After suffering the tragic loss of Richard Oates two weeks ago, the future of East River Skate Shop was left uncertain. Rich was a class act. In the short time I knew him, I watched him take what were only dreams and genuine good intentions and build them into reality with his bare hands.

First through opening the shop, and then taking care of people through any way he could he established relationships with many people throughout the area. Truly one of the most genuine, kind-hearted spirits I have ever known, Rich was one of the good ones who was taken too soon. He created East River Skate Shop in order to be closer to his family. Taking his passion for skateboarding and supporting the neighborhood he loved, the combination of determination, love, and helping others generated a vibe that polarized people and grew the amount of people who would frequent the small shop on Greenpoint Avenue.

Rich’s wife Marisa, who cares just as deeply about the shop and the community pulled together a small group of people to discuss what the future should be for East River. A credit to the strength of her character, she made it clear that East River would continue on. So after a brief hiatus, the legacy of Rich’s passion will reopen its doors tomorrow, serving the Greenpoint area for all it’s skateboard-related needs. Jad Magaziner, Rich’s friend and neighbor, will be taking care of the day to day activities of running the shop. The shop hours remain the same, opening tomorrow from 12pm – 7pm at 86 Greenpoint Avenue.