Though far from a prominent spot this past decade-and-a-half, it is still worth noting that after five years of hearsay, the city finally closed off Astor Place and is turning it into “one of those” shitty parks e.g. what’s in front of the Flatiron Building.
Astor Place was the original New York non-spot. The city has a long history of turning absolutely nothing into a full skate spot, and it could be said to have started here. There were some trash cans and a metal curb here, just like there are trash cans and metal curbs on every other block in New York. Yet everyone risked tickets from cops and sideswipes from cabs to skate Astor because it had a zen-like quality. There was good flat, pretty girls walking by, no shortage of weirdos*, and a vibrance that you don’t catch from skating in a space enclosed from the actual street. People have to opt into Tompkins; Astor was in the middle of everything by default.
*(Re: Weirdos — For example, there was one night when a bunch of Starbucks employees got into a beef with a bunch of K Mart employees, so while his friend was in mid-arguement, one of the K-Mart employees runs around the block, down 8th Street, left on Broadway, and up Astor Place, to sucker punch the Starbucks employee. That same night, some goth kid climbed on top of the cube, fell off, and an ambulance showed up to cart him away.)
Photo by Mike Gigliotti
Filming at Astor in 1997 does not seem much different that filming at Tompkins in 2014. Those dudes had to be resourceful with rubbish found on the street here, and it didn’t hurt that they looked really cool simply doing 180s. After all, Hamilton Harris did one of the chillest lines in skateboarding history here. We compiled all the Astor clips from R.B. Umali’s two NY Revisted videos and threw them together on a timeline. Also, there’s a quick QS bonus reel at the end, but our time came after the glass condo, etc. went up, so that’s not worth romanticizing as much. The spot was on its way out by then and everyone just skated the front of Union instead :(
FYI: Paych DVDs available here.
Space in New York is a precious commodity. Lots rarely sit vacant, building foundations are never left undone, and an open area seldom exists without a security booth watching over its perimeter. The Volcano was an isolated incident. D.I.Y. in New York peaks at the B.Q.E. lot, where a few pillars form quarterpipes and banks, which then get backed into by trucks every few months and ruined. A wide open space is too precious for developers to neglect, and neglect is how every great D.I.Y. story begins.
Shorty’s is the most recognizable D.I.Y. spot the the greater New York metropolitan area today (first brought to the world’s attention by Fred Gall’s “Scum League” series), and it sits in an abandoned warehouse amid an industrial zone outside the city. The nearest train station is a thirty-minute skate away. Skateboarders need to go quite far to be left alone these days.
The spot was started by a bunch of locals living not-too-far-away, in the most ramshackle skate house imaginable. After eyeing the space, the original plan was to cement a few barriers and see how much they could get away with in incremental doses. The volatility with these sort of spaces is high: there’s never such thing as a truly “abandoned” space. All it takes is for one person with oversight to get pissed off about it. Luckily, that *knock-on-wood* hasn’t happened. Shorty’s began with a small volcano in February 2011, and has bloomed into three walls of obstacles.
There has never been a Quartersnacks video, and there likely never will be. There were the two “Best of” Can’t Ban videos from 2006 and 2008, but those featured all recycled footage. The closest thing to featuring the entire crew in an all-encompassing project was Alexander Mosley’s Watermelon Video from 2006. Considering most of the people involved with it have misplaced their DVD copies, and if you weren’t around Autumn, Supreme or 2nd Nature in 2006, you probably never saw it, Alex finally let us upload it online. He also made commemorative decks and tees for the video’s web premiere, and is selling them over on his website, Watermelonism.com.
The video was filmed roughly from the fall of 2005 until the end of the summer in 2006. It premiered in August 2006 by being projected on the tennis court wall in back of the L.E.S. Park when it was still a pre-fab wasteland. The video features parts from Ben Nazario, Ty Lyons, Andre Page, Mike Gigliotti, Matthew Mooney, Isak Buan and Alexander Mosley, plus a twenty-minute B-roll after the main video. If you need any further indicators of the time period, look no further than the background of the first few Lenox Ledges lines, or Chris Pierre Jacques‘ A.K.A. then Lil’ Chris’ height in his footage. Filmed and edited by Alexander Mosley.
