Dude, we love themed video parts. Grate themed video parts, garbage themed video parts, dumpster themed video parts! And there is no more beloved theme to build a video part around than to learn every nuance and cranny of a skate spot by skating it for the full duration of said part. Given the rate at which spots worth learning have been diminishing, we’ve been given reason to celebrate such one-spot achievements more than ever. You think it’s a coincidence that both 18-year-olds and 38-year-olds love Gonz’s “just cruising in the street”-thing from Video Days? Cruising is everyone’s M.O. now, whereas maintaining fidelity to one spot takes extra effort.
With that, a genre has skyrocketed in popularity within the skateboard media marketplace: spot-based content. Whereas since the demise of 411 “spot checks,” the story has 97% of the time been about the skater, the team or the event, spot-based videos are the new way to make us remember that we better learn how to skate walls if we ever want to skate an street object outside of a caged-in skatepark ever again ;)
Atlanta’s checkerboard spot benefits from more lenient “plaza” definitions that we allow in 2016. There aren’t many longstanding street spots with multiple ledges left, so it becomes one by default — though it may be the only Great American Skate Spot™ 2.0 that I have no desire to skate. (Shit looks mad high.) The spot doesn’t have a storied mythology or celebrated culture, and its background is not densely layered with regal civic buildings or skyscrapers. It’s just a spot that has been long enough for us to be forced to respect its status in the era of depleting spots. An all-Columbus Circle part was in order for last year to commemorate its ten-year run for the same reason, until a cop decided to pepperspray a teenager…
Jimmy Lannon, noted “regular” Magenta outlier and 2014 “Best Line at Three Up Three Down” titleholder, paid tribute to the spot’s longer-than-usual tenure in Thread / Headcleaner, with a literal #musicsupervision choice that’s one step removed from Mark Suciu skating to Phil Collins’ “Sussudio” or like, Soy Panday skating to “Panda.”
Dropping a “Best of Pier 7” edit in 2016 is like a record label releasing another Frank Sinatra’s Greatest Hits: you know it all by heart but have no issue with seeing it again. It is also a friendly reminder that no spot has been as pivotal to the development of the Hip-Hop White Guy® uniform than Pier 7, particularly when you see it upheld by those experimenting with today’s burgeoning movement of early-2000s nostalgia.
Living in a world with one remaining [largely unmodified] Great American Skate Spot™ is uneasy. It means we are drifting further away from the nineties, that mythological decade that we mine for inspiration, and annoyingly point out as the time when life on a skateboard was much simpler. You’ll be hard pressed to find a ledge to grind that was also once grinded by a member of the original FIT team, or spitefully switch mongo push on the same marble floor that Ricky once pushed on. Pulaski has become the only symbolic spirit quest you can take to feel what skateboarding felt like during the first Clinton administration.
Also, for whatever reason, that Yoshi dude’s tricks play better as a loop that you watch ten times rather than in the confines of a standard video part.