It All Started With a Manual — The Skateable History of Columbus Park

Skate spots are living, breathing things. They shift with the socioeconomic climate of the time, and position themselves to best adapt with people’s needs. Skateboarding has always been reflective of greater society, so it should come as no surprise that our lives were pushed into Columbus Park as we began to get pushed out of the pricier, glossier haunts that we once frequented in lower Manhattan.

Columbus Park sits on ominous ground. It was built on top of what was once America’s first slum: a hotbed of vice, disease, murder and clashes for control that have been documented in many books and films. Though it would take decades for the neighborhood to rid itself of the notoriety it earned throughout the 19th century, the city built Columbus Park in 1897. A hundred years passed, and then a guy from Clifton, New Jersey came along. The park began its second life as one of the few downtown spots you can skate in 2017 without getting kicked out.

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Red is the Coldest Color: The Plight of the Redheaded Skateboarder

red is the coldest

Hair has been having quite a moment in skateboarding. Mid-line hair flips are now acceptable skate video etiquette, and even encouraged in some circles. Skaters show up to their barbers with magazine cut-outs of their favorite handsome pros. Some people have entirely supplanted the act of skateboarding with doing their hair. And when spring hits, at least one-third of your friends are getting their heads bleached.

Yup, we’re just comfortable being open about how our hair looks…but aren’t we avoiding the elephant in the room? Skateboarding remains a blonde and brown-haired activity. Redheads are shunned by our superficial skateboard society.

A 2010 viral video revealed that “gingers have souls.” It turns out that they have tricks, too. However, the closed-minded skateboard industry treats even the most talented redheads with with a degree of disinterest otherwise reserved for flow riders wearing Flex-Fits and skating handrails in former Soviet Bloc countries without adequate mail systems. It is time that we acknowledge how redheaded skateboarders are unforgivably underrated.

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4 P.M. Links :(



Manolo’s “20 Years of Chocolate” remix will bring a tear to your eye.

Still one of the craziest things ever done on a skateboard. Dude was too futuristic.

“Tyshawn Jones is really getting some air! Now I hope that he and others of his ilk are billed for the damage they cause to the steps and walls of monuments and public areas around the city.” TJ got a photo in the Times this past weekend. Some commenters were upset. We should ban everything except walking. That’d be cool.

SMLTalk has been doing some hard-hitting investigative journalism as of late. First, they use Kevin Bradley’s bump-to-bar grab from “cherry” as a springboard to assess the history of acceptable grabs on street, and though it went online a few weeks ago, this piece on the demise of the pop shove-it is also worth your consideration.

Boil the Ocean on Stativ IV and the future of full-length videos.

Some Bronze B-sides. ICYMI: Jenkem interviewed Peter about dark corners of the internet last week. (Here’s another interview with him and Pat from last fall.)

Quick Acapulco Gold clip with a 2013 Q.S.O.T.Y. Leo Gutman sighting.

This “Steep Banks” account on YouTube started uploading a lot of Long Island-based gems from the nineties: Frank Gerwer in midtown circa 1997 and R.I.P. Burritoville and Broadway Bump, two of the greatest lil’ kid spots in New York skateboarding history.

Well, a summer montage to “We Dem Boyz” was pretty inevitable.

Columbus Circle is fun.

A look at the current breed of skate videos coming out of Philadelphia.

Wasn’t expecting to link a video of a guy on Jart today, but some of the stuff in this Fran Molina part is undeniably insane. He destroys MACBA without even hitting the ledges much, and skates sorta like a Euro Torey Pudwill. (Who, by the way, was recently discovered to be maybe the third Jewish pro skateboarder ever. Time to amend this post.)

Uhh…Young Thug was on The Tonight Show.

Quote of the Week: “Yo you know what’s fact? Most pretty girls have bigass foreheads.” — Overheard at Lenox Ledges

Sorry for the slow start to the week. Cool stuff soon?

The Events That Defined New York City Skateboarding in 2011: 10-6

2011 ends in less that four days. Wow. Previous installments of the countdown: #25-21, #20-16, #15-11. Final installment goes online December 31.

10. Lucas Puig Re-Legitimizes the Noseslide

The northeast may be the last place on earth that does not fully buy into the ballet of flip-in-flip-outs synonymous with the modern day noseslide. We were delighted to see Lucas Puig, one of European skateboarding’s most agreeable technicians, be the one to bring back a completely glitter-less version of one. Puig’s re-induction of the noseslide into acceptable territory for line choreographers has already been felt in videos since his Transworld spotlight, most notably via Stefan Janoski in The SB Chronicles.

Note: Whether or not this trick is acceptable for those under the age of 25 (i.e. those who have not been skating long enough to remember when the noseslide was an acceptable ledge trick) is a controversial subject.

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“Tote guns to the Grammys, pop bottles on the White House lawn…”

Flockavelli got robbed for record of the year at the Grammys. But masterworks like that often take years to marinate before people understand their true brilliance. What the hell is this Cadillac commercial nonsense? At least basketball went in a good direction yesterday.

Ok, wait, this is a skate site, right?

You can find QS affiliate, and 360 flip extraordinaire, Andre Page’s thirty seconds worth of tricks from Thanks Camera 4: Jump the Shark on the QS YouTube page. If you haven’t already seen it, go to to check out the whole video.

2nd Nature put together a video clip of their whole squad’s recent trip to Los Angeles. Features all of the remaining classic L.A. spots, and QS favorite, Little Chris, who is bound to become one of the best skaters in New York in the next few years. Four years ago, he was doing gnarly little kid kickflips down five sets in the first Watermelon video, now he’s front blunting ledges like a grown man. Just wait until he actually grows up.

Daniel Lebron is absurdly good at skateboarding, and has some of the most well-formed flatground trick execution out there. Watch his new Stacks welcome part a couple of times. The first line strikes such a harmonious balance between classic simplicity, and modern day trick extravagance. It never hurts to toss in a regular stance backside heelflip in the middle of a line.

Taji has a photography feature / interview over on the Converse website. Includes a shot of the East Village lurking degenerate that could probably be chalked up as having the longest-standing allegiance to the green and black flannel shirt.

Allow this to be a warning for anyone not keeping a solid, attentive look-out when spotting for a friend skating a gap into a street. It would be unfortunate if you’re the asshole responsible for a homie landing in the hospital after getting hit by a car because you were too busy checking Facebook or texting.

The digital version of the Philly-based skateboard ‘zine, Skate Jawn is now online. Physical copies are available at KCDC.

It was a heavy topic of discussion this past week, so you have probably already seen it, but Casey Rigney deserves a plaque of some sort for the feats he accomplished on the streets on New York in his most recent web part. Not really mad at the Cappadonna soundtrack either.

Time capsule clip of the moment: The New York section from Transworld’s Transmission 7 video. Thanks goes to whoever dropped the link in the comments.

If you want a quick shortcut to the straight skateboarding section from yesterday’s post of the Love Park On Video documentary, we threw up an upload of just Stevie and Kalis’ section on YouTube.

Quote of the Week:I want my party footage to outshine my skate footage.” – Pad Dowd

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