Go grab a tee and board over on Alex’s website once you’re done with the video.
There’s also the sequel from 2008, Dos Sandias, which I’m sure will make its way online eventually :)
Lil’ Lui, big ollie. Photo by Brian Kelley. Remember when you could actually skate that spot? :(
Sure? (Speaking as objectively as possible, is Daewon the most *talented* skateboarder ever in terms of impossibilities made realities on a skateboard? And why does he look like a club promoter in all his new footage?)
The Deaf Lens has a new interview with Rick Howard about 20 years of Girl/Choc.
Omg noooooooo. R.I.P. the Sony DCR-VX1000 1996-2014. Paych DVDs soon.
Some useless #listicles to click through: 1) 18 Skateable Sculptures in the United States. “We, like, see the world differently dude.” 2) The Ten Longest 5050s. 3) The “Best” (Only?) Skateboarder Cameos in Movies. Wasn’t Koston in Her?
The Skartorialist is back after a long hiatus.
Dipset-tinged music supervision is also apparently back, after a few years of falling out of fashion. Now, who’s gonna skate to “Catfish?”
Muckmouth constructed a a useful graph of skateboarding’s collective coming-to-terms with Ryan Sheckler. Fam turned up on them jump ramps though…
Newport, the Banks & Javitz Center, circa ~1999ish?
Some Death Video “lost tapes” footage. These kids are sick because they still skate midtown. Respect for putting up with the frustration. Many have given up on it :(
The new Transworld video, Outliers, will be premiering at Sunshine Cinemas (Houston and Forsyth) tomorrow (October 21.) There will be three showings: 7, 8:15 & 9 P.M. Haven’t been this excited for a TWS video in a very, very long time, but it’s mostly due to Zered and Cromer. You can grab tickets at most skate shops. More info here.
A restaurant adjacent to some recently concreted cobblestones pours kitchen grease all over the banks now. You’re going to get hurt if you try skating them.
Always wondered how Times Square peep shows are still open in 2014…
Stop going to college.
“I’m so happy Future broke up with Ciara so he could make music like this again.”
QS Sports Desk Play of the Week: Kobe might kill someone this season.
Quote of the Week: “Yo, I heard a plate at Mr. Chow is like $600. That shit better feed me for the rest of my life.” — Matt Perez
November 5th > December 2nd.
Filed Under: Daily News
| Tags: Daewon Song
, Death Video
, Johnny Wilson
, Matt Perez
, Monday Links
, MPC Crew
, Paych DVDs
, QS Sports Desk
, Quote of the Week
, Rick Howard
, Ryan Sheckler
, Skateable Sculptures
, Skateboarder Movie Cameos
, The Deaf Lens
, The QS Rap Desk
, The Skartorialist
Anyone who saw the exceptional Butter Goods promo probably noticed that Philly’s part was one of the standouts — except that’s not his best output from 2014. Thom Musso A.K.A. The Man Who Films has slowly been uploading parts from his rather under-the-radar video, OD WAVY, on Vimeo this past week. Philly has the ender, which went up today, and is easily one of the best parts you’ll watch in 2014.
This guy operates a fully functional skate shop in one of America’s toughest-to-skate major cities (Remember: Palestine got a skatepark before New Orleans), and still manages to find the time to film a five-minute video part. Any excuses you may have for time away from your skateboard are irrelevant. Though the Diplomats “Bout It, Bout It” remix may have been used in any number of forgettable montages, its legend has finally been cemented in the most legit 1/2 N.O. + 1/2 N.Y. part to date. There has never been anything this applicable until now.
“No water, only pumping Mountain Dew.”
Have a good weekend. Alternate YouTube Link.