The Last Time The City Shut Down — An Oral History of Skateboarding In New York Right After Hurricane Sandy

Photo by Pep Kim

New York has quite literally never felt like it does right now in this quarantined liminal space that we are in. The level of quiet in Manhattan at 8 P.M. is incomparable to even the deadest, coldest Sunday night in a residential zone. Obviously, there’s a reason for this, in that we all must do our part to minimize human contact so that COVID-19 can be contained, hospitals can maintain a semblance of functionality, and we can begin to burrow out of this chapter. Mobbing to skate midtown and being a responsible member of society are clearly at odds right now.

However, the current state of the city did bring up memories of a different disruptive event: Hurricane Sandy.

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Sanguine Paradise

Please sign the petition to show your support for keeping the asphalt at the Tompkins Square Park courts. This space is as sacred to skateboarding and the East Village as the Rucker or the West 4th Street courts are to basketball. It would be a massive loss to the youth and cultural fabric of the neighborhood if they were covered with synthetic turf. We are a few hundred shy of 25,000 (!!!) signatures, so please please please share the petition with your friends, and on your respective social channels.

After many years of captivity, the Zipper Ledge is finally free and dressed with a fresh, yellow paintjob, as first reported by @mini_spots. (Don’t ask for pin! That’s like asking where the Empire State Building is!) If only the park starts opening the gate at Yellow Rail, then the entire Morningside little kid skate scene circa 2003 will be in full revival.

Jesse Alba is the latest guest on The Bunt, and really happy that he no longer lives at 51 Eldert Street.

…aanndd Max Palmer is half the man he used to be in Jesse’s new #longform iPhone edit.

One of the hardest things about interviewing skateboarders is not asking the same ten things that the last few interviews they did asked. It’s special and rare when you get someone for their first one. Caleb Barnett did his first ever interview with the Slam City Skates blog.

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Tax Day

Just got back from Greece, so maybe there’s a heightened awareness thing going on, but it kinda seems like ~going to Greece~ is becoming more of a moment now that a second generation of Americans has successfully re-done the entire list of ABDs from the 2000s at the Le Dome double-set ;) ANYWAY! You should watch the new sixteen-minute edit from our Greek friends at Screw Loose Fastening Co. to break you out of the République / Southbank / Barcelona / etc. European content spiral. It looks different, and is a lot of fun.

Jenkem has the raw files from Gang Corp’s Black Business video.

Elsewhere in a northern corner of the state: b-sides and extras via the Buffalo-based Jeb video that we linked up a bunch of parts from last year. Another upstate trip is definitely still on the 2019 resolutions list.

“The history of skateboarding is the history of the built environment, and of the ruins left by overreach.” Here’s a really rad photo essay about how hill-heavy condo developments in North Carolina that were left all but abandoned by the Great Recession have become ripe for skateboarding.

“Stranger Than Paradise” is the new mini vid from our new gen Miami friends at Andrew Skateshop:

Aaron Herrington has a day in the life-esque segment on Thrasher where he discusses Street View-driven deep dives for New York spots, sobriety, etc.

Paul Young did a quick refurbish of some used footy for a tribute to sandwiches.

“Places are all very different but also the same, right? A lot of it is what you carry around in your head.” Big past week for Jacob Harris on the ol’ non-Thrasher, non-Instagram skateboard content circuit: Atlantic Drift’s auteur talks to the Slam City Skates blog about his process and how Las Vegas is kinda the same as London at the end of the day ♥

Can’t tell where these dudes are based out of, but there’s a solid bit of New York footage in the teaser for the Sportsman Shit video.

How insane is it that the two French skate spots most recognizable to Americans have simply been, like, renovated and restored to brand new condition over the past twelve months? There’s actually this cool place by the Brooklyn Bridge that could use a similar treatment, but that probably makes too much sense, right? :(

QS Sports Desk Play of the Week: Enjoy Giannis in these cute early years before you have to get used to him breaking your team’s heart for the next ~decade are so.

Quote of the Week: “The Sombrero is the only spot in New York that isn’t a bust.” — Cyrus Bennett

Mailbox Money

Congrats to Jason on the pro board ♥

Chrystie NYC’s first full-length video, Chapter One in now live on Thrasher. Features an ender part from Aaron Herrington, a bunch of footage of that dude Kuae Cosa who’s been popping up in Cons edits, the up-close angle of the other way ollie at the Crosby Street Vespa Bump… and that ride-on grind at LaGuardia High School is insane.

As far as “concept parts” go, filming one entirely on cobblestone spots is a bold undertaking.

On the opposite end of the texture spectrum, Village Psychic made a montage only at playground spots around New York, and reminded us of why we don’t do remix videos without skate audio anymore.

“The guys in the video don’t give a fuck about the American industry anymore. We were also all listening to a lot of Tupac at the time and getting kicked out of spots in Cali, then jumping into the van and blasting that Tupac song kind of cemented it.” Ok then. Free has a full retrospective on one of the seminal skate video imports of the 2000s, Lordz’ They Don’t Give A Fuck About Us (and answers the question we were asking a lot back in 2013: what happened to William Phan?

Steve Mastorelli made a rad Silvester Eduardo remix. Actually missed a bunch of this footage before. Syracuse nollie flip was sick.

Jake Johnson v.s. The Louvre. Still holding out for Chris Pfanner v.s. The Met one day.

These Bunt episodes are getting pretty long. Kerry Getz is the latest guest. Love a level-headed, smart former pro. Shame that the angry, “everyone screwed me over” curmudgeon types tend to get all the attention though.

Theories uploaded what will be the final installment of the Elkin raw tapes series, and Tombo uploaded #9 of his raw deals series in the event that you need some VX footage from a long time ago to go along with your morning coffee ;)

Copenhagen and Malmö still got Paris beat on the whole “skateable obstacles integrated in public spaces but not exactly skateparks”-thing, but yeah! What they said! But for New York! Would trade like 3-4 New York skateparks for just that little red plaza on the side street in Berlin.

Paper has a quick feature on Skate Mamis, a collective of girls doing cool shit in Puerto Rico.

Aaron Herrington and Mark Suciu go on an artsy cruise around Lower Manhattan.

The Sabotage crew is releasing another video in 2020.

Ricardo Napoli’s new video, Ciao is premiering in Williamsburg, next Monday, April 8. Flyer + more info here. Teaser can be found here.

QS Sports Desk Play of the Week: Tyshawn’s T.F. West part on the big screen at Barclays.

Quote of the Week
Charles Rivard: “He skates like he’s on coke, and parties like he’s on weed.”
Rob Harris: “More like he skates like he wishes he had friends.”

No Griptape in Paris

“I took so much acid that I started riding l*ngb**rds.” The governor of New Jersey has a sharp memory and is endearing as could be in yet another Bobshirt longplayer classic. Tons of stories about S.F/Philly/New York in the nineties, his mom taking him to *the* Banks contest, and plenty of memories about some legendary names.

We live in a place we are often convinced is the center of the world, despite the fact we all fall victim to the same merry-go-round of spots, tricks, ideas, etc. “Steel” is an incredible ten-minute video by Adam Bos filmed throughout that vast state above — in zones that are closer to Toronto than Brooklyn — and feels more refreshing than a lot of what our center-of-the-universe selves have been releasing as of late. Also…do we do another “core” tour? ;)

No other skate crew has logged more hours on the always en vogue corner of Howard and Crosby Streets. “Mean Streets” volume eleven from LurkNYC is now live.

There’s 7,000 articles out there about the rise of Small Brands™ over the past ~five years, but here’s one about the rise of Small Brands™ focused specifically on women.

Listen the Skater You’d Be Most O.K. With Your Daughter Dating get slut-shamed by Cephas on the latest episode of The Bunt.

Happy ten year anniversary to skateboarding’s Library of Congress A.K.A. The Chrome Ball Incident. Chops celebrates a decade with an interview, tons of stories and some raw clips from World Industries’ earliest filmer, Socrates Leal.

Aaron Herrington reminds you that Diego Najera nollie flipped over Black Hubba, and then had the audacity to follow it up with a switch varial heelflip eight feet over the top of a picnic table. P.S. He nollie flipped over Black Hubba.

Gonz skates around downtown with a white spine ramp for Adidas and Krooked’s collab. They better have left all of those things at Tompkins…

Yonnie Cruz’s lost part from Chocolate’s 1995 video, Las Nueve Vidas De Paco.

ICYMI, E.T. has his first-ever interview over on Thrasher.

Bummed we missed the House of Vans Calgary pop-up / Alltimers premiere, but also we got to host a legendary sporting event that weekend so it’s ok. BUT, if you’re the photo recap type, here you go.

QS Sports Desk Play of the Week: A 68-year-old beat the Warriors by himself.

Quote of the Week: “I don’t know why they even bother giving customer copies of receipts in 2018.” — Conor Prunty

Also, somebody nollie flipped Black Hubba.