The Vicious Cycle House — An Interview With Zered Bassett via 2003, a Year Magazine

October 5th, 2016 | 5:00 am | Features & Interviews | 1 Comment


The following feature appeared in 2003: A Year Magazine. (We ran a feature from 1991 last year.) The issue is now available for purchase on, along with a QS hat we produced in collaboration with 2003 to commemorate the northeast blackout of 2003 — the day the T.F. was dubbed the safest place on earth.


Skateboarding was maturing in the late ’90s and early 2000s. Videos went from handycam promos to hour-long blockbusters with pro-level production values, skaters were padding their pockets with royalty checks from sponsors that were fatter than ever, and prodigious 15-year-olds were outshining the grown-ups with tricks that were unimaginable in the early 90s.

Except in New York, where skateboarding was still synonymous with chilling, of a lifestyle without an end goal. After 9/11, it felt even further removed from what was happening in the skate industry at large. The spots throughout Lower Manhattan became either desolate or off-limits, which made chilling (instead of missioning into the outer boroughs) that much more appealing.

But being New York, there was, of course, an exception. Vicious Cycle, released in 2004, was a video made throughout those years that upended the attitude associated with New York. Filmed by R.B. Umali and Doug Brown for Zoo York from 2002 to 2004, it was the first video to emerge from a crew of skaters living in New York who refused to accept what was becoming the status quo for a city that dominated in most other areas of culture. The result was very much up to par with anything coming out of California or elsewhere.

In 2003, Bassett and other skaters involved in the making of the video cohabited a windowless apartment in Lower Manhattan. This is the story of the Vicious Cycle house.

Where are you from and how did you end up in New York?

I grew up in Chatham, Massachusetts, which is in Cape Cod. I started skating there, met people, and then started going to Boston a lot. From there, I started getting hooked up with Zoo stuff from Jeff Pang, and would go out to New York to visit those dudes. I went back a few times, and then on my 18th birthday, I moved to New York. That was in November of 2002.

Were you getting paid to skate at that point?

Zoo paid for the house that I moved into, but I wasn’t getting paid.

How did the house come together?

The house was on Broadway and Fulton Street. I wanted to move to the city, so I talked Zoo into getting a house for me, Brian Brown, and Billy Rohan at the time. Billy eventually moved out, and Brian’s brother, Doug, moved in. He was the main one filming us back then. Lou [Sarowsky] would stay over a lot, too. People would always come to town and crash, whoever was around skating.


September 12th, 2016 | 11:13 am | Daily News | No Comments


Beer Bar, 2003. Photo by Daniel Eric Weiss.

Quartersnacks turns eleven years old today. Thank you everyone for the love throughout this now decade-plus. We’ll try not to blow it, at least for a few more years ;) Quotes over the Years postsPart 1, part 2, part 3.

Two posts related to yesterday: Remember and TWS on 9/11 from February 2002.

Call Me 917 has been teasing quick bits of footage from a recent midwest trip for their upcoming collaboration with Nike SB: one here and one there. The full thing supposed to drop on September 17th. And if you’re a person afraid of holding objects with printed words on them, someone on Slap scanned the Thrasher article about the trip.

“Do you like skating in New York?” “Not really.” #respect, me either tbh. Andrew Allen interviewed Aidan Mackey for Heaps Chat.

Byrdgang 2, the new one from the QS office’s favorite adolescent skateboard crew, is now live to remind all of us what skateboarding here in high school felt like.

Uploaded Max’s Sure part to YouTube just because.

It’s like a Goldfish reunion! Mike Carroll at the Santa Monica Courthouse.

Pretty sure this part is actually from the new Heroin video (could be wrong), but this Nick Michel “Losing Come Up Tour” part has a heavy focus on New York-based rock spots, including the blunt pop-in at Battery Park City from last week’s #QSTOP10.

Varial flip up, varial flip on flat, and varial flip down is is one of the more subversive moments for recent line choreography at the Chase two-up-five-down steps.

With early-2000s nostalgia still running high a la low-def noseslide tricks and the ressurection of the Pace Ledge, maybe kickflip shiftys are due for a comeback?

Switch back lip down Blubba and thirty more seconds of new Yaje footage.

Free Skate Mag interviewed Aesthetics Ryde or Die alumnus, Joey Pepper.

Who ever thought product description beef could be so interesting?

It feels like there have been five of these but oh well. Another Huf T.F. West jam clip.

Damn, Future is still pissed at Ciara? Has anyone ever rhymed “Soho” with something besides “Manolo?” Also, isn’t Ape Shit like a year late?

