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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Palace Skateboards’ Shawn Powers Welcome Video

shawn

Two notable fashion houses of 1990s sensibilities — Shawn Powers and Palace Skateboards — have joined forces to bring you their latest collection, “POWER SURGE.” Given a focus on quick ollies, lines on both sides of the street and a great many of spots that were previously not thought of as spots, their collaborative effort is an extension of Powers’ work in “Shawn ‘Manson’ Powers,” “A Night in the Life,” Caviar, 56k, etc. (except with perhaps a larger presence of technical outerwear and light washed denim.) And with most SoHo-residing millionaires taking refuge from Manhattan in light of Hurricane Sandy this past November, Shawn was able to go I Am Legend-style and utilize their homes’ obnoxiously loud diamond-plated exteriors without having water dumped on him.

Fun Fact: Shawn Powers’ dad (as seen in this clip) is actually Slicky Boy from the future. There are obvious VHS time warps going on here (another example of a 2012 skate video from 1998), but this T.F. wormhole of time travel gets deep, man.

Previously: An Interview With Shawn Powers (February 2012)

The Events That Defined New York City Skateboarding in 2012: 15-11

knobs

Previously: #s 25-21, 20-16. Have a good weekend.

15. The Average Completion-of-Construction-to-Knobbing Time Frame For New Skate Spots Reaches an Unprecedented Low

New York continues to have issues with underreported hate crimes. For the first time ever, the under-construction spots that we have been eyeing for months have begun coming with pre-installed knobs (cue up Rob Welsh’s Free Your Mind intro.) Consult the too-good-to-be-true “Late Show Ledges” on Broadway, and even bad spots like those marble blocks across from the Hilton on Sixth or those shitty wooden ledges at the hospital by the Banks for examples, all of which got knobbed within a month of blockades coming down.

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Obama For Mankind, We Ready For Damn Change, So Let the Man Shine

Can we get this stupid election over with? And preferably not elect a psycho? Put on for your country.

This is the best skate-related thing to go online in 2012: “Here’s to Feeling Good All the Time.” John McGuire does a wonderful Kramer homage in tune with the hair, outfits and mannerisms. While a lesser fan would have just looped the theme song, the geniuses behind this clip dug deep for the background music that was used in the scene where Kramer and Newman make their own sausages. Be on the look out for David Puddy’s 8ball jacket and a quick Death Blow teaser. “All signs point to yes!”

The most anticipated avant-Galen film event of the year: “Free Buzz.”

Another Loose Trucks Max sighting in this new teaser for Mama’s Boys, a video that Galen has been patiently waiting for.

Black Dave’s new video for “On Da Map.” Sick Power Rangers pillowcase. Chicken!?!

Should we place 540 tricks on the list for #trendwatch2013?

Another round of Death Video throwaways. Shame about that manual pad on 92nd.

More Spaniards being better at skating ledges and having better-looking flat tricks than any other country’s skater population. Back when ampersand tees had their “moment” in the mid-2000s, did anyone ever make a Jesus & Javier & Lebron shirt?

Two parts from Lawrence Ekin’s Washington DC-based video, Here and There that have a good bit of New York footage: Zach Moore and Michael Bruch.

E.J. was the token minority on a trip to China with a bunch of white guys this past spring and put together an outtakes clip.

Slap is returning to print for a special ad-free edition to commemorate its 20th anniversary. How is everyone supposed to complain about skate-related minutiae on a bunch of stapled-together pieces of paper though?

Spot Updates: 1) The building mounted chairs in the landing space for the frontside for regular three-stair ledge at “the grey ledge spot.” Going to be tough to skate now. 2) The rail is back on the backside for regular side of the FedEx six-stair ledge.

Quote Tweet From a Random Black Girl of the Week:

The QS Sports Desk’s Play of the Week: Rasheed Wallace AKA “The Walking Onion Headline” AKA the Black Scalabrine’s first basket as a Knick.


Don’t forget, NJ Skateshop is holding a clothing drive for those in New Jersey whose homes were displaced by Hurricane Sandy. Help if you can.

Turn On The Lights

Power has been back since Friday night. (Some places in outer boroughs still don’t have lights.) Hope everyone is doing alright. This is only the beginning of the recovery from this storm; can’t imagine the longterm economic impacts of this, especially for people who own small businesses, etc. that were affected by it.

On a skateboarding end, everything is still a bust. Everyone got out there thinking security would be mellower, but it most certainly was not. We (tried) skating downtown on Friday and midtown yesterday, and got kicked out of things we normally don’t get kicked out of, sometimes by police who under normal circumstances would not say anything. After two days of research, we can conclusively say that Manhattan (below Central Park) is more of a bust post-Sandy. Not that skateboarding has any priority at a time like this, but this is a skate site.

NJ Skateshop is working with the skate industry on a clothing drive for skaters in New Jersey whose homes were badly hit by the storm.

Sandy created some skate spots and Rodney Torres did a 360 flip on one.

Dre skated a blown-off water tower roof on Lafayette after the hurricane and it wound up on Gawker.

Magenta Skateboards (who we, like, have mad beef with) is having a video premiere at Labor Skateshop tonight. They will be taking clothing donations for hurricane victims as well. Mangenta diss track dropping later this week.

It’s global warming, stupid.

Don’t forget to turn your clocks back one hour today, even though skaters don’t have / know how to read clocks.