Astor Place R.I.P.

October 24th, 2014 | 11:32 am | Daily News, Time Capsule | 4 Comments

astor rip

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.)

astor-gig

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.

Running Around the Lobby

September 3rd, 2013 | 9:28 am | Daily News | 10 Comments

beach cruiser

Monday Links on a Tuesday for the second week in a row.

Check out Philly Santosuosso’s mini New York part for Politic Skateboards. Eighty percent of it was filmed within maybe a ten-block radius. For those who don’t know, Philly runs Humidity Skateshop in New Orleans. DGK did a sick video about the shop and crew a few weeks ago.

The twenty definitive skateboard apparel trends of the nineties, in #listicle form.

For whatever reason, Shorty’s decided to start making skateboards again (don’t Skate Mafia and Shake Junt seem to split the space that Shorty’s would occupy, had it survived the post-Muska era?), but at least their iconic Horty shirt never lost relevance, as evidenced by this Westchester, NY-based montage. A notable QS associate also kinda met his wife because of that shirt. An undisputed classic.

If you live in/near the East Village, you knew 12th & A has semi been back for over a week. Due to Instagram, it’s now common knowledge for all. So, here’s the first known clip from 12th & A version 6.0. Is filming a lo-fi viewfinder the new VX1000?

…or wait, now that Instagram promos are a “thing,” has the iPhone solidified its position as the new VX1000?

And if there’s a new VX1000, what’s the new TRV900? A Galaxy S4? Until we figure that out, Billy Rohan has been hitting the streets with a TRV, and coming out with “Illumingnarly” edits of standard New York weirdos and some skateboarding.

R.B. Umali breaks down a nineties-heavy top five tricks he’s ever filmed. All due respect to Kalis’ Newport fakie flip, but the kickflip from Peep This that R.B. filmed might edge it out, considering it’s maybe the best kickflip ever done. Also, Billy McFeely 5050ed the ledge Lennie Kirk boardslid.

Craiglist Missed Connection alert! Anyone who reads this site lock eyes with some girl on the L train at 1 A.M. the other night? If you get a date out of it, be sure to thank the G Man at our Missed Connections desk ;)

BAM (the former best spot in Brooklyn), is hosting a skateboard-themed film series from September 6th through the 23rd. They’ll be showing everything from Gleaming the Cube, to This Ain’t California, to Waiting for Lightning, to Kids, and even Yeah Right! on a big screen. Taji Ameen interviewed George Gage, director of Skateboard starring Tony Alva, one of the first mainstream movies about skateboarding and the first in BAM’s series. (Related: The fifteen-minute short from 1966, The Devil’s Toy, is available online for free, and is one of the first films to depict skateboarding altogether. BAM will be screening it along with some related shorts later in the month. It was also the source material for the random shots of kids skating in the original Lurkers 2 promo.)

QS Sports Desk *Throwback* Play of the Week / Article Recommendation: As Knicks fans, it’s easier to remember Tracy McGrady as a past-his-prime cap-clearing piece than the guy responsible for things like this, but Bill Simmons makes a compelling case for his spot in the hall of fame over on Grantland.

Quote of the Week: “Nike Dunk wedges are the new tongue ring.” — Roctakon. (Should we expect a Three 6 Mafia reunion solely to sing the praises of young women in Nike Dunk wedges?)

Not the first time that we’re bummed over local TV programing changes: Despite the fact that Coming to America came out twenty-five years ago, and his only semi-recent output is admittedly an amazing Chapelle’s Show cameo, Pix 11 decided to give Arsenio Hall his own show at 11 P.M., moving Seinfeld reruns to 6:30 P.M. and midnight starting next week. Less of a reason to come home early.