A few days late on this, whatever.
And look, Tony, dude, I’m sorry I linked that soundbyte of Tas Pappas telling you to fuck off on Monday.
As per an announcement several days ago, Jersey City was awarded a $25K grant from the Tony Hawk Foundation, which facilitates the construction of a public skatepark in a zone with “at-risk youth.” The park will be a part of the Berry Lane Park development off Communipaw Avenue. Berry Lane is less than a ten-minute skate away from the current site of the Jersey City junk spot, and near the Garfield Avenue Light Rail station. Considering most sections of the neighborhood currently look like this, it’s quite an upgrade. Can’t tell where inside the park the skatepark is though.
We’ll leave the pontificating re: skateparks “homogenizing style” or whatever to the Slap boards and interviews about “the state of skateboarding.” We’ve eased up on skatepark-averse news coverage these past five years. Jersey City isn’t a prime example of forward-thinking recreational space, so prior to this week, this looked like it would’ve been in endless limbo. Skaters in Jersey City have subsided on the Rink and their D.I.Y. spot for the past half-decade, without much else to skate hassle-free. This is the
first concrete park in a major city in New Jersey (edit: disregard that, Elizabeth had a concrete park for a few years); it’s absurd it has taken this long.
This is a win-win for everyone. The park is slated to open by the end of 2015. Much respect to all the people who lobbied for the park and made it happen :)
P.S. Not to downplay the contribution by people at the Hawk Foundation whatsoever, but how insane is it that a baseball foundation gives them $173.5k for lights and a scoreboard?
Lights and a scoreboard. $173.5K. Who, like, even plays baseball anymore?
Though Indoor Ten has been under construction for over a year, the MTA recently revealed the new entrance to the F train on 42nd Street. It does not look like the much beloved midtown institution will remain with us.
It was 2002. Flip’s Sorry video had just come out. When there was a finite number of skate videos, every nuance became etched in your pre-adolescent brain. You spent time with videos, memorized them, and mimicked them. It wasn’t only the tricks the pros did, or the occasional impression of “Fred’s gay outfit.” Something as mundane as an indoor set of stairs became something to aspire to. Sorry had a few sets of [presumably foreign] indoor stairs.
Two years earlier, Brian Wenning and Anthony Pappalardo revolutionized the way we saw big, fancy steel trashcans — not the wire ones, but ones like they had at Love. Pushing a can against a ledge taller than it validated skating a gap that wasn’t a gap.
And so, the Beer Bar green can gap was born: a five-foot tall ledge with a four-and-a-half foot tall can after it. All you had to do is not go slow, roll off the end, take the impact, and you’d make it. Beer Bar became the new hub for thirteen-year-old skateboarders in New York City. Learned a new trick? “Try it over the can.” There was only one can that mattered.
New York, on the other hand, is not a ledge city.
It’s a metal curb city. It’s a garbage city. It’s a cellar door city. It’s an expensive city. It’s a party city. It’s a fashionable city. But it is not, by any means, a city where you will have an easy time finding a ledge to do even a foot-long tailslide on.
We may live in a city with the highest concentration of beautiful women, but the trade-off is that we are stuck with the ugliest ledges. Ledge skating in New York is the equivalent of constantly having to go home with a two. Sure, there are plenty of tens in the Financial District, except they’ll never lend you enough time to get to know them and make some moves.
The Seaport is a constant dramedy of the absurd — almost as if its creators are aware of our ledge desperation, and gain sadistic pleasure from toying with our emotions and crooked grinds. Ziegfeld is gone. Midtown is more of a bust than ever, with its most popular ledge only reaching a foot in height. Water Street hasn’t seen a glimmer of unknobbed marble in almost a decade. Even our favorite Sunday night refuge, which we rented many a ZipCar to drive the seventy miles to, got knobbed last year.
As we reach the coldest depths of winter, let’s forget skating’s fun aspects. You’ll miss skateboarding less when you are forced to remember that it could also be terrible. Ride Channel may have oversaturated the list game (we only run maybe 1.333 lists a year anyway), but this is important: here are the ten worst ledges in New York that are skated by humans with presumably functional brains.
Yesterday, the Ride Channel posted a guide to skateboard-related ## hashtags ## on Instagram, probably as some sort of distraction from the Great Follower Purge of 2014. Now, we weren’t as upset as some of our colleagues by Ride’s weeks-old assertion “that style matters more to east coast skaters because they aren’t as good” (it’s true duh), but this Instagram “guide” is a load of crap.
Who cares about Sequence Saturdays or Slappy Sundays? There is only one ## hashtag ## that matters on Instagram and it is #TFREPORT. Now, the ‘Report might have gotten diluted in recent years, as those who don’t live close enough to feel Tompkins’ magnetic draw still opt to tag their shoddy T.F. imitations with this precious label, but that hasn’t stopped its main function. Nowhere else is there such a one-stop overview for the most vibrant skateboard institution still in operation today.
What better day than today to post our annual T.F. Year in Review. As in past installments, contributors to the #tfreport thinktank cede any creative rights over their images once they are tagged. The T.F. is far bigger than picture credits. Have a good weekend. Seems like it will include some decent T.F. weather, at least for December.
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 than 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.