Incentive Zoning

March 25th, 2015 | 5:02 am | Time Capsule | 7 Comments

breezy

The Ocean Howell interview linked in Monday’s post reminded me of this bit from 2009’s Deathbowl to Downtown documentary — which apparently is $65 for a DVD copy on Amazon now and unavailable to stream anywhere?

Update: Stream it on Vimeo for two bucks.

Both the Howell interview and this bit discuss how cities will give developers a zoning pass / tax breaks on additional floors if they furnish the ground level of their property with a public plaza. The irony is that the plazas are often restricted to people who want to sit and eat lunch, i.e. a rather limited idea of what the “public” is. Nearly every piece of our European coverage has whined about how this is inconsistent with any Euro city we’ve visited, so I’ll spare you the recurring “America sucks for skateboarding” speech. There’s a lot of good early nineties Financial District and midtown footage in this segment, and by the looks of it, they were still busts then ;)

People gave Deathbowl a bit of a hard time when it came out — “the narration was heavy handed,” “the 90s were too focused on Zoo York,” etc. — but skateboarders will dig anywhere to complain. When I got the DVD in 2010, I was a month into nursing probably the closest you could sprain an ankle without needing medical attention. I finished watching it at maybe 2 A.M (on a school night!), yet still got the urge to grab a cruiser, and skate over the 59th Street Bridge to go up and down little hills on the westside til the sun started to come up. Can’t say a proper skate video has relayed that unshakeable “I really need to go skate”-feeling the same way since.

It was fun rewatching it to find this clip, you should give it a whirl.

The Best Thing About 2015 Is This B-Roll From 2004

February 24th, 2015 | 5:57 am | Time Capsule | 12 Comments

jb-500x367

We don’t make a point of running standalone posts about Thrasher videos, because chances are, you check Thrasher way before you end up on Quartersnacks navigating between the rap mixtape links for skateboard content. However, after posting J.B’s Freedom Fries part yesterday for no more reason than its status as once-a-week lunch hour viewing at the QS office, Thrasher uploaded all of French Fred’s raw footage from the creation of said part later in the day.

In the Jerry Hsu “Five Favorite Parts” piece that ran last week, he actually picked ten, and the post ended up consisting of the five he talked about the most. One of the more abbreviated stops was Gino’s Trilogy part, and how he didn’t necessarily need anything more than a handful of really solid tricks to make a substantial impact a la “less is more.” J.B’s parts have also seldom clocked in above two-minutes, yet always been memorable (remember how the feeble alley-oop 180 was the most talked about trick from Bon Voyage two years ago?) His 2:30 ender in Freedom Fries came at a time when “last part” meant a two-song emotional rollercoaster*. Watch Fred’s raw footage below; it’s obvious they could’ve tacked another 30-45 seconds onto it and didn’t. Everything in the part belongs and works. It’s perfect.

Great six-minute skate parts are as rare as great six-minute rap songs. They do exist, but there’s a reason most of the classics know not to risk overstaying their welcome.

*No disrespect to Arto, Zered or Jerry Hsu’s two-song tour de forces from the 2000s ;)

Watch it with “The Mexican” playing in the background for maximum effect.

Previously: All Hail Jean-Baptiste

Scanner File: Black History Month

February 4th, 2015 | 5:20 am | Time Capsule | 11 Comments

sad

The city is an ice rink right now, making it as good of a time as any to revisit the remaining stack of magazines in company storage. Strength ran this article in 1999, back when a concept as vague as “black skateboarders!” was substantial enough to build an issue around. Thanks to Alex Dymond for submitting this one to the archive.

The article doesn’t have the cult status that Big Brother‘s “Black Issue” does, but every fringe skate publication from back then was more-or-less playing catch up with Big Brother throughout their lifespan anyway. It has a cool narrative by Neftalie Williams about growing up in Springfield, Massachusetts, loving something then thought-to-be for “blonde-haired kids from California,” seeing Ray Barbee’s Public Domain part for the first time, etc. (Does anyone know where that Neil Blender quote re: “rap music is the worst thing to happen to skateboarding” is from, or if it was taken out of context?) There are some shots of New York names in there, though much of the photos aren’t particularly incredible. No Chrome Ball-level scanmanship here, sorry.

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“Show us your girl and get outfitted by Quiksilver” :|

bhm-1

Watermelonism Premiere: Dos Sandias (2008)

December 9th, 2014 | 5:48 am | Time Capsule | 5 Comments

ben nollie flip

^Favorite skater

In 2008, Dos Sandias premiered on a VX2000 LCD screen in front of the Fish to a captivated audience. (For those who may not know, a VX2000 screen is about half the size of an iPhone screen.) It was one of the best premieres ever, trumping the other box office-dominating cinematic event from the same weekend. DVD copies were sold through Autumn, 2nd Nature and this website, but — much like its predecessor, The Watermelon Video — many never got a chance to see it.

Watermelonism.com is selling a special run of Dos Sandias boards and tees to go along with the online premiere of the video, and to commemorate a special time for skateboarding in New York, especially for our group of friends. It was when a lot of the principal people in the first QS clip were still skating regularly, and before a lot of the people who are good at skateboarding moved here ;)

Dos Sandias features appearances from Alexander Mosley (in perhaps the only video part to be filmed entirely in Jordans?), Miles Marquez, Ty Lyons, T-Bird, Mike Gigliotti, Matt Mooney, Brian Brown, Doug Brown, Lurker Lou, Jose Pereyra, Jake Johnson, and Ben Nazario. Online for the first time ever. Enjoy.

Previously: Online Premiere — The Watermelon Video

#TBT on a Wednesday: Traffic in Japan

November 26th, 2014 | 12:57 pm | Time Capsule | 6 Comments

ricky

Re-discovered this gem after Eli’s all-Tokyo part came out yesterday. Why are all-Japan parts totally chill, while all-China parts are totally “boring?” Do people just pack way sicker fits when traveling to Tokyo? Is it because Ricky said Japan was cool?

Sidebar: Pretty sure the problem with skateboarding in China isn’t China. The third biggest country on earth isn’t somehow devoid of the cutty sort of stuff that you see in the Eli part, Quim’s Overcast Broadcasting part, or Silas’ Adidas thing. It’s just pretty tough to pay any attention to some cutty wallie spot when there are ten flawless plazas a block away. Send Polar, Traffic or probably any Theories-distributed brand to Shenzhen or Shanghai, and every commenter will be lauding the “new way to skate China!”-narrative for a straight month. All it took was the GX dudes to skate the Universitat benches the wrong way for everyone to say all those “blown out” Barcelonian spots look “fresh” again.

Leave China alone, guys. They have enough problems without you telling them their flawless public spaces look “boring” on the internet.

ANYWHO, Japan is having a moment this week, and this Traffic clip from 2010 — described as Ricky’s “last hurrah” in the final episode of his Epicly Later’d — is a fun watch. Happy Thanksgiving.

“I don’t try hard tricks anymore.” — Jack Sabback, 2012

P.S. Ricky hates surfers