Cardiel, 1993. Bryce Kanights on the photo. Science v.s. Life on the scan.
Big Parts Unknown vibes in this: Pocket‘s latest installment of its “Followed” / day-in-the-life-esque series trails the samosa vendor from MACBA for a day. This entire piece is so so good, and really shines a light on how essential these peripheral figures at spots are to skate culture. Can’t wait for more. Shout out the the Flushing empanada lady. Shout out to the Brooklyn Banks Burger King, the Love Park Wawa, at al.
Week late, but on the slim chance that you haven’t seen Tristan Mershon’s Fool’s Gold video, filmed in predominantly non-obvious corners of New York, please do. The last two parts are especially incredible, and the curtain-call filming is brilliant. “What’s your spot-finding method?” “Lurking, really.”
A day in Yonkers with the 2nd Nature boys via Mike Sass.
“Hot Potato” is the new edit from Stephan Singh with a lot of gems it (that backside flip!)
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Soldiers & Sailors Monument, 1979. Photo by Nathan Tweti
Intro & Interview By Tom Ianelli
Photos by Greg Navarro, Daniel Weiss & Matt Weber
When a kid first picks up a board, their perspective on skating is inherently limited. It is a moment in which all skating is usually represented by the neighborhood spot — be it a driveway, parking lot, or skatepark — and the people found at that spot. The years pass, and skate culture opens up as one watches videos and travels further away from home, but there is a purity to that initial perspective, when skating, and one’s burgeoning love for it, is narrowly embodied by that singular spot.
Filmed entirely at the Soldiers and Sailors Monument, Greg Navarro’s “The Upper West Side Curb Club,” is a skate filmer’s loving tribute to the spot he grew up skating.
Rarely seen in videos, the Soldiers and Sailors Monument, or just “The Monument,” is made up of a few curbs, canons and some “ledges,” that are tucked up in a park on 87th and Riverside, secluded from the shinier skate hubs of New York. With a cast of locals hitting every inch of the park, making spots out of the crust available, Greg’s video is reminiscent of simpler days spent trying to find new possibility in obstacles that have already taught you everything you know about skating. “Upper West Side Curb Club” is not limited by this nostalgic simplicity: the video is evidence that a spot’s value is determined primarily by the devotion and creativity of the skaters who hang out there.
I sat down with Greg at the new Andy Kessler skatepark on 108 to talk about the video and The Monument.
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As skate tourism has grown and grown and grown, New York spots have snowballed in brand recognition. Run down the best tricks at the city’s marquee spots, and two of them will be from some random Volcom summer edit. A new bump-to-bar pop ups, and you can almost watch its NBD list get checked off in real-time on Instagram.
The Soldiers and Sailors Monument on 89th Street and Riverside Drive is the exact opposite. It is not the type of spot a visiting team stops by on its east coast tour. It is a local staple — it’s as local as the nondescript corner store in your neighborhood that has deceptively great sandwiches and the grill still on late at night. The Monument is mainly skated by people who live in that neighborhood, with the occasional visit from a friend. It’s the type of spot that you could set a low bar for sneaking a session between getting home from work, and the sun setting in 30 minutes, but end up tricking yourself into having more fun than you would at a proper skatepark.
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