2013 was okay. What is it about New Year’s this year that makes it seem more garbage than usual though? Anyway, like, where’s everyone at tonight? ;)
Previously: #s 25-21, #s 20-16, #s 15-11, #s 10-6, The Year in T.F. Obstacles
5. The Subway Track Ollie
If you have ever stood on a subway platform staring at the countdown clock, the thought has come to mind: “Could someone hypothetically ollie over the tracks?” In theory, if Jeremy Wray did that water tower ollie, it’d have to be possible. Then you’d consider the additional curve-in, the timing, the train, the bust, and eventually, the third rail, which stands to give anyone who touches it an unpleasant departure from earth in the event of a worst case scenario.
The speculation ended this year, as Koki Loaiza ollied from platform to platform at the 145th Street A station…going towards the third rail and earning press from media outlets far beyond skateboarding’s typical reach.
Ain’t worried about nothing, ridin’ through East 9th Street…
The T.F. solidified its legacy long ago. However, that does not mean it will maintain the same level of #relevance that it has enjoyed for the past decade-plus. Much like the social climate of the early 2000s forced the Brooklyn Banks to cede its status as the city’s prime skate spot to the T.F., that very same moment has been dawning on Tompkins for some time. Skateparks run New York; cramped spaces with ramps-to-rails have surpassed the value of flatground.
But is Tompkins ready to fade into the sunset? Definitely not. You can count of the first warm day of 2014 being a magical time. You can count on street debris being lugged here and contorted into borderline skateable obstacles for years to come. And you can sure count on plenty of East Village kids who have never been south of Rivington Street or north of Stuy-Town refusing to acknowledge that skateparks exist.
Here are the key developments that occurred at Tompkins Square Park in 2013, as told through the #tfreport tag on the ‘Gram. Apologies to anyone whose Instagram photo was stolen for this post (but not really…once you contribute to the #tfreport think tank, your image becomes public property.)
Apologies for this being a bit late. We spent all of yesterday looking for the only dry spot in New York. Past installments here: #s 25-21, #s 20-16.
15. R.I.P. to an Empire, the Water Street McDonald’s Closes
For every great skate spot, there is an accompanying fast food restaurant: the Burger King down the street from the Banks, the McDonald’s up the hill from Pulaski, the Wawa by Love, or the In-N-Out across from Hollywood High.
Water Street was once the most heavily treaded road of lower Manhattan skateboarders; Pappalardo and Wenning’s days of going to Burritoville near Pyramid Ledges to sustain on free nachos are well known. But that place closed. The aforementioned Burger King is now a high end grocery store. The nearby Wendy’s was turned into a tourist center. And this past year, the final remaining destination for hungry, poor skateboarders, shut its doors. Skating on Water Street isn’t irrelevant just because all of the spots are knobbed — but because everyone except the top 1% of skateboarders (those with
an above minimum-wage income any income whatsoever, who can afford a Chipotle burrito) have effectively been priced out, right down to food options.
5 P.M. updates are stupid, but whatever. Got a bit caught up today. Thanks to anyone who caught the preview of the new QS “Best of” clip at the Nike screening yesterday. That clip will be online at the end of the week. Back to our annual wrap-up series…
#s 25 through 21 are here.
20. Houston Street Construction Becomes the New Bank to Green Box
The first installment of this series concluded with a list of 2013’s best spots. Astute readers of QS should know that it reflected office favorites, and not all-encompassing New York skater favorites. We don’t ollie down what we cannot ollie up; professionals and “good” skateboarders abide by a far different creed. Last year, visitors were enamored with the green metal ledge in Harlem, until it mysteriously vanished in January. (Everyone was sick of seeing tricks on that thing anyway.)
Scrambling to find a fresh New York spot that would prove to sponsors that “I didn’t just get drunk and make out with girls with shitty tattoos the entire time I was there,” good skateboarders did what they do best: like, saw the world differently, dude. And so, you couldn’t sit for a minute on the Houston steps this past summer without seeing a pack of skateboarders cruise past, with their filmer towing a hundred-pound backpack ten feet behind them. With yesterday’s release of the new Zoo York vid, companies began an outpour of footage on obstacles that are otherwise the bane of every lower Manhattan driver’s existence.
A.K.A. “The Events That Defined New York Skateboarding in 20__” Yeah, after three years, we figured that title might be a bit too wordy.
If you’ve been reading this website since at least last December, you know what’s going on here. If not, this is our concession to the internet’s annual list season, which we celebrate by chronicling the best bits of minutiae to occur in New York throughout the past year. Old editions — 2012: 25-21, 20-16, 15-11, 10-6, 5-1 / 2011: 25-21, 20-16, 15-11, 10-6, 5-1 / 2010: 25-21, 20-16, 15-11, 10-6, 5-1 / 2000s: 100-91, 90-81, 80-71, 70-61, 60-51, 50-41, 40-31, 30-21, 20-11, 10-2, #1.
25. A Chinatown Laundromat Creates the Most Adorably Futile Skateboarder Deterrent Ever
Did these people really think that northeastern skateboarding’s most beloved obstacle would become less appealing if they scrawled on it in bright yellow broken English? Did they realize it would become the most oft-Instagrammed object in all of New York skateboarding this year? Though it is not among the ranks of New York’s most prominent cellar door spots, this Delancey Street laundromat likely had a frustrating year in understanding why their prohibitive paint job wasn’t working.