Quote of the Week: “Dude, weddings are so sick.” — Charles Rivard

Ground Zero

September 11th, 2012 | 9:05 am | Time Capsule | 2 Comments

(Fifth Avenue & Waverly Place. 1988. Photo stolen from Matt Weber.)

Still feels like an odd date, eleven years later.

QS 9/11 ten-year anniversary post / 2002 Transworld article re: 9/11 & skateboarding

A gallery of skateboarding photos featuring the Twin Towers

Skate clips filmed at the World Trade Center: 1996-2001

An interview with Ian Reid that touches on skateboarding in New York before and after September 11th

Chrome Ball Incident post of skate photos from the World Trade Center

“Lurking” & post-9/11 New York. “And so it seems appropriate that a skateboard video franchise born in the scene of New York post-9/11 would boast the eponymous title.”

Times Square, September 13, 2001. Click to enlarge.

Sixth Anniversary Links

September 12th, 2011 | 9:02 am | Daily News | 3 Comments

Photo by Gigliotti the Great

Quartersnacks turns six today. Thanks to everyone for their support, visits, spreading the word, following us on Twitter, adding us on Facebook, or whatever else. It means a lot, thank you. Here are our first four clips from the fall of 2005: September / premiere clip, October, November (Juelz Santana was a really big deal in 2005), December / Christmas.

The Chrome Ball Incident posted up scans of a Skateboarder article by Mike O’Meally about 9/11, in addition to a few other relevant things.

Here’s a cool skate / music video by Jay Maldonado from what looks like the mid-2000s. Features plenty of trademark New York antics. Spotted Via Hella-Trill.

Digi-Cam Clips: Late pass on the latest installment of Diamond Days, and the homies from Vancouver shredding to some modern day loverman ballads (The-Dream > The Weeknd.)

Dylan Rieder discovers another really high thing to skate at the Seaport. Hopefully, this new shoe coincides with a new video part.

Last week, there was a bit of confusion about how to skate a new bump in Fort Greene that sprouted about after Hurricane Irene. This photo of Piro Sierra and the subsequent words should explain everything perfectly. The people whose house it’s in front of probably had a fun week yelling at skateboarders.

How exactly is Los Angeles the best city for skateboarding? Historically, weather and industry-wise, yes, obviously. New York doesn’t belong in the top three either (we’re willing to trade ten of our spots for an unknobbed version of that Chinatown Ledge though), but it seems like everyone who comes back from L.A. in 2011 says they only skated Stoner Park during their visit.

Lows are beginning to hit the fifties this week, which means fall is officially here. Buy some hoodies.

Projections on a $30,000+ pricetag for the Alex Olson x Dylan Rieder Charity Shirt were way off, because it only sold for $41. That’s enough for maybe five beers.

Quote of the Week: Alex Olson Fashion Week Tweets

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Feb. 2002 Transworld Article on 9/11 & Skateboarding

September 11th, 2011 | 6:30 am | Time Capsule | 3 Comments

Photo stolen from Matt Weber

Following September 11th, Transworld ran this article asking New York skateboarders about their experiences on that day. It appeared in the February 2002 issue, which means it probably hit newsstands in December of 2001.

Skateboarding is at the bottom of the list in terms of things affected by 9/11, but this is a skateboard site. Every news outlet in the country is doing a “Decade After 9/11” feature, so if you’re looking for something with deep insight, you’ve come to the wrong place. That day was a turning point for skateboarding in the city (as trivial as that is in the grand scheme of things), just as it was such for every facet of life in New York. It’s the reason the T.F. exists (you couldn’t skate anywhere else, so ABC made a safe spot), it’s the reason New York is the gigantic bust it is today (buildings heightened security and never let up), and it’s the reason Lower Manhattan is more residential, thus no longer the skateboard-friendly desert it once was at night. The months proceeding that day were odd, I don’t think I tried heading downtown until Christmas break. If memory serves right, EST2 came out sometime in October, its New York footage largely being from the past spring and summer. Watching it was a glimpse at the normalcy of skating an area that had become completely inaccessible due to rescue efforts, air hazards, and fire. Strange how even in the context of a meaningless skate video, the world of just a few months ago felt like a much different place.

The article’s layout has been modified to fit this website’s layout. If you prefer to view the full pages, here you go: Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4.

Big thanks to our good friend Adam Abada for the scans.

Related: 9/11 photo post from last year, World Trade Center skate clips, an interview with Ian Reid that discusses some of the aforementioned points