Fitting still via Bronze’s 2020 Promo
Moving right along…
15. Day at the Museum
What’s a “generation” in skater terms? Seven years? Ten? No matter your definition, it’s been at least a generation-and-a-half since anyone got a substantial amount of time at Natural History. This spring, there were days when it looked like L.E.S. Park.
When the COVID age is behind us and there’s a renewed influx of skate travel going on, there’ll also be a substantially different reality for those people. They’ll be showing clips, asking what the deal with so-and-so spot is, and the answer will be, “Yeah, that’s a bust. It took a pandemic and the entire world come to a stop for us to skate there again.”
14. Third Eye Open on 96th & Broadway
The 96th Street 1 train station appears like a mirage on Broadway.
“Is that a marble bank?”
“Wait, is that a hubba?”
Upon closer inspection …there is nothing to skate here.
13. Borough Hall Sprawl
Last year, Astro turf was an invention that provided a full spectrum of emotion. It felt like a fixture of our lives once the bottom of the Brooklyn Borough Hall steps were fashioned with a turf strip and planters.
The ends have since been ripped up, but this aggression did provide some collateral damage in the building’s strategy of deterring skateboarding: it sent people waxing curbs all over the rest of the plaza. First at the circular manual pad, then further down towards Tillary.
They could’ve just conceded one, and now have resigned to playing whack-a-mole with an entire roster of curb spots in the periphery. Can’t turf the world, baby!
12. Marathon Line Through Financial
Carl Aikens’ cruise through a ghost town of a Financial District likely shattered any previous record for most number of interconnected spots, spanning at least five blocks and almost three minutes.
11. The Brooklyn Banks Tile Scare
With one Instagram post of the missing bricks, a newfound ecosystem of quarantine content was created. Thrasher ran full retrospectives including never-before-seen photos. Some dude started an entire YouTube channel logging every clip. We had to employ new fact-checkers to stay ahead of the rumors. Some insisted that the mysterious hip at the Cemetery Curbs was a “consolation prize” from the D.O.T.
All for a spot that already hadn’t been skateable for a ~decade.
Let’s hope The Banks’ 2020s prove more restorative than its 2010s ♥ (Word is the Zoom meeting with the community board a few weeks back gave reason for us to feel optimistic.)
10. The Tompkins Détente
When the Parks maintenance people first extended an olive branch this summer — saying they wouldn’t throw the ramps out if “we” didn’t scrawl on the benches — some pointed out a false equivalence. Yes, skateboarders are not the only ones who hang out on the benches.
But it worked.
The ramps dropped there ~5 months ago are still there, complete with six-inch-wide holes, giving rise to a burgeoning sub-genre of Tompkins spectatorship: watching the uninitiated charge at the ramps upon arrival, not realizing there’s a crater waiting for their wheels on the other side.
9. Meet the Woo 2
Pop Smoke left an immortal mark on the world during his tragically short amount of time here — providing endless jolts of energy to a year in constant need of them.
Skateboarders’ speakers are rarely in unison with what cars and radios are playing throughout the rest of the city (e.g. we were in a Sahbabii bubble that summer when every. single. car. was blasting “Bodak Yellow.”) This year was different. Maybe not since peak 50 Cent has the entire New York metropolitan area been in such cohesive musical agreement — to the point where even skaters were playing the same shit as everyone else.
8. The Return of Early 2000s Editing
The early 2000s Transworld video editing on the Bronze promo from January is still so so perfect 🧠 pic.twitter.com/Qkczegu1Z8
— Quartersnacks (@quartersnacks) December 4, 2020
As we began the decade, there was a faint whisper in the background. It wasn’t exactly saying that the nineties nostalgia was done — no, whoever was doing the whispering knew that they’d be jumped, have their bike stolen, and be stomped on by a horse if people heard them say that.
But it did hint that eventually, SOMEDAY, this whole “reliving skateboarding’s glory decade”-thing would run dry.
The minds at Bronze — ahead of the time as they had been for all of last decade — knew to begin tuning parts of their 2020 Promo to the rhythm ;) of Ty Evans’ Y2K-era Transworld editing.
There’s no better way to remind everyone that the nineties are over than to bring up the last time they ended.
7. Rust Belt Trap
The murmurs around our Readers Poll included a lot of “I don’t even remember what came out this year.”
Skate videos have been deemed dead a thousand times over, but you know why they will never really die? It’s really simple. The people making them will always care about …making them.
A video is a voyage. People come out the other side battered, with friendships sometimes looking different on premiere night than they did during the first trick filmed for the video.
Rust Belt Trap is brilliant. We can see that in the fact that nobody in the video chose an “easy spot.” We can read about it in Jerry Mraz’s interview where he reveals it took him six years to film his part, exclusively on one of the most difficult to skate, and *loudest* obstacles there is. You can appreciate that every skater in the video, even ones with a single trick, have custom-welded titles introducing them. Or you can re-watch Jake Baldini’s part a third or fourth time and think, “How did I not realize how amazing this part was at first?”
But that’s probably 5% of what we can see. Maybe the next 20 videos mean we won’t remember this one, but the people who made it will never forget it. Some crew of cellar door fundamentalists will set out another voyage — because they were stoked on one before them. And that’s truly enough ♥
6. Plazacation @ Big Screen Plaza
When businesses were forced to close in March because of COVID-19, every skater had the exact same thought: what better time to skate behind a luxury hotel?
By summer, the entire park was boarded off from access. It remains unaltered. They just wanted everyone out.
What happened between those events …is coming to Netflix next fall. Directed by Errol Morris.
Bonus Mini Rapidfire 5
Outstanding Achievement in Sculpture: Unnamed B.Q.E. Genius
Skate Meme of the Year: Drake second year in a row?!
Wish-This-Was-5x-Longer Award: K.B. x Johnny x Alice
Flex of the Year: Zhu
Flick of the Year: Alexis Sablone