I parked my car next to the Burger King in downtown Evanston, which is actually an unusual parking spot for someone who is headed toward Kafein — as I was.
It's a good thing I did and an even better thing I did not have headphones on, for if I had made those two seemingly innocuous decisions a little differently, I probably would never have heard the unmistakable crash and clank of wood skateboards coming from the south end of Northwestern campus.
From street level, where my car was, it was impossible to tell exactly how many people were skateboarding or what they were doing. To the untrained ear, a kickflip sounds basically identical to someone hopping off a four foot platform. But I grabbed my camera just in case, followed the sound and found about 20 teenagers taking turns riding their skateboard off a cement ledge on the side of the campus entrance.
One of the kids, a less than articulate young man with short blond hair and a white shirt, told me this was a group of friends from all over Illinois — some of whom came out from "bumble[expletive]" just to skate on the favorable platform. He said their ages ranged from 16 to 20, and despite all the trying and falling, no one had been seriously hurt or injured that day. At least not before I found to them.
However, one of the skateboarders was riding with a broken wrist wrapped in a cast. Still, he was jumping just as high as the rest of them.