A week away from the first Olympics to feature skateboarding, you will no-doubt see mainstream publications taking a “global” lens through which to view the Games’ new inclusion. To anyone who actually skateboards …it’s like, “yeah, no shit.”
But it’s not because we are all aware of some nebulous concept of who the “best” skater from Brazil, Sweden or Japan is. Given the sprawling worldwide growth of skateboarding that has accelerated alongside the internet, we can now know who the “best” skater of a literal acre or two of city land in some Scandinavian country is. We know the architectural intricacies of completely arbitrary train stations across the globe. Give me a Pantone book, and I’ll show you the color scheme of Tennessee’s capital building because of one guy’s skate footage. Have I been to Tennessee? No, not yet!
A one-spot part is a way to deify one’s name alongside a place, but not in a championship or gold medal sense. It is more Kobe’s 61 points at MSG than it is a title. It is a story. Better yet, it’s mythology: “So-and-so only filmed at this city block for a year and figured out ten new ways to skate it.”
We all know the ancient proverb: “One man’s infrastructural banality is another man’s tailslide.”
But for all the details of cities that skateboarders pay a perverse amount of attention to — the positioning of cracks before stairs, the shapes of curbs, literal fucking trashcans — our ability to isolate a select few traffic medians as desirable places to hang out at is an under-appreciated tidbit of our lunacy.
To the average person, a median divides two opposing directions of traffic. Unless someone is an engineer, there is absolutely no reason to spend any of their precious time on earth thinking about one. To a skateboarder though… it’s not a ledge, it’s not a curb — it’s a ledge on TOP of a curb.
Given our struggles of just being left alone at a decent-enough ledge, some of our more able-bodied colleagues sought refuge in the soothing serenity of New York City traffic. And like many parables of post-Financial Crisis skateboarding, this one begins with Jake Johnson.
It’s no stretch to say that Milano Centrale and Washington D.C’s Pulaski Park are made from similar strains of skate spot pixie dust. As a youth watching The DC Video, I even remember thinking Stevie Williams’ switch heel back tail was on some lesser-seen portion of Pulaski, given the striking resemblance its white marble upper level has to the composition of Italy’s greatest skate spot.
Photo via The Shady One
Everything is a YouTube link this week, so if you’re showing up here to get your read on, you’re better off taking your ass to the library ;)
Antics is a sick 18-minute New Jersey video by Hugh O’Hare, featuring a mix of homies from Branded and Travel Skateshops. Lots of time put in at the Newark Peach Ledges and Big Screen Plaza (still boarded off unchanged, btw.) Shout out to anyone grinding the edge of a glass pane. Shout out to the drop-in at Museum of Natural History (those security guards sure have had an interesting pandemic….) Shout out to Anthony Gordon’s part and front crook fakie.
It is *so hard* to show off your great skate hair in a winter edit. 80% of the footy in Josh Payner’s new winter video blog is in beanies, hoodies and gloves, so the skating itself is left to do the talking :) Also, these edits are awesome and inspiring. Here’s the first one.
We found a box of tees in the warehouse, so have a restock on some of the Snackman and Tompkins tees in a full size run over on the webstore. Free shipping with the promo code mondaylinks until midnight New York time ;) Thank you to everyone for your support.
Skateboard Story spoke to Aaron Wiggs A.K.A. Uncle Leroy about the bi-weekly BLM sidewalk sales he has been organizing at McGolrick Park throughout the summer, which have raised $140,000 (!!!) for charity over the course of five sales ♥