Rare is the time we find ourselves siding fully with a bunch of hipsters who are engaged in some sort of mass irono-nostalgic group activity, particularly if it involves costumes, arts and crafts, and/or public disturbance. For example, we're sort of over the Idiotarod. It's just all gotten so obvious (not that it's not fun! That's different). But in the case of the Paping Soapbox Derby, now in its seventh year, we can't help but feel for these guys. See, according to the BoogieDowner, the tradition began as an underground, somewhat terrifying, venture.
It can be added to a neverending list of things that used to be cool in Brooklyn, and now are not. The race used to take place on a steep Columbia Heights hill tellingly nicknamed, "Suicide Hill." Well, the hill was right near the Jehovah's Witness center over there, so those folks were concerned about liability issues. The city caught wind of the whole thing and refused to grant a permit for the event.
Organizer John Meijas tried moving it to Fort Tryon Park one year, which has some decent hills, but then couldn't get a city permit again. Now the derby takes place on a really wussy-looking slope in Fort Independence Park in the Bronx. This, to our minds, is terrible. If hipsters want to speed recklessly down a road in tiny, hilarious, wheeled death traps, we're pretty sure we can all agree that they should be allowed to do it on a place called "Suicide Hill."
Brooklyn Soapbox Derby Finds New Home in the Bronx [BoogieDowner]