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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The Best Skateboard Videos of the 2010s — QS Reader Survey Results

Illustration by Cosme Studio

This was the decade that the full-length skate video was supposed to die. We began the 2010s with everyone insisting that Stay Gold would be the last full-length skate video. Then, Pretty Sweet was supposed to be the last full-length video. Some people thought that Static IV would be it — the end, no more full-lengths after that. But I feel like I heard someone say Josh was working on something new a couple months back? Idk.

The experience might’ve changed. We’re not huddling around a skate house’s TV covered in stickers to watch a DVD bought from a shop anymore (if this past weekend is any indication, it’s more like AirPlaying a leaked .mp4 file via a link obtained from a guy who knows a guy), but the experience of viewing a fully realized skate video with your friends for the first, second or twentieth time is still sacred.

Just as we asked for your votes for the five best video parts, we did the same for the five best full-lengths: if you could choose the five videos that defined the 2010s, what would they be? The results were a bit more surprising than the parts tally in some ways, given that it felt like independent, regional and newer, small brand videos dominated the decade, yet Big Shoe Brands™ and Girl + Chocolate still made their way into the list. The top-heaviness of some companies or collectives was less of a surprise, in that certain creators loomed large over the 2010s.

Like the installment before it, this list is sans comment for 20-11, and then via favors from writer friends for the top ten: here are the twenty best skate videos of the past ten years.

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Crazy But It’s True

Photo via Giese

“Jake Phelps surely embodied worlds in decline: Old San Francisco, famously non-PC, MJ1s on his feet until whatever deadstock tap ran dry, proofing a decades-old print publication with a snarling discontent any seasoned editor would recognize and respect. An artifact arguing and cussing every day for a place in a world moving some other way.” Unfortunate to link their way two weeks in a row for obituary purposes, but Boil Ocean has a way with them words.

“Though I would sometimes cross the street to avoid him, I can remember so much of what he said to me.” Patrick O’Dell also wrote a thing about Phelps over on Vice.

And here is a re-link to Willy Staley’s California Sunday profile of Phelps that originally ran in 2016, A.K.A. what BTO labeled as “secular-press skate piece top five.” Would be *so* open to a conversation about what the other four are ;)

The new Gang Corp video, Black Business, is premiering this Friday, March 22, at 198 Allen Street at 7 P.M.

Someone mashed together five minutes of Hjalte Insta clips a nice remix

Mike from Lottie’s takes five minutes to tell you what he’s pissed off about.

Munchies has a mini doc on the institution that has sustained New York skateboarding like none other throughout the 2010s — of course, we’re talking about 2 Bros. They also bring up a terrifying reality re: the ten-year leases that got signed at the start of the decade ending (e.g. when everyone was still reeling from the recession), and the dollar slice soon becoming a thing of the past.

“I think the mainstream American skateboarding culture is kidding itself. They’re really dismissive of emotions in a way that is hurting itself. It’s becoming more and more inline with traditional athleticism, but also what is acceptable as a skateboarder is so narrow – you have to be cool, not talk about your feelings.” If you’re one of those idiots like me who put off watching Minding the Gap for months, here’s another motivator: Skateism put their interview with director Bing Liu online. Yeah, you need to enter your card details, but a Hulu trial to watch it is free, and you can cancel the second you finish the movie — provided you’re not destroyed for the rest of the day.

Solo has a video profile of steez lord and Polar rider, Shin Sanbongi + Nick from Palomino took his legacy media expertise and wrote an introductory guide on Japanese indie zines and videos for the mag’s all-Japan issue. No Meatball interview?

TWS interviewed John Shanahan, though we all know A.V.E. had the best part in The DC Video.

Let’s just throw the interview loosies in one place… Frank 151 interviewed R.B. Umali (text), Enrique Lorenzo interviewed Dani Lebron (this one is audio, and yes, they have heavy accents, but their english is pretty perfect) + the Slam City Skates blog interviewed Colin Read (text.)

QS Sports Desk Play of the Week: Going to suspend our micro coverage of the NBA this week to acknowledge that the best feat of teamwork and athleticism of the past seven days was this guy getting a ~15-foot I-beam onto a New York City subway.

Quote of the Week: “Who the fuck is Andrew Wilson?” — Jake Phelps, flipping through a Skate Jawn

Fulfill the Dream

The Muska Epicly Later’d, in summary. After years spent pining for a Muska Epicly Later’d, and it finally existing, there’s now a vast emptiness. Who do we lobby for now? …wait, what if the answer is already in front of us? Standing in the right of the frame?

Although it’ll mainly resonate with audiophiles, Muska told the stories behind his ten favorite boom boxes as a supplement to the episode.

Genesis made a feel-good iPhone edit to wrap the summer up.

Bobshirt’s latest is with a [presumably buzzed?] Richard Angelides. Always enjoyed his non-rave music entry in Ty Evan’s 1997 rave film, and 11-out-of-10 trick selection.

Can’t tell what happened with this and why it is only going online now — as it was supposed to come out, like, literally four or five years ago (maybe they just waited for angst to start trending again) — but Death Video is now online in full. Features much, much younger versions of Tyshawn, Kempsey, Troy, etc.

With the potential end of Muni looming in the future, this was fun to watch (although admittedly, it is nowhere near as good the Big Three of Philadelphia skate spots) — The guys from Municipal Skateboards filmed a montage exclusively at the Philadelphia Museum of Art a.k.a. the Rocky steps.

The B.Q.E. Lot is set to be renovated by the D.O.T. at the start of next year, and it’s going to look exactly like that shitty space around the Flatiron Building with sandpaper ground and random rocks everywhere. Can’t we just get a ledge?

Online for the first time? The subway skating section from Colin Read’s Tengu.

A couple quick ones from Palace in the Puig era: Brady by Lucas, Lucas by Lucien.

Lacey Baker, Sarah Meurle and Josie Millard skate around Manhattan for a women’s shoe that Nike released. Max isn’t the only one who likes skating broken lampposts ;)

North Skate Mag has a chill interview with Mike Blabac.

“Does all this mean that New York is vanishing? Sure. But the deli wasn’t there forever, either. Vanishing is what New York does.” Roctakon’s brother wrote a rad thing about revisiting the Brooklyn delis that he had photographed back in 2008.

QS Sports Desk Play of the Week: This is the most Melo has passed in his career.

Quote of the Week
Torey Goodall: “What do you got there?”
Hydrated Gentleman: “A water.”
Torey Goodall: “An N.A? Nice.”

It’s 3 in the Morning, Take Your Old Ass to Sleep

lehos

Zaytoven deserves a Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Watched this guy Ruben Spelta skate at Milano Centrale this past summer and it was insane. Dude is a good follow on Instagram, but this compilation video should bring you up to speed for now. Who’s everyone got for best steez 2k16 award?

“I wish Brandon Turner was wearing a Bronze tee when he switch Hardfliped Carlsbad in the Guilty video.” Skateboard Story interviewed Peter Sidlauskas from Flipmode Stick Up Kids Bronze. Link to the “How I’m Living” video please :)

“And I guess I’m also saying that Tiago, if you care bud (which hopefully you don’t) you should maybe consider changing your name to Trevor, switching from Mountain Dew to beer, and getting on Anti-Hero or something.”

Taylor Nawrocki’s Spirit Quest part is now playing over on the TWS site, and Free Skate Mag has an extensive interview with Colin Read about the project itself, in addition to a minute of extras that got left out from the video.

Place interviewed Alex Olson, the guy whose office is a floor below Alltimers.

“There is no reason that a campaign born out of the streets cannot be intelligent and incisive.” Something that is probably going to come in handy in Tr*mp’s litigious America: Love Live Southbank’s Guide to Saving a Skate Spot. (The city of Barcelona is restoring Sants, by the way *side-eye Emoji*)

Hey did you know that there was a moment when Dill and A.V.E. might’ve got on Aesthetics at its inception? Sal Barbier got Chromeballed.

“Don’t put this in one of your stupid edits, dude.” “NY Times Vol. 20” via LurkNYC.

“Tood” is the new one from Rios Crew, Hungarian skating-with-backpacks devotees.

R.B. just uploaded some raw footage of Zered, Eli, Westgate, Tierney, Dela, et al. skating around the city from a summer or two ago.

Part two of the Right Coast Tour with Freddy and Quim is now live.

Zach Moore’s Transplants video is now online in full.

Did you know there was a time when John Cardiel had a pro snowboard, and Burton advertised in Thrasher? Our bud Alex Dymond just released a book entitled Snow Beach, which chronicles an era when snowboarding was very much an offseason activity for skaters, with tons of crossover via fashion, style, etc. from skateboarding.

The new Watermelonism video, “Keep Biting,” is premiering at 2nd Nature on Thursday. Flyer here. Music by the world famous DJ Thando of “Needed Me” remix fame.

“Dipset: The Movie” — a big topic around here some ~ten years ago — is back and is actually still great. “You’re so ugly I could hear it through the phone.”

QS Sports Desk Play of the Week: Sooooooooo, ANYWAYYYYYY

Quote of the Week: “I just found out through Google that I have chlamydia, I should bounce.” — Name Withheld

Today marks ten years since the release of The Inspiration, which was 95% of the way as incredible of an album as TM101, this website’s founding piece of scripture. (Even did a tribute post to it the day it leaked online, and distinctly remember listening to nothing else that winter.) There really is no greater three-peat of motivational speaking than the first three Jeezy albums. The guy has nothing left to prove #jeezysaves.