“Four skate spots and one skatepark all on the same street — I can’t tell which is the skatepark.”
By the third or fourth day, Copenhagen begins to feel like a colossal joke. Coming from the classic American “if you get hurt, you’re gonna sue us”-disposition, almost every spot is met with a “What the hell were they thinking when they made this?” You don’t get kicked out much*, and the general public seems way too concerned with enjoying their chill lives to tell you you’re ruining some slab of stone. On top of everything, there’s a canal full of swimmable, clean water dividing the city — sorta like if the Hudson was unpolluted and safe enough for a swim after you got done with a summer session on the Westside Highway. There are a thousand beautiful girls riding by on bikes, and even the pizza is mysteriously better than you ever thought Danish pizza had the ability to be. It’s an expensive playground for adults, but not in a hookers/drugs/”tonight we’re getting fucked up“-kind of way.
[*In the two weeks I spent there last summer, we got kicked out once by a knife-wielding hash dealer who said we were scaring off his customers. He promised to kill us if we stayed at the spot. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Better safe than sorry?]
Jarmers is the Tompkins of Copenhagen. It contains two highish ledges, good-yet-razortail-inducing flatground, and a nice ledge for sitting, drinking beers and watching hours go by, not unlike some green benches we have quite an affinity for. If you watch the Skate Europe episode above, you’ll see a snapshot of the attitude that has allowed Copenhagen to become one of the most skate-friendly cities in Europe: “They cleaned the ledges every week…every week we’d have to re-wax them. We actually met the architect [who built the plaza.] In the beginning, he was almost crying, ‘You’re ruining my plaza.’ We [told him], ‘Nobody is using the plaza besides us, you should be happy.’ [He says] ‘Maybe you’re right,’ and I think after that, they stopped cleaning [the ledges.]” Now, there are even cheesy lil’ ads on the screens at Jarmers depicting some of the locals who skate there. It is worth noting that all of this takes place adjacent to a financial building at a major crossroad of the city, and not in some tucked away outskirt.
Also in that episode, which was created in 2010, they mention how there are two spots in the city: Jarmers and this Venice-esque path alongside the beach with a long concrete ledge. Quite a lot seems to have happened since then.
Photos by Brian Kelley
We’re keeping it under thirty for now. There’s been a lot of talk about Sheffey, Hensley and Gonz in this series, yet by recently shifting the lens on guys who didn’t come of age during the nineties, we’re only now beginning to get to P.J., Dill, Reynolds, etc.
Brad Cromer turned in one of 2014’s best parts, and has been spearheading the current wallride-nollie-on-steroids renaissance. He has also produced full-length videos on his own, so it was nice having a pro who has also been on the production side of things weigh in on his favorites.
Final post of the year. Previously: 25-21, 20-16, 15-11, 10-6, 2014 in T.F. Obstacles.
Happy New Year. Be safe tonight if you’re inclined to go outside.
5. The Burning Question of 2014: “Is Chinese Seaport #Legit?”
It is bad enough that our culture has been diminished to an abyss of spots-that-aren’t-really-spots and Houston Street construction scraps. New York-based skateboarders have now found themselves overthinking miracles like the resurrection of Seaport.
“Does it look too much like a skatepark?”
“Will my footage here still look #core between the traffic barriers and late-night wallrides in my ‘Summer Trip to New York’-part?”
“Am I lame for thinking a metal ledge needs wax?”
“Will my friends back home say I sold out for not skating Reggaeton Ledges instead?”
“If there was some #urban graffiti on the ledge, would it be more #legit?”
Do you think the dudes at Para-lel, who attained ungodly manual and ledge abilities over the years, ever stopped to question as to whether or not their spot was *too* good? Americans, man.
Filed Under: Features & Interviews
| Tags: "cherry"
, 2014 New York Skateboarding Year in Review
, 2014 Quartersnacks Readers Choice Awards
, Bill Strobeck
, Chinese Seaport
, Jake Johnson
, Johnny Wilson
, Max Palmer
, Most Pro
, Seaport 5.0
, Supreme Video
, Zered Bassett
Line around the corner.
Moving on… 25-21 here, 20-16 here, and 15-11 here.
10. The Dollar Slice Hints at an Eventual Extinction, Mass Starvation to Follow
Any New York-based news outlet spends at least eighty-percent of its content discussing how expensive it is to live here. We are no better, even if we have checking accounts to brave through higher prices for shitty pizza.
Since the dollar slice boom of 2010, this bare-bones food option has become an emblem for #poor skateboarders. It has been steadfast in its immunity to inflation, unlike every other pizza place that has raised its per-slice cost by 25 cents every year or two. That is, until 2014, when we began to see the unthinkable: dollar slice outlets charging TAX on a once tax-inclusive product, and promotions like a “Supreme Dollar Slice,” for $1.50. This hints at a future not unlike Interstellar, where [underemployed] skateboarders run out of available food and have to pack up and move to…Philly? :(
Keeping it going. Part one is here and part two is here.
15. The Best Spot on Water Street is a Rock
The spot depicted above is the most frequently sessioned Water Street spot in 2014.
The gateway to acquiring skate footage in lower Manhattan held on for dear life until 2014, when a rock became its marquee tourist stop. Heading further south on this once heavily-treaded path will yield nothing more than knobbed remnants of a once thriving ledge-based ecosystem, those shitty round ledges across from the Veteran’s Memorial, and nary a dollar-menu for the broke boys in sight.