to updates and ways we can all get involved and support. Thanks for what you are doing in the Bronx and helping better the community.

Dr. Joel Grassi: Thanks again for having me and we hope to see you there skating with us!

HustleMaina: That would be quite a sight. Thank you for joining us Dr. Grassi and supporting HustleMania!

Dr. Joel Grassi in 1987 right after he finished doing something gnarly on his board.

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