The Events That Defined New York City Skateboarding in 2011: 5-1

2011 is over in five hours. Here are the final five. Have fun tonight everyone.

Previous installments: #25-21, #20-16, #15-11, #10-6, The Best Video Part(s) of 2011, The Year in Rap.

5. The Rise of 12th & A Rap

As 12th & A’s stronghold on New York City skateboarding waned, it began to rise as an epicenter for New York City skateboard *rap*. With artists like ASAP Rocky, Odd Future, and Krayshawn getting deals off YouTube videos, the young skaters of 12th & A drew inspiration from their D.I.Y. attitude, and set out to make a name for themselves in perhaps the only professional world more overpopulated than pro skateboarding. Slicky Boy remixed Ice Cube and has been promising a mixtape all year. The Stoned Rollers took Lex Luger out of the trap and the strip clubs, and brought his trademark thump to the skate spot. And Black Dave, perhaps 12th & A rap’s greatest success story, is one-for-two with making it onto WorldStar with his videos.

4. Brandon Westgate Does Two Really Impressive Ollies

The opener to Westgate’s “Real Street” part still doesn’t make sense. He ran across a two empty traffic lanes (on pretty bad Canal Street asphalt), ollied onto a three-foot-high platform off a curb cut that isn’t even a curb cut, rode less than twenty feet, and then cleared a set of stairs, a rail, and a one way street’s worth of cobblestones. If you’re in the neighborhood one day, and haven’t seen the spot, it’s worth stopping by to feel like a nerd for a few minutes while appreciating one of the most insane tricks ever done in this city. (It would’ve looked better without the slow-mo though.)

3. The Bar-Muda Triangle Dissolves

Last year’s defining moment was the announcement that Max Fish, skateboarding’s favorite bar, would be closing. The Fish did not close, but it died in many of our hearts. ID scanners, stamps, a roped-off smoking area, and Tino moving to Los Angeles were just several factors that ended the relationship between the city’s skaters/alcoholics, and their once beloved proving ground. With the dominant bar in the neighborhood a hollow shell of its former self, the Ted-era of Sweet Paradise long gone, and Epstien’s only being useful on 2-for-1 Tuesdays when you have $40 to your name for the remainder of the week, the once inescapable Bar-Muda Triangle was slowly disappearing. Add in the fact that Brengar has been inside Le Bain in 2011, yet a third-string Bar-Muda Triangle dump like Pianos doesn’t allow you to walk in with a skateboard anymore, and it’s safe to say this archipelago of alcohol distributors became completely dead to all of us in 2011.

2. Peter Shocks the World and Releases Caviar is written in hyperboles, so us insisting that Peter is the third best living filmmaker has typically been up for debate. However, with Sydney Lumet passing away earlier this year, Peter’s contention for the Top 5 leaves the realm of hyperbole, and becomes reality — especially after his last-week-of-December-2010 masterpiece, Caviar. Everyone threw down for the video, from Flipmode’s franchise players like Pedro Garboza and Derrick Z., to recent acquisitions like Phil Rodriguez. The editing was solid, the music wasn’t lame, and in the words of Jake Johnson: “They’re finding spots in New York that you’ve never seen at a time when everyone’s coming into New York to skate the same shit.” This video and the Below the Bridge park were the only reasons winter 2011 was remotely tolerable.

1. Quartersnacks Loses Its Homebase

Ziegfeld O.G. — Since $3 Dice Games

We already poured our hearts out as to why Ziegfeld is such a special place back when this all happened. Miles filmed 40% of the tricks in his career there. Most of us learned the five ledge tricks we respectively know how to do there. We knew certain security guards’ work schedules because we had grown friendly with them over the years. We’ve spent at least a portion of a New Year’s night there watching tourists vomit in the corner where the Wachovia was. We’ve been asked the question, “Yo, is it cool to smoke here?” at least 100 times by different people. Hell, we’re the reason that ledge grinded.

Since this is the second time in a row we’re ending the year off on a loss, let’s just go all out and remember all the things that sucked about 2011: Losing Autumn, 12th & A, eventually Seaport, Ziegfeld, and probably some less important destinations we’re forgetting. Let’s hope 2012 cancels all of them out.

Bonus Mini Five — Things We Need Back in 2012:

5. Something at Tompkins besides flat and trashcans
4. Another (or the same) tennis court spot with real ledges that’s designated for skateboarding
3. Another ledge spot that looks like a skatepark (you can keep the actual skateparks…)
2. Another midtown hideout
1. Another Autumn location

A lot of surprising shit happens in this city, so it’s not that far fetched…


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