10. The rise in popularity and subsequent banning of Four Loko
The lifeblood of New York skateboarding has always been diluted with alcohol. When sizing up the abilities of skateboarders in this city, is it important to not merely assess tricks, but the social environment within which these tricks are accomplished. It is not what tricks you can do, but what tricks you can do after waking up at 5 P.M. with half of a six pack you purchased at 4:48 in the morning still in your fridge, a pounding headache, and your friend-who-used-to-skate’s unread mass text about his acquisition of a bottle in six hours. Film a part amongst this madness (or avoid it altogether), and you will be ranked among the greats. If you falter, well, you’re just like the rest of them.
This dependence on alcohol is not comical, or tangential by any means, and it all begins with one simple exposure. For the pre-internet nineties, it was the frequent sight of the 40 ounce bottle in Kids that told youngsters what to drink. In the early-2000s, half of the under-eighteen contingent that would skate flat in the back of Union Square past 10 P.M. was introduced to alcohol through Sparks. And even further down the line, the 2008 opening of Trader Joe’s on 14th Street brought forth the availability of $2 wine for a whole slew of younger degenerates, bringing new relevance to the otherwise outdated term, “wine-o.” But 2010 was hit hard with the youth-marketed Four Loko beverages, which fueled this past summer with relentless forays into bad decisions, and can now be found on Craigslist for $10 a can.