Video Review: 10,000 Kilometers

August 4th, 2010 | 3:11 pm | Features & Interviews | 5 Comments

White people have a categorical list of things that they want to accomplish in their lives. Many of these have been touched upon throughout the really-funny-when-I-first-read-it-but-slowly-got-less-interesting website, “Stuff White People Like,” and let’s be serious, much of that site is overwhelmingly true. If you were to look at these categories and size them up in accordance with which ones are most complex, travel would outrank home renovation by a narrow margin, and fall slightly short of reaching the crown jewel, education.

There is a whole myriad of travel plans that white people love to talk about, and they don’t simply end at going to Paris, India, or some b-list country in Europe that may or may not have been run by a bunch of drunk Russians that eventually fell asleep in the snow, and were not seen until they were thawed out the following spring. The means of travel is an important facet of the category, because merely taking an airplane is not enough to solidify yourself worthy of extended conversations in an all-white context. At a beginner to intermediate level, there is the cross country American trip, which needs a baby blue Corvette, a grey 1955 Chevy, or whatever the hell Kerouac and those bums drove around in throughout those books they wrote. But once you begin to advance yourself in the travel category, the necessity of completing a two-continent journey becomes to loom over aging white adult life. And there is nothing more heavily romanticized, and as closely associated with old writers that died broke than extremely long train rides.

An idea that skateboarding has been toying with for quite some time is documenting itself in an out-of-context surrounding. It can be seen in everything from the days in the late-eighties when it was actually odd to see a pro skating New York as opposed to California, right through that whole Area 51 gimmick that Transworld ran with in Transmission 7, and the current day obviousness that comes with pros like Kenny Reed being that guy who will go to some country without a sewer system so that he can skate some crusty hubba ledge with a cool background. Billy Rohan basically gave us the skateboard headline of the summer by going to Iraq, so placing skateboarding out-of-context hasn’t exactly become boring yet.

The Big Maloof Weekend: A Complied QS List of FAQs

June 5th, 2010 | 1:32 am | Daily News | 3 Comments

The Comprehensive Over-18 / Not-Making-a-Living-Off-Skateboarding Guide to Maloof

Should I go to Maloof this weekend?

Unless you are making a living off skateboarding, are interested in acquiring your favorite pro’s autograph, or trying to be among the hordes of small-businessmen trying to promote their company via stickers and portable skateshops (a la Mike Wright), there is no reason to go to Maloof. Also considering there are signs all over the bleachers saying “Tickets do not guarantee seating,” you better get there super early if you are.

What do you think Little Alex will be wearing?

Preliminary reports indicate that he has been experimenting with the adoption of Michael Gigliotti’s progressive summer attire, therefore, most bookies are making odds lean in favor of a tucked-in wifebeater / blue jeans combo. You stand to win a lot of money from your local bookie if you happen to bet against this outfit.

Seeing as how that course was essentially traded off for the Unisphere fountain, how did the overall construction turn out?

The “inspirations” behind the obstacles in the park seem to have taken significant liberties with re-creations of prominent obstacles. For instance, in all my years of passing Black Hubba, I never noticed that it was square, and didn’t have a kink at the end, nor did I notice that the Pyramid Ledges were shaped like the Volcolm logo and had a bank running down the side. It could be problematic for the ravers-who-own-skateboards living under the Men in Black Towers and throughout Forrest Hills, in that the development of this park will inevitably propel their abilities on a skateboard beyond levels of normal comprehension. But they will be so accustomed to skating the Maloof-ized version of the Black Hubba, that if God forbid they happen to venture outside of the park, they will be greeted with a rude awakening in terms of the utter lack of perfection that exists in the real world.

Think of the Maloof park as the Matrix. The Queens ravers-who-own-skateboards contingent will ultimately be submissive to the virtual representation of skateboarding via the Maloof Matrix. Once they are unplugged / they take the red pill (i.e. they get on the 7 train and take it to a skate spot), the integral realities of the modern skate world will be unbearable to the conception of skateboarding that they had grown accustomed to within the Maloof Matrix, because they will realize that “real” skateboarding involves cracks, metal spikes, and security guards. The result will be a wave of mass death via heart-attacks at age seventeen from devouring too many E pills and cans of Sparks simultaneously.

Dude, you’re the worst. It’s a fucking park, dude, and it’s sick. Stop acting like a fucking idiot and just skate it, and stop trying to be so fucking cool, man. Don’t you have anything good to say about it?

I commend the fact that the park designers put a curb eight feet before the smaller hubba ledge, and the Union-inspired rail. Almost as if the virtual manifestation of skateboarding was giving a nod to its integral counterpart by adding an otherwise non-sensical thing that’s going to piss people off. It literally serves no purpose beyond making it harder to skate those two obstacles, and that’s great.

The union rails actually do look like the real thing, but it would have been way funnier to leave the knobs on them. If Gangemi could boardslide through them, I’m sure Lizard King could noseblunt it or something.

What is the most glaring omission from the Maloof Park?

The fact that alcoholism was not included in the overall concept for the park is downright offensive. It is as much, if not more, of a crucial core to New York skateboarding than any of the skate spots that were supposedly the models behind the course selections. Including the Fish, Enid’s or Lit to the course would added to the park’s overall authenticity, and give it a much more profound air of completion in its purported claim of simulating New York skateboarding. I’m not sure if Budweiser or Heineken advertise on the Fuse channel, but a great companion piece to the contest would be conducting it while all entrants are intoxicated, and offer twice as much money to the winner. New York skateboarding would not be what it is today without the three aforementioned establishments, and a select few other similar, although less prominent locations. The fact that some bank-to-bank on Amsterdam Avenue (that literally one person has probably skated) is accounted for in the course design, and the Fish was left out is completely unforgivable.

Any other obstacles that should have been included that don’t necessarily involve alcohol?

The Long Island Expressway Hill, complete with circulating cars and trucks, in addition to a true-to-size version of the Courthouse Drop would have been welcome additions to the park. Getting hit by cars / olling onto cabs is almost as New York as drinking, so they are on the second tier of outrage-inducing omissions. The Taxi Commission should have been consulted for lending the park an authentic New York air. It also wouldn’t hurt to coat the entire park with Chinatown-on-garbage-day-in-August sludge to compliment the visual presentation with an authentic New York-ish fragrance.

So what happens when I wake up hung over and still want to see what Greg Lutzka, P-Rod, or some other jerk did to win the money over a bunch of other non-contest-skaters-that-are-otherwise-much-better-skaters-overall?

Turn on the Fuse channel, or just wait for the Skateboard Mag wrap-up clips later in the day.