It has been a long trip, but we are finally down to the top twenty…
Quartersnacks Celebrates the Decade – The 100 Most Important Events in New York City Skateboarding from 2000 to 2009: 100 to 91, 90 to 81, 80 to 71, 70 to 61, 60 to 51, 50 to 41, 40 to 31, 30 to 21, 20 to 11, 10 to 2, Number one.
20. Autumn moves to East 9th Street – 2004:
100 years ago, Leon Trotsky re-located to Vienna and masterminded his grand schemes in the Café Centrale. Today, skateboarders re-locate to New York City, and mastermind their schemes at Autumn skateshop on 9th Street in between periods of hating on every nuance that can be picked up in any skateboard video.
19. Weiss discovers the Smiths, fashion, and the names of several French masters in literature – 2005:
There are many arguments as to when exactly Weiss started to fall off, but his demise was a very telling signifier for the change in tides of TF culture, and on a grander scale, New York City culture. As the flood gates opened, and more and more art-school-applicants began to pour into the airports and provide a false sense of security for those who deemed dressing in all white with $900 leather boots a means of being “fashion forward,” and not strictly a method by which one could lose friends, we slowly lost some of our most promising young Jewish athletes to the “scene.” Weiss was a symbol of a TF golden era, and ruled his respective moment in time in an XL white tee, Supreme five panel, and a pair of crusty Dunks scarred by hundreds of nollie flip abrasions. Once the scene mentality infused itself into his mind and soul, many soon faltered, and have since been seen roaming around Lower Manhattan, attempting to gather up points via “I used to skate before I did art (or photography)” stories, when deep down inside, burrowed beneath their hole-ridden flannel shirt smelling like spilled Stellas and cigarettes, they feel ashamed for selling their souls for so cheap.
18. Ben E.T. (not yet Nazario) does the trick of the decade — 2002:
Back before Mr. Nazario was known by his legitimate, mother-given government name, he was known as E.T. He did not have a last name, it was simply those two letters. His head had a microphone-shaped body of hair on top of it, and he could still switch flip over two family homes. He would mutter statements like, “Well, you know, I am going to Blades because, well you know, I am sponsored,” “If there was a set of stairs or a bank here, and we all did a kickflip, mine would be the best,” or “Miles, how can I break your room when I do not even have a screwdriver” with a straight-face. However, it was with tricks like a kickflip melon grab down the Fed Ex four (and later the six) that he would sustain his friends and his networks while spewing out such absurdities, and the reason he gradually rose to the rank of Quartersnacks C.E.O.
17. The Northeast Blackout — August 14, 2003:
On August 14, 2003, a significant portion of the United States lost power. Cell phones were useless, traffic lights rendered obsolete and a whole bunch of people on their way out of work got stuck in Midtown Manhattan elevators. We, however, were at the TF. It took us exactly one hour of endless honking and minor panic (minor because a lack of electricity in the East Village is negligible, since the majority of the economy there is sustained by finger-painting, sculpture and other stuff you don’t necessarily need lights or energy for) to realize we were in the midst of one of the largest power outages in American history. While hypothetical situations and theories about Al Qaeda were being tossed around the TF benches, Billy Rohan famously said, “The TF is the safest place on earth right now.” No statement about the TF has ever rang truer, or ever stood as a greater testament to it being at the height of its power, as it did on that sweltering mid-August afternoon on East 9th Street and Avenue A.
16. TF Bradley becomes Tompkins MVP in 2006, despite being injured – 2006:
By 2006, TF history was no longer made by skateboarding. It was made by antics, and Bradley’s antics during this late-period of TF relevancy have forever solidified him as the last recipient of the Tompkins Square Park MVP award in the era when such a distinction still actually held weight.
Bradley was suffering from a broken leg, an injury that he had sustained while at Woodward. When Puerto Rican Sam claimed that he was not a huge fan of the aesthetic appeal contained within Bradley’s nollie inward heelflips, Bradley was not having it. As Taji and Kevin Teirney confirmed their agreement with this observation from a nearby bench, Bradley picked up a crutch, and threw it at both of them, yelling the immortal words, “Everybody knows my nollie inward heels are hot!” To this day, he remains to be the only TF MVP to obtain the award while being injured.
15. Brian Wenning’s Photosynthesis Part Released – 2000:
There is hardly an event that has influenced northeastern skateboarding’s sense of style to a greater degree than Wenning’s debut part. It changed everything. People forgot that it was possible to roll up to backside nosegrind pop-out in any other way than with your shoulders hunched over, or that it was still somewhat acceptable to rise from a switch heelflip in non-slow motion. This video gave a 5000% rise in sales of the DC Lynx shoe and an immeasurable prevalence of the switch heelflip maneuver in lines to this very day. The last trick in his part also happens to be the best New York related ender of the decade as well, almost ten years later, outdated stair-count or not.
14. 12th & A becomes the dominant party in New York skateboard politics – 2008:
As Tompkins was losing its hold on the political scene of the late-decade, it still remained marginally more powerful than any of its contenders well into 2008. But then, 12th & A discovered a social policy that Tompkin’s simply could not compete with. Obama promised us healthcare. 12th & A promised us ledges. Real ones. And it has since remained the nail in the coffin for Tompkin’s end in status as the dominant party. Like Tammany Hall, Tompkin’s promising resurgences (“Oh, there’s a new flatbar at TF”), have never yielded a true window of opportunity to re-seize power, and skateboarding in this city has been suffering ever since.
13. Trife / Flipmode Four: The Second Flipmode Video released — 2007
The best New York video of the decade, hands down.
12. Metrospective.com shuts down – 2003:
Official is cool and all, but there was a point in time when New York had a small website where you could download eight-second clips of late-night sessions at Time-Life, talk about which Supreme employees are the biggest assholes, and check up on who was who from the previous night’s session at CBS or Newport through the site’s then-modestly sized, yet very active message board. Not to mention the fact that the spots board itself had a treasure trove of secret spot suggestions, ranging everywhere from the cuts of Manhattan right into East New York, as opposed to its modern day “PLEASE PLEASE TELL ME WHERE THIS SPOT AT 1:54 IN THIS CLIP IS” incarnation. The QS precursor, 5050, was largely lifted off Metro’s format, and some of the inspirations still remain, as the 2002 and 2003’s Metrospective holiday clips remain to be two of the greatest web clips of all time. The internet sucks now.
11. Rob Campbell gets a pro model skateboard – 2006:
If there were any justice in skateboarding, Rob Campbell would be pro for a bigger company, putting out a great video part every year. But as we are at a point where its all who-you-know, how trendy your tricks are, and how dumb your clothes make you look — Rob made do with a pro model on Substance (originally on Lola, before it thankfully abandoned skateboarding and began focusing on trucker hats worn by Long Island actresses with cocaine habits) skateboards. There is no other person that the city should have been happier to see go pro in the last decade than Rob.