135th & Riverside

john shanahan - james juckett

Click to enlarge. Original post here.

We don’t often run posts of a single photo, but in a year with a lot of remarkable New York-set photographs already (Mehring’s shot of Olson on Water Street, Atiba’s Dylan Reider cover shot, and Keith Morrison’s stolen shot of Austyn Gillette all come to mind), John Shanahan’s diptych of James Juckett stands out in particular.

Located at 135th and Riverside, this stoned-lined pathway leads you to 12th Avenue under the Riverside Drive Viaduct. There isn’t much to skate here, but for such a photogenic location, it’s surprising it hasn’t popped up in even a lifestyle-y skate photo until now. Your Tumblr dashboard won’t tell you two things about the spot: 1) Both the runway to the first set and the space after it are downhill. The guy had half a second before he hit the wallride. 2) The brownish spot on the ground between the two sets has to be one of the most urinated-on pieces of public space in New York City — we’re talking decades of piss that probably couldn’t be cleansed if you threw a bucket of bleach on it. The dude literally risked a staph infection for this awesome pair of photos.

On some full movie nerd shit: This stairway’s scenic qualities have been put to use for quite a while now. It appeared at the end of the 1948 film Force of Evil, which was one of the first movies to have a sizable chunk of its photography done on the actual street in New York, as opposed to a set. Martin Scorsese has been geeking out over it for pretty much the duration of his career.

Great work from skater James Juckett and photographer John Shanahan.


  1. While we were filming this, a lady walked up and said “sorry but this is where i smoke crack” then proceeded to smoke crack 3 feet away from me.

  2. yo ghost of times aquare –

    you aint see the ‘ny is still sketchy if you look hard enough’ like from this weeks monday links ?

  3. And I used to smoke crack where the Washington Heights skatepark is. And shoot dope. It was like a forest of fiends. Paths like a park, but the trees grew over everything. And I used to skate the Heights, from weed spots at 163rd, and 167th, to dope spots at 179th, 191st. That was the 90s. I remember a jar spot on 116th and 1st ave called Oujima. It was run by the Dreads, and there was an autographed picture of Eirkle on the wall.

    Sorry for the double comment, I read the comments, and I figured the above story was apropo.

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