Yesterday we were alerted to the fact that Berlin City Council has begun removing the benches from the famous Warschauer spot.
The Warschauer Benches aka Bänke Berlin. Found on a 500 square meters patch between lanes on a busy Berlin-Friedrichshain street, two facing rows of originally wooden benches on semi rough granite floot are inviting for endless ledge lines. Over time the wood has been fortified by metal, and the scene at the benches has grown from just a hardened few to being the a non-stop hang-out for skaters and like-minded revellers in the heart of Friedrichshain’s party strip.
Through the years some of the world’s best skaters have carved their mark into the benches history; the spot serves as regular stop for touring skate teams, and many new-Berliners and visiting pros have made it their local spot or meet-up of choice. Not only has Place Mag devoted a shirt and a good share of their issue 41 to the beloved spot, they also hold their annual Battle at the Bänke comp here for their Go Skateboarding Day event. I think it’s safe to say the Warschauer Benches are a big chunk of Berlin skate culture.
We caught up with Warschauer local Denny Pham to try and figure out just what the hell is going on over there.
"Yesterday night was the last benches session, with the three benches that were left after the others had been removed earlier in the day. At around 10pm two police officers showed up and tried to crash the party, but since there were two many skaters the two police officers weren't able to stop us from skating. In the end they called for back up."
At that point a bunch of the skaters decided to take two of the remaining benches to the safety of the DSS (Dog Shit Spot). Denny: "Once we'd moved the benches I went back up to Kaisers (the supermarket on the corner by the benches) and there were three big police vans there to 'clear' the situation. It ended up with some of the guys skating the three stair in front of Kaisers, there were about 50 skaters there in total. We don't really know what the reasoning is, there's been no word from the officials yet."
Right now locals are contemplating measures to take, so keep an eye out for a petition (or a call for riots) to come this way soon. We'll keep you posted.