As skate tourism has grown and grown and grown, New York spots have snowballed in brand recognition. Run down the best tricks at the city’s marquee spots, and two of them will be from some random Volcom summer edit. A new bump-to-bar pop ups, and you can almost watch its NBD list get checked off in real-time on Instagram.
The Soldiers and Sailors Monument on 89th Street and Riverside Drive is the exact opposite. It is not the type of spot a visiting team stops by on its east coast tour. It is a local staple — it’s as local as the nondescript corner store in your neighborhood that has deceptively great sandwiches and the grill still on late at night. The Monument is mainly skated by people who live in that neighborhood, with the occasional visit from a friend. It’s the type of spot that you could set a low bar for sneaking a session between getting home from work, and the sun setting in 30 minutes, but end up tricking yourself into having more fun than you would at a proper skatepark.
Greg Navarro and Ted Barrow‘s “Upper West Side Curb Club” is a nineteen-minute portrait of the spot. While we’ve grown accustomed to one-spot projects veering towards places that ooze with mythology, this one celebrates the opposite: one straight curb, two curved ones, and two ledges on profoundly shitty ground, which the video’s sound-design does a great job of emphasizing.
Having a great curb in your neighborhood is a feature just like proximity to the train or good restaurants is. “Upper West Side Curb Club” reminds us to appreciate the imperfect little things, and the micro-scenes that they’re capable of creating ❤