Love Park in 2015: An Interview With Brian Panebianco

August 7th, 2015 | 4:46 am | Features & Interviews | 11 Comments

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Looking in from the outside (or from 100 miles north on the interstate), Love Park seems to have always existed in eras. There was the Ricky / Eastern Exposure era, the Kalis / Wenning / Pappalardo et al. / Photosynthesis era, and now, after some downtime last decade, there is the current “pink planter” era. And there’s no crew or series that has been pushing footage of Love Park and Philly in 2015 like the Sabotage videos. Below is a conversation with Brian Panebianco, one of the principal filmers and creative forces behind Sabotage (video #4 is due out 9/11/15), about skateboarding’s most iconic skate spot as it stands in 2015, and all that surrounds it.

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Are you originally from Philly?

I’m from the suburbs, like 35 minutes out.

When was the first time you went to Love Park?

Probably when they had the first X-Games street contest at City Hall [in 2001.] I remember everyone was skating the Municipal Building, but you couldn’t skate Love because the cops were waiting there. By the next year, all the pink planters were in.

Where would you skate in those years after downtown Philly got shut down?

I grew up skating this D.I.Y. spot in Lansdale, Pennsylvania that’s actually still there. Or we’d just skate around the neighborhood.

Did you ever go into the city?

Once I got my license, I did, but by that time, Love was completely shut down. I grew up without it being skateable. We’d try to skate City Hall and sometimes get lucky, but usually not. We’d go to the three block, Temple and those shitty spots.

There was also that D.I.Y. spot with the parking blocks under I-95 that Wenning and Kerry Getz used to always skate.

How’d you get into making videos?

I’d film with this shitty camera until 2005, when I got a VX1000, and that’s when I got hyped on it. I was never a Skate Perception dude or anything, but I had a few friends who were. Some of the first people I started going out skating with were Ant and Dom Travis. Ant had a VX and he was into cameras. We started making little montages from that D.I.Y. spot, but nothing much beyond that. We still didn’t skate downtown much.

Five Favorite Parts With Hjalte Halberg

July 16th, 2015 | 5:02 am | Features & Interviews | 6 Comments

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Chilling with Schiffer.

Keeping the series international for now. The latest installment comes from the reigning titleholder for Quartersnacks Noseslider of the Year — who in all honesty, stands the chance of two-peating even against some tough competition.

Jiro Dreams of Kickflips: How Japan Mastered One of America’s Greatest Inventions

July 8th, 2015 | 5:25 am | Features & Interviews | 22 Comments

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*****Help Kev get a new knee*****

Japan is rife with vivid recreations of American culture. A pair of Levi’s from the 1940s, a burger spot from the 1950s, a jazz bar from the 1960s — each one’s history is studied in excruciating detail before the Japanese begin creating their own, oftentimes superior version of these quintessentially American things. It should come as no surprise that they are masters of another top-ten American invention: the kickflip.

American kickflips are for the mass market. Sure, there’s Reider up Fish Gap, Westgate over the bump-to-bar or Cyrus 1Oak over the garbage, but most of the time, they’re flipped and thrown in a pile. Our culture is in a constant state of making things faster, bigger, louder, though not necessarily better. First we had big flips, now we have bigger flips. Not better flips, they’re just bigger with more spins. We come from a place of deluxe editions and super sizes, so why not a hardflip revert late flip or a 900 shove-it? Mastering a classic is boring; let’s add a 270 to it.

We are failing to elevate Mr. Mullen’s seminal invention. It is stagnating in the country of its birth.

An Interview With Bryan From Dime

June 17th, 2015 | 6:24 am | Features & Interviews | 30 Comments

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There are many unsung heroes in skateboarding. Local legends who never made it outside of their towns, skatepark builders who cede individual credit for the greater good, rogue bartenders who turn a blind eye to underage drinking at #skate #events are among them. But there’s one member of the skateboard family who truly never receives any credit: the warehouse guy. Where would Nyjah Houston be if not for the guy who physically takes his skateboards and Monster Energy memorabilia, and ships the box to him? Looking for a plank to drill eight holes into?

To give a glimpse of the skateboard-brand stock world, we hit up our Canadian friends at Dime, so they could grant us access to their always reliable and always smiling warehouse manager, Bryan.

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Tell us a bit about yourself Bryan. Where are you from? What was your upbringing like?

Hi, my name is Bryan. As Dime’s warehouse manager, I am a vital part of their supply chain process. I manage people, systems and make sure productivity targets are met. My goal is to make our customers happy. I love going out of my way to please strangers! I grew up in a small town called Kitchener, in Ontario, on a farm, as the only son of two very loving parents. My parents raised me to be a productive & happy person.

Did you always have a passion for stock? When did you first fall in love with packing boxes?

Growing up on a farm, I was always surrounded by little animals — cats, dogs, little chickens, & other meat products. Putting them in boxes really was a great source of pleasure for a young packer. Later, my love of packing evolved into packing more important things.

I believe the experience your customer receives when they order product from you should be flawless. If they ordered a size medium Dime Classic Tee, they should receive a medium size Dime Classic Tee. That is why I have developed the Dime Packaging Best Practices guide, as a tool that my team and I use to establish consistent packaging standards. By following these practices, I minimize cost and prevent delays, errors and damages. Failure to follow carton weight, size, or corrugated requirements could result in lost or damaged merchandise, delays, or additional charges and we’re not having any of that bullshit at Dime.

When did you move to Montreal? How did you come to work at Dime?

It was 2014, I was at a point in my life where I had to make some changes. Kitchener, being the hate crime capital of Canada, was a really negative environment and it forced me to make a choice. I moved to Montreal with my friend Jim, with hopes of a new beginning. We found our answer in the church [of Scientology]. I cannot overstate the value of Scientology’s teachings. We met the Dime guys at a “Cause of Suppression” class. They gave us a chance and hooked us up with entry level warehouse jobs at Dime. Through hard work and dedication, I climbed the corporate ladder and landed the warehouse manager position. Unfortunately, I had to fire Jim due to his alcoholism.

Five Favorite Parts With Danny Brady

June 12th, 2015 | 5:05 am | Features & Interviews | 5 Comments

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Photo via Hit You Off Management

Figure it’s been a while since we did one of these with a non-American. Here you go.