#TRENDWATCH2016: Heritage Spots


In 2016’s edition of the always wonderful “Song of the Summer x Part of the Summer” series, Frozen in Carbonite stumbled on a name for a #trend that has appeared in a good bit of this year’s footage: the notion of “heritage spots.”

There are a multitude ways to be nostalgic. Some fondly tell yarns of the past, remembering the wild days of to-go margaritas being consumed in public, and bust-free, straight [fucking] ledges existing in lower Manhattan. Others spend their precious years on earth leaving comments about how Lil’ Wayne ruined hip-hop on YouTube videos. More and more skaters are winking at the past via fashion; outlets like Vintage Sponsor have made a name for themselves by trafficking in garms from skateboarding’s sartorial lineage. Our more talented colleagues time travel through tricks nobody is supposed to do anymore, via the darkslide, pressure flip or street grab’s increasing presence in modern videography.

A new form of loving past eras has recently began to take form. In the past nine months, the following events have occurred in New York:

1. Pyramid Ledges has been unknobbed for the first time since 2010, ending the longest drought the spot has experienced since the building first began skateblocking it in the early 2000s.

2. Somebody refilled the massive crack at the Pace Ledge, refreshing the A.B.D. scroll of a spot nobody had bothered to skate since the years when Jay-Z was “retired.”

3. Alert to its impending reconstruction, skaters began to flock to Riverside Skatepark — the oldest within city limits — after ignoring its existence since maybe the late nineties. It’s like going to that bar for one last drink when you find out its closing, only to realize there was a good reason why you stopped going there in the first place.

4. People began skating those banks on the side south of the Brooklyn Banks (Quim ollie, frontside wallie out / Dill backside kickflip et al. side) for the first time in the post-9/11 era.

5. John Shanahan accomplished the uncomfortable task of pushing [frontside] on the bench they put on top of the roll-up to the Penn Plaza manual pad, to do a trick that hadn’t been done even back when the spot was actually skateable.

6. The CBS ledge-to-drop became a commonly seen spot in videos. See: Jake Donnelley in Away Days, the LurkNYC clips, and Jake Johnson’s Cons commercial, which featured a trick that had been done there in years prior by a former Alien Workshop colleague, only through the planter that semi-effectively put an end to the spot’s tenure as midtown’s marquee spot.

As Tommy sweaters and track pants from nineties sportswear giants near extinction on secondhand store racks nationwide, it would seem that thrifting for spots has become the new go-to for visual nostalgia. The spots that were deemed too ill-fitting, faded and not worth the effort by the last generation of New York skateboardists have been snagged up, repaired, and re-appropriated by those looking to break from the monotony of the Columbus Park ➞ Reggaeton Ledges ➞ Bronx Bank-To-Wall death cycle that has come to define New York skate clips these past three years.

This begs the question: which half-dead spot from the past is due for a resurrection next?

Previously: NYFW Wrap-Up


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