Late start to the annual “Year in Review” series, but we weren’t about to let up on one of our favorite annual traditions in this occasionally great but more often awful year. We are going to condense the first installment into ten entries for the sake of time. One a week from here on out though :)
25. Pratt Degrees Get Put To Use
The 2016 reality of bust-free spots in the nation’s largest city is grim (e.g. they knobbed a bump in the ground this year, and people are literally interrupting their lives to argue about the placement of a trash can on the street.) And so, New York’s underemployed population of industrial design grads began to ransack the plastic horizontal beams off construction barriers city-wide, and stacking them to create some sort of pathetic poverty row parking block.
24. Gino’s Favorite Spot
There’s the famous adage about watching Gino push, but the more accurate hyperbole is “I’d rather watch Gino *talk*.” Gino’s presence continues to be felt even with infrequent onboard appearances — the guy made the blueprint for the current subgenre of skateboarding infatuated with tennis. And while a frequent nerd pastime is visiting the bars made famous by our favorite alcoholic writers, finding out your favorite skater’s favorite spot is “Windsor Court” a.k.a. Breezy Ledges is kinda like finding out your favorite depressed author’s favorite bar is Croxley’s.
23. Subversive Line Choreography at the Chase Stairs
After 859,584 switch backside flips down the five and a bunch of pros opting to use the spot as a manual pad, Chase withered into Every-Line-Looks-The-Same purgatory. This caused a shocking sub-sect of choreography to emerge at a spot where being a jack of all trades and master of none had otherwise been the norm — doing the same trick up the two, on flat, and down the five.
At a time when “nostalgia” is a synonym for an old camera and nineties rap, it’s good to see the youth making raw, fun videos that [perhaps unintentionally] echo the era of unrefined 2000s web clips. The Birdgang videos recall the sweet innocence of those few years right before New York became skateboarding’s summer home in the best way possible.
21. The Riverside Revival
Just as “bad” tricks, “bad” gear, and “bad” clunky boards all came into fashion and syphoned their way into normalcy, Riverside (a “bad” skatepark, by modern standards) and its required helmet + pads (during non break-in season) became a destination in this final year of its existence.
20. Ricky Revealed As Having No Pop
Praise be to Chrome Ball, who tracked down Ryan Hickey, one of New York’s most elusive natives, so that he could remind everyone that nobody is Fred Gall: “[Ricky] had no pop. He had some tricks but he was a jock, man. Whatever. He was good but he wasn’t Fred Gall.”
19. Wavy’s Closes
This had more of an impact on QS lore than the greater skateboarding ecosystem, but I’m just grateful Wavy’s will never live to witness Tr*mp’s America. It left at the right time, as much as that hurts to say. None of us would take back the hours turned to days turned to weeks we spent standing in front of there doing nothing if we could. Bless and godspeed.
You can find the non-cell phone angle at the end of this montage from John Valenti’s Local Express video.
18. House of Vans Creates a One-Percenter Ledge
Mayor Bill de Blasio won the office by promising New Yorkers that he would end the tale of two cities. Facing re-election next year, he’s going to have a tough time explaining to voters just how the best ledge in New York City is located inside a private, indoor facility built by a $2 billion shoe brand, while the 99% is left to pretend like that hunk of shit next to the McCarren Park bathroom actually grinds.
17. Heaven’s Gate
It’s hard to think of a recent video so opposed to skating
any most (ok, they hit the B.Q.E. lot…) of the expected spots in New York. Heaven’s Gate goes to show how far the city can stretch if you put forth the effort and explore, although we of all people are not going to blame anyone for sitting at T.F. all day either ;)
16. Barnes Buys a Bentley
Justin Barnes — an alumnus of the notorious Dobbin Block skateboard housing development, and a 5Boro affiliate who trafficked in feats such as the one you see below — serves as a nice 2016 motivator for all those struggling to make it out of the skate house. Keep grinding…just probably on something besides your skate career.
Bonus Mini 5 — Things We’re Good on Leaving in 2016:
5. Red caps with white writing.
4. “Credits” sections for web clips that are as long as the web clip itself.
3. Not being a dick, but I think we just capped out on brands named after streets in Lower Manhattan — but if you wanted to start Jay Street—Metrotech Bushings, that’d be dope.
1. Any combination of skateboarding + Xanax.