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When you’re a kid, all you want to do is skate. Jobs, rent, relationships, student loans, “your future,” whether or not the door person at the bar you’re going to after skating will let you in with your board — none of these things seemed like they’d matter any time soon. And if you did have a job, or a concern for your future that exceeds the non-existent foresight of an average skater, it was put aside when you woke up on that first 60-degree Saturday in March, or even during those last remaining crumbs of tolerability near 32 degrees once December had set in.

Skating downtown and midtown in the same day becomes a daunting physical task once you drift from your teen years. Before, the day would seem incomplete if you called it quits just after the sun set. You either hopped on the train, or pushed for forty blocks to save yourself the fare. Some nights were cut off early, when you would be out at an hour reasonable enough to bump into groups of tourists looking for Sex and the City landmarks. Other times, you’d only share the streets with a calm patch of cabs, and the smell of 4 A.M. coffee creeping from the breakfast carts getting ready for the day’s early rush. Either way, it was skate, get kicked out, move along, repeat.

As you get older, there are more things to worry about, and less time to take care of them all. What was once a debate between the 6 to Grand Central or the N to 49th, is flipped into whether to make the voyage north of 14th Street altogether. Either you’re taking it easy because you have work in the morning, need to finish a paper, or succumbing to the simple temptation of the party. Everyone reaches a point when they can no longer skate for 10 hours straight.

During the days of pushing around the city with little concern for time, stretching money was a virtue. It didn’t matter if you had some shitty job or got money from your parents — the crew ate dollar-menus, slices, 99-cent iced tea cans, 50-cent sodas and snack cakes, which were a mere quarter. When your pockets only contained some loose change, a Metrocard, and nuggets of wax, the quarter snack was the most viable option.

Once you can afford actual meals and overpriced rent for a Lower East Side hole-in-the-wall, the quarter snack becomes a symbol of a simpler time, back when you were content with skating on a diet that could lead to diabetes if not phased out by 18. That’s when things were less complicated and a bit more fun.