“A man must have a code.” — Omar Little and/or Bunk Moreland, The Wire (HBO, 2002-2008)
You might remember the Code of Hammurabi from 9th/10th grade world history or some shit. Long story short, it functioned as the first written code of law in the history of human civilization.
Four thousand years later, from a socio-anthropological perspective, skate spots — and more specifically, the almost-extinct inner city plaza spot — are mini-civilizations with their own dignitaries and codes.
Love Park — don’t push mongo. Embarcadero — don’t get in Mike or Henry’s way. Along those lines, Boston’s Eggs has developed its own code, a central component of which is the infamous “Forbidden 14.” When I first heard of it, it took me back to the days of vibing anyone that did a street grab or railslide. On the other hand, when you saw someone with a nose and tail worn down to the wood grain and a pristine graphic in between, you knew they weren’t fucking around.
When I referenced it here, a substantial amount of #engagement erupted in the QS comments section. So, we hit up Eggs local and Alltimers rider Dana Ericson to shed some light on one of Eggs’ most elusive and #controversial hidden codes.
I turned 40 this summer. Eschewing a crazy-ass party, trip or any other type of midlife crisis-type behavior, I kept it mellow and went out to my local™ bar. Street skating over forty is unknown territory, but if you manage to stay fit, there’s what I call the Reggie Miller Effect: one’s physique remains essentially static, but one’s capabilities — whether because of reflexes or vision deteriorating — decline exponentially. It’s all about managing expectations. 360 flips might flip slower than in the past, but maybe one adds backside nosegrind reverts on small ledges to the repertoire. Other summer activities function in a similar manner; one might not be able to make it to OVO Fest, but maybe one could chill at one of those tiny New York hotel pools with a bag of tequila taped to one’s thigh.
This #frame gives one hope heading into the fall A.K.A. skate season. Indeed, while this may be the first S.O.T.S. x V.P.O.T.S. post without a part from an according-to-Hoyle physical release, at press time, we were still digesting the 917 and Traffic vids, plus anticipating the release of Sabotage 5. So with an eye towards hoody season, let’s take a look back at the songs and video parts that fueled summer ’17.
Skating writ large prides itself on a “no rules, bro!” ethos. #Menswear, an entity with which skating has become increasingly intertwined of late (via Vogue Skateboarding Magazine, etc.), has all kinds of rules. No black belt with brown shoes. No wearing white after Labor Day. One’s tie can’t go past one’s belt. Skating has no such faux pas — except for MAYBE brand-mixing — i.e. one can’t wear a Venture shirt if one is skating Indys or Vans socks if you’re wearing Nikes.
But what if I told you that skaters have curated their own sartorial code for decades — painstakingly color-coordinating their shoes, shirts, hats, and even spots? However, the modern-day thrift store aesthetic has left color-coordination by the wayside, even as color-blocking seemed to make a comeback last year, or some shit. So, in conjunction with New York Fashion Week, enjoy this retrospective of color coordination while you’re waiting to get into the Wang party or whatever.
Reclusive geniuses are an endangered species these days. In the current era of personal branding and ever-flowing #content, this state of affairs renders new material from one an #event — like that one new Harper Lee book or, as I referenced here, a hypothetical new Salinger novel.
After the Plan B video came and went with a single solitary trick, the long-awaited P.J. Ladd street (i.e. not filmed in a private indoor T.F.) video part occupied a mental space somewhere between Chinese Democracy and the Menace video.
Indeed, if I were in a barstool conversation with, say, Chuck Klosterman, the easiest way to convey what makes P.J. Ladd such an icon would be to say “He’s like the Brian Wilson of skateboarding” — an archetype-shattering, somewhat eccentric genius. However, once you shatter the mirror once — via a Pet Sounds or a PJLWHL — you can’t put it back together. That impact is one-time-only. What made PJLWHL so insane was that it was technically mindblowing and viscerally relatable (ledges alongside piles of snow, shredded Accels) at once. It was as if the exponential progression of Embarcadero — achieved collectively by Sanchez, Carroll, et. al. — had been recreated in one mind. Also, just like Brian Wilson inspired a legion of followers (like the dude from Spiritualized, etc.), Ladd created an entire genre of Boston ledge-tech assassins.
So, after a decade and a half, the most realistic expectation — as with Wilson’s 1980’s solo record — is quality work.
Which brings us to the outline of the part itself. Tricks, spots, and fits.
Was contemplating taking a four-day weekend and not posting Monday Links until Wednesday, but got enough people in the office to cruise around the internet for a bit. Russ got MVP, Phil got fired and Tyshawn fakie ollied a trash can in front of Supreme since the last Monday Links post, and all of those things feel like they happened a month ago…(Don’t know who took the photo above btw.)
Romain Batard uploaded a “Summer Trip to New York” montage with one of the cooler recent lines at Fredrick Douglas Plaza. Also, why does it seem like that spot almost exclusively appears in “_____ Trip to New York” videos?
Seems like it has been a big past couple of years for spots resurrecting. Here’s an interview about the effort to restore London’s Southbank undercroft to its original form from pre-2004. (Small Banks helllllooooo